Secrets of a Newlywed: Know Thyself—And What Makes You Cranky

This is the next post in Secrets of a Newlywed, a series where I open up and share some of the lessons, insights and understandings—the little secrets—that have made my marriage the wedded bliss that it is. Like anything else, they are easier said than done. But I know from personal experience that when I do manage to live them out, I've seen what beautiful fruit they bear in my relationship with my husband. 

So, today, I share another with you: Know Thyself—and What Makes You Cranky. 

"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls." Proverbs 25:28

I used to have a friend who would carry a granola bar in her purse. Just in case her boyfriend got hungry. Because when he got hungry, he also got cranky.

She realized this cause-and-effect situation and was smart to realize how easy it was to avoid, simply by carrying a treat with her. This is certainly not a bad idea if your significant other operates in the same way.

But for me? I carry the granola bar because I’m the one who gets cranky when I’m hungry.

There are lots of things in life that can set us off, so to speak. Things—like being hungry—that can make us crankier, meaner, snarkier than normal. For me, I’ve realized that things get ugly when I’m hungry, tired or rushed. (Don’t even think about what it’s like when I’m facing all three at once!)

This really doesn't have much to do with marriage until you go back to that whole "becoming one" vow that we took and realize that when these kinds of situations come up, it's our spouses who are affected most by them. They’re the ones who have to deal with our cranky, mean, snarky selves. They're the ones who have to deal with these situations that we can take steps to avoid.

If we take a moment to figure out what it is that sets us off, we can stop the situations before they escalate into a Jekyl-and-Hyde-like transformation. So, I know to bring a snack along with me if I'm going to be away from home for awhile. I know that when it’s getting late, I need to tell my husband it’s time for us to leave. (Remember, we have to tell him; he doesn’t have a script!) And I know that if we need to go somewhere, it's my responsibility to start getting ready with ample time so that I don’t feel rushed.

By being aware of the things that make me cranky, I can be proactive about avoiding those situations in the first place. But even when they do crop up, and I find myself without a granola bar in my purse, I can recognize that the problem is not my husband (even if he is doing something annoying) but it actually has more to do with the fact that I haven't ate, or I'm sleepy, or I'm fill in the blank.

So, I carry a granola bar in my purse. Which surprisingly makes not only for a happy spouse but also a happy marriage.

What is it that makes you cranky? What do you do to be proactive to avoid those cranky/snarky moments?

(To read through all the posts in this series, click here.)  

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  1. Very good stuff to keep in mind! My husband is the one who often gets inexplicably grumpy, so maybe I should pay attention to see if this might be hunger related. Talking to my mom often sets me off. I hope I don't take that out on the rest of the family. I guess I should watch for that!

  2. Bad hair days. Oh boy, I get so cranky when I'm not satisfied with how I look walking out the door. Which is a sin issue in and of itself! (God and I are working on that)

  3. Oh goodness, this is definitely one I need to work on...Thankfully my fiance seems to have endless patience with me.
    He knows that i'm not mad at him, but its still not a whole lot of fun to be around me when i'm like that. I'm trying real hard to work on this.

  4. DS, I am constantly looking for patterns to try to pinpoint things and it has proved really helpful and insightful. Maybe try stashing a snack in your purse and see if it helps your hubby's grumpiness. We ladies have to be crafty sometimes :)

    Elspeth, ah, bad hair days. That's another good one to add to the list that I hadn't thought of. Funny how the littlest things can irk us and we can end up taking those out on the ones who love us the most!

    I agree, with you Donna. I am so fortunate my husband bears with me when I am like this! Definitely not fun to be around, at all!

  5. Thank you for writing these! I have been impacted by them already and I just stumbled upon your blog today.

  6. I get crabby if I feel rushed, or if I am hungry or sleepy. I guess in that way we are the same.I have kids so I always have snacks on me because kids also get crabby, whiny, or whatever if they are hungry, or sleepy.


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