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Discussion Starter #21
I think when she set this up originally she knew she was going to invite her friends...at this point is when the negotiations should have commenced...you both should have figured out how the living arrangement, meals and entertainment would would work out, to ensure that your needs were met as much as her needs. and if anyone does any sudden changes to the set agreement without the other one knowing about it then that spouse has the right to do what you did.

question what happen when you got back home?
Things are back to normal, except I feel emotionally estranged. Have to tell one more story. It's like an unending joke:
When we got off the plane, we were all exhausted and wanted to go straight home. My wife wanted to take her friends home. We live on the way to their house which is another 20 minutes away. She privately agreed to let me out first (She was driving) THEY flat out lied and claimed their place was on the way, and gave directions so I bowed out gracefully to avoid my wife's wrath. It was the final indignity.
 

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Honestly, my spouse threatening divorce or infidelity to get their way in an argument would be a deal-breaker for me. I don't negotiate with terrorists.

Yes, I would absolutely begin divorce proceedings over something like that. Really. The marriage might eventually be salvageable, but we'd be spending a lot of time in MC (and IC for my partner, to figure out why this seemed acceptable and learn better ways to handle themselves) and it would be a really long time before I was able to fully trust again.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Planning a whole vacation and ignoring input from you and expecting you to bow to her every wish and make her dream vacation yours as well is wrong, selfish, and ended in predictable disaster. It wouldn’t have been wrong until you voiced your opinion and was ignored.
Her not wanting done alone time just you and her is odd as well.
It's weird. Normally, at home, we each enjoy our separate times. We watch different movies and shows. We read. We get together and laugh and joke, but each of us enjoy our independence. I think part of this was because this friend of hers is a workplace friend who has done her favors. She has an unreasonable sense of obligation and loyalty to others. I tend to be just a tad misanthropic. :)
 

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It's weird. Normally, at home, we each enjoy our separate times. We watch different movies and shows. We read. We get together and laugh and joke, but each of us enjoy our independence. I think part of this was because this friend of hers is a workplace friend who has done her favors. She has an unreasonable sense of obligation and loyalty to others. I tend to be just a tad misanthropic. :)
Apparently she doesn’t have much sense of obligation or loyalty to YOU. This should be extremely disturbing to you. It’s not a joke and it’s not funny, you have a completely unbalanced and problematic relationship dynamic.

You keep insisting that she loves you and respects you, but her actions show the complete opposite. I would suggest you stop trying to talk yourself into what you want to be true and start objectively respecting the reality of what her actions are showing you.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Your wife enjoys her friends more than you. Gotta work on that. I’m an introvert and feel your pain, but you gotta tell us some things you enjoy TOGETHER
We've had wonderful vacations together. We go camping with her sister and bro-in-law. We visit her kids. They visit us, along with her grand kids. We watch movies together. I cook for us. I don't even like to go to restaurants, but do sometimes when she wants to go with friends and relatives. I know I have my issues. I have pretty much ZERO patience. I know that is a form of arrogance. I am guilty guilty guilty. I enjoy her intelligent, knowledgeable friends and family. This couple is just rather cloddish, boring, and oblivious to their plentiful limitations.

Her friend, once beautiful, has become so bloated she looks like Humpty Dumpty, her little eyes and nose almost lost in a vast expanse of white flesh that spreads her grin across the face as if to completely dissect it. My wife fears I will actually say something like that out loud. :)
 

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Things are back to normal, except I feel emotionally estranged. Have to tell one more story. It's like an unending joke:
When we got off the plane, we were all exhausted and wanted to go straight home. My wife wanted to take her friends home. We live on the way to their house which is another 20 minutes away. She privately agreed to let me out first (She was driving) THEY flat out lied and claimed their place was on the way, and gave directions so I bowed out gracefully to avoid my wife's wrath. It was the final indignity.
why did you not just go with your wife to drop them off. there was honestly no need to be dropped off first. next time why didn't they just leave their car at your place ?
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Threatening to have sex with another man, because she can't make you be around the people she wants on vacation, is pretty ill.

Unless you are living in a romantic comedy and she said it in a tone that couldn't be taken seriously.

I would have gone home and had papers drawn up, but then I don't really have a good sense of humor about threatening infidelity.

Did she say it in front of witnesses or just to you?
No, just to me. She said it with seething anger. We ARE living a 'romantic comedy.' :) That is often how I feel. It's like my remarks are dialogue in a movie. We always make up. She now agrees this demand of hers was unreasonable, that it was "her fault." But nothing is always totally the other's fault. Truth is, I just wanted you all to tell me I'm not crazy for thinking she should have not made these demands, and that I should have stayed home.
 

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Things are back to normal, except I feel emotionally estranged. Have to tell one more story. It's like an unending joke:
When we got off the plane, we were all exhausted and wanted to go straight home. My wife wanted to take her friends home. We live on the way to their house which is another 20 minutes away. She privately agreed to let me out first (She was driving) THEY flat out lied and claimed their place was on the way, and gave directions so I bowed out gracefully to avoid my wife's wrath. It was the final indignity.
So why are you tolerating all of this? Are you just here looking for validation for your feelings and someone to commiserate with, or are you actually going to DO something to take control and improve your situation?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
why did you not just go with your wife to drop them off. there was honestly no need to be dropped off first. next time why didn't they just leave their car at your place ?
EXACTLY what I said. No, we HAD to pick them up and take them to the airport and reverse the process on the way home. She is ALL about helping others, including me (except during this 'vacation'). Dropping me off would have been a 2 minute delay (I looked this up later and the map corresponded to the one is my head) Taking them home first saved them 2 minutes, cost me 20 minutes of non stop talking from these dolts whose voices are like nails on a blackboard as I tried to doze off.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
So why are you tolerating all of this? Are you just here looking for validation for your feelings and someone to commiserate with, or are you actually going to DO something to take control and improve your situation?
Honestly, I am just looking for validation. :) sort of. Mostly, I just want her to be able to see things from an objective perspective. Obviously, at this point neither of us can be objective. I AM an arrogant prick who enjoys his own company. I do not like to be around controlling people. Her friend even offered me prescription opioids. She was being nice, since I have a bad back. But to me it was just another effort to control. Why is it so wrong to simply prefer some people to others?
 

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EXACTLY what I said. No, we HAD to pick them up and take them to the airport and reverse the process on the way home. She is ALL about helping others, including me (except during this 'vacation'). Dropping me off would have been a 2 minute delay (I looked this up later and the map corresponded to the one is my head) Taking them home first saved them 2 minutes, cost me 20 minutes of non stop talking from these dolts whose voices are like nails on a blackboard as I tried to doze off.
The problem isn’t that she didn’t want to drop you off, because honestly it would’ve been a little awkward and unnecessary to do so.

The problem is that she told you she would and then didn’t (she had no intention of actually dropping you off by the way), And through the deliberate delta between her words and actions, effectively said **** you.
 

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Hell if my partner threatens divorce or an affair I would have papers served the vert next day. Your wife did both, in addition to breaking her promise to you that you won't have to deal with her friends everyday.

No respect. You need to learn how to stand your ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I have to laugh at this, because no one who knows me would say I have any trouble "standing my ground." Just the reverse, usually. This incident was exceptional. I fell WELL BELOW my own expectations in finding a way to bow out gracefully and accept the consequences. I am certainly putting myself in the best light possible, because everyone, even my own family, loves my wife and happily takes her side. NO one who has met us feels sorry for me, ever... except for one close friend and even he made his remark with humor.
 

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OP, you seem to view your wife as some novel, precious, precocious creature to be indulged. To the point that you're actually just sort of laughing off what to many perfectly rational people would be a near-marriage-ending event.

Perhaps that's due to the age difference, which might be closer to 10 years or to 30 years depending on your actual ages.

There's an extremely common tendency for the older partner to eventually (or even right from the outset) view the younger (usually female) partner in a somewhat childlike manner. The parent-child dynamic leads to lots of spoiling and lots of bratty behavior. Which is often tolerated by the parent figure in an indulgent, and ultimately also somewhat dismissive, way. As one would view the antics of a spoiled pet or a cranky toddler that one just "can't" say no to.

I think what you're looking for here is some commiseration on a situation that some part of you is well aware you've helped to create, and have no real intention of actually doing anything about. Much as parents of bratty children may complain about their bratty kids but also continue enabling, even encouraging, that bratty behavior.
 

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That is SO MESSED UP that she threatened an affair if she didn't get her way. That would be the thing that would make me pull the plug. Be honest. How often does she do this?

The other major issue was you guys should have planned the vacation together - if you stay, next time decide in advance that you guys want to plan it together so it can be something you BOTH enjoy. If you are introverted (same) and she needs and craves company those are BOTH valid needs. So find a way you guys can feed both of those needs. For example, no B&Bs because there's forced contact and you can't escape at meals. If she HAS to have couples vacation, plan ahead of time people you both can tolerate and plan in some alone time in advance - let the other people know ahead of time "oh we're gonna go do XYZ together while we're there because we seriously need some couples time. Catch up with you at breakfast?" Book meals in advance and that way you have some meals where you KNOW you have time with just you and her. Make sure there's stuff you guys both like to do. Honestly, I have been on family vacations before and had a blast. But people you really, really don't like grate on your nerves after a while. I almost never travel with friends but you could for example plan a vacation where you include a visit or two with old friends?
 

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Honestly, I am just looking for validation. :) sort of. Mostly, I just want her to be able to see things from an objective perspective. Obviously, at this point neither of us can be objective. I AM an arrogant prick who enjoys his own company. I do not like to be around controlling people. Her friend even offered me prescription opioids. She was being nice, since I have a bad back. But to me it was just another effort to control. Why is it so wrong to simply prefer some people to others?
Then your situation will never change and it will never improve. You can’t control how she sees things, and she is unlikely to see anything from an objective perspective. She doesn’t care about your perspective, her actions make that crystal clear.

She doesn’t respect you, her actions make that crystal clear. Her threats of adultery and/or divorce alone are clear disrespect (bordering on contempt in my opinion), and should be more than enough to drive a shock and awe response from you.

Yet you say nothing. And you do nothing. Which will only further embolden her and further degrade her respect for you. You say you’re an arrogant prick, yet you also say that you fear your wife’s wrath and allow her to manipulate you, control you and disrespect you. While repeatedly telling yourself that she really does love and respect you.

Stop worrying about your wife’s annoying friends trying to control you with painkillers, her annoying friends are not the problem.

your lack of leadership in this marriage, and your refusal to take any action for yourself is.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
OP, you seem to view your wife as some novel, precious, precocious creature to be indulged. To the point that you're actually just sort of laughing off what to many perfectly rational people would be a near-marriage-ending event.

Perhaps that's due to the age difference - you would have been in your 50s and she in her 30s when you married 20 years ago.

There's an extremely common tendency for the older partner to eventually (or even right from the outset) view the younger (usually female) partner in a somewhat childlike manner. The parent-child dynamic leads to lots of spoiling and lots of bratty behavior. Which is often tolerated by the parent figure in an indulgent, and ultimately also somewhat dismissive, way. As one would view the antics of a spoiled pet or a cranky toddler that one just "can't" say no to.

I think what you're looking for here is some commiseration on a situation that some part of you is well aware you've helped to create, and have no real intention of actually doing anything about. Much as parents of bratty children may complain about their bratty kids but also continue enabling, even encouraging, that bratty behavior.
There is much truth in what you write. Yes, I want validation. I have written as much. I'm sorry you wrote this with a somewhat malicious tone, but that's YOUR issue.
 
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