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Ask Brenda

Here's your chance to get some new ideas on how to solve a problem. Of course, you have to weigh all suggestions against your own personal situation, knowledge and experiences. Be sure to seek additional help from a professional if you need it.  (See also our online agreement)

Why does my wife change her moods so quickly and so often for things that we a lot of times can't control?

That's a question that could have many answers. Here's a few ideas that hopefully will increase your insight.First, have you asked your wife that question? Next, consider whether or not your wife's life has had circumstances where she was hurt because of events beyond her control. Those can include being the child of a divorced family, a family where a parent has a substance abuse problem or mental health problem, having accidents or illnesses, being the victim of physical emotional or sexual abuse, and even financial losses. Check back on the site in the future for the article on Trauma Bonds. Simply put, those previous experiences can create core feelings such as fear, anxiety, dread, abandonment, rejection, out of control and more. Unless the person who suffers from those losses validates the complex feelings and takes care of themselves, those feelings often continue to churn inside for many years. (I discuss that in-depth in my book Body Sense, too.) Then, when something happens today that makes them feel out of control, they can experience a feelings flashback throwing them into emotional turmoil. They react not only to what is happening now, but also are flooded with the same feelings they had during that stressful time previously. Consequently, they they might even over-react to your current situation. This could be part of your wife's reactions.

Folks often tend to have mood swings when on emotional overload. Could that be a part of what is going on? Does your wife have too many responsibilities and little time to rest? Women, in particular, often take care of everyone else before taking care of their own needs. Learning assertiveness and how to set boundaries with others can lead to a happier lifestyle, too.

You also want to honestly ask if there is anything in your marriage that would contribute to her reactions? Is there an environment of consistency and stability or have you had periods of chaos? Family therapy might help you if that's the case.

There's also physical interactions that can contribute to mood swings, such as hormones, hypoglycemia, diabetes, thyroid problems and chronic pain. Our body is a complex system and how we feel about ourselves and environment effects how our body works. And vice-versa if our body is not working up to par, it can play havoc with our emotions.

As you can see there are many different reasons for mood swings - male or female. I'd suggest you tell your wife you're concerned and ask if there is anything you can do to help her? You two might want to consider reading my book to learn more about trauma bonds and the power of expressing your feelings and taking care of yourself through assertiveness, and/or seeking out the opinion of a doctor or therapist. I also have an online course on relationships that could be of help. I find the Serenity Prayer to be a big help, too.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Talk to your wife and keep me updated. Stay encouraged because she can feel better when she has the tools to help herself.

My best,




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