Managing Your Partner’s Bad Moods

As with many things in life, a relationship with one’s better half is a double-edged sword. Though it is a wonderful feeling to want someone and be wanted in return, but even such a bond comes with its own challenges. Intimate emotional ties can make an individual emotionally vulnerable. One not only gets easily affected by how the other feels, but if in such a scenario one happens to suffer from mood swings, the going can get really tough.

Studies show that one in every five adult suffers from mood swings, and yet very little importance has been given to the consequences of such mental imbalances and the way they can impact intimate relationships. If neglected, such mood swings can lead to other serious mental disorders.

A bad mood in general can be caused by a variety of reasons. But when persistent, it may indicate a mental disorder of which anxiety and depression are the most commonly diagnosed ones. These two conditions have the potential to increase conflict in an intimate relationship and even cause an emotional breakdown. The common symptoms include, persistent irritability, varied degrees of social withdrawal, low self-worth and complete lack of zeal and interest, which can damage the relationship between intimate partners.

The strange thing is that a depressed or moody friend or colleague doesn’t seem as provocative as an upset or sulking spouse or partner. In fact, people are always willing to offer a kind word to a morose stranger, but shy away from showing concern to an anxious partner. Isn’t it weird that emotions often explode in unpleasant ways when it comes to someone so close? One way to deal with such a situation is to not react and stay calm in spite of the other’s behavior. Though it is easier said than done.

Strategies to cope with an irritable and moody partner

Marriage or living together requires a lot of adjustments and efforts. However, if one partner is acting moody or is prone to outbursts, there are ways in which the other can reach out and help. Here are some tips to deal with a partner’s mood swings:

Identify the problem areas: If one or both partners have a mood disorder, it’s crucial to understand the causes and the effects, and seek a remedy. It is good to identify and understand the way one generally reacts to the partner’s bad mood, because such moods can be highly contagious.

Learn to take ownership of one’s own mood: It is crucial to understand one’s own reaction to a partner’s bad mood, as this can prove decisive in resolving or aggravating a conflict. Mood disorders can destroy relationships by inhibiting intimacy or by causing aggression.

Encourage honest communication: Pretending that things are fine or hiding one’s frustrations will not yield results in the long run. It only allows resentment to pile up which will explode at some point. Instead, confront the challenges by offering non-judgmental mutual support to each other.

Plan one’s reaction: Sometimes all it takes to placate a moody partner is for the other to validate what is going on in his/her mind. Most of the time, an individual in a bad mood doesn’t seek help, he or she simply wants to be understood. Being empathetic can solve many problems.

Understand that bad moods don’t last: Mood swings are a passing phase, though some people may take longer to come out of it. Sometimes, a bit of emotional or even physical distance can help ease tension.

Seek treatment for mood disorders

Mood disorders or depression are usually not under an individual’s control but are treatable. One can choose to make his or her life better by cultivating certain habits which can help prevent depression and can also assist in recovery.