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I feel like my take charge executive wife is treating me like an employee and I’m not sure how to handle it.

Short version: I’m a high school English teacher who usually works at a camp all summer but can’t this year due to family commitments. I have secured a job teaching a one week course in July (for about $1200). I’ve also applied for another virtual teaching job, and asked a contractor friend if I could help out with kitchen demolitions. I planned to refinish the kitchen cabinets and reseal the deck in the interim. Today, in regards to these summer plans, my wife said, “I’d like to solidify a plan straight away…” Why is it so important to her that we need to solidify a plan for what I’ll do this summer? I get paid 12 months, she makes more than double my salary and we aren’t desperate for the modest money I’ll likely make doing summer work (though of course it’ll help). It feels like she is arbitrarily taking charge and I have little recourse. I don’t know how to respond. I need perspective, wisdom, and help!

Backstory (if interested):
My wife of 19 yrs. is a classic woman executive. She’s worked exceptionally hard for a seat at the table at which she still isn’t always heard. She’s responsible for a lot in the office and she takes charge of her staff to ensure it all gets done. Taking charge is kind of her thing, the kids and me, at the family reunion, in the grocery store with strangers. She’s most comfortable when she’s in control (can be very uncomfortable when she’s not). Her impatience also has a hair-trigger. I tend to stay in my lane outside of work. I have no desire to insert myself or take charge of things that aren’t directly in my purview. I also suffer with depression and anxiety that often limits my productivity at home. This is a consistent source of friction for us. She feels overwhelmed working full time and “doing everything for the business of our family” I don’t take enough initiative, don’t complete enough tasks, don’t follow-up/through enough or in a timely enough fashion. She is often very critical of and sometimes insulting as a result. I’m often very defensive and feel like her employee. Our marriage has almost always been tenuous. Resentment lingers in the air like cat pee at our house—don’t always notice the smell but it’s always there. I’m in behavioral therapy and take medication. I’m getting better at my part, but it’s a process.
Why do you have a problem sharing with your wife what you plan to do this summer? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
 

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You said you suffer from anxiety and depression which is keeping you from doing things. Time to deal with that. Sounds like she's been forced to take charge to me. You should be a partnership, but it sounds to me like you avoid that but then resent her when she is capable and steps up to lead. I know it's hard to deal with things when you have depression, so go into therapy. It's hard to get motivated to do a lot of things. Anxiety can very often be quickly dealt with through tested medications. You might find that you are the tire that's going flat on your family car and she's having to carry the load. You're lucky she can and will. You need to get into therapy and just work on yourself and stop stewing about her and her career. I bet she'd feel better just knowing you were working on yourself that way.
 

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I mentioned in the original post that I am in therapy and take medication. I’m working diligently and making progress but it’s a process. I don’t think I’m stewing about her and her career I think I’m affronted her demanding tone.
According to what you say, she's having to deal with disrespect from men at work, and then she's coming home to resentment. It would be a miracle if she wasn't carrying a load of resentment herself. If you're avoidant on some things, I imagine that places her in a position of having to talk AT you whether you want to discuss something or not. After all, she is married to you. It doesn't sound like you're volunteering much in the way of communicating or planning and you're purposely staying out of things. If she's the more proactive one and you're the one trying to avoid getting in the middle of things, what choice does she have? You don't really expect her to come at you all warm and fuzzy when you've been avoiding communicating and trying to basically duck out of lots of situations, do you? She has a right to know what your plans for the summer are. If you really aren't trying to make plans and just want the time off or whatever, tell her. Who knows, maybe she'd like to go on vacation with you.

I'm glad you're in therapy, and I know it's a process.
 

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I think you may have missed a few things in this thread, or perhaps I haven't communicated clearly enough. When I said I mind my business I meant I don't seek opportunities to butt in or take charge of other people and their affairs (unless it's necessary). I'm not in charge of monkeys that aren't in my circus if you will. So no, I don't avoid communicating with my wife or duck out of any situations. Of course, we are accountable to each other, and absolutely she should know what my summer plans are, which is why I told her. She apparently didn't approve of/appreciate my ideas and responded, "I'd like us to solidify a plan straightaway" which rubbed me. Why do we need to solidify a plan when I just told you what my plan is?

That said, I agree that she is frustrated with me and harbors some resentment about carrying much of the load in family business (bill paying, appointment making, future planning etc.). My behavioral therapist and I are developing strategies to help me take more initiative and complete more tasks. I also understand that she's under a lot of stress at work and at home but it doesn't negate my need to be treated as an equal adult and not a subordinate.
That comment about solidifying a plan sounded more like you hadn't really nailed it down yet. I mean, nothing wrong with that if things are still in the air, but to me, that is more what it sounded like and not so much her disrespecting you.

Keep up the good work with the behavioral therapist.
 

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I'm certain that she's a bit envious. She's mentioned that she resents that I get home early enough in the afternoons to go to the gym or take a nap before tackling my grade book, but don't often take the initiative to take care of other business. Like remembering to return some paperwork or follow up with the accountant about our taxes etc. I'm sure my not going in to work for two months gets under her skin.
Maybe suggest you two sit down once a month and make an eraser board "to do" list and then both agree to knock some of that out. I personally think everyone deserves a summer off after working hard all year, but most jobs just don't allow for that.

Since you get some of that and she doesn't and you're partners, seems to be like you have to split the difference and give her some relief over the summer as well.
 

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I don't really see a scenario where you can "win" this argument by standing up to her. I mean, you've admitted you have not been matching her efforts, so you don't really have a leg to stand on other than you are working on yourself and also that if you have an opportunity to get a bit of rest in the summer due to your choice of a profession, you're entitled to that, but not on her back. She also deserves a break since she's the one who's been taking up the slack, so that's where you should help out some and take some responsibilities off her and not just summer but going forward. If you get too cocky, her attitude might well be that she'd have more leisure time without you. And it wouldn't be wrong.
 

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When's the last time you two just took a weekend off, rented a cabin in the woods and just sat on the porch and chilled out and did nothing?
 
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