May 21, 2008

When She's Having A Bad Day

How do you handle your wife when it's just "one of those days"? If you've been married long, you know the kind of day I'm talking about — the kind where there's something about her mood that just isn't normal. Her reactions to things (and often, to you) are unusually negative, her energy level is unusually low, and her outlook on life is a bit gloomy. The immature part of you wants to just write her off and ignore her on those days, and the selfish part of you wants to let her know how hard she's making things for you.

Is it possible to really handle a day like this well in your wife's life? Recently (it was the morning after One Of Those Days) I got out of bed to find that my wife, who had already been up a little while, had written out a little reflection of how I had treated her the previous day. Trust me, it doesn't always go this well, but in the interest of sharing ideas, I thought I'd let you see what she wrote (with her permission, of course). The lessons to be learned are self-evident and won't need any explanation:

"Yesterday, I had a terrible day. Nothing seemed right to me, and I got upset over everything. Nothing was truly wrong, except that our dog wasn’t feeling well. It was one of those days that you don’t even want to be around yourself. And, if others are being selfish, they will just shut you out or tell you how terrible you are being — or worse.

"But my husband always assumes the best about me. He knows I don’t want to be grumpy. He knows that I want to have patience and make the day pleasant for him and the kids — not to mention for myself. He never told me how difficult I was being. He just tried to help me by doing things for me, answering me gently, and most of all, just having patience. By last night, I felt better. I don’t know what was wrong. It could have been anything. But, because my husband assumed the best about me, it turned into a bonding experience. He affirms his love for me, not just when I’m pleasant, but when I’m not. And, that makes my love for him grow. We are both blessed in the end, and our marriage is better in spite of my bad day, and because of his good day — a day of assuming the best."


  1. I love your blog and your ministry to husbands. I stuck you on my blogroll. More people need to find you!

  2. I also love your blog. Your blog answers questions every married man should want to know the answer to. Im checking your blog and thats on the daily. 3 years and plan for 90 more.


  3. Wow. That kind of care for your wife is exactly what I aspire to. Excellent job - hold on to that!

  4. nothing like reinforcing the stereotype that women are emotional and erratic and need to be 'handled with care'.... good work.

  5. Dear Anonymous --

    Thanks for sharing your mind on that.

    I guess you'll have to take that up with my wife, since half of the post (including the most detailed parts about how emotional and erratic she was) was written by, um, her.

    And now that you mention it, I realize that there is nothing in there (written by either me or her) that says or even implies that the kind of day she was having couldn't have been had by a man. Or that the way I treated her would be any less of a good thing if it was a wife treating her husband that way when he was in a bad mood.

  6. another husband
    No need to defend yourself. There was nothing at all wrong with your post. There are a lot of hurting people in the world, and when someone shines a light they feel a need to snuff it out. I pray that anonymous will someday feel the love you expressed to your wife and be able to accept it, and begin to heal. Keep shining a light.

  7. I read a quote somewhere before:

    " When a person is least lovable is when they need the most love. "

    I try to remember this with my husband when he has days like this.

  8. This is a terrific post. It made me smile.