How to Deal With a Cranky, Crabby Husband

Updated on December 19, 2019

If your spouse almost always grumbles and complains about every little thing, you most likely have a crabby husband.

If your spouse is like this, then it isn't a matter of trying to change him, it's a matter of learning how to deal with your husband to make both of your lives a little sweeter. If you are a man that has a wife that is cranky, most of these tips will also apply.

Here are some helpful tips to deal with your loving, cranky husband who complains for the sake of complaining.

How to Deal with a Husband that's Cranky and Crabby

Let him complain, acknowledge, then drop the subject.

  1. Just let him complain. Men often let off steam by just grumbling and griping about what they can't change in life. Sometimes it's national politics, sometimes it's work politics, sometimes it's stuff they see on TV that drives them batty. Whatever it is, you are likely to hear about it repeatedly for the rest of your life, so just don't worry about it. People tend to repeat the same things over and over no matter what alternative solutions there might be to their complaints.
  2. Acknowledge what he says by nodding your head and saying "mm-hmm" or "I understand." If you try to disagree with him or change how he feels about it, he will simply continue to gripe until he has you cranky too. If you were telling your loved one what is bothering you, remember that you would also want to be acknowledged. There is a reason why "yes, dear" is a universal saying. His complaints might grate on your nerves but if they are irrelevant topics to your marriage, then you don't need to show disagreement.
  3. Drop the subject. Don't extend the conversation beyond what he says about it. Since the topic is one that triggers his crabbiness, then continuing to talk about it will only fan the flames of crankydom -- yes, even though he is the one that brings up the topics. As soon as he is done complaining, don't be obvious about trying to change the subject, but let it die away naturally.

How to Deal with a Complaining Husband

Extra Tips on Cranky Control

  • When thinking about how to deal with your husband, consider what relaxes him. Whether it is intimacy, feeding him his favorite meal for the night's dinner, or putting on a movie that you know he wanted to see. Another technique is to give him a body massage. Body massages sometimes make stressed out people fall asleep. What could be more peaceful to you than having your husband take a one-hour nap?
  • Mental and physical stress often make people complain about innocuous topics. It's a stress relief to expel the energy in an aggravated voice. Your husband isn't hitting you or verbally abusing you when he gripes, so accept his complaining as a good way to get rid of stress. There are wives who deal with much more than complaining and general crabbiness, so consider your lot to not be so bad in this case.
  • Call him Crabbycakes. Give him a cute nickname you keep for him in general, and just kiss him when he is feeling down. Keep the mood in the house light when you can. Somehow this will lighten his overall mood.
  • Try reading a book devoted to the subject, such as 31 Days to a Happy Husband: What a Man Needs Most from His Wife. Having a book in the house that is a reminder about keeping my husband happy has helped me gain much more consistent results.
  • Give him space. Husbands often need "me time." Me time sometimes takes place in garages to tool around, a spare room in the house for working on hobbies, or the basement to play pool. And when your husband has me time, you also get to enjoy peace and quiet to yourself.
  • Show Appreciation and affection for what he does that you do like. Men often receive pleasure out of knowing their partner thinks they did a great job. And hugging, kissing, and touching help keep the happiness alive in all of us.

With these tips you will become an expert at how to deal with a cranky husband!

Questions & Answers

  • I keep making silly mistakes. He gets super hyper, and just can't let it go (e.g., a spoon was not clean). He just has outbursts. What do I do?

    Try to gauge if the mistake justifies the reaction. Maybe there is too much stress in your husband's life from various sources. If you aren't in any physical or emotional danger, you can try to just let things go or say you understand why he's upset and that you'll try to do better next time. In almost every relationship there will be occasional overreactions from stress or from things each person is really sensitive to. As long as your security is not in jeopardy, you can try to make your home life more relaxing for him, and for you, too. Spend some quality time together doing your favorite things, etc. You can also try to talk to him and tell him how his reactions make you feel. Best of luck to you.

  • Can older adults have temper tantrums?

    Yes, they can.

© 2012 Hearts and Lattes


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