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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been through a lot in our nearly 5 years of marriage. Some of which has been aired out on here in the past.

A constant theme from my point of view has been not feeling like my wife is willing to hear my feelings or concerns without getting pissed off, get defensive, and thus go on the offensive with me. Which results in me throwing my hands up metaphorically and asking myself why do I even try.

Let me set this up for you. We are both in our mid 30s. We have two kids; her 14 year old son that lives with us 100% of the time and our 3.5 yr old son. I work an office job out of the house 40hrs a week. She works in a hospital over night 12-24hrs a week (with at least 1 of those days being the weekend).

I rarely leave the house for any social activities. During the warm season I play golf with friends about once every week or two. I am an avid video gamer but only play in the morning before work (when everyone is sleeping) or at night when she's working and the kids are in bed).

She goes out 1-2 nights a week to the casinos where she spends comps she earns as a result of her frequent gambling (she gets around $100+ a week in comps).

I have lately been feeling like we rarely do anything together. She wanted to sign the family up for a gym membership 3 mos ago. I agreed that this was a great idea. Since then I avg 3-4 times a week. Her son has been half a dozen times and she's been once. Conversation with her can be difficult at times as she really isn't a talker like I am. In fact it's often easier to simply text her while I am out and about than to sit down and try and talk.

Last night I was out with our son so she could complete a cake she promised to make a friend (she's phenomenal at making them). Taking him out allowed her time to work on it without him getting in the way. While I was out we had the following conversation via text which she describes as me being condescending and *****ing. I'm extremely frustrated at this point because I feel I can't bring anything up to her, no matter how I try and word it.

Me: Feels like I've barely seen you since last week

Her: I've been working more. U want the house clean. I don't get the guilt trip. It's life sometimes. Two kids and two jobs are busy. I mean u have had chances to spend time with me and u don't"

Her: I understand u feel that way. I agree it would be nice to have some more time together.

Her: It just takes immense planning. Which would I'm fine doing I mean I usually would be working all weekend. Haven't worked during the week for a while. Maybe your trip home combined with me working Tuesday magnified things. I don't know. We were all home and had dinner last night together. Feel like u minimize those things.

Me: I'm not guilt tripping you. I'm sharing how I feel. As for spending time with you and not choosing to I'm not sure as to what you're referring. I only play video games when you're not home or in the morning. I don't really do anything else regularly.

Her: U sat and watched TV while we had dinner together. Maybe I'm just not understanding what it is you are wanting.

Me: Actual interaction. Not me watching tv at dinner time, sitting at the table with you or you playing a game on your phone while we sit in front of a tv show together.

Me: It's not just about planning but also prioritizing in my opinion

Me: In my heartfelt and honest opinion our life lacks order.

Her: F**k. How about u do something about the lack of order besides *****ing and waiting for me to fix it?

Me: Wow, just the response I was hoping for when I'm sharing how I feel. I'll remember that next time you're doing the same. I wasn't suggesting you fix it alone. I fully intended to be a part of the solution.

I thought as a partner in this relationship it was important to speak freely about my feelings and try an open a dialogue. I feel like I couldn't have been more wrong.

Her: Feels like all u do is give me motivational speeches about hot to make things better with the house but I'm the only one correcting things. U are still doing the dishes and occasionally clean off the counters better. U put the entire state of the house...for that matter, the state of our lives on me. All I do is make it better one room at a time, which is what I'm doing. Your lectures about everything are getting old and frankly I find them condescending and disrespectful. I've kept my mouth shut but getting it again tonight is really starting to piss me off.

Her: So u can speak freely and I can't. I see

Her. I'm over this

Her: U getting to be the only one that can "share their feelings" is getting old real fast

Her: Sorry that u don't like how I feel but that doesn't mean I shouldn't get a say in it

Her: If you wanted a wife that u can say whatever is on your mind and I just sit there with my mouth shut and smile then u picked the wrong one.

Her: I should have the same right to say what's on my mind as u. Even if u don't like it. U said what u were feeling. I think it was rude. So I'm not allowed?

Me: Maybe go back and look at how I talk to you. I address a problem and then I suggest what might be causing it or how we could maybe solve it. I in no way used ANY language suggesting it was all on you to fix or it was somehow your fault. I in fact pointed out how I am just as much part of the problem

Me: You get defensive and counterattack

Me: I wouldn't open my mouth in the first place if I wasn't willing and intending to be part of the solution

Me: It seems every time I bring up a problem I'm told I'm rude, or condescending, or I feel it's on you to fix, or I feel it's your fault. That couldn't be further from the truth in my mind. I try different ways to talk to you about things and it typically ends up the same way.

Me: I'm completely invested in not only making this relationship good but making it great.

Her: Damn then maybe if "every time" u are told u are being rude or condescending then u may want to look at yourself. U want to make it great yet I feel u are frequently condescending and rude and disrespectful, somethings definitely not right with that.

Her: You are *****ing to me about problems that I have done more to fix than you yourself have. I won't make apologies for that pissing me off.
Sorry for the long read, but I really wanted anyone interested in responding to this to get a feel for exactly how a conversation like this goes between her and I. Maybe it is me I don't know, that's why I am asking for a 3rd party perspective on the matter. If it is me I would really like some advice on how to change myself so that I am not rude or condescending (which at the time of writing this I don't feel that I am). If it isn't me, well I would like some advice on how to tackle that beast as well.

Thanks
 

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You took your son out so she'd have time to make a cake and yet you start texting her about problems? I don't get that.

I also feel like I'm missing part of the puzzle here. Are you being forth-coming on your end of the problem?
 

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Sorry to say, but your example makes it look like you are the one being defensive. Try this. Before sharing your feelings on what may be a sensitive topic, give your wife at least one preferably two or more compliments. When you share your feelings, make sure your sentence starts with the words "I feel ...". Now finish up with a couple more compliments. The new product might look like this:

"You are a really good looking woman. I really appreciate all the hard work you do around the house and all the responsibilities you take on yourself. I know you really put a lot of effort into all this. I feel like we don't have enough quality time together. I want us to go out on a date next Saturday and I'm going to make all the arrangements. You are a really good cook. You really have a talent there. It's great to have somebody like you around."

Leave it at that. Don't engage in banter that always turns into bickering. Express your concern directly and express you resolve to take immediate action. The rest of the time tell her how great she is. Especially in text. You are allowing this conversation to get turned around and you don't have to.
 

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One useful thing someone told me..."I'm not in YOUR head, I don't know what YOU mean when you say that."

You may have the best intentions...but she ain't in your head. Maybe do a better job of showing good intentions first, like Ten Year Hubby just suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You took your son out so she'd have time to make a cake and yet you start texting her about problems? I don't get that.

I also feel like I'm missing part of the puzzle here. Are you being forth-coming on your end of the problem?
Yes I took our son out at her request. As soon as I got home I changed and we left for the gym and Chuck E Cheese after that. I returned home 4+ hours later and my son and I went to bed.

We haven't had any time together just her and I to talk. We weren't going to for the foreseeable future (kids birthday party tonight, she works tomorrow) so I thought I would try and have a conversation about it while I was doing my cardio at the gym.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Buddy,

Are you guys in counseling?

Sounds like a third party mediator is needed here!
We did counseling for over a year after her affair and my single domestic violence incident. (both of which happened 2+ years ago). It was really healthy but then I changed jobs and it no longer was affordable at $125 per session.
 
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