My husband is crabby when his kids go away.

I am in my second marriage, as is my husband. During the summer, his children go spend an extended period of time with their mother. While they’re gone, he is moody and sad because he misses them, and often snaps at me over the smallest things. He apologizes, but I still don’t like it and I want him to stop. This is a good time for us to be together, and his bad mood puts a damper on things. Pointing his behavior out to him doesn’t seem to work. What can I do?

Stop pointing things out, for one. It sounds like he’s well aware of what’s going on.

The tricky thing here is that he’s not being short with you because the Red Sox are in last place, he’s being short with you because he misses his kids. How sad for him that he doesn’t get to spend as much time with them as he’d like. Maybe what he needs is extra love, attention, and understanding from you. If he’s snappish, give him space, and graciously accept his apology. I mean, if he were punching you every time he got annoyed and then apologized, I’d be like, Do something about this! But he’s snapping. And then he’s saying he’s sorry.

I’d try to give him more hugs, plan some things to do together that will help pass the time until the kids get home, make him a yummy dinner, and if he gets too crabby, go to a movie without him.

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