Miserable Husband Syndrome Explained (How To Cope!)

Is your husband always cranky, miserable, and difficult to get on with?

This can take a serious toll on a relationship, as I’m sure you’re aware.

It’s possible he suffers from Miserable Husband Syndrome, also called Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS).

I’m not making excuses for him, but this could go a long way to explaining why he’s behaving the way he does, and how you can help him!

What Is Miserable Husband Syndrome?

When someone is miserable or easily annoyed, it’s often just written off as that person “having a bad day”, “blowing off steam”, or even them being “short fused”.

There is almost always more to it than that, and there are certainly things you (or more so they) can do to work on their mood and irritability.

Miserable Husband Syndrome or Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) is one such condition that has some known triggers and may explain why your husband is miserable so often.

Irritable Male Syndrome is a state that goes through four stages; hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger.

It’s commonly associated with men going through hormonal fluctuations, high stress levels, and loss of male identity. 

In layman’s terms this means that some guys are triggered by certain things and it makes them react in an angry or aggressive way, often leading to them being labeled as ‘miserable’.

Related Reasons why your husband gets moody with you.

What Triggers Miserable Husband Syndrome?

If you want your husband to be moody and miserable less often, you need to identify what’s causing him to be miserable and work with him to find a solution.

The main triggers of Miserable Husband Syndrome are:

  • Hormonal fluctuations –  This can be linked to a man’s testosterone levels dropping as he gets older.
  • High-stress levels – A demanding job, financial pressures, or relationship difficulties can all lead to high-stress levels.
  • Loss of male identity – This often occurs when a man’s role in the family changes, such as becoming a stay-at-home dad.

If you can identify which of these three things is causing your husband to be miserable, you’ll have a huge advantage in coming up with a way to help.

How to Help a Miserable Husband Change His Attitude

The first step is to get your husband to recognize that he has Miserable Husband Syndrome.

This can be difficult, as most men don’t want to admit that they have a problem.

If you can get him to see how Miserable Husband Syndrome is affecting his life and relationship, he may be more receptive to change.

Once he’s on board, there are several things you can do to help him improve his mood and attitude:

Encourage Him to See a Doctor

A doctor can check his hormone levels and see if they could be contributing to Miserable Husband Syndrome.

If it’s due to his hormones you may notice a huge difference from him taking some appropriate medication or making the lifestyle choices recommended by his doctor.

Generally speaking, men’s hormones are fairly stable until they are 30. After this, their testosterone starts to decline and this can result in a change in mood.

That’s why you sometimes hear some people referring to older men as ‘grumpy’. Maybe they are, but it’s often tied to being old, too!

Help Him Find Ways to Reduce Stress

This is a tough one because most of us are stressed due to one or many factors in our lives.

However, getting to the root of stress and helping him resolve it is going to have a huge positive impact on his life.

This may involve changing his job, getting help with some issues he’s holding on to, or him finding time for hobbies and relaxation.

Whatever it is, stress is a silent killer not just a cause of Miserable Husband Syndrome so you should give him all the support you can.

Related How to help your husband if he’s depressed at work and kind words if he’s overwhelmed.

Talk to Him About His Role in The Family

If your husband is feeling like he’s lost his identity, help him find new ways to feel useful and needed.

Maybe he’s lost his job or had to take one with less authority, or maybe the home dynamic has changed, whatever it is, recognizing this is an issue is a big step.

Talk to him and ask him how he feels, if he can be open with you he’ll be able to tell you what would make him feel like he has a ‘role’.

It’s Difficult Living With a Miserable Husband!

I just want to reassure you that you’re not in the wrong, no matter how your husband makes you feel.

It’s difficult living with a miserable husband, or anyone miserable for that matter!

Just remember that there is a difference between your husband simply being difficult, and him suffering from Miserable Husband Syndrome.

It’s going to be a challenge, but if you love him – and I’m sure you do – then it’s going to be worth it.

Should You Give Up on a Miserable and Moody Husband?

No, I don’t think you should give up on him.

At least, not without putting in a lot of effort to get your husband help.

Miserable Husband Syndrome is a real thing and it’s something that he can’t just ‘snap out of’.

If your husband is miserable, there are things you can do to try and help him. However, you need to be prepared for the fact that it may not be enough.

You also need to be prepared for the possibility that he may never change.

In this case, you need to decide what’s best for you.

If you’re not happy living with a miserable husband, then you may need to consider leaving the relationship.

I know this is a difficult decision, but it’s one you need to make for yourself.

Only you know what’s best for you and your family, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s a decision not to take lightly!

Related content:
What to do if your husband wants to move into his parents;
How to live with a guy who always wants to be alone;
How to handle guys with commitment issues.


Image credits – Photo by Bin Thiều on Unsplash

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