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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been married to my wife for three years now and there's some major issues between us that I don't know how to deal with. She has stopped giving me affection. No hugs, no hand holding (unless I suggest it first), and no kissing. I used to have a lot of anger issues and I have learned some ways to control those issues but it's hard.

I try my best to make her happy. I offer to watch movies together or watch t.v. shows together. Perhaps play a game. I try to get us to spend some time together and sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but I'm always the one that has to initiate. I do things around the house and try to help out. I never get a thank you or a thanks. I'm never complimented about anything. If I forget something she lets me know. "You forgot to turn off the bedroom light. You forgot to check the dog's food/water. Have you been doing this or that? How hard is it for you to do __!?"

I tell myself it's my fault. Not doing good enough. Got to do better. Got to try harder. I push and push to please her and in the end the stress piles up and I lose it. I yell at her. I tell her (loudly) how I feel. Sometimes I throw things. I never hit her. I tell her that I feel inadequate. That I try and try but I'm just never good enough. I threaten to leave. She tells me everytime I explode in this manner that I'm abusive and I turn around and point at the happy couples around us.

Those walking down the grocery store holding hands and joking (we walk in complete silence most of the time.) people kissing at the movies. I point out most couples I know DO things together. she tells me she doesn't know any couples like the ones I'm describing and that this is "normal." I won't lie. She makes me cry and usually by the end of the fight we're both crying.

After a fight I go in her room. I hold her, rubh er back, apologize. I take all the blame. I tell her it's all my fault. I'll do better next time. I'll try harder I won't explode. I'll be calmer I'll be good for her. Last fight I suggested we go to a marriage counselor. We both need help. My explosions still happen and I still feel like a slave. I feel unloved, treated unfairly, and miserable. She's obviously miserable and I need to learn new ways to control my anger.

She says no. I'm the only one that needs help. She doesn't need to go to a counselor. I do. She refuses to go. She says she's not an affectionate person. To get over it. Please help I don't know what to do. I don't know and sometimes I do feel like it is all my fault that maybe I should be the one to get help. I feel worthless. I haven't felt so miserable about myself in my life. :(
 

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Controlling your anger issues may have killed your anger but potentially your passion alongwise with it which she might be missing. Apologies mean little. Words in general do. I think she picks up on certain vibes and changes. Maybe there are issues in your own life taking up too much of your energy and away from your marriage.

Of course, this is all just a guess, but this is what I have experienced a lot myself.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Controlling your anger issues may have killed your anger but potentially your passion alongwise with it which she might be missing. Apologies mean little. Words in general do. I think she picks up on certain vibes and changes. Maybe there are issues in your own life taking up too much of your energy and away from your marriage.

Of course, this is all just a guess, but this is what I have experienced a lot myself.

Best of luck!
I don't think that's it. As I said, I try to be physical with her she doesn't want to be affectionate at all. No hugs, cuddling, kissing, and etc. Even if I try to initiate most of the time. I can get her to hold my hand but that's about it. She lets me put my arm around her when we watch t.v. but that's also it. I never receive a thank you. You did good today. Nothing. The only time I get a response is if I screw up. When I explode we argue, I tell her how I feel, and it ends with us both in tears. She remains depressed until I take all the blame and the cycle repeats.

To be honest I don't even fully understand your response can you please clarify a little? I don't know what you mean by things taking up time from our relationship. I'm trying to get us to do things together as a couple but she's happy sitting at the t.v. in silence or playing games. I feel useless..
 

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Her problem is that she is emotionally withdrawing from you, you've lost the privilege of affection cookies. Like you she too is angry, but unlike you she is bottling it up and showing her anger with you in this way.

Your problem is still anger issues. You rant, throw things, threaten to leave her. Really?! How is this spoiled behavior from a grown man anything but scary? Why should she trust you with her affection when later in the day you'll be showing your a$$ like an enraged 4 year old?

Get control of yourself. Get help from ic, learn meditation, take a walk when you start to get angry. And be honest with her about what you are trying to do. More importantly, be consistent. Three months of smooth sailing will be ruined if you revert to uncontrolled anger, she'll be back at ground zero with you again.

Has she ever been able to say 'I'm really angry about this' without it escalating to a fight? If not, then she's on pins and needles trying to avoid your anger because neither of you are able to fight fair. You are too hot tempered, she is passive aggressive.

You both have a problem here. Try leading by example.
 

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Well if she used to give affection and has now stopped, i feel there is most likely alot of resentment going on and rightly so.

Why can't you do minor jobs around the house without being check on, do you you thank her and compliment her on every task she does, that would be extreme if you did.

Do you throw your things or hers?

And leave already, why are you threatening with it and never doing?

People often use angry out raged outbursts to silence the other person, i know what you are doing.

Why are you so angry, what are the real reason?
 

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Yes and don't even try 'well if she was more affectionate & apprective I wouldn't be angry and throw things'. That is making her the keeper of your anger. Then she not only has to manage HER anger, but yours as well. Not fair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well if she used to give affection and has now stopped, i feel there is most likely alot of resentment going on and rightly so.

Why can't you do minor jobs around the house without being check on, do you you thank her and compliment her on every task she does, that would be extreme if you did.

Do you throw your things or hers?

And leave already, why are you threatening with it and never doing?

People often use angry out raged outbursts to silence the other person, i know what you are doing.

Why are you so angry, what are the real reason?
That is the real reason. To answer your first one I do my best around the house. I don't expect a constant plethora of compliments. I don't get any. I have not been complimented or thanked in years. I can't remember the last time I heard a thank you. I throw my things. Not hers. I never will touch something that is hers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Her problem is that she is emotionally withdrawing from you, you've lost the privilege of affection cookies. Like you she too is angry, but unlike you she is bottling it up and showing her anger with you in this way.

Your problem is still anger issues. You rant, throw things, threaten to leave her. Really?! How is this spoiled behavior from a grown man anything but scary? Why should she trust you with her affection when later in the day you'll be showing your a$$ like an enraged 4 year old?

Get control of yourself. Get help from ic, learn meditation, take a walk when you start to get angry. And be honest with her about what you are trying to do. More importantly, be consistent. Three months of smooth sailing will be ruined if you revert to uncontrolled anger, she'll be back at ground zero with you again.

Has she ever been able to say 'I'm really angry about this' without it escalating to a fight? If not, then she's on pins and needles trying to avoid your anger because neither of you are able to fight fair. You are too hot tempered, she is passive aggressive.

You both have a problem here. Try leading by example.

I didn't mention in my original post that I've been dealing a year with this before my explosions and I already am aware that I have an issue that needs to be worked on. It took a long time before I started reverting back to my previous behavior. As mentioned before she constantly tells me what's wrong and has no problem doing so. She's happy to throw it in my face everytime I mess up and explain how I did so even multiple times even after I admit I'll do better next time. She's not frightened of me. As mentioned I only seem to exist when I DO mess up somewhere. Even if it's something as simple as turning off the lights.

I only explode after days over and over being told I'm a screwup and usually it takes something outside our relationship to finally push me over that edge. Something else going wrong on top of her constant digging.
 

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Pushing you is her way of seeing if the changes are real. If she can make you explode, she was right again. You haven't changed. Its subversive I know, and maddening, but she is wanting to see if the change is permanent and you are proving to her that its not.

Getting her to acknowledge what she is doing and stopping it is a battle that is in her field. You can't change other people, they can't change you. You can change yourself, and stop accepting undeserved negative behavior. So in a very real aspect you can revert the training you've given her, and stop responding to training she has given you. But you gotta get the Hulk under control ;)
 

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Affection isn't a reward that can be earned. People give it freely or they don't. Has your wife ever been demonstrably physically affectionate? Don't include her behavior before the engagement. Is her mother openly physically affectionate? If she's like most people, she learned how to be a spouse by watching her parents. The physical interaction that occurs in her childhood home is "normal" for her.
I've got the same issue. My wife doesn't actively show affection and she usually doesn't even respond at all when I give her compliments, hugs, kisses, etc. I must admit, however, that she behaves exactly as her mother. Lots of criticism, lot's of sarcasm, pissed at the world, no suggestion of what most people would call "affection". They have been married over 40 years.
Playing Suzy Homemaker, crying, and begging, isn't working for you. I'm betting she sees your behavior as weakness and few women respect weakness. There is no love without respect. Since people lived in caves, the exchange has always been sex and nurturing for security. If you appear weak, she won't see you as her security. You have been rewarding her bad behavior with more chores, more attention, more affection. You wouldn't train a dog or a kid that way. Reward her desirable behaviors and don't tolerate the undesirable ones. She wants something from the marriage or she'd be gone. Figure out what she values and provide it when she acts like a wife and retract it when she doesn't. If a ****er Spaniel can figure the game out, she ought to be able to.
 

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See i was around a man that had anger issues just like you, he would say if i questioned him on anything i was beating on him, he did anger full raged outbursts, throwing things pulling doors off hinges, then silent treatments, he would be sorry, but you could never question the behaviour, my safest bet was to say nothing.

He was always telling me how hard he was trying and everything he'd done for me.

Do you ever find yourself the only one that is shouting, i've been at the other end of that, he was driving and raging at me at the same time, not one word did i utter.

Now i was a very affectionate person, but i became emotionally devoid, he would complain that i never held his hand or wasn't affectionate, go figure why would i want to be.

Just get a divorce, do yourself both a favour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pushing you is her way of seeing if the changes are real. If she can make you explode, she was right again. You haven't changed. Its subversive I know, and maddening, but she is wanting to see if the change is permanent and you are proving to her that its not.

Getting her to acknowledge what she is doing and stopping it is a battle that is in her field. You can't change other people, they can't change you. You can change yourself, and stop accepting undeserved negative behavior. So in a very real aspect you can revert the training you've given her, and stop responding to training she has given you. But you gotta get the Hulk under control ;)
Thanks for the post. As mentioned though I've had it under control for a very long time until recently and I hate yelling at her I really do. I don't want to ever yell at her and I hate myself for doing it. It's why I mentioned I want to go to a MC. So we can both get help but she won't go that route and I can't make her go so that's out. I'm actually looking into new ways to handle my anger so far my idea is that when I start getting angry I can leave the house for awhile maybe hang out with a buddy until the situation cools down.

We have dogs so maybe walking the dog when I'm mad. That might be a good idea as well. I think the best method for handling my anger is leaving the situation that has me angry for the time. To answer the question why I threaten to leave her.. when I reach that point I'm at a loss on what else to do. Very childish yes but I feel stuck. I don't really want to leave her I just want her to stop hurting me.
 

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omg you really are "unbelievable" the analogy of training her as if she is a dog.

why can't he have a discussion on issues with out getting angry and yelling? so childish he throws his toys out of his pram and threatens to leave, to try and be hurtful.

how do you suggest training him? i suggest a ball gag :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
See i was around a man that had anger issues just like you, he would say if i questioned him on anything i was beating on him, he did anger full raged outbursts, throwing things pulling doors off hinges, then silent treatments, he would be sorry, but you could never question the behaviour, my safest bet was to say nothing.

He was always telling me how hard he was trying and everything he'd done for me.

Do you ever find yourself the only one that is shouting, i've been at the other end of that, he was driving and raging at me at the same time, not one word did i utter.

Now i was a very affectionate person, but i became emotionally devoid, he would complain that i never held his hand or wasn't affectionate, go figure why would i want to be.

Just get a divorce, do yourself both a favour.
Ouch. Yeah, I never pulled a door of it's hinges or anything like that. When I threw things it's whatever is in my hand at the time. I don't generally pick something up just to toss it. No I'm definitely not the only one yelling. She starts screaming at me too.

She usually gives me that line "I do everything for you. I pay the bills etc." anytime I bring up my feelings. I can't express my feelings which is partly why I explode. If I try to gently tell her she's hurting me she pushes me in the dirt so to speak. My explosions come from bottling it up inside because I cannot express myself. My only outlet is my friends and family who I talk to helplessly about my feelings and situation.

If I bring up my feelings it turns into a fight. If she brings up that she's having a bad day or a rough night or that she's depressed. I hold her, rub her back, and give her comfort. This is never returned. If I bring up that I'm upset or hurt she begins to attack herself which leads to me blaming myself and comforting her and keeping quiet about my feelings.

Awhile ago before we even started dating she used to be a cutter. She used to cut when depressed. This was what she used to do long before I came into the picture. When we first met she was extremely depressed and we had help. A mixture of family, friends, and some counseling advice we got a control on the situation. We dated for about 7 years before becoming married and things were good. We married for three years and the last year has been hell.

We used to talk about our feelings. If one of us was upset or angry the other would comfort. If something was bothering us we would talk. We made a deal with each other that we would be honest and tell each other how we felt immediately. The past year. I cannot tell her how I feel or what I think. It goes to hell the moment I do so. She shuts me off, attacks herself, or pushes me. Even the slightest things are made huge. She makes me feel guilty about myself and hate myself. Once I reach the level of hating myself it's only a matter of time before I blow up. Repeat cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Affection isn't a reward that can be earned. People give it freely or they don't. Has your wife ever been demonstrably physically affectionate? Don't include her behavior before the engagement. Is her mother openly physically affectionate? If she's like most people, she learned how to be a spouse by watching her parents. The physical interaction that occurs in her childhood home is "normal" for her.
I've got the same issue. My wife doesn't actively show affection and she usually doesn't even respond at all when I give her compliments, hugs, kisses, etc. I must admit, however, that she behaves exactly as her mother. Lots of criticism, lot's of sarcasm, pissed at the world, no suggestion of what most people would call "affection". They have been married over 40 years.
Playing Suzy Homemaker, crying, and begging, isn't working for you. I'm betting she sees your behavior as weakness and few women respect weakness. There is no love without respect. Since people lived in caves, the exchange has always been sex and nurturing for security. If you appear weak, she won't see you as her security. You have been rewarding her bad behavior with more chores, more attention, more affection. You wouldn't train a dog or a kid that way. Reward her desirable behaviors and don't tolerate the undesirable ones. She wants something from the marriage or she'd be gone. Figure out what she values and provide it when she acts like a wife and retract it when she doesn't. If a ****er Spaniel can figure the game out, she ought to be able to.
I appreciate you giving the time to post a reply to my thread but please don't liken my wife to a dog that needs to be trained. I find that very hurtful and very disrespectful. I love her and I think we both have issues. I don't think either of us need to be trained like animals. We need to be able to go back to the way we were before. Where each of us can communicate with each other about our feelings safely without it turning into a huge fight. I think we both need to go see a marriage counselor.

I will consider your advice about rewarding her bad behavior but if I don't things become a lot worse. If she insults me and treats me like crap and I try to ignore it she turns and attacks herself until I pay attention. This can get really really ugly.
 

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Plug this into her calculator: would you rather be stubborn and right or work with me to have a great relationship? Don't expect or ask for an answer right then, just let her stew on it while you work on you.

Intimacy building is a great start, but she has to be willing to start somewhere and admit there are things she could do to improve on her end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Plug this into her calculator: would you rather be stubborn and right or work with me to have a great relationship? Don't expect or ask for an answer right then, just let her stew on it while you work on you.

Intimacy building is a great start, but she has to be willing to start somewhere and admit there are things she could do to improve on her end.
I did something similar last night. "Can you please consider going to a MC with me?"

Her: I don't have a problem. You do.

Me: Please? If you're present you can tell the MC what my problems are and maybe your feelings so he/she can help me be a better husband.

Her: whatever waste of money.

Me: So we'll go?

Her: Maybe (always turns into no but I dropped it there at least there's a consideration.)
 

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Ohhh yeah whole lot more going on with her with that level of self abuse in her past. It really takes it beyond an area where I would feel comfortable taking advice from neenernet strangers, as well intentioned as we all may be, it could do more harm than good.

You being able to talk is good though, here & to friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Ohhh yeah whole lot more going on with her with that level of self abuse in her past. It really takes it beyond an area where I would feel comfortable taking advice from neenernet strangers, as well intentioned as we all may be, it could do more harm than good.

You being able to talk is good though, here & to friends.
Yeah I didn't actually expect me to get full on help here. Honestly talking to you all has been great. Both criticisms and advice. As I said, I'm not as angry as the post makes me out to be it takes me a lot to make me mad but just getting this out here to a bunch of strangers is helping. Last night I was so upset I couldn't sleep. This has been a real relief.

*Edit* Going solo to a MC has crossed my mind before but she's convinced if we go to an MC I'd "make up stuff." which I won't. I told her I'd let her just talk but she said she'd have "Nothing to say." so I told her to tell the MC your thoughts and what you feel is my problem. If you think I say anything wrong or untrue say so. A MC is supposed to be good on picking up things like that. I'm not suggesting to go to an MC so one of us can prove the other right or wrong that's not what an MC is for. He/She is there to help us work along side each other. To which she repeated she doesn't have a problem. I don't think at this point it's a good idea to go solo.

I also don't understand why she thinks I'd "make it up" when I haven't lied to her the entire time I've been with her. Not once not ever. That hurts but I'm not going to get into that because I'm scared she'll turn that into a fight too.
 
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