He is Really Crabby. How Do I Handle It?

April Braswell April Braswell • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I have met a very sweet man. I am 65. He is 69. He treats me very well, but the one thing that turns me off is he is crabby.

He thinks all lawyers and doctors are crooks, and he has relationship problems with his kids. He is very opinionated. He is never critical of me, but I still hate to listen to all of the grouchiness.

-Sheila (Indiana)

April Braswell’s Answer:

Hi Sheila,

Congratulations that you are paired off with such a sweet senior man. I’m sure all of your single lady girlfriends are envious of you.

By the time someone is in the silver years of life, much of life has already occurred. You are seeing the fruit of what he was like years ago with his adult children.

What matters most in your relationship with him is how he treats you. You said he treats you well. I am delighted to hear that.

If he treats you with gentlemanly ways as his special lady, that’s 95 percent of the relationship. Isn’t it?

Now, mind you, I’m sure listening to his grouchiness can be just exasperating. Unfortunately, what works for gently persuading a gradual change in that mindset is to not directly confront him about it.

What is most effective, actually, is to start pointing out one or two times lawyers and doctors are not crooks, which deflates the tire a bit. Then you can say, “Well then, not all of them are crooks. Right?”

Use a gently teasing, giggling tone when you do so he can retain face and giggle along with you.

Then ask leading questions to change the topic to something that is positive so the majority of the time you two engage in positive and interesting conversations.

You’ll likely still have to listen to some grouchiness, but aren’t we all guilty of that just a wee bit?

Happy dating and relationships,


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