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Hello all,

I am having some relationship issues and I just wanted to get further insight of my perspective and views

I believe in integrity in terms that I wouldn’t treat others in a way that I wouldn’t treat myself. This has been a main issue for our marriage for a long time and I am having a hard time with my wife. Between the two of us I would say I am the more laid back person and try not to exhibit dominance and control over the other. I don’t complain much about her behavior as I appreciate a lot that she does and if I do complain I don’t try to make it personal or a demand for her behavior to change.

I’ll give some pretty simple examples in hopes of communicating what I mean, What typically happens is that my wife will complain about something she doesn’t like me doing, like leaving my socks beside the bed because she values a clean room. So I comply as that’s something she values.

But what I have an issue is that when I notice that she leaves her laundry beside the bed all the time or other things that the room isn’t really clean. I go through scenarios like

1. I’ll apologize and recognize her value that a clean bedroom is something she values. When I say something about her leaving her laundry on the floor in our room, she responds that I am being tit for tat and it doesn’t need to be equal. She’ll justify why that’s okay but me leaving my socks beside the bed isn’t.

2. If I listen to her value but I don’t listen to her (I.e continue leaving my socks beside the bed) it goes from a request to an argumentative demand and abusive language.

My issue is that I don’t have a problem with her leaving her laundry on the floor and I like leaving my socks beside the bed when I get home and picking them up the next day. If she is requesting me to change my behavior due to her value, I want her to respect that value herself and show me through her actions that its something she actually values versus telling me that she doesn’t like ME doing it but it is okay with her doing it.

So I guess my problem is consistency and I feel like her “rules” apply to me but not to her self.

Another example is something like she says your being annoying. I don’t have an issue with this as sometimes I am annoying and I can reflect back and stop. However, If I say something like that to her, she immediately gets annoyed and pissed that I called her annoying and doesn’t like me saying that to her. My dilemma is if I say:

1. Sorry and stop saying that - then I have to keep a long list of mental notes on stuff she’s okay saying to me but not okay saying to her and that’s really hard when there is inconsistency in the communication. This is really difficult and feels like walking on egg shells on what I can say or not say.

2. If I still her sorry and that if she values not putting labels on behavior or the person and that going forward lets not saying that to each other in this relationship. She immediately thinks its becoming about me and I need everything to be equal and that we are different people and that it doesn’t need to be that way.

She also thinks that if I have a problem with it I should have said something when she called me that and not make it a “rule” for the relationship.

My problem is that I don’t have a problem with her saying that to me but I get frustrated because I believe that if that something she values and doesn’t like me saying that to her she shouldn’t that to me and in order for me to recognize that this is an issue there needs to be consistency or I am just going to forget down the line. I also think this attributes putting restrictions on someone else but not on your self and causes a higher sense of self in the relationship, controlling behavior and shows lack of integrity.

My thought process is how is it okay to call me annoying but for me to not say that back to you? I feel like that’s due to a higher sense of self and lack of respect.
 

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Hi there Calistyle.

I can relate a lot to this. Unfortuanley my situation has degraded to far worse as I didn't address similar issues early enough.

WHat your dealing with is a double standard and a she is showing a lack of respect for you. This will not get better on its own. She will not wake up and smell the coffee. Pretty soon you will begin to feel major resentment. She will feel the resentment and reciprocate it.

You need to go to couples counseling as soon as possible. One of the main things they work on is how to empathize with each other and see things from each other's point of view. It seems like you will be good at it. She will not and will need practice. You will have to be patient or move on to somebody who will respect you.

I have kids and am still dealing with the disrespect out of love for them, but I'm at my wits end and am considering divorce currently.

I hope you can nip this in the bud before it turns into what my situation has degraded to.

How long have you been married/together? When did you start to notice the disrespect?
 

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Selfish people have double standards and can't take what they dish out.

Normal people with empathy get run over trying to appease selfish people until they realize how unfair it is.

Once that moment hits, it is rare for the selfish person to change (which is what you need to happen), and the normal spouse either becomes weak and gets run over forever or stands up and it doesn't go well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Its been happening since beginning of the marriage (5 years) and we've been together for 9 (those 4 years this never happened) and was much more subtle than it is now. Its my fault as well that I tried to appease her and tolerated a lot of this in the past. I am at the point that I tired of it and I am trying to help her understand the double standard and I have been saying things like "I want to help respect your value going forward but I need help as the way I am programmed, I need consistency and this will make us both happy going forward" but it usually ends of with her being disrespectful, shaming me, personal attacks, yelling etc.


I am also in the same boat as I have a toddler and I dont want to leave right now but I am having a hard to with this kind of behavior.
 

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Its my fault as well that I tried to appease her and tolerated a lot of this in the past.
Well, there ya go. You should have put a halt to her nonsense when it first started. Now she probably feels she has carte blanche to impose her rules with no consequences.

I am at the point that I tired of it and I am trying to help her understand the double standard and I have been saying things like "I want to help respect your value going forward but I need help as the way I am programmed, I need consistency and this will make us both happy going forward" but it usually ends of with her being disrespectful, shaming me, personal attacks, yelling etc.
Now there's a child added to this unhappy mix. Apparently, your respectful reasoning is being crapped all over. She doesn't respect you. Period. And until you man up and set a tough boundary, you can expect this to continue. I'm all for fairness, equality, etc., but just because I expect it doesn't mean I'll get it. But when I enforce a tough boundary, whether the other person respects it or not, I'll respect myself.

Get tough now or learn to suck it up. Frankly, your wife sounds like a royal ***** to me. JMO.
 

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She’s judging you by your actions and judging herself by her intentions.
You trying to be reasonable is a waste of time, she needs to be made aware that there will be serious consequences for your marriage if she doesn’t curtail her behavior.
You will probably have to leave before she takes any heed because up to now you’ve just been enabling her toxicity.
 

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In this situation, your want to be both 'reasonable and fair' is getting you run over.

Shifting that ever-so-slightly to 'unreasonable but fair' will give you the recipe to deal with it, however it will also lead to more conflict.

And maybe I'm off on this, but you sound like somebody who is conflict-averse.

Are you?

There is a simple script you can use that will help.

"I'm not okay with you attempting to hold me to a standard that you feel free to ignore."

Then go on about your business. No discussion. No arguing.

If she raises her voice:

"I'm not okay with yelling."

Then go back to your business again.

The third time you feel like you are about to use the "I'm not okay with..." statement:

"Are you done?"

If she still rants:

"I'm done."

Then walk away.

The beauty of these statement is they effectively hold a mirror up to her hypocrisy while avoiding engaging in a discussion that has no opportunity for a positive outcome. At least, not the way things are right now.

Lastly, it sounds like you have fallen into a dynamic where you allow her to set the standards by which you live your life. Not only is that a sure-fire way for her respect for you to erode, but that is no way for a mature, self-sufficient man to live.

If it needs to be done, do it.

If it's a priority to you, you have no excuses not to do it.

If it is a priority to her, you get to choose whether or not to view it the same way.

If she were being reasonable, then I would be more than willing to meet her request 9 of 10 times.

Because she's being domineering, when you have clearly indicated you are not okay with it, then it requires action on your part.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Be vigilant. This is a red flag to your marriage. If what you are saying is true, and she is asking for inequality in action and verbally, she is making a case against you. It's either to divorce or to have an affair or both.

I agree with @farsidejunky, and would do that. I would also keep an eye open. I did not see where you said this is normal behavior.
 

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In this situation, your want to be both 'reasonable and fair' is getting you run over.

Shifting that ever-so-slightly to 'unreasonable but fair' will give you the recipe to deal with it, however it will also lead to more conflict.

And maybe I'm off on this, but you sound like somebody who is conflict-averse.

Are you?

There is a simple script you can use that will help.

"I'm not okay with you attempting to hold me to a standard that you feel free to ignore."

Then go on about your business. No discussion. No arguing.

If she raises her voice:

"I'm not okay with yelling."

Then go back to your business again.

The third time you feel like you are about to use the "I'm not okay with..." statement:

"Are you done?"

If she still rants:

"I'm done."

Then walk away.

The beauty of these statement is they effectively hold a mirror up to her hypocrisy while avoiding engaging in a discussion that has no opportunity for a positive outcome. At least, not the way things are right now.

Lastly, it sounds like you have fallen into a dynamic where you allow her to set the standards by which you live your life. Not only is that a sure-fire way for her respect for you to erode, but that is no way for a mature, self-sufficient man to live.

If it needs to be done, do it.

If it's a priority to you, you have no excuses not to do it.

If it is a priority to her, you get to choose whether or not to view it the same way.

If she were being reasonable, then I would be more than willing to meet her request 9 of 10 times.

Because she's being domineering, when you have clearly indicated you are not okay with it, then it requires action on your part.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
:iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: Quoted for TRUTH!!
 

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Let me add one more thing. I came to TAM in 2014 in a sexless marriage, with a wife who largely treated me in much the same manner as yours.

It took me 18 months to truly right the ship. Don't expect overnight results.

At its heart, this is a power struggle. You must have the will to win it or NOTHING will change.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Its my fault as well that I tried to appease her and tolerated a lot of this in the past.
Well, there ya go. You should have put a halt to her nonsense when it first started. Now she probably feels she has carte blanche to impose her rules with no consequences.

I am at the point that I tired of it and I am trying to help her understand the double standard and I have been saying things like "I want to help respect your value going forward but I need help as the way I am programmed, I need consistency and this will make us both happy going forward" but it usually ends of with her being disrespectful, shaming me, personal attacks, yelling etc.
Now there's a child added to this unhappy mix. Apparently, your respectful reasoning is being crapped all over. She doesn't respect you. Period. And until you man up and set a tough boundary, you can expect this to continue. I'm all for fairness, equality, etc., but just because I expect it doesn't mean I'll get it. But when I enforce a tough boundary, whether the other person respects it or not, I'll respect myself.

Get tough now or learn to suck it up. Frankly, your wife sounds like a royal ***** to me. JMO.

Your absolutely right, shes doesnt respect my boundaries when I have repeatedly told her that I dont like it...I usually walk away or leave the house and go do something and then I get blasts of texts about how I am abandoning her and then leaves to her parents house for the day or even the night. I usually csnt leave with our kiddo as well as shell start to make my daughter feel guilty that'll shell be alone or stand in front of the door and my daughter will go to her over me.

Shell leave apologize or anything and expects me to apologize.

I am not on a position to leave for another year or so.. what are ways do you think I can set tough boundaries?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In this situation, your want to be both 'reasonable and fair' is getting you run over.

Shifting that ever-so-slightly to 'unreasonable but fair' will give you the recipe to deal with it, however it will also lead to more conflict.

And maybe I'm off on this, but you sound like somebody who is conflict-averse.


Are you?

There is a simple script you can use that will help.

"I'm not okay with you attempting to hold me to a standard that you feel free to ignore."

Then go on about your business. No discussion. No arguing.

If she raises her voice:

"I'm not okay with yelling."

Then go back to your business again.

The third time you feel like you are about to use the "I'm not okay with..." statement:

"Are you done?"

If she still rants:

"I'm done."

Then walk away.

The beauty of these statement is they effectively hold a mirror up to her hypocrisy while avoiding engaging in a discussion that has no opportunity for a positive outcome. At least, not the way things are right now.

Lastly, it sounds like you have fallen into a dynamic where you allow her to set the standards by which you live your life. Not only is that a sure-fire way for her respect for you to erode, but that is no way for a mature, self-sufficient man to live.

If it needs to be done, do it.

If it's a priority to you, you have no excuses not to do it.

If it is a priority to her, you get to choose whether or not to view it the same way.

If she were being reasonable, then I would be more than willing to meet her request 9 of 10 times.

Because she's being domineering, when you have clearly indicated you are not okay with it, then it requires action on your part.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
This is great advice and your right I am conflict averse and I try to keep the conflict at minimal. I have been looking into engaging more but in a calm manner and usually responded back with a bombardment of false accusations, belittling, shaming etc and overall dispresfectful behavior

Your advice should help with that. Thanks!
 

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This is great advice and your right I am conflict averse and I try to keep the conflict at minimal. I have been looking into engaging more but in a calm manner and usually responded back with a bombardment of false accusations, belittling, shaming etc and overall dispresfectful behavior

Your advice should help with that. Thanks!
That's gotta stop. NOW. Stop trying to placate her. She's being a bully. The best way to stand up to her is to look her in the face and tell her in a calm but firm voice. STOP THIS. You are being disrespectful and abusive and I will not allow you to treat me like this. Come back to me when you want to discuss this in a calm manner. Then walk away. Leave if you have to.
Do yourself a favour. You have a button on your phone called BLOCK CALLER. In order to prevent her further abuse, just temporarily block her number during the cool down phase. You can unblock it later.

Please listen to the great advice here. I can't add any better.

The ONLY little tidbit I may give you with the laundry issue is that from my perspective I can control me. I know that I will pick up my stuff come the morning. But will other people? I get exhausted having to remind everyone else to do their part. It shouldn't be my job. But it often is and I've simply started closing people's bedroom doors so the mess can be contained within their walls. The main parts of the house are not negotiable.
I am NOT justifying her behaviour. Just giving insight on that one very small part.
 

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I am not on a position to leave for another year or so.. what are ways do you think I can set tough boundaries?
To begin with, please follow the advice given to you by @farsidejunky. That is how you set boundaries.

Why can't you get out until another year passes? Can't go live with a single friend? Can't find a roommate? Because a boundary is one that encompasses an explicit consequence: "I will not tolerate your yelling or demeaning comments any longer. If you persist, I will leave you or you can leave."

Unless you are willing to call her on this now, be prepared for another year of torture. If I was in your place, I'd be out of there in a New York minute. I married two alcoholics who treated me in a manner similar to the way your wife treats you. I left. And I left with no job and no sure place to crash. I survived and I live a wonderfully peaceful life today. It IS possible to get out … if you want to badly enough.
 

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When I read things like this it truly makes me THANKFUL that I am single at the moment.

I can leave my socks on the floor and laundry all around my bedroom, and whoa---leave it there for days if I want to.

I would have no patience for the kind of treatment from your wife as you describe.

Now, why can't you get out for at least a year??!?
 

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This is great advice and your right I am conflict averse and I try to keep the conflict at minimal. I have been looking into engaging more but in a calm manner and usually responded back with a bombardment of false accusations, belittling, shaming etc and overall dispresfectful behavior

Your advice should help with that. Thanks!
If you were a woman, we would be telling you that your husband is emotionally abusive. It's not different when it comes to a woman doing it to a man, though...imo.

I would tell her - I don't appreciate you speaking like this to me anymore, and it needs to stop.

People in general, respect confidence. As a woman, I want my husband to stand up to me, if I'm being a jerk. (which I never am)0:)

Try standing up for yourself, and if she doesn't like it, just stay the course. Unless you want to live like her doormat for the rest of your days, you need to try something new...but it might be uncomfortable for you, since you say you don't like conflict. I don't like conflict either, but she needs to treat you kinder. Not only for you, but for her. It's not healthy to treat people badly, and I would also consider counseling...it might help you both with how to better communicate.
 
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