My Husband Is Always Angry and Moody: Why Is My Husband So Moody Lately

Most marriages die a slow, agonizing death from too little compassion. Compassion is sympathy for the hurt or distress of another. At heart it is simple appreciation of the basic human frailty we all share. When you feel compassion, you feel more humane and less isolated.

Without compassion, you're not likely to form emotional bonds. Think of when you were dating your spouse. Suppose you had to call and report that your parents had died. If your date responded with, "Well, that's tough, call me when you get over it," would you have fallen in love? Chances are, you fell in love with someone who cared about how you felt, especially when you felt bad.

Most of what you fight about now is not money or sex or in-laws or raising the kids. Those are common problems that seem insurmountable only when you're hurt. What causes the hurt, i.e., what you really fight about, is the impression that your partner doesn't care how you feel. When someone you love is not compassionate, it feels like abuse.

As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems impossible to solve. Without compassion, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

Contempt is disdain for the hurt of others, due to their lower moral standing, character defects, mental instability, ignorance, or general unworthiness. Contempt is powered by a low but steady dose of adrenalin. So long as the adrenalin lasts, you feel more confident and self-righteous in blaming your bad feelings on some defect of your partner. But you also feel less humane. And when the adrenalin wears off, you feel depressed.

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Both compassion and contempt are extremely contagious. If you're around a compassionate person, you'll become more compassionate. If you're around a contemptuous person, you'll become more contemptuous, unless you make a determined effort to remain true to your deepest values.

Both compassion and contempt are highly influenced by projection. If you project onto others that they're compassionate, they are likely to become more considerate. If you project contemptuous characterizations, such as, "loser, abuser, selfish, lazy, narcissistic, irrational, devious, etc.," they are likely to become more so.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed a habit of protecting their egos by devaluing each other. They try to justify their contempt with "evidence" that the partner is selfish, lazy, narcissistic, crazy, abusive, etc. Contempt makes them both feel chronically criticized, controlled, or attacked. They feel like victims and rationalize their bad behavior as mere reactions to what their partners are doing. Their defenses so automatically justify their resentment and contempt that they cannot possibly see each other.

Neither can they see that their resentment and contempt have cut them off from their deeper values and made them into someone they are not.

Once defenses become habits, they run on automatic pilot and resist change through insight - just understanding how habits work is not enough to change them. They will likely recur in any future relationship that becomes close.

The only way out, whether the couple stays in the relationship or not, is to focus on compassion - not to manipulate change in the other - but to feel more humane and to reconnect with their deepest values.

The problem is that most couples are afraid to embrace compassion once they've been hurt. My next article will address the understandable but self-destructive fear of compassion.

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One of the most important skills to acquire in early recovery from addiction is effective communication and problem solving skills. In order to change a behavior or to be able to solve a problem, you must first identify the problem. The list below will help you to identify your problematic communication behaviors. These roadblocks virtually guarantee that your intended messages will not be received and that you will not accomplish the communication goals that you have in mind. Although it is tempting to identify the dirty fight tactics that your spouse, or significant other uses, focus (at least first) on your communication errors.

1. Naming calling, character assassination
2. Ridiculing or shaming
3. Laundry list
4. Ignoring, refusing to engage in the discussion
5. Diversionary tactics such as turning the tables or changing the subject, intellectualizing
6. Intimidating with non-verbal communication like eye-rolling, "the look", a closed stance
7. Intimidating with verbal characteristics like sarcastic tone, aggressive tone, inappropriate volume
8. Timing like waiting until they are walking out the door to go to work to bring up a subject, or making sure that there is only enough time to say what you want to say and not enough for the other person to respond.
9. Placating or pretending to agree
10. Hitting below the belt; bringing up things that you know will hurt them.

These are but a few of the dirty fight tactics that couples use everyday. These communication behaviors bring up immediate defenses and often start arguments about the dirty fight tactic itself. These communication behaviors get in the way of a couple's ability to say what they mean to say, to be heard, and to be able to move to the next level of appropriate problem solving.

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"As with most men I meet I am lucky enough to have married up in the world."
~ Gary Smith

When I read this quote, and the succeeding sentence, where this 'lucky' husband also praised God for being blessed in having four wonderful children - that "one cannot complain" - I had this strange sense that this may be one of the keys to a life where marriage is literally made in heaven.

It is rare to see such humility in husbands, or in wives for that matter; to bestow glory on the other.

Such humility is borne on the wings of vision for the other people around, not simply ourselves. I imagined this particular husband being a quiet and calming leadership presence around the home. I imagined that if he had this attitude of sincere praise to God for his wife and children that they would most certainly respond in kind.

There is a lesson, here, for all husbands; and particularly for Christian husbands, whom have their goal on Christ, and on serving their families, and by leading that way.

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THE HUSBAND AS SERVANT LEADER

I feel convicted when I say that I know it is God's vision for me in my marriage to serve my wife, and my children, willingly, enthusiastically, without complaint, praising God all the way.

I have not always succeeded. Indeed, thousands of times I have succumbed to pride, my own greed, and laziness, etc. But something quite mysteriously 'magical' happens when I serve my wife (and, also, by the way, by serving my children I serve my wife) because God works three ways.

When I serve without complaint, with a quiet enthusiasm, seeking to foresee her needs even before they arise, it obviously blesses her, it increases intimacy between us, and God blesses me from within to know I am doing his will.

But the beautiful thing about the husband leading by serving is he models that way to his wife and children, encouraging them to adopt the same life approach. Wives love husbands who lead by serving, because they can smell a leader from a mile off. Women have an innate sense for detecting virtue in a man; in a potential husband; and in their husbands.

Women are attracted to men who lead virtuously with a servant heart.

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There are many loveless marriages today and it is becoming more common for wives to be thinking about nothing more than I want my husband to love me again. It seems like little to ask, yet everything. Saving your marriage starts with figuring out just what is wrong with it.

You may feel like your husband has given up on your marriage and does not love you anymore. While that is completely understandable, has he actually told you this or is it just what you are surmising based upon his behavior?

Men can be complex creatures just as women are and not usually very good at showing their true feelings. Sure, it is easy to see when they are angry or even hurt, but many men can be indifferent yet be perceived to be angry or distant.

If it is the case that his love for you has faded then there are many things you can do to save your marriage and make your husband love you again. Your exact circumstances are unique, of course, but there are some proven strategies we begin with when a woman tells us "I want my husband to love me again".

One very common reason for a husband's love for his wife to fade is if he feels she has abandoned him now that he has given her children. Some woman make a sharp transition from wife to mother and concentrate 100 percent of their efforts into being a mother and zero into being a wife.

While that is understandable on the one hand, children should be a priority, the question you might ask is this: if you are putting zero priority on your marriage and your husband, why should you expect him to put more than zero into his marriage and his wife?

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Motherhood is very demanding and has unique challenges. Being a father and providing for a family is no cakewalk either, though. Maybe he is not showing his appreciation for you being a mother but are you showing how much you appreciate what he does as a father?

Maybe you do not think he does enough, and maybe you are right. But if you want to save your marriage and make your husband love you again then you need to think about it differently.

If you start treating him with the admiration and respect that he deserves, he will probably notice. We hope that he will then start feeling he should be treating you with the admiration and respect you deserve.

Sometimes in a relationship we have to be the first to change. Waiting for the other person to change on his own is likely going to end in disappointment for you.

Start focusing more on him for a change. Dress like you used to dress before you had children, wear your hair and makeup like you used to. Some women make a radical change to accommodate a little child bearing weight gain, the occasional baby spit up and the time children require of them but never change back after the kids grow up a little.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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