How To Stop a Grumpfest
by Megan Wyatt, Founder of Wives of Jannah
I’m tired. He is tired. We were both hungry. The kids were loud…. anyone who has been married for awhile knows where this is going, right?
I’m going to show you what Fearless Vulnerability looks like in turning around a grump-session!
My husband told me dinner was ready. I wasn’t feeling well so he took over making dinner and getting it on the table. Relieved, I finished something off for work I needed to get done.
But then he called me a second time. His voice sounded irritated.
I got irritated.
“Why is he calling me like that?” was my knee jerk reaction thought.
Instantly, I checked in with my feelings. Why did I feel so upset?
I’ll tell you why.
I could have just sat there with my reaction to the tone of his voice.
But instead I recognized my strong reaction was because I felt guilty having asked him to take care of getting dinner on the table.
I felt guilt sitting in my chair “doing nothing” because I wanted to take care of my family.
No…that’s not quite it.
I dug more….
I was feeling guilty because I was at a conference for several days and then worked all day yesterday. (Serving my lovely clients from this beautiful WOJ community may I add!)
I hadn’t been there serving them for several days in a row.
Here it comes. WHOOOOOSH. Another wave of guilt.
Forget the fact that I am with my family everyday and homeschooling two of my four kids but parenting all of them!
No…guilt says that taking a few days break from that for a conference makes me a terrible wife and mother.
Shame on me!
Ok, so there was the next layer of truth. I wasn’t done yet.
I finally came to the table but instead of responding with my layer of truth I realized another feeling was coming to the surface.
I was feeling hurt that he didn’t just recognize how tired I was and how I wasn’t feeling well. I felt hurt that he would speak to me with a tone of voice that sounded judgey and irritated.
I mean.. I was coming!
But guess what….
Ladies, I want you all to pay attention to this.
Because everyone I coach gets stuck right there. Right there in their feelings and knee jerk reactions.
Let’s look at the facts on the ground:
1) My husband took care of dinner.
2) My husband invited me to the table.
So far, we’ve got two actions that show love and support. No comments about me not cooking, not helping, about me sitting, or even working. Zero. Total acceptance and obvious recognition that I was tired.
Ok….but what was that tone of voice? I had such a strong reaction to the tone! I couldn’t help the initial reaction.
When I finally told him that my feelings were hurt from his tone of voice and that I was now also swimming in an ocean of guilt his response was, “I didn’t even realize how my voice sounds. I’m tired myself. It was a long day. I’m sorry. You’ve nothing to feel guilty about! “
Why am I not just *knowing* that?
“I just wanted you to join me at the table so we could all eat together. That’s why I called you the second time.”
Yeah, the knife in the heart moment.
Why, you may be asking, didn’t I, the “master relationship coach” over here not just know all of this automatically?
I’ll tell you why.
It’s just one of those days and I admit I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
When I’m tired, I am not my best self.
When ANYONE is tired they aren’t their best selves, right?
I fell asleep on my coach while my eight year old was reading to me out loud from Charlotte’s Web. I never sleep in the daytime. Even when I want to take a nap, I usually can’t. But this day, I knocked out for 20 minutes waking up in a groggy grumpy state.
But you know what I did do even while feeling groggy and tired?
I worked Fearless Vulnerability.
I held my feelings and thoughts accountable. I honored how I felt, and I also explored my reactions.
After a few minutes, I told my husband not just my hurt, but my guilt, my doubts about myself – all of it. I resisted responding to just the knee jerk feelings.
Imagine if I didn’t check in with myself and be fully honest about what was going on inside of me. Where could this dialogue have gone?
What might it has turned into?
Two tired, hungry people…. not being vulnerable with themselves or each other…. <– that has the potential to be a disaster.
At the end of the day, the entire “dinner drama” of my night lasted a few minutes, was solved with a conversation, but mostly the realization that I need some solid sleep.
Yes to the SLEEP!
Few things to learn:
1) Never underestimate the power of being tired or hungry to bring out the grumpy side of yourself or your spouse.
2) Make space for each other to not be perfect all the time.
3) Apologize when you’ve hurt someone even when unintentionally.
4) Fearless Vulnerability is a method that asks you to find 3 levels of truth. In many situations of conflict, there are often 3 truths happening within you all at the same time. Know them and. you can resolve things much faster and more effectively.
5) Be gentle with yourself. I am not perfect. I know that. What matters is that I work hard to *be* my best self as often as I can.
6) Everyone has different sensitivities. What irritates you might not irritate your spouse or any other women in our WOJ community. Honor your feelings. Don’t judge them or compare them to anyone else.
7) Rahmah (mercy) is important in a relationship. Life is long and the journey is hard and some days are just those kind of days…. Have gentleness with each other, give each other some space, and start over the next day.
Keep us in your du’a! Thanks for being here and letting me be vulnerable with you too.
I know I’ve got plenty of formally or currently sleep deprived ladies on here! If you totally understand what I mean by “those kind of days…” send me some love with some
Find a program to help your relationship: