"...there was about him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept."
I really dislike the days that Alfred comes home surly and snarly due to problems and frustrations concerning his work - as was the case last night. But all is not lost and those evenings can be restored if handled carefully.
First, I ask what happened and then let him vent his frustrations. I say very little until each and every complaint has been voiced.
Next, I sympathize with him and let him know I am on his side.
Then, if/when he says he needs to find another line if work, I encourage him in his endeavors. After all, he is the family provider and I want him to be happy in his work.
I usually leave him to bathe in a steaming tub of water while I finish up with dinner prep. I have found that once he's vented, had some time to simmer down, and is then well-fed that the evening then goes quite smoothly.
I can usually get him to laugh and that's my cue that all is well.