Photo by Christin Hume

All of us have some days when we’re easy going and fun to be around. It’s impossible to be happy all the time though.

Everybody goes through some rough patches every now and then. When times are more difficult people tend to withdraw into themselves, get grumpy and less communicative.

Being around somebody who is going through a difficult time can be challenging. Luckily a loving relationship is the best place to get the necessary support to get out of a rough spot.

Even though everybody eventually gets out of “the bad mood”, the road can be tricky.

Here is some useful advice on how to you might want to approach this situation to help your partner through this process.

You can try these tips individually or in conjunction, see what works best for you!

1. Give Them Time And Space To Unwind

This might seem counter-intuitive.

You’re seeing your partner be upset about something and you’re supposed to just leave them alone?

The truth is, when we’re tense and upset, we might not want to head straight into trying to resolve our problems right away. It is important to give your loved one room to just escape for a bit.

Everybody has their own way of de-stressing after a rough day or week. It can be really helpful to know your partner’s ways of doing so.

They may like to lose themselves in video games, films or a book, workout, have a hot bath or just browse their phone. 

These activities or non-activities can easily be judged as laziness and dismissed as getting them nowhere. Don’t do that! 

Let me explain.

We’re creatures of habit. Something about familiarity and repetitive activities can be very soothing.

Let your partner come home and just go through their familiar routine. They might lie on the couch exasperated, browse on their phone, have a nap, or even stare at the ceiling and wonder “Why?!” about the state of things.

It’s important to understand that your partner needs to find their equilibrium again, heck you surely have your own ways too, we all do!

So giving him or her room to go through their unwinding process by themselves is a great place to start.

If she or he is cranky and jumpy, it’s a sign that space might be what they need at this point. Feel free to ask them!

2. Inquire About Their State

After I’ve had some time for myself Karolina often circles in and asks me:

‘What’s up?’ or simply ‘Hey, how was your day?’

Now that I’ve had my initial space after a tough day of endless demands at work, my mind is cleared.

I’m relaxed enough to let another person into my world. I might be ready to talk about what is going on.

Inquiring about your partner’s state is a great way of checking whether they are open for conversation yet or not. If they respond by being defensive or agitated, it might mean they just need to escape some more, or that you might need to try a different approach.

An important note here, your partner may not even be aware that they are distant and unavailable.

It’s hard to be aware of your own state when you are so emotionally preoccupied with some other problem. They’re just zoned out, for the time being, so keep that in mind.

3. Treat Them To Something

When a bunch of people has treated you unpleasantly throughout a day, there’s nothing like a little bit of kindness to warm the heart.

You know your partner best. Treat them to something you know they like. It doesn’t need to be anything big or complicated. Just show them a little bit of love.

Offer to make them a cup of their favorite beverage, massage them a little, a couple of heartfelt kisses. Just one of these small things can gradually bring them back to you.

4. Help Them Escape

I personally really need my four walls before I can come down.

There really is no place like home.

I need to get away from all of the noise, fast pace and endless mountain of tasks (that often seem to be going nowhere).

Having Karolina go through the motions with me, getting food, picking things to watch or a game to play is really nice.

We’re escaping together and it just makes the experience so much more enjoyable!

It’s important not to feel guilty about taking the time you need to get back on track.

Don’t beat yourself/your partner up about it, it’ll only take longer to find back.

Allowing and even encouraging your partner to take all the time they need to relax and unwind can actually help them get out of the loop.

Being harsh and judgmental will most likely make them want to escape even more, so go easy on them!

5. Do Something Different!

This applies for both you and your partner. Sometimes their bad mood might be affecting you and dragging you down.

If you want to avoid being sucked into their “vortex of grumpiness”, go to another room, read a little, have a bath, change the activity, whatever works!

Do the thing that helps you move into a different headspace. Just because your partner is currently miserable and unavailable doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant alone time. 

Sometimes you might notice that instead of relaxing the two of you, your familiar routine might be making both of you feel down.

If that is the case, suggest to switch things up. Your partner might be open to that.

There are a million ways to change the mood, that don’t require much preparation or commitment. Go eat out, go to the movies, go shopping etc. Just changing the environment you’re in can instantaneously change your moods for the better.

Walks are one of our favorite ways to do that.

When we notice we are both getting more and more frustrated just sitting around, one of us inevitably ends up asking

“Wanna go for a walk?”

It’s really a great way to clear your head and switch gears. They require very little commitment and can be adjusted to your needs and preferences spontaneously.

Sometimes we choose to just have a short walk around the neighborhood or we just follow our feet and end up who knows where because the conversation became so captivating!

6. Try To Understand Them

People experiencing a tough time are often completely unaware of what is actually going on inside their heads.

When you’re preoccupied with some urgent troubles it is very hard to keep an overview and figure it out all by yourself.

If your partner just had some tough experience, it might take them days to recover from it all by themselves.

However, with your help, this process can become significantly shorter!

Understanding another human being is not as easy as it may seem. Ideally, your prime objective is to have them feel understood, listened to and not judged.

We all seem to be very eager to fix other people’s problems for them. 

In order to understand your partner, you have to resist the urge to do that and just listen to what they’re saying instead. It takes some time and practice but you’ll get better at it with time.

An important note here, the more your partner feels understood, the more likely they are to listen to your advice and opinions.

Trying to help or fix your partner before they feel like you get them, will likely shut them down. 

If you need more tips on how to make your partner feel understood check out our 3 Easy Hacks To Communicate Effectively In Your Relationship.


Being around a person who is going through a tough time can be disheartening and frustrating. Sometimes there is nothing you can really do to help your loved one get out of a rough patch other than stand by them.

We all go through difficult times every now and then.

Even though it’s not in your power to solve your partner’s problems, you can help them by just being there for them.

Showing your significant other that they’re not alone with their problems can help them overcome these tough times much faster.

You being understanding, sensitive to your loved one’s needs and willing to listen to them will help them trust you, open up and let you into their currently troubled head. 

Learning how to support each other during rough patches will inevitably strengthen your trust and love for each other and bring your relationship to the next level!

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Have any questions or want to tell us your ways of how you help your partner open up? Let us know in the comments.


Gabriel Brenner