Q & A: My Husband is Grumpy in the Mornings

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Marriage can be hard and when you’re married to a man who seems to wake up grumpy everyday, it can be discouraging. Today I’m offering some ideas on what to do if your husband is often grumpy in the mornings and 5 tips to brighten your husband’s day.

5 Tips to Brighten Your Husbands Day @ AVirtuousWoman.org

When Your Husband is Grumpy

When I read Lisa’s comment on the post, In Perfect Peace, my heart went out to her. It’s tough when you are trying so hard to get things right and it just feels like – despite your best efforts – maybe things {or people} are still not ideal. We have to remember that when we are striving for peace in Jesus, Satan is going to come at us like a roaring lion. He wants to devour us with discouragement, frustration, or despair. We can’t let him win!

Lisa writes: 

I have been setting my alarm but I still need to work on waking up happy. My alarm has been set for 6:30 but God has been waking me with energy around the same time or earlier than when my husband gets up for work. Would you think it a good idea to share what we are learning with our husband’s? My husband is very grumpy in the morning and has been very stressed almost border line depression.

Dear Lisa, 

That’s wonderful that you’ve been waking up with energy! When life is hard – when marriage is hard – it can be a real challenge to find that peace and joy. Understandably so! Prayer is always our first line of defense, but sometimes along with prayer we need concrete solutions that we can work on.

Really, growing closer to Christ means we are working on ourselves. It’s not our job to change our husbands. It’s my job to change me. And in the process of changing our own attitude and mindset, we have the power to witness to our husbands so they might be changed as well.

1 Peter 3: 1-2 says, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

5 Tips to Brighten Your Husband’s Day

I don’t know your situation fully, so it’s hard for me to give exact advice, but I’ll share a few tips to help brighten your husband’s day.

1. Be gentle. When talking to your husband about his grumpiness, you’re likely to be met with resistance. Especially if it’s perceived that you’re is pointing out his failures – i.e. “You’re grumpy in the mornings and it ruins my day.” If you can share something with him that doesn’t accuse him in the process – it might help – just be aware that you need to be very sensitive to how you word things. If he’s struggling with something emotionally or feeling depressed, confronting him in frustration and anger won’t help,

2. Do you know why your husband has been very stressed/ depressed? Does it have to do with his work situation? Issues with extended family? Financial? Have you been having trouble in your marriage? What can you do to ease his mind?

3. Marriage is a familiar/ safe place and often means that when the world is against us the only “safe” place to vent that frustration is our spouse or family. This is sometimes people usually consciously decide, but it just happens. Whether or not you know why he’s stressed and grumpy, it can be helpful to disconnect yourself from his bad attitude and assume it’s not you that he’s really against.

4. Sometimes spouses fall into a habit of emotional abuse – not because they want to be abusive, but as a way of “protecting” their own hearts. Emotional abuse is not okay and there is no excuse for it. Having said that, depending on the situation, it is possible to move from habitual anger and verbal lashings to a marriage that is peaceful and happy once again. However, it can be a challenge and if you find yourself in this situation, you may need to find outside help. The book Boundaries in Marriage is a good one to read.

5. Sometimes in marriage we just need to put aside our own desires/ expectations for a little bit and look at our spouses the way Christ looks at us. Do you see your husband as a man who loves his family, who wants the best for them, who right now is struggling with some issue, who is broken and needs a Savior? Empathy is a good thing to have for your spouse.

In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas asks these profound questions: “What if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy. . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?”

Makes you think, huh?

Ask yourself what you can do in the mornings to surprise him and help him have a great day.

  • Wake up a little earlier and make him a hot breakfast if you’re not already doing that.
  • Maybe you could wake him up with a back massage {or sex}.
  • Tuck a love note in his lunch box or stick a love note on the steering wheel of his car.
  • Text him a sweet note during the day while he’s at work.
  • Maybe he feels less stressed if the house is neat and orderly when he comes home.
  • Maybe he’d love to come home to his favorite supper, ready and waiting for him.

You know your husband best and what will brighten his day. It’s often the little things that really make the biggest difference in a marriage. For instance, I love it when my husband washes the dishes. I mean – it really makes me happy and it’s such a small thing. My husband loves it when I do his laundry and hang his dress shirts up to dry after fluffing them in the dryer for 15 minutes.

Being thoughtful to our husbands is showing selfless love. And selfless love heals brokenness.

5 Tips to Brighten Your Husbands Day @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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  1. After 25 years of marriage, I still can't tell you what my husband 'wants' when he wakes up. We've had employment where he got up at noon and worked til 2am, and currently he gets up at 3am, to be to work at 4. I can identify more easily what he doesn't want. No surprises - notes that the fuel light came on in the car, can't find his keys, coffee not ready to start. His is a stressful job, and I'll do whatever it takes to get him out the door without anything adding to his mornings. Sometimes, it can be as small as bringing out the spare deodorant and setting it behind the one in use. "Would it help you if I..." or "Can I do...for you" questions are not accusatory, and may open the lines of communication. On a final note, going to bed early enough is key. Some people just need more sleep.
  2. Melissa - As God does with each of us, He has been working on me - in this specific area of virtue over the past few months. I have been reading up on "virtues", and how they differ from values, ethics, morals, etc. As I've researched and read more, I've learned that virtue is a concept that's been around since the beginning, in God's natural order, and as evidenced by writers, philosophers, early Jewish and Christian leaders, our country's founding fathers, and more. Virtues do not change with the culture, the times, or the prevailing attitudes of any given moment. They are permanent, like the natural law and God himself. It was pointed out to me that no one would have ever used the term "values" even 50 years ago, for a right way of living or believing in something. I have a large, old set of Webster's dictionaries from the 1930's, and looked up "values", and sure enough, not one mention of morals, ethics, beliefs, etc., I recently discovered that even one of the 9 choirs of Angels is called the Virtues! In the heavenly economy, they are in charge of the natural order of things in the universe for God the Father, His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. How powerful is that?! What you have tapped into testifies to this power and runs much deeper than any set of values or ethics...most obviously because it is based on the Word of God. Thank you for your purity of heart in these areas. I am a man who has struggled with a very high conflict marriage for the last 19 years. When I read about what a woman could be for her husband, and that there are actually women out there who do this and are joyful, and happy...it's hard to imagine or believe it's actually occurring. I too have made mistakes, am separated for two years from my wife, and am on the fence looking forward and behind, wondering what could lie ahead if my life was not defined by those mistakes. Although you rightly address men who verbally abuse, I believe in this day and age, (and from what I've experienced) there are a significant amount of women who say, "I am woman, hear me roar!". They think nothing of yelling, raging, complaining, and regularly being someone that no one in their right mind would want to be around if they weren't already married to them. And then they are confused when their man checks out, becomes disinterested, or worse, becomes a neutered metrosexual version of a man who really serves no purpose other than taxi driver, butler, money maker, etc. And when the modern woman gets this convenient "man" right where she wants him, she naturally becomes bored and becomes even more frustrated...while he remains a ghost. I've seen headlines from secular articles recently that ask, "Where have all the good men gone?" Since women have fought so hard to act like men, most men have exited stage left, and/or have no clue. (I am digressing a bit) Another question if I may - have you considered a social/dating site where, as a prerequisite, the women who subscribe believe in this way of living as a woman? There could obviously be screening for the men as well, but I'm sure it would be a great curiosity and learning experience for men, since we have so little example of what a virtuous, real woman is in today's society. Thank you for your site, I would be most interested in your thoughts, or any of your bloggers/members. blessings, William
  3. Hi! I just have to ask before I order, Is "This is My Life 52 Week Planner" included in "This is My Life {All in One Bundle}" $12.95 ?
  4. Thank you for this post! This is exactly what I was needing today! Number 5 is the most important one I think. Sometimes we have to remember to give grace even when we do not understand.
  5. I bring my hubby coffee in bed as soon as he wakes up. It doesn't seem like much to me, but he has told me several times how much it means to him, and blows his mind!
  6. What about when you try all of these things doing them with a joyful heart just because you love your husband (and the Lord first and foremost) and it doesn't seem to matter. ?? i.e. I make coffee because he likes it sometimes but every time I tell him with a smile I have him a cup he grumbles he doesn't want any. I make a good breakfast knowing food in his belly would help and he responds that I've waisted my time that he's not hungry. I let kids wake him and he's annoyed with me for that. I wake him with a kiss and he's not ready to wake up yet and he's sour no matter what. He gets 9/10 hours of sleep a night. We have a consistent schedule going and we are super blessed with not many stressors. He is just grumpy no matter what. He was raised in a ("Christian") home where joy wasn't the focus, neither was putting others ahead of yourself mentally or otherwise, and being gracious doesn't come easy either for him. But he is a wonderful husband (we are very much in love) and father and wants to live for the Lord. I pray joy into his heart and happily try to be the Proverbs 31 wife being submissive and honoring him and loving him with everything I have. Jesus is the head of our marriage. We have been together for half of our lives and have been married for almost a decade and have a couple of small children. When he is rational he says he needs to act happier in the mornings . . . but then he NEVER is.
    1. I can totally sympathize with you. My husband was raised in a Christian home too, but his mother was beyond difficult, never happy, and always harsh. Sometimes patterns of behavior like this are learned and people can act a certain way without really realizing what they are doing. Is your husband pleasant to be around during the rest of the day? Or does his grumpy behavior flow through the whole day? I'm asking because, this kind of behavior may be a type of emotional abuse used to manipulate you. I'm not saying that's the case, but it could be. You can read more about emotional abuse here: http://avirtuouswoman.org/help-for-anger-emotional-abuse-marriage/ Let me know what you think and if you have any other questions! I hope and pray that you are able to find peace and joy in your home!
      1. I can relate to momoflittles situation too. My husband has ADHD, this makes questions hard, changes are distracting, many times my best intentions are land minds to his accomplishing his goal. I have learned that just being present is golden to him. I let him pick his routine then do my best to follow it.
  7. I live with a narcissist. His whole family are narcissistic. He is verbally abusive. The best thing I have found since there is no way to escape….no money….. Is to avoid him at all costs. If I have to talk to him I say very little. I carry a rock in my pocket to remind myself to act like a rock. No feelings around him. He can wipe a smile off your face instantly. I am able to get out and do shopping and talk to people. I will not go anywhere with him. So most women thinks he is a wonderful man. I have had a lot tell me that. I have also had them tell me he is a jerk. Unless you live with someone like this you cannot understand.

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