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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I’d have a serious problem with your wife if she worked for me and if her attitude at work matches her attitude at home then I’m not surprised she’s not being heard. She sounds like the proverbial ball buster.
You don’t realise it but she’s grinding you down. It’s time for you to take a stand here because otherwise you are going to end up with serious mental health issues.
First, there’s anecdotal evidence that the boys club executive team generally doesn’t listen to women. Her ideas have put into action when repeated by male colleagues. That said, I agree that I need to take a stand in order to gain some balance in the power dynamic.
 

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Call her on it, be strong and forceful. But also polite and respectful. See how she reacts. The point it don't be afraid of your wife.

I might say "listen stop talking to me that way please, I am your husband not one of your employees."

That's it. Assuming she cares she will stop.

As far as your summer plan, tell her what you wrote here, if she wants more details tell her you are not prepared to tell her anymore at this time, but detains will be forthcoming when they are available. If she insists on treating you like and employee then I suggest you set up boundaries and treat her like you would a boss. You might also ask her what problem she is trying to solve so you can help her.

All that being said, if your wishy washy-ness for lack of a better term is causing her stress then you should also step it up. My wife (also an executive by the way) is very much like yours. Now I also have a high stress job and have been just as financially successful as she has but I am much more laid back at home. I like you will let her run things that she would obsess and try to micromanage if I was in control, for instance she handles most of the bills because she worries about them. I was perfectly capable of doing that before I met her.

Anyway my point is, there is a happy medium that you will need to reach, it may involve you being a little more organized and providing her with enough information to help her relax. This is a part of being married. She needs to understand that there are times she needs to back off, and you need to understand that there is a minimum level that you need to engage.

That's how this works.
 

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Playing it by ear is not a viable option.

Yes. She has mentioned that she’s in charge by default although she doesn’t respond well to not being in charge. When I do things in a way she wouldn’t she says, “I knew I should have just done it myself”
Time to ignore her and go do something else. You don't have to respond to every word she says. Don't correct her, don't get into a debate, just ignore.

Kiss her and tell her you're heading out to go fishing or anything. Don't be ugly just let her words hang. Don't ever bring that whatever topic up again.
Do that enough and she'll recognize the change. Remember your not being mad or giving a sharp retort, just totally ignore her rude sentences. If she never gets it, that will tell you more about the relationship.
 

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First, there’s anecdotal evidence that the boys club executive team generally doesn’t listen to women. Her ideas have put into action when repeated by male colleagues. That said, I agree that I need to take a stand in order to gain some balance in the power dynamic.
You keep mentioning her work situation like you're making excuses for her. You should stop that thinking, it has nothing to do with solving the problem between you and her. Nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
So, you've just provided an example of your defensive or combative conversational strategy.

Don't continue that approach as a general rule with TAM or your W. Neither will be productive.

There is a lot of support here if you have the ability to discuss without hostility.
TAM? Did I come off hostile and combative? I was going for self-effacing. I was saying that communication isn’t always easy or friendly which is why I’m seeking guidance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Maybe you could try this:

“Hey sweet cheeks, the movie is I Know What You Did LAST Summer not THIS Summer. Now why don’t you run along and maybe grab me a cold beer from the fridge. Thanks hon!”

Ok maybe not…

Actually instead of employee her treatment sounds more like a mother nagging a son.

I solved my problem by moving out and largely ignoring her.

So you could also do that.

Another possibility is you go shock and awe. The other way to get rid of someone asking you to do something is to run circles around them and destroy them. So let’s say they want A, B, and C. You do those, but then you also do all the other letters of the alphabet at the same time and ask for feedback on them because now you’re blocked. Bossy nags hate this, especially if you bury them deep because they’re already so busy! This works maybe 99% of the time but it won’t work on the 1% that are truly exceptional. They’ll bury you back but twice as bad. I’m guessing your wife doesn’t fall into the 1%.
I’m not 100% certain I’m following your metaphor. Are you saying I should kill her with accomplishments? Do more than she asks for?
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Call her on it, be strong and forceful. But also polite and respectful. See how she reacts. The point it don't be afraid of your wife.

I might say "listen stop talking to me that way please, I am your husband not one of your employees."

That's it. Assuming she cares she will stop.

As far as your summer plan, tell her what you wrote here, if she wants more details tell her you are not prepared to tell her anymore at this time, but detains will be forthcoming when they are available. If she insists on treating you like and employee then I suggest you set up boundaries and treat her like you would a boss. You might also ask her what problem she is trying to solve so you can help her.

All that being said, if your wishy washy-ness for lack of a better term is causing her stress then you should also step it up. My wife (also an executive by the way) is very much like yours. Now I also have a high stress job and have been just as financially successful as she has but I am much more laid back at home. I like you will let her run things that she would obsess and try to micromanage if I was in control, for instance she handles most of the bills because she worries about them. I was perfectly capable of doing that before I met her.

Anyway my point is, there is a happy medium that you will need to reach, it may involve you being a little more organized and providing her with enough information to help her relax. This is a part of being married. She needs to understand that there are times she needs to back off, and you need to understand that there is a minimum level that you need to engage.

That's how this works.
I agree that I need to be more proactive and give more information that will help her be more at ease.
 

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TAM? Did I come off hostile and combative? I was going for self-effacing. I was saying that communication isn’t always easy or friendly which is why I’m seeking guidance.
If more self effacing my bad.

That's still a thing to consider, think about how things may come across, even to W. We all say things that may not be received as intended.

It's important to think about what folks are sharing with you here, to be more firm on things you have going on. And avoiding the limitless debates with W. That hurts a relationship in so many ways if everything is always a debate.

It may seem contradictory but standing firm and letting things happen will help so many situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
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.
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.
 

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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.
It's ok if you ignore her when she's going off on a tangent. That's ok.
 

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Yes. She has mentioned that she’s in charge by default although she doesn’t respond well to not being in charge. When I do things in a way she wouldn’t she says, “I knew I should have just done it myself”
It sounds like she doesn't have much respect for you. The next time she says something like that you just need to say something like "well it is done now", and then just walk away. When she sees it has no affect on you, she will eventually stop doing it. At some point very soon (like today) you do need to let her know that you will not tolerate being spoken to like that by your spouse. This is 19 years in the making, so this is your status quo. It will be hard to change the dynamic, but you both have work to do.
 

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I’m not 100% certain I’m following your metaphor. Are you saying I should kill her with accomplishments? Do more than she asks for?
Yes.

Whatever her expectation is for you, do 3x that. Ideally you want to have literally done it 3x and then make her go through it in detail and pick which of the three plans she prefers. If you do this consistently then you’ll improve your skills at these things and she’ll likely also stop asking because she’s not going to want to sort through the output.

When you respond to someone asking you to do something both with the work and then a follow up task for the person asking, it’s extremely annoying for them. It takes a real obnoxious stubborn person to step up to the challenge and un-block that person repeatedly and most will quickly give up their requests.
 

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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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Just based on what is posted here, it sounds like she felt she had to take charge because she couldn't count on you and she resents that. That is why she says mean, dismissive and counterproductive things like "I should have just done it myself."

I would imagine there is an image of you that you want to see reflected back in her eyes. You want her to see you certain way, as her partner and friend and husband. As her equal. So be that man. Like @ccpowerslave says, BE THAT MAN. Do what needs to be done. Step up, take care of things before she has to point out the things that need to be done. You want authority, take it. As my husband told me when I was being bullied at work, put your **** on the table and take charge (best career advice I have ever gotten, by the way). Proactively become the man you want her to see you as and her behavior will change. "Is this done?" she asks. "Yep," you say on your way to the next thing. No begging for approval, no questions, no opportunity for her to pick apart what you did. You did it, it's done and that is the end of it. (It's key that it really BE the end of it though, you have to actually take care of the things and not just say you did, because she will check and if you don't she won't respect you. But I'm sure you knew that, it probably goes without saying, I just added it in the interest of being thorough.)

Alpha males don't need women to make them "feel" like men. They ARE men. They don't need women to hold themselves back or pretend to be stupid and helpless and unable to deal with life and "I just need a Daddy." Alpha males don't WANT a woman like that, they want a strong, capable adult who isn't following them but is standing shoulder to shoulder with them in life. If you want her to see you as a hero, BE A HERO. I'm guessing it's what she wants anyway, and she will be grateful and relieved when you do it.
 

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Does your wife seem envious that you may have “the summer off?” I’m envious, so maybe she is. 😂

Seriously though, I have a friend who’s a teacher and she has shared with me that her husband argues more than usual during the summer months, when she has off. Could be something to discuss with your wife.
 

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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.
Is her demand unreasonable or just the delivery of it (tone)?

In your background it sounds like she doesn’t think you’re doing a great job of your end on maintaining the household. Is she right, or is she unreasonable?

If she’s right well that’s a simple answer. Do better.

If she’s off base that’s a different problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
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.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Does your wife seem envious that you may have “the summer off?” I’m envious, so maybe she is. 😂

Seriously though, I have a friend who’s a teacher and she has shared with me that her husband argues more than usual during the summer months, when she has off. Could be something to discuss with your wife.
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.
 

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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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