Crabby Menby Dr. Coach Love
My husband is usually even-tempered and very good-natured. Once a week or so, he catches me off guard and is very crabby. I ask him to help me with something, he agrees. Then before long, he gets very unpleasantly crabby. I don’t seem to see it coming. When we finally get to the bottom of it, he apologizes. He says was very tired, but still wanted to help me. We seem to continue in a circle with this. How can we get out of it? Shouldn’t he just tell me instead of getting crabby?
Since you have been around the block with this pattern a few times, you are no longer an unknowing participant. He is not the only one who has responsibility for this interaction. Why should you expect him to know what’s going on any more than you do? You’re not the crabby one— yet.
For instance, here’s something you might do. Since he is generally good-natured, learn to more sensitive when he is not. If he starts to get crabby on you, consider the possibility that, like in the past, he is simply tired, but does not want to say no to you. Kindly and gently let him off the hook by saying, “Honey, you must be tired. We can do this another time.”
He also has equal responsibility to develop an awareness of when he needs to pass on or delay an opportunity to help you. He seems to get into trouble because of his good qualities (helpfulness) rather than bad ones.
In any repetitive relationship pattern, both partners participate. If one changes participation, the pattern changes. Bottom line is, if you want something to change, do not wait for the other person, change it yourself.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Dr. Coach Love
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Copyright 2008 P.H. Pickett. All rights reserved. Reprint with permission.
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