Rose had had a lovely time with her husband Eji yesterday. They’d visited old friends, Uche and Mandy, and been out for a meal with them. They’d all laughed a lot and
the Chinese restaurant served good food that wasn’t too expensive.
At home later that night, it seemed a natural progression to have a steamy session in bed.
To Rose’s surprise, Eji was moody the following morning. He gave a curt ‘hmm’ to her good morning and didn’t look up from his computer. He said he didn’t want breakfast when she and the children were eating but she later saw him toasting bread before he left for work.
“What is wrong?” she wondered, marvelling at the change from the attentive man of last night.
“What have I done wrong?” she found herself worrying as she went over the events of the past few hours.
She hated it when Eji got into a mood like this. It affected her own mood negatively. She snapped at her sons when they asked her for lunch money
“You eat too much!” She said as she bundled the surprised children into the car for school. She was quiet as she drove, her mind racing as she wondered what had changed between last night and this morning.
“Mummy are you alright?” Asked Ike the youngest with a frown on his face. She was too preoccupied to answer him.
“What is it? I hope you haven’t forgotten your homework. I can tell you right now that I am not driving back home if you have. I keep telling you to check your things before you leave the house,” she snapped.
She glanced sideways at him, saw the hurt on his face and realised he was about to burst into tears.
“I’m sorry, love… What were you going to say?’
“Forget it!” Ike replied.
“Well done, Mum!” Uzo chided her.
Rose drove wearily home after dropping them off. Her feet seemed so heavy and all she wanted to do was crawl into bed and cry.
Many people in intimate relationships do not realise how powerfully their behaviour can impact their partner. There are days when we don’t understand our spouses, when their behaviour seems incongruent and unreasonable. It can easily ruin the whole day, week or even months. If allowed to deteriorate, a mood can be the first step on the road to divorce.
What can we do at such times?
There are six steps we must take when we realise our spouse is behaving strangely especially when it’s not clear what the cause may be.
If there is an obvious cause, then that’s easy!
- Be strong. This is very important. Decide to be strong no matter what. When your spouse is behaving like a spoilt child, the last thing he needs is for you to become another spoilt child! Being strong doesn’t mean that you ignore him. It means that you protect your own heart and mood so they don’t go downhill just because he is acting oddly. Don’t let his mood affect you. The situation doesn’t need more gloom, it needs sunshine! So keep your chin up and go about your business with a cheerful heart. Don’t get into self-pity. And definitely don’t attack your spouse verbally. Responses like these will just cause him to withdraw further. Your spouse needs you to take care of yourself when he feels unable to do so. If you remain strong and take care of you, then you can take care of him.
Unlimited Sex. Sex is comforting for many men. It relaxes, de-stresses and heals. A man can regress when he is going through challenges. So, just like a hurt child finds solace in his mum’s arms or reaches for her doll, so sex can act as a comforter for some men. Being able to come to you for a de-stress session is so vital! Many women get it wrong here. They think “He’s been moody and hasn’t done anything for me all day so he ain’t getting anything from me.” WRONG! This is his way of making contact and communicating – that’s just the way men are wired. Receive him and give him the best sex you can. Don’t use that time to tell him what an idiot he has been or you will just send him back into his shell. Let him know you are there for him.
3. Pray for him. Do you have any faith? Pray for your man when he is going through challenges. Prayer is calling on the highest power to intervene. It’s saying “I need help to handle this situation!” Pray with a heart full of love as though you were going through the same challenge as he is – because you are! After all you two are one now. What affects him, will affect you. Don’t pray in anger: “God please help this stupid man to realise how stupid he is being!” Or selfishly “God please help him see how miserable he is making me!”
Pray for strength, encouragement, ideas and hope to fill your man’s life and lift him out of his depressed state.
4. Keep the communication channels open. This is very important. If you get upset with his behaviour and close all communication, how will he find his way back? His return is very much dependent on you continuing to shine light upon the path so he can see his way back to you. When he is not behaving right, the best way to keep communications open is to do what I call ‘loving from a distance’. Say he’s buried himself in the computer or his papers and is not communicating as usual. Don’t pushing yourself in front of him demanding “Look at me!” or “Hug me!” or “What’s wrong with you?” – all of which may escalate your frustration, or make you feel humiliated or angry if he does not co-operate… Instead of that, approach him like a queen, plant a kiss on his forehead and say something affectionate like “I love you”, making sure that you smell of nice perfume. Then walk away. You can send him a simple text with words of encouragement. With these activities, you are saying “I can see you are not in the mood. That’s ok! I am giving you space to sort yourself out. When you are ready, know that I will be here ready to have you back, my love.”
5. Channel negative energy into something positive. Avoid a pity-party! “Oh poor me! I feel depressed, I am unhappy…”
None of that does you any good! It saps your strength and clouds your judgement. Foolish women in moments of despair have gone on rampage, destroying their home or spouse’s car in a bid to get his attention. I counsel you instead to channel all that negative energy into doing something worthwhile. Write a poem or even a chapter in that book you’ve been planning to publish. How about a thorough house cleaning? A visit to someone less fortunate than yourself? Taking the children out for some fun and so on. Doing something positive motivates you to stay strong and all that positive energy radiating from you can spill over to your spouse and lift his mood.
6. Don’t grovel! Grovel means ‘to act in a servile way, showing exaggerated and false respect in order to please somebody or out of fear.’ Don’t start crying in front of your spouse and asking “what have I done? Whatever it is, please forgive me…” with crocodile tears all over the place. This is very irritating as many times the issue has nothing to do with you and you moaning and wailing like a fool does not help the matter. Maintain your dignity and self-respect. If you have caused offence, by all means, apologise sincerely and immediately. But if you haven’t, don’t grovel. This is simply channelling energy in a negative direction. It is self-pity in disguise. And when your grovelling is ignored by your spouse, it leaves you feeling weak, defeated and hopeless. Many women stop pleading at that stage and resort to shouting, name-calling and verbal abuse because they haven’t learned to rule their own emotions. Why should they demand that their husbands must be able to do what they cannot!?!
We all have a responsibility in a relationship to put in our best efforts. So go for it and watch your relationship blossom with sweetness.
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Till next time,
Sexual Wellbeing Network.