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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been married for almost two years. We have been together, lived together, for almost five years now. She is a single child and I believe she was spoiled by her parents quite a lot when she was younger. She is an amazing human being, a strong woman with a beautiful soul. However, she has anger issues. She normally very sweet with me, but can also get extremely angry for many reasons. She basically has a lot of buttons you don't wanna press. She is kind of a perfectionist.

Anyways, the problem I have is that she is extremely jealous of my parents and siblings, with whom I have always maintained a close relationship. I have always been there for each and all of them unconditionally. During the last several years, they have even seen me as the moral leader of the family.

I treat my wife's parents like if they were mine. I pay for their plane tickets so that they come visit us, I take them on nice trips, I am loving to them, and I basically care about them sincerely, because they're nice persons and also because I know they are important to my wife. We live very far away from our families (in different continents), so I encourage my wife to talk to her parents often and to invite them over as much as practicable. In contrast, my wife basically insists that I should not help my parents or my siblings anymore, and she finds weird that I'm even interested on continue seeing them or talking to them, because in her view they are no longer my family. She feels uncomfortable and flustered whenever I talk to my parents (even when our chats last for about 15 to 20 minutes and we talk once or twice per month). She also feels extremely jealous whenever something good happens to my sisters or my brother. Basically, she thinks that something good that happens to them is a signal that we're not heading in the right direction. This frustrates me because I have never seen my family members as my competition. To the contrary, I have always cherish their successes sincerely (and I wanna continue doing that).

I am the most successful one of my siblings, professionally and academically speaking. I have had more money than any of my siblings at several stages, but there have been times when one or two have had a little more than me (we are in one of those times). Nevertheless, I also treat my wife very well, I cook for her her favorite dishes, take her on trips, maker her love, make her laugh, buy her nice clothes, etc. We spend a lot of quality time together.

My wife's mother is also a single child - and she also seems to get upset with her husband whenever he talks with his sisters or helps them.

Is it normal that my wife feels jealous of my family? How can I make her accept once and for all that my parents and siblings are important to me; and that I don't like being compared with anyone (let alone with the members of my family)? Am I doing something wrong?
 

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She has learned this behaviour is Ok and normal from her mother. She is also learning that it's ok to do it to your family.

The more you meet her demands the more she rationalises it and thinks she's justified.

What does she do for you? Does she have other unreasonable demands and get upset easily?

If you bend over backwards trying to please an unreasonable person, they won't appreciate you or respect you more. The opposite will happen.

Firstly whenever your wife is rude to you tell her calmly you won't tolerate it. If she continues to be rude then leave the room. Let her know later you are happy to talk but you won't stay while she is rude or belittles you.

You say she's a perfectionist? Does this include correcting you?

Another way to deal with her is with humour. If she says I don't want you talking to your parents so much they aren't your family. You could say something like I know we are divorced but they have custody of the other kids so I have to be nice to them.

Call your parents more often not less. It wouldn't be reasonable to talk everyday and not spend time with your wife. But at least once a week should be perfectly reasonable, along with some messages or emails if you choose.

Don't reward your wife's bad behaviour by going along with what she wants to placate her. You will become a doormat and she won't respect you.

BTW how is your sex life if you don't mind me asking?
 

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Just keep doing the things you know are right. Talk with your wife and show her logically, but kindly, why you do as you do.

You can break the cycle. You can be a positive influence on her. And you do not have to use punitive measures to do it. Just be patient and persistent.
 
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No it's not normal. she sounds insecure. She shouldn't see family members as competition. She should be happy for them when good things happen to them. I'm not sure if there is a way of changing her thinking about this. It sounds like you are a great husband and she is lucky to have you. I'm not sure why she is so angry but I wouldn't be putting up with that from her.

I'm close to my husbands family, usually we both spend time with them but there are times when he goes golfing with his brother, Dad, nephew or cousins. I'm great with that, he needs and enjoys that one on one time with them. I'm not jealous. I'm happy when good things happened to them. That's normal thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies, they mean so much to me. I think you're right she has learned this behavior from her mother. I'm trying to figure out how can I change/shift this behavior.

She is a nice person, with good feelings and she cares about me. The only problem is that she becomes irrationally jealous when I talk to my family or try to help them. She believes that neither my parents nor my siblings care about me as much as I care about them. She also thinks my siblings don't care for my parents as much as I care for them. And she believes this is unfair. Even if she might have a point, it hurts me having to stop talking to them that often or helping them in difficult moments or cherishing their successes.

P.S. When I say "help" it is in the form of advise only. I don't give my siblings financial support. We have sent my parents some money to cover minor medical bills, but this has happened only twice during the last two years and my wife was OK with it.
 

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Question... what is her relationship with her parents like? Because if she is the type that grew up in a detached family and has carried that on (doesn't call her parents, rarely sees them) then yes, she sees your behavior as strange.

I think you have to point out that you treat both sets of parents equally (to the extent that you can) and that will continue. If she insists that you decrease your contact with YOUR family, you will also decrease the contact with HER family. Now, she may feel less involvement with her parents is just fine but I don't think she will.

She has to realize that SHE is #1 in your life BUT that does not mean you have to exclude all others, including BOTH sets of parents.
 

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Thanks for your replies, they mean so much to me. I think you're right she has learned this behavior from her mother. I'm trying to figure out how can I change/shift this behavior.
You cannot change another person. But you can change yourself.

The way to handle this is to tell her that you will not tolerate her jealousy towards your family. You will talk to them when you want. You will see them when you want.

Then stand by that.

If she throws a fit, tell her that you will not engage in a fight with her and leave the room.
 

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Hello Sagitarius,

I'm afraid I suspect an abusive attitude. She seems to behave sometimes very kind and sweet and sometimes angry perhaps difficult to predict.

She also seems to be taking steps to isolate you from your sources of support.

I could be wrong of course and I hope I am. Please have a look at these short videos on abuse and see if they ring a bell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaJqMRrGd4g&list=PLS19H2_I0ANmWbpTTMCx_Q3ol_XDdCPzu

If they do I suggest you read Lundy Bancroft's book on the topic to get informed deeper on the issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybgMuxpKIB0
 

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Hello Sagitarius,

I'm afraid I suspect an abusive attitude. She seems to behave sometimes very kind and sweet and sometimes angry perhaps difficult to predict.

She also seems to be taking steps to isolate you from your sources of support.

I could be wrong of course and I hope I am. Please have a look at these short videos on abuse and see if they ring a bell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaJqMRrGd4g&list=PLS19H2_I0ANmWbpTTMCx_Q3ol_XDdCPzu

If they do I suggest you read Lundy Bancroft's book on the topic to get informed deeper on the issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybgMuxpKIB0
:iagree: The first thing an abusive person does is to try to cut you off from family and friends. It's easier to control through abuse when the 'victim' of the abuse has no outside support system.
 

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What sort of a relationship does she have with her parents? How do the parents interact with her? I agree that she is jealous of what is going on with you and your family. Has she had low-self esteem issues/insecurity issues a good portion of her life?
 
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