My marriage is pretty wonderful and have absolutely no complaints. However, we have our tough days, and after almost a decade together, I can vouch for the following tips on how to handle a loved one who's having a bad day. I'm straight and married, so that's where I'm coming from; feel free to make adjustments or amendments to suit your needs.
: In the early days of our marriage, I totally thought we were headed for disaster when everything wasn't sunshine and rainbows. If I could go back and tell myself anything, I would say,
Calm down! People bicker about the most inane things, but it doesn't mean your marriage is over. It simply means you're both human. The sooner you get to the root of what's bothering you, the sooner you can move on and be stronger than ever before. Or at least get back to being annoyingly lovey-dovey.
Don't Take It Personally
: Everyone is entitled to some bad days. My husband, God bless him, has one or two every year; the rest of the time, he's awesome. For that reason, I try to let stuff go when I sense an impending storm cloud. Truthfully, the men in our lives have to deal with our, um, storm clouds,
every single month
. Still want to pounce on him for being in a bad mood every now and again? Which leads me to to my next point...
Assess Whether or Not It's You
: Have you eaten? Are you on your period? Have you been getting enough rest? Are the kids/coworkers/general public driving you insane? All of these things can cloud your judgment and make you see and feel things that aren't necessarily reflective of reality.
: Has he eaten? Has he been getting enough rest? Is he feeling okay? Has he been working longer hours than usual? Does he seem more stressed lately? A little observation could shed some light on his sour mood.
: Find ways to stay upbeat by doing things you enjoy. Resist the urge to join him in melancholy because that makes things worse, especially if there are other people in the house (kids, older parents, extended family, visitors, etc.). I'm not saying rub his face in the fact that you're doing fine; just try to behave as you normally would. Or, better yet, be
Remember there are plenty of good days to be had!
Leave Him Alone
: For the love of all things holy, don't push him to discuss everything right away! I know it's tempting because we want to rush in and get everything out in the open. Mostly, this makes the other person angry and worsens the dynamic. Patience, on the other hand, allows him to sort through his emotions and engage when he's ready to talk. Sometimes, a chat may not even be necessary. If that's the case, all you need to know is that he's come through it and it's over. There's no need to rehash or dig it up. Do yourselves a favor and put the focus on moving ahead together.
: Honestly, 99.9% of the time, this is all that's needed. In fact, you could probably skip straight to this one if you're short on time.
Hope this helps in some small way. These are things I try to do in my own life, and it's greatly improved our dynamic. If there's anything that could be added, feel free to provide it in the comments! :)