Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been going through many problems. She admits that its not the mistakes that I make but the way I deal with resolving these mistakes and the way I handle her anger/disappointment/frustration that takes her over the edge. She gets to the point where she starts screaming, says hurtful things, gets intimidating (sometimes I feel I’m on trial.. or being interrogated). She claims that I make her that way, that I make her that angry. She says she’s not angry with other people (gives me examples) but that I’m the only one who makes her angry, this angry. She’s a strong woman, very opinionated, logical, methodical, organized, and very smart. I appreciate these qualities and her efforts in supporting our marriage.

I was always a quiet person as a kid, I grew up learned about life, formed opinions and finally learned to discuss, argue, and debate. I always have avoided confrontation though in every way possible. That is just me. I’ve never been in big fights. I’ve been in arguments and I know (now) that I’ve pissed people off before. I was (and still believe to some degree that I am) naive. I admit, I have a problem dealing with conflict and I don’t take it that well at all.

When she’s upset, frustrated, under stress I feel like I become her target. As an example, she asked me to find our daughters coloring book and crayons while she finished getting ready to go visit her parents (we visit every week). She was under a lot of stress (I found out too late) and pressure because she had a lot she had to get done with because she was having a busy day. While looking for the crayons she called and she was upset that it was taking me so long to look for the crayons. Her tone changed, her words become slightly hurtful and I tried to calm down and relax and deal with it and go help out with other things. She was still upset, and I got more comments about me making too much noise with the suitcase (was using it to move some of our daughter’s Toys to her parents) and with the doors.

I finally get to stop thinking about how she made me feel and try to get to understand what made her say those things in the beginning. I started asking her what the matter is, why was she so upset. She completely blew up about how I was making too much noise, and how I was taking too long looking for the crayons, and that I being so inconsiderate since she had lots of things to prepare and get done with.

I wasn’t going to start arguing so I did my best to not get angry and accuse her of anything (like the way she was talking to me or the words she was using). I withdrew and apologized and offered to help with anything that I could help with. She was still mad and she was still upset. I was internally furious, I had withdrawn, and was saying as little as possible, I was doing what I can to channel my emotions into other things so that I don’t get to blow up in any way. She then started to say how this is how I am, and how I will always will be and that I will never change and made so many false promises about how things will change. She said I will never calm her down, that I will always just make things worse and will always drive her mad and just do nothing about it.

She has stated many times before that we are through, and that its over and we will not be able to live with each other like this. She said she doesn’t want to be miserable for the rest of her life living with me, a person who cannot handle her emotions at the most crucial and emotional moments. The history is there and its true, when she’s usually under a lot of stress her tone and mood and everything changes and I have problems dealing with those emotions since they become directed at me (not to me, so she doesn't sit quietly and explain her emotions).

After a day or so of not talking I sat with her explained to her how I understood that when she gets angry or is under a lot of pressure she expects me to calm her down, to hug her to ask her to sit and get her some water. I also said that I would do everything in my power to do that since that is what she wanted. I was then explaining to her how her words sometimes hurt and the way she says things doesn’t help and does indeed stop me from acting in a positive way and that I immediately back down. She replied that her action was human and normal, and that I should treat her as a human being and be compassionate and act positively towards her emotions. She said she needed me to address her emotions and feelings and that she should be my priority.

At that point, I knew that no matter what I say or do I could never get her to acknowledge how her anger, frustration, and words affect me. All I could do is try to be a better person myself since I know that my withdrawal is not a positive thing and can most of the time just make things worse. I’m willing to work on that part of myself. I come to you today with my story in hope of getting advice, tips, and comments on what has happened (so many times for the past four years). What can I do to make this better? Is it better to just separate since we have come close several times?

The truth is, we don’t talk about our problems with anyone, we just try to fix them ourselves. I did tell her I would seek help about my withdrawal/conflict management issue and that is the reason why I’m open about this here. Please excuse the long post.

Thank you!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
MrBloo, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm sorry to hear you are so unhappy in your marriage. I hope you don't mind my asking a few questions. Additional information likely will help us provide more meaningful comments.
She gets to the point where she starts screaming, says hurtful things, gets intimidating
How often do these temper tantrums occur? Do they seem to be triggered by some minor thing you say or do? How long have you been married and how soon into the marriage did the tantrums occur? Are other aspects of your marriage (e.g., sex life) doing fine or did that go off a cliff after the wedding?
She said I will never calm her down, that I will always just make things worse and will always drive her mad and just do nothing about it.
You are responsible for your own behavior and she is responsible for hers. It therefore is her responsibility to do the self calming techniques that all healthy people learn in childhood and adolescence. Hence, you seem to be describing a woman who has poor control over her emotions. Does that seem correct? Is there any evidence that she struggled in a difficult abusive childhood and thus did not fully mature in controlling emotions?

I have problems dealing with those emotions since they become directed at me (not to me, so she doesn't sit quietly and explain her emotions).
You seem to be describing emotionally and verbally abusive behavior that occurs during her temper tantrums.
When she gets angry or is under a lot of pressure she expects me to calm her down.
Becoming her "soothing object" is not your responsibility. As I mentioned above, all healthy adults know how to so self soothing. Although it is fine to occasionally help calm a spouse down, doing so on a regular basis turns your marriage into a parent/child relationship. With young children, it is common for parents to spend a substantial amount of time helping them to calm down, e.g., by diverting their attention or hugging them.
At that point, I knew that no matter what I say or do I could never get her to acknowledge how her anger, frustration, and words affect me.
You are describing a lack of empathy. Does this occur only during the temper tantrums or, rather, nearly all the time?
The truth is, we don’t talk about our problems with anyone, we just try to fix them ourselves.
The most obvious first step is to see a MC or an IC. Why, then, have you not done so?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
wow - are u my husband??? Everything you wrote sounds so much like how my husband reacts to my outbursts. I feel he brings them on because I'm so frustrated with his withdrawal and lack of emotion, but, unfortunately for me, he hasn't said he would do whatever it takes to try to minimize them. If you don't mind, how do you feel about your relationship? Do you feel it's worth hanging on or are you at the point of no return and want to separate...honestly? My husband says he cares about me, but he never demonstrates it -ever. No hugs, no kisses, not even a pat on the back. His reasoning is because of my way of being (which I confess is not perfect...I'm much less controlled emotionally) which causes him to withdraw. But, the less affection I receive the less I feel loved or wanted or appreciated. It's not clear to me which action/reaction was first, So it feels like a vicious circle...I'm wondering your perspective because I think you and he may feel similar...??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
wow - are u my husband??? Everything you wrote sounds so much like how my husband reacts to my outbursts. I feel he brings them on because I'm so frustrated with his withdrawal and lack of emotion, but, unfortunately for me, he hasn't said he would do whatever it takes to try to minimize them. If you don't mind, how do you feel about your relationship? Do you feel it's worth hanging on or are you at the point of no return and want to separate...honestly? My husband says he cares about me, but he never demonstrates it -ever. No hugs, no kisses, not even a pat on the back. His reasoning is because of my way of being (which I confess is not perfect...I'm much less controlled emotionally) which causes him to withdraw. But, the less affection I receive the less I feel loved or wanted or appreciated. It's not clear to me which action/reaction was first, So it feels like a vicious circle...I'm wondering your perspective because I think you and he may feel similar...??
2knowme: Wow - are you my wife?

Seriously, sounds like your dynamic is like ours.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top