“I feel like I just walked into a buzz saw.” Have you ever felt this way about your partner? Perhaps you've been apart all day and when you next see him or her, it seems like you can't do anything to your mate's liking. In fact, to you it feels like your love is critical or irritated about everything you say and every move you make-- no matter how much you feel like you're trying to help. Pretty soon that negativity seeps into your mood and you both are closed to one another, in separate cold worlds.

So what can you do when your love is in an irascible and angry place about everything, including you? Is it possible to stay open even when your partner is shut way down? Yes it is. When you can stay grounded in your own center and focused on what you want-- a connected relationship-- you can not only keep your positive attitude intact, you can also offer love and care to your partner who is out of balance at the moment. Can you “cure” him or her of the problem? Probably not. But you can take care of your feelings, set boundaries and listen to what he or she needs and, by doing this, not join in the negative, downward spiral.

From the moment Lara picked him up from work, Mike could tell something was wrong. Not only did Lara snap at him for being 5 minutes late coming out of his office building, he noticed she was also driving faster than usual and seemed to be clutching the steering wheel tightly. Any conversation either of them tried to start very quickly deteriorated into harsh or disappointed words and energy. Finally, Mike chose to say nothing which seemed to set Lara off even more. She accused him of being closed down and angry with her. To Mike, the situation seemed impossible and Lara wasn't having any fun either.

Stay grounded in what you know to be true.
It's easy to wonder what you did so wrong when you're faced with an out of sorts partner. A first step in a tense situation is to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you are feeling and what you know to be true about this moment. It's no mystery to Mike that something is bothering Lara and also that he is quickly becoming irritated and impatient along with her. He wants to know what happened to cause this storm cloud between them but doesn't know how to ask. Really, he just wants to chat about their days and enjoy each other's company-- without all of the criticism and sniping.

Do your best to stay focused on how you feel and what is true for you. This doesn't mean that you don't care that your mate is obviously upset about something; it does mean that you do what's necessary to approach him or her from a calm and certain place.

Set boundaries.
During the car ride, Mike feels his own mood beginning to match Lara's apparent state of mind. He takes a moment to breathe and checks in with himself. With an even voice, Mike tells Lara that he can tell she is bothered and irritated and asks her if they can sit down and talk once they arrive home. He asks her if, during the car ride, they could agree to be silent. Though still in an angry temper, she consents to this.

Even if your partner is upset because of something you said or did, you can still set boundaries. Neither of you can resolve the issue in a connecting way when you both mainly see anger. His or her accusations will not help the situation either. Asking for what you need so that you can stay open is reasonable and advisable.

Ask what your partner needs.
Now you are in a place-- as open as you can be-- to ask your partner what he or she needs. Rather than asking “What's wrong?” try to ask what you can do to help your mate in this moment. This way, your love can request space to fume in privacy, for a listening ear (with or without advice from you), or for a hug and loving support. Your partner may choose not to share with you the particular details that led to his or her foul mood, but you can still end up close and connected. Listen to what your partner asks for and, if you choose to comply, act willingly and from your heart.

Author's Bio: 

Susie and Otto Collins help people create more connected, loving relationships and are the authors of a new program Stop Talking on Eggshells For a free report on how to reverse what you don’t like in your relationships, visit Relationship Reverse Report