30 responses

  1. Lisa
    May 15, 2013

    Once again, an excellent article, Sheila! I find that many of my triggers are physical…not enough sleep, a sugar crash, or just plain tired. It’s so important to identify what the real problem is before we jump down someone’s throat!

    Shared your link on Facebook with my young married tribe!


    • Sheila
      May 15, 2013

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ngina Otiende
    May 15, 2013

    This is a great list Sheila! I deal with almost everything you’ve listed but my biggest most frequent trigger is # 5, Hormones! It doesn’t help that PMS shows up with physical symptoms as well – extreme tiredness, headache, tenderness, cramps.

    I’ve found it helpful to let my husband know when in that zone, he’s very understanding. Still, it’s not an excuse to be all over the place, rather understanding where I am coming from helps me know WHY am feeling a certain way, look for solutions (e.g slow down the pace of my day) and to keep a “this too shall pass” attitude, which is so key in tiding over challenging moments.

    Reading about your mum has shed some light on my own family! There are some things I haven’t figured out but your point has me thinking. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Wonderful post!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Submitting to Loving Leadership in MarriageMy Profile

    • Sheila
      May 15, 2013

      Me, too! We’re probably about the same age, so I hear you! It’s been really eye-opening to me to go back and journal my really angry times at my husband and realize that they were related to my period. It’s not that the issues between us weren’t important; it’s just that on another day I would have handled things so much better, and would have been far more open to seeing his side. I think on those days it’s likely best if I just steer clear of most people. :)

  3. Rachael
    May 15, 2013

    When my son started weaning at about 9 months old, I started feeling tired all.the.time. I felt overwhelmed for no good reason. I was defensive, angry and weepy. We thought it was just motherhood and adjustments, but when I started on a fertility med (clomid) 10 or 11 months later, it all just stopped, all of the sudden, the day I started taking the fertility med. I felt great. I had energy. I was pleasant to be around.

    Way back, when my son was just born, at the 2 week follow up, the NP asked if I was dealing with depression and its symptoms. But none of it hit till my baby was 9 months old! That is still postpartum depression and I wish either Hubby or I had recognized it.

    I’m pregnant again, and I plan on keeping an eye on these things. Sometimes, knowing your triggers means knowing yourself, and what is ‘normal’ for you.

    I really enjoy reading your stuff, Sheila, thanks for continuing to write.
    Rachael recently posted…Writing Inspiration — goals and excusesMy Profile

    • Sheila
      May 15, 2013

      Depression is such a HUGE issue, too. I think we all need to “know ourselves”, as you said. And that can sometimes be scary! :)

  4. Megan@DoNotDisturb
    May 15, 2013

    Great list of questions and ideas about how we get where we end up emotionally. Taking time to evaluate what is going on holistically in my life often leads to understanding how to move forward in changing my behaviors. Thanks for sharing!

    Megan@DoNotDisturb recently posted…Sexual Snooze ButtonMy Profile

  5. Steph
    May 15, 2013

    Your story about the woman being angry with her kids, and then realizing it’s because she doesn’t feel like she’s a good mom described me to a ‘t’…..I hate failure….I am afraid of failing, and when I think I am failing I do get angry and defensive and I lose the enjoyment that should come from motherhood sometimes, and in turn that makes me feel like an even worse mother! This is something that I am praying about…..but I am plagued with the perfectionist personality….And it doesn’t help that we have so many schools of thought on how to parent and what is right and wrong and if we do ‘a’ we will scar our children for life, but if ‘b’ happens they will still be scarred for life, so on and so forth. It’s so much pressure, and I’ve let that pressure get the best of me. I truly and sincerely just want the best for my kids, for them to know Christ, and I want them to be happy and well-rounded and to feel loved….and I just don’t want to mess that up, you know?
    Sorry for the sob story…lol…The weird thing is that I don’t feel like a failure as a wife. And because of that, I don’t feel pressure and I enjoy it very much.
    Anyway, excellent post…something I really needed to read today :)

    • Sheila
      May 15, 2013

      You’re so welcome! Glad I could encourage you.

    • melissa
      May 15, 2013

      Steph, I just wanted to encourage you. I have been where you are not wanting to fail at motherhood and feeling like you are failing every step of the way. I moved forward by changing my perspective. I stopped looking at my children as a “job” where I was going to be reviewed on how well they turned out but as a treasure and a blessing that I was given the privilege of raising. I stopped looking at motherhood as a performance where I was constantly being judged but as a journey and a gift…a work of art in the process of being created. This quote by author Susan DiMikele became my motto “If motherhood is a performance test, we’ll never win. But if motherhood is a faith journey where we live by grace, we’ll never lose. Jesus always has our back. Just as our kids aren’t perfect, neither are we.” Give yourself grace because even moments when we fail are filled with grace to grow and learn.

    • Stephanie
      May 16, 2013

      Oh Steph, we share more than a name! Today was one of those parenting days I just wanted to call my own mom (can’t she passed 6 years ago). Felt like a failure… and so I got angry, then my youngest got mouthy and I got more angry. Wound up driving all three to school while I cried. Rough start to the day… but a beautiful finish! Thanks for the quote!

  6. Cheryl
    May 15, 2013

    Hi Sheila
    It is amazing how God works… This morning in my quiet time I was challenged about my words with my children. I’m a bit like Steph- I’m ok with my marriage, it’s the children that I fight with.
    I have identified 2 causes for me- but I will do your pointers and see if I can identify more triggers.
    Tahnk you once again for a great post.
    Cheryl recently posted…Websites for the Greater Good: Non-Profits on WordPress.comMy Profile

    • Cheryl
      May 15, 2013

      I’m not sure what happened there, but I have linked up to a website that isn’t my post… I’m new to blogging so apologies.
      I actually posted a blog this morning based on my quiet time revelations and the identification of the 2 causes. Definitly God is speaking to me about my patience and my triggers!

    • Sheila
      May 15, 2013

      You’re so welcome!

  7. Buffy
    May 15, 2013

    Great post! Husband and I have discovered that I have trigger “words” or “phrases” that cause me to almost revert back to when I was growing up and the pain I would feel then, causing me to lash out in anger because I’ve forgotten that my husband isn’t my parents. Realizing that has helped us tremendously because now my husband doesn’t use them for asking questions, he phrases things differently and I don’t get angry & defensive.

    Also, I’ve found that texting my husband has helped a lot with those trigger moments. He usually texts me in the morning and asks how my day is, how the kids are and I reply with an honest answer. He gets to pray for me during the day, especially on those rough ones, and I find that it helps him so much to have a little idea of what he’ll be coming home to. There have been days when the kids or I are in a particularly foul mood and he’ll often come home with a little gift for me or will text me that he’ll make dinner when he gets home. Obviously it doesn’t work all the time, but at least he knows that if I do get angry with him it usually isn’t him but something else.

  8. Makasha Dorsey
    May 15, 2013

    I feel every way except number 5 almost all the time. I’m busy, tired, overwhelmed and disconnected. I need to get a grip. The problem is that I don’t know where to start.

    Makasha Dorsey recently posted…Forgiveness and RepentanceMy Profile

  9. Mel @ Trailing After God
    May 15, 2013

    Great advice. I know one of my triggers is feeling controlled. I had zero control as a kid and it’s a huge issue with me at home and anywhere else. If I don’t feel like I have control over myself, I start to get angry. Another issue is keeping blood sugar in check. I’ve always had problems with my blood sugar, even before I was diabetic. If my blood sugar gets too low, I get really angry and I can’t think straight. Knowing that helps me check myself or allows my husband to ask if my blood sugar is low without it turning into a huge fight. Lateness is one of my pet peeves. It’s one thing to be a few minutes late but to be really late all the time, every time, is not okay. To me it says, “You’re not as important as what ever I was just doing or who ever else I was just with.” Or that MY time is not very important to the other person. I once had two girlfriends leave me sitting for over an HOUR in a restaurant alone, waiting for them to show up on my birthday! :( I’ve stopped doing things with those two because it was like that every single time we made plans. Obviously we can’t stop hanging out with our spouses but we do need to be aware of certain things that make them feel bad or uncared for.

  10. Megan G.
    May 15, 2013

    I pretty much only get upset with my husband when I have PMS. I’m working on it – hormones are so crazy sometimes!!
    Megan G. recently posted…some days are like that, even in AustraliaMy Profile

  11. Ashley M
    May 15, 2013

    I love the sock as Evil Incarnate. That cracked me up; you hit the nail on the head with that one.

  12. Anonymous
    May 15, 2013

    I just wanted to say I thought this was a great post. I wanted to offer this peace offering as I leave. I know I have caused quite a stir here and while I get several folks that agree with me each time I realize I’ve also upset some people, some severely. I want to apolagize for that. BW, Jenny, Sheila…several others who I can’t remember…I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I never meant to harm your feelings. When I started here a long while ago my wife Lily was very, very sick and I was looking for anyway possible to improve my marriage. I’m embarassed to say how bad our marriage was and how much information I shared on here…truly embarrassed. No matter how hard I tried and no matter the advice I listened to and no matter how perfectly I tried to execute it things never improved. Finally, after more than twelve long years of marriage we discovered it was hormonal and with that under control I have my lovely, beautiful wife that I never had (the birth control pills before the marriage started it). I know I’ve caused quite a stir here and have promised to leave but Lily my wife keeps dragging me back into conversations on here I guess because she thinks I’m wise….sorry I haven’t stayed away. After several emails over the week with Sheila we’ve just come to realize that many of you are just in a different place and whatever I have to offer would not help in the least, the situations are just too different. I’m sure most of the advice Sheila gives to women is spot on and a blessing. All I ask before leaving is remember the men here are here because they are looking for hope and to unlock some kind of knowledge to make their marriage better also and there are very few resources for men on marriage. And if the response to Sheila’s writing is any indication she’s helping you gals. I try to be as honest as possible but maybe I’m not objective enough of the male sitaution. All I ask if you guys go a little easier on the guys…the topics discussed, the language used, the attitude towards certain subjects really do look much different from a man’s perspective. Even good, christian, loving, giving it all they got christian men see things different quite often than the perspective given here…and that’s okay. Just please respect it. It doesn’t make us evil. Guys do a better job of respecting them also and being more gentle and objective with your answers.

    All that said as I sit here stealing 10 minutes away from my wife on a trip to celebrate our 14th anniversary is that honestly I could not ask for a better wife or marriage. This last year has been the best year of my life and it all has to do with my now healthy wife. We honestly had the worst marriage of anyone I know (and I was a pastor for a long while and saw some real bad ones so I know just how bad it was). We now have the best marriage of anyone I know by a large margin. I couldn’t imagine it being better. For those of you out there hanging on by a thread…we’ve been there. Hang on. Keep working at it with everything you’ve got and trust in the Lord. Miracles do happen.

    Thank you. Forgive me. Thanks for putting up with me as I worked thru my hurts. Goodbye. God bless. And Jesus, thank you for my wife.

  13. Andie
    May 15, 2013

    This came at just the right time! Thank you for posting it!.

  14. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)
    May 15, 2013

    This is terrific, Sheila! And yes, I’m guilty.

    I’ll reveal one trigger. My husband is a way slower shopper than I am. He’s the browser, while I’m the hunter. I have lost my patience over this more times than I can count. Recently, I’ve started carrying a book into stores we visit together. If I get bored while waiting for him, I take it out and read. Reading almost never feels like a waste of time to me, and that way he can have the time he needs to be sure of his selection. I wish I’d lightened up and discovered that fix eons ago. I could have saved our marriage that trigger point and the resulting conflict.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Should You Share Your Sexual Fantasy?My Profile

  15. Jenni
    May 16, 2013

    During my time of the month I usually can control myself because I realize right away why I’m feeling so frustrated and angry. I may snap at husband once or twice and sometimes when we’re laughing about something I’ll start sobbing like a nut case but husband understands. Something that I think gets overlooked quite often though, is that men can have hormonal imbalances too. My husband has this problem. For a couple of days a month my sweet, ornery, loving husband turns into this emotional, mopey, angry person. During that time he refuses to admit that it’s his hormones that’s his problem so he won’t do anything to control himself. It’s a very frustrating time for my whole family. But I’ll tell ya what, once he gets back to his good natured, fun loving self, I appreciate him 10x more!

  16. Nicole
    May 16, 2013

    I know for myself, being rushed and late makes me very upset. I could be perfectly content and then realize I’m running behind and all of a sudden everything is an emergency and I can get downright nasty with my attitude! Thank you for this post – I think it helped me to realize that. I need to build in extra time in my day to chill – chill in the morning, on my way to work and back, etc. :)

    Nicole recently posted…SALE 6 Crochet Kitchen Dishcloths, Dishrags, Dish Scrubbies, 100% Cotton, Eco Friendly and Reusable, Cool Blues by CraftyBeardsMy Profile

  17. Carrie
    May 17, 2013

    I do pretty good at holding myself in check. 1 and 2 almost constantly apply, but I’m ok unless I’m pregnant. I feel terrible because I don’t catch myself until I’ve lost my temper. My hubby is great about taking over with the kids when he can tell I’m overwhelmed. I’m so grateful he understands.

  18. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706)
    June 18, 2013

    I know this is an old post but since it popped up on my Pinterest feed I reread it.

    If a woman is tired a lot, be sure to have your Dr check your thyroid levels. Even being on the high end of normal can put things out of whack as the thyroid controls a lot of bodily functions. During a work-up for my unexplained infertility, it was discovered that I had hypothyroidism. Previously, I’d done three rounds of Clomid to no avail. Three months after being started on Synthroid, I got pregnant without clomid!! So obviously my thyroid had a major cause in my infertility. I know a previous OB/GYN had checked it two years prior but all I was told was that it was normal. But was it on the high end of normal? I don’t know because I was never told the exact value.

    It’s been 10 years since I started synthroid and my levels are still up and down. So I’d also recommend having your TSH, free T3 and T4 levels checked by a physician.

  19. Jeanne
    January 19, 2014

    This was timely to see on Pinterest today! I can attest to the Sunday Morning as one of my triggers. But, mine deals with a differing issue than time, stress, rushing, or disorganization. My trigger is completely on a spiritual level. My husband and I differ on the choice of which church to attend (even though we’ve been going to the same one for years). So, I am going to have to take a step back and just give this issue up to God. I believe that the underlying issue to this trigger is either hormonal or chemical. I tend to react irrationally when I am hormonal or feeling depressed.
    I will definitely keep this article close by whenever I feel the urge to explode on a Sunday morning.
    Thanks again for pinpointing these underlying issues.
    Jeanne recently posted…The Middle of the Teeter-TotterMy Profile

  20. Michelle
    February 1, 2014

    Thanks for this never really thought of how disconnected I feel when we go for LONG periods of time with no sexual contact. My husband is not a touchy kind of person so unfortunately sex is the only human touch I get. I know that is something that somehow I need to get him to notice.
    Our main trigger is kids. We are a blended family and we are constantly at war about it. It has been almost 8 years and he still has no connection with my kids. And his kids are damaged from being rejected by there own mother. So there is a constant struggle. SO many issues it is hard to decide which to start with. Just alot of prayer and hoping the Lord will give me wisdom to know where to start.

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