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I have been married more than ten years and have several children. I really love my wife, but am growing crazy inside. I have gone through counseling alone many times and have asked my wife to with little response. I have been living in a sexless marriage since probably a couple months after our marriage.

I grew up in a mostly healthy family, of course we had issues here and there and grew up in a Christian home with high moral standards and a house filled with kindness and mutual understanding. . My wife grew up in a very broken home with the death of her mother and a brother. She was also sexually abused in two different one time occurences.

I say all this to say that most of our problems and issues my wifeuses her past as excuses for her behavior and thinks its very healthy to embrace her past and the limitations her past puts on her as excuses for her behavior. She grew up being treated like the poor orphan girl and embraces that identity completely and thinks its healthy. The only problem is that her feelings hurt everyone EVERYONE (friends, family, husband, and kids) around her and she expects them to understand her limitations and boundaries due to her past. So to be her friend is to know her story and the expectations that come along with knowing her hard story. Oftentimes her friends find it frustrating that she has a long list of expectations and boundaries in the friendship, but expects the friends to have no boundaries and has a hard time with expectations put on her from others. This makes it feel to everyone that it is often one-sided, where she expects everyone to understand her limitations, but doesn't have much patience for the limitations of others. This also causes her to nearly daily feel and express emotions of loneliness, fear, rejection, jealousy, anger, and sometimes rage (and in the past even thoughts of death, but she got counseling and overcame that and takes medicine for depression). She has something called hyper sensory projection where all her senses are heightened and on alert at all times. This makes her easily set off by sensory irritations such as sounds, smells, asthetics, and touch. Sometimes something as simple as my daughter humming quietly to herself will set my wife off where she will bark at my daughter to be quiet. She expects and demands nearly complete silence in the house, and lets us know she has Hyper Sensory Projection and sounds make her angry, and will blame us for "not being sensitive" to her when we make noise. It can be something as simple as even just breathing. We live in a two story house, and when she cleans the kitchen, she often demands all of us, kids and me, to be upstairs.... even if she is in the kitchen, we can't be in the living room.... because she can hear us breathing from a room away and it will aggravate her and set her off!!! My daughter, who is kind of a loving and kind free spirit, is often angry at her mother, because she likes to hum and sing to herself innocently, and feels like her mom stole her childhood for not allowing her to hum in the house or sing to herself. I know my wife feels guilty for this and carries alot of shame for the demands she puts on all of us because the kids often feel bitter towards her that she has so many personal sensory demands for them otherwise she gets angry and will blame them for her anger ( you were noisy, you were stinky, you came in the house pouncing rather than tip toeing and it made a lot of noise, etc.).

This also affects our sex life. I have basically lived in a sexless marriage my entire nearly two decades of marriage, and I saved myself until marriage and have been utterly faithful.

I am not allowed to hint or say anything sexual to her in our entire marriage, she acts like its sexual harrasment to say something sexual ( like saying, "I desire you" or "you are very sexually attractive" feels threatening for her and she freaks out). I have a son that is a preteen asking sexual questions of us, and it freaks her out.
We usually succeed only to make love whenever she wants it or is horny, and even then a list of expectations a mile long is silently expected of me in order to soothe the shock of her making love (she always describes it as an invasive act and she feels so vulerable). She is nearly 50 years old, I thought she would be over this and grow out of it. About half the times WHEN SHE IS ASKING FOR IT, she stops in the middle and breaks down crying and then blames me for wanting it. You got to understand, I am super patient and loving about this and never get angry (my personality is not an angry personality and I am more of the patient and kind type). If I am a bit clumsy, she will explode at me and say I am clumsy (but she can be clumsy all she wants an I am super patient! So not fair!). When we do succeed, it is usually her trying to get me to hurry up to meet my needs so she can meet her needs afterwards. I want to feel making love, when we get to it, she usually only gets an orgasm only after I get mine and she feels she can go for it, usually when its kinda limp (I dont understand it, but she gets pleased on my limp and gets turned on only after I have released).... which makes it hard for me, because I want to enjoy making love and hold back in order that we can enjoy each other longer.

She is funny, because she likes cuddling. But often I feel like cuddling with her isn't mutually enjoying each other. Its like this needy little kid that is trying to suck as much love as possible from cuddling. I feel its more about getting her need for non sexual touch in kind of a desperate way, than it is us actually getting to know one another and mutually enjoying each other's company. It feels kind of like a needy smothering, and if I get up from the cuddle (even if we didn't make love) and her insecure need wasnt satisfied, she gets very upset... even if we have already cuddled an hour! I feel like much of our relationship is based off of her using me to fill her insecurities by cuddling, spending time, etc... than actually just two human beings getting to know each other and enjoy each other's friendship from a place of confidence where we don"t need each other, but want to hang out because we really enjoy each other. Instead I feel this needy vibe, and it doesnt matter if she likes me or doesnt like me or gets to know me really or not.... she just needs that needy vibe met, and expects me to meet it... otherwise blows up and gets angry. It feels super smothering. I want to run away and I know she feels that I feel that way.

If I am honest with her, she blows up. I feel like being honest with her about how her issues are affecting both me and this relationship usually involves two crazy reactions.

1.) Denial and usually a lashback
or
2.) Acceptance and beats herself up for it where I feel bad I even told her and wallows in shame and guilt.

So I stop saying things, and then she feels I am not being honest with her, and goes on and on about how she wants be to be honest with her..... usually after a couple of months of me being silent.... so finally I tell her and she responds with 1 or 2.... and I shut down again. She doesn't know how to just listen, accept there are issues, and then deal with them like a mature adult. Its always anger and denial, or "just go marry someone else, you would be better off with out me... how in the world did you chose someone like me after all I have done to you."
I don't want either response.... I just want her to see how her patterns of behavior are hurting me, the kids, and even her friendships.... and then just deal with them even tempered like a responsible adult.

Currently, I feel sexually deprived (my whole being longs for deep friendship and intimacy). I don't even know what sex feels like when it isn't involved with so much dysfunction. I have no clue! I saved myself for marriage and am faithful. I have never experienced sex without going into it thinking about how not to trigger my wife, and then leaving it without planning out the next few days of how not to trigger my wife's anger and get blamed for being an evil man who all he wants is sex. I know sex and intmacy is supposed to be this beautiful thing. All I feel is pain and hurt, that sex involves being the object of anger and having my motives questioned afterwards, even when it was she who wanted it and I spent 99 percent of my energy on pleasing her!

We make love about once every 2-3 months most of our marriage, sometimes once every six months on a dry spell. Once a month is really good for us and happens probably for a few months once every three years or so, and my wife will remind me at once a month that she is trying hard and her expectations of me (usually taking off of work, holding her emotions together, etc) are higher since I am getting what I want by once a month. Usually I let her expectations down and she blames me for the breakdown of it (for instance by not taking off work anytime she feels insecure and needs to be held). If we try to make love, and we don't succeed because she is super triggered, the same expectations exist on me as if we made love itself (taking off of work, holding her for a few days while she gets herself together emotionally, etc.).

There are times in the past few years where she feels horny and wants to make love, and now I find excuses not to make love. Not because I don't want the intimacy with her. My whole being is afraid of the after-consequences of her being on the edge. If I know I have alot of projects and things to get done. I will refuse her, because I know she will demand I cancel everything to hold her together. Sometimes I can afford to do that. Sometimes my life schedule is where if I did that I would risk my job (she will usually call me obsessively 6-7 times a day and demand I get off early for 2-3 weeks after we make love once and demand it saying, "you know I was sexually abused and this is what I need if you want intimacy").

I do not believe in divorce and will stick it out until the end, I said for better or worse or in sickness and health. A promise is a promise. I also as a believer believe divorce is not an option.
I do feel miserable though in my marriage. I am a joyful personality and find joy and peace in many other areas of my life, including my faith. I have stuck through this marriage like this already 20 years. I have patience.
In marriage I feel miserable though, and I have deep wounds and hurts when I think about the choice I made in marriage. That I could've married a "healthier" person emotionally and made a bad choice based off my wife's charismatic personality that attracted me. Now I am stuck and need to be patient and cosntantly pray to ask the Holy Spirit to feel my heart with love towards my wife and ask Him how He feels about her so I don't grow bitter. I feel God's love towards her and it gives me more patience.
However, I do feel alot of pain. Sometimes I am frustrated with God because I saved myself to marriage and I am not an ugly person. And not only did I get a sexless marriage, but I got a sexless marriage filled with pain and accusations in that area that hurt me to the being. Sometimes in my wife's rage she says things she regrets ("you were a horrible f""k)... she then apologizes and says it comes out of her being triggered and asks for forgiveness. i forgive her, but the pain of words like these over and over again has deep pain in that area of my life.

I don't quit know what to do and ask her to do anymore.
She comes up with excuses not to get counselling.
I've gone through counselling with my hurts for many times.
She has in the past, and was hurt by Christian counsellors who told her she needs to basically grow up and rebuked her for her feminist ideology (in the past she actually believed she should be the head of the household because she thought she was wiser, but it was just really she had more street smarts and called that wisdom... and she was afraid of letting me lead in anything in order to keep control... but blamed it on she is a feminist.... she let go of that ideology though).

All in all, I see her as a very hurt person. Who knows she is hurt.... and thinks being hurt should mean that everyone else makes adjustments because of her hard life rather than her working on herself. She is protecting her wounds to the point of being toxic to those around her and thinks its actually just being "true to herself" and "open with her feelings, boundaries, and needs." But it causes everyone around her to be miserable because her boundaries and needs are sooooo big, it gives no room for others to have boundaries and needs...and she thinks this is ok because that is her needs.

I don't quite know what to do anymore...
 

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I have been married more than ten years and have several children. I really love my wife, but am growing crazy inside. I have gone through counseling alone many times and have asked my wife to with little response. I have been living in a sexless marriage since probably a couple months after our marriage.

I grew up in a mostly healthy family, of course we had issues here and there and grew up in a Christian home with high moral standards and a house filled with kindness and mutual understanding. . My wife grew up in a very broken home with the death of her mother and a brother. She was also sexually abused in two different one time occurences.

I say all this to say that most of our problems and issues my wifeuses her past as excuses for her behavior and thinks its very healthy to embrace her past and the limitations her past puts on her as excuses for her behavior. She grew up being treated like the poor orphan girl and embraces that identity completely and thinks its healthy. The only problem is that her feelings hurt everyone EVERYONE (friends, family, husband, and kids) around her and she expects them to understand her limitations and boundaries due to her past. So to be her friend is to know her story and the expectations that come along with knowing her hard story. Oftentimes her friends find it frustrating that she has a long list of expectations and boundaries in the friendship, but expects the friends to have no boundaries and has a hard time with expectations put on her from others. This makes it feel to everyone that it is often one-sided, where she expects everyone to understand her limitations, but doesn't have much patience for the limitations of others. This also causes her to nearly daily feel and express emotions of loneliness, fear, rejection, jealousy, anger, and sometimes rage (and in the past even thoughts of death, but she got counseling and overcame that and takes medicine for depression). She has something called hyper sensory projection where all her senses are heightened and on alert at all times. This makes her easily set off by sensory irritations such as sounds, smells, asthetics, and touch. Sometimes something as simple as my daughter humming quietly to herself will set my wife off where she will bark at my daughter to be quiet. She expects and demands nearly complete silence in the house, and lets us know she has Hyper Sensory Projection and sounds make her angry, and will blame us for "not being sensitive" to her when we make noise. It can be something as simple as even just breathing. We live in a two story house, and when she cleans the kitchen, she often demands all of us, kids and me, to be upstairs.... even if she is in the kitchen, we can't be in the living room.... because she can hear us breathing from a room away and it will aggravate her and set her off!!! My daughter, who is kind of a loving and kind free spirit, is often angry at her mother, because she likes to hum and sing to herself innocently, and feels like her mom stole her childhood for not allowing her to hum in the house or sing to herself. I know my wife feels guilty for this and carries alot of shame for the demands she puts on all of us because the kids often feel bitter towards her that she has so many personal sensory demands for them otherwise she gets angry and will blame them for her anger ( you were noisy, you were stinky, you came in the house pouncing rather than tip toeing and it made a lot of noise, etc.).

This also affects our sex life. I have basically lived in a sexless marriage my entire nearly two decades of marriage, and I saved myself until marriage and have been utterly faithful.

I am not allowed to hint or say anything sexual to her in our entire marriage, she acts like its sexual harrasment to say something sexual ( like saying, "I desire you" or "you are very sexually attractive" feels threatening for her and she freaks out). I have a son that is a preteen asking sexual questions of us, and it freaks her out.
We usually succeed only to make love whenever she wants it or is horny, and even then a list of expectations a mile long is silently expected of me in order to soothe the shock of her making love (she always describes it as an invasive act and she feels so vulerable). She is nearly 50 years old, I thought she would be over this and grow out of it. About half the times WHEN SHE IS ASKING FOR IT, she stops in the middle and breaks down crying and then blames me for wanting it. You got to understand, I am super patient and loving about this and never get angry (my personality is not an angry personality and I am more of the patient and kind type). If I am a bit clumsy, she will explode at me and say I am clumsy (but she can be clumsy all she wants an I am super patient! So not fair!). When we do succeed, it is usually her trying to get me to hurry up to meet my needs so she can meet her needs afterwards. I want to feel making love, when we get to it, she usually only gets an orgasm only after I get mine and she feels she can go for it, usually when its kinda limp (I dont understand it, but she gets pleased on my limp and gets turned on only after I have released).... which makes it hard for me, because I want to enjoy making love and hold back in order that we can enjoy each other longer.

She is funny, because she likes cuddling. But often I feel like cuddling with her isn't mutually enjoying each other. Its like this needy little kid that is trying to suck as much love as possible from cuddling. I feel its more about getting her need for non sexual touch in kind of a desperate way, than it is us actually getting to know one another and mutually enjoying each other's company. It feels kind of like a needy smothering, and if I get up from the cuddle (even if we didn't make love) and her insecure need wasnt satisfied, she gets very upset... even if we have already cuddled an hour! I feel like much of our relationship is based off of her using me to fill her insecurities by cuddling, spending time, etc... than actually just two human beings getting to know each other and enjoy each other's friendship from a place of confidence where we don"t need each other, but want to hang out because we really enjoy each other. Instead I feel this needy vibe, and it doesnt matter if she likes me or doesnt like me or gets to know me really or not.... she just needs that needy vibe met, and expects me to meet it... otherwise blows up and gets angry. It feels super smothering. I want to run away and I know she feels that I feel that way.

If I am honest with her, she blows up. I feel like being honest with her about how her issues are affecting both me and this relationship usually involves two crazy reactions.

1.) Denial and usually a lashback
or
2.) Acceptance and beats herself up for it where I feel bad I even told her and wallows in shame and guilt.

So I stop saying things, and then she feels I am not being honest with her, and goes on and on about how she wants be to be honest with her..... usually after a couple of months of me being silent.... so finally I tell her and she responds with 1 or 2.... and I shut down again. She doesn't know how to just listen, accept there are issues, and then deal with them like a mature adult. Its always anger and denial, or "just go marry someone else, you would be better off with out me... how in the world did you chose someone like me after all I have done to you."
I don't want either response.... I just want her to see how her patterns of behavior are hurting me, the kids, and even her friendships.... and then just deal with them even tempered like a responsible adult.

Currently, I feel sexually deprived (my whole being longs for deep friendship and intimacy). I don't even know what sex feels like when it isn't involved with so much dysfunction. I have no clue! I saved myself for marriage and am faithful. I have never experienced sex without going into it thinking about how not to trigger my wife, and then leaving it without planning out the next few days of how not to trigger my wife's anger and get blamed for being an evil man who all he wants is sex. I know sex and intmacy is supposed to be this beautiful thing. All I feel is pain and hurt, that sex involves being the object of anger and having my motives questioned afterwards, even when it was she who wanted it and I spent 99 percent of my energy on pleasing her!

We make love about once every 2-3 months most of our marriage, sometimes once every six months on a dry spell. Once a month is really good for us and happens probably for a few months once every three years or so, and my wife will remind me at once a month that she is trying hard and her expectations of me (usually taking off of work, holding her emotions together, etc) are higher since I am getting what I want by once a month. Usually I let her expectations down and she blames me for the breakdown of it (for instance by not taking off work anytime she feels insecure and needs to be held). If we try to make love, and we don't succeed because she is super triggered, the same expectations exist on me as if we made love itself (taking off of work, holding her for a few days while she gets herself together emotionally, etc.).

There are times in the past few years where she feels horny and wants to make love, and now I find excuses not to make love. Not because I don't want the intimacy with her. My whole being is afraid of the after-consequences of her being on the edge. If I know I have alot of projects and things to get done. I will refuse her, because I know she will demand I cancel everything to hold her together. Sometimes I can afford to do that. Sometimes my life schedule is where if I did that I would risk my job (she will usually call me obsessively 6-7 times a day and demand I get off early for 2-3 weeks after we make love once and demand it saying, "you know I was sexually abused and this is what I need if you want intimacy").

I do not believe in divorce and will stick it out until the end, I said for better or worse or in sickness and health. A promise is a promise. I also as a believer believe divorce is not an option.
I do feel miserable though in my marriage. I am a joyful personality and find joy and peace in many other areas of my life, including my faith. I have stuck through this marriage like this already 20 years. I have patience.
In marriage I feel miserable though, and I have deep wounds and hurts when I think about the choice I made in marriage. That I could've married a "healthier" person emotionally and made a bad choice based off my wife's charismatic personality that attracted me. Now I am stuck and need to be patient and cosntantly pray to ask the Holy Spirit to feel my heart with love towards my wife and ask Him how He feels about her so I don't grow bitter. I feel God's love towards her and it gives me more patience.
However, I do feel alot of pain. Sometimes I am frustrated with God because I saved myself to marriage and I am not an ugly person. And not only did I get a sexless marriage, but I got a sexless marriage filled with pain and accusations in that area that hurt me to the being. Sometimes in my wife's rage she says things she regrets ("you were a horrible f""k)... she then apologizes and says it comes out of her being triggered and asks for forgiveness. i forgive her, but the pain of words like these over and over again has deep pain in that area of my life.

I don't quit know what to do and ask her to do anymore.
She comes up with excuses not to get counselling.
I've gone through counselling with my hurts for many times.
She has in the past, and was hurt by Christian counsellors who told her she needs to basically grow up and rebuked her for her feminist ideology (in the past she actually believed she should be the head of the household because she thought she was wiser, but it was just really she had more street smarts and called that wisdom... and she was afraid of letting me lead in anything in order to keep control... but blamed it on she is a feminist.... she let go of that ideology though).

All in all, I see her as a very hurt person. Who knows she is hurt.... and thinks being hurt should mean that everyone else makes adjustments because of her hard life rather than her working on herself. She is protecting her wounds to the point of being toxic to those around her and thinks its actually just being "true to herself" and "open with her feelings, boundaries, and needs." But it causes everyone around her to be miserable because her boundaries and needs are sooooo big, it gives no room for others to have boundaries and needs...and she thinks this is ok because that is her needs.

I don't quite know what to do anymore...
I’m so sorry for your experience. We have to say it doesn’t sound completely sexless. You sound like a good husband. The leader in your marriage. Maybe consider a new hobby or activity all for yourself. I understand not believing in divorce. Sometimes a little distance may awaken her? Maybe less cuddling. Maybe she knows how dependable you are? Hang in there. Marriage is worth it
 

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I feel sorry for you, and especially your children, that your life is like this. However, you state you will never get divorced-- and stay in this marriage for the rest of your life.

You can't force your wife to change, and even if she decided to respond to life differently, it would probably take years of intense work. She should have started working on herself decades ago.

If I were you I'd reconsider divorce. If only to give your children a break from their mother during the time they are with you.
 

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It’s your choice to stay in this or not. I doubt it’ll change and probably even get worse. You can’t change or fix her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She has changed some.
She took care of her suicidal thoughts about ten years ago, this gave me hope to stick it through, and she hasn’t had them since.
She also took care of how she used to tear me down all the time with her words.
She does encourage me now and tries to encourage me where I am doing good.
She worked hard at it, because she is naturally pessimistic and a complainer. There are also good sides to her.
She is very compassionate towards the poor, especially widows and orphans. She prays more than I do, and hears from God.
I do sense generally she cares about me, the kids, and people. She is not apathetic.
This has helped me stick through things.
But sometimes I look at her and she looks like she is so miserable and weighed down by all her past hurts. She seems hopelessly overwhelmed with life every single day.... even on days I feel are amazing days and should be amazing days for her, and everything is going swell... she will find something to be overwhelmed with and frustrated about. It’s like she doesn’t know how to live life without being triggered, overwhelmed, a little depressed, pessimistic, and highly critical.
somedays I feel deep compassion for her, and other days I feel like I am falling apart being in this relationship.
I generally care for her and don’t want to devastate her.
she was suicidal for the first ten years of our marriage, and I honestly have a fear that if I ever left her it would devastate her and I made a promise.
I do have moments where I see amazing things about her, but usually it lasts for about ten minutes until she gets into one of her fits of anger and lashing out for the smallest things that trigger her. Then my admiration for the person she is on the inside disappears and I feel trapped with a mean person (who I know cares about me, but just has a million triggers).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Last year we almost got a divorce.
Her brother died when she was eight years old in a war in the military. I was probably one at the time as she is seven years older than me.
Every year there is an anniversary where she remembers her brothers death. His picture is put in the center and the atmosphere in the house is like that of a funeral. She is from a Jewish background so this is normal for her.
She goes into deep grief on this day every year and the feeling for all of us is absolutely miserable. She is also on the edge this day and easily set off as she grieves. It’s every year the same.
Last year she was in deep grief and I forgot this day and made other plans. She invited ten friends over to grieve with her and remember her brother. She made me feel horrible I forgot this day. I rarely once in a blue moon blow up. But that day I let it loose. I told her that her brother died forty years ago and it’s time she gets over it! I’m tired of being in a funeral once a year for the rest of my life for someone who died when I was not even a year old! I was also tired of my teenage kids having to grieve someone that passed 25-30 years before any of them were born!!!! I’m not Jewish, but it doesn’t sound or look normal to me! What? Should I have her grieve my great grandparents death for the rest of my life and have my grandkids do the same? It makes no sense. There is a time to move on! Why should our kids be expected to deeply grieve someone that died 25 years before they were born and have that as a major memory one day a year of their entire childhood? It makes no sense! Ok, remembering him, no problem... but this was like funeral grief! Even to the point that we were not allowed to be happy not only that day but the entire week! I told her it was nonsense for the first time in eighteen years of marriage and nearly exploded making my point. It caused a half a year conflict in our marriage where she felt I did not care anymore and we almost divorced. Notice I’ve felt this way years, but only said it once... most the time, I’ve been that shoulder to cry on... I just got frustrated that I suddenly became the worst husband in the world because I forgot that date one year and scheduled something Else and couldn’t take the frantic accusations anymore.
 

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Your marriage sounds like a miserable existence.

I hope you find a way to make at least your children's lives different. Shield them from this.
 

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Oh so she’s one of those people. She’ll constantly see a dark cloud ahead, and if one does not exist, she’ll create one.
Time to stand up for yourself. Find your balls and tell her “no more.”
 

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Last year we almost got a divorce.
Her brother died when she was eight years old in a war in the military. I was probably one at the time as she is seven years older than me.
Every year there is an anniversary where she remembers her brothers death. His picture is put in the center and the atmosphere in the house is like that of a funeral. She is from a Jewish background so this is normal for her.
She goes into deep grief on this day every year and the feeling for all of us is absolutely miserable. She is also on the edge this day and easily set off as she grieves. It’s every year the same.
Last year she was in deep grief and I forgot this day and made other plans. She invited ten friends over to grieve with her and remember her brother. She made me feel horrible I forgot this day. I rarely once in a blue moon blow up. But that day I let it loose. I told her that her brother died forty years ago and it’s time she gets over it! I’m tired of being in a funeral once a year for the rest of my life for someone who died when I was not even a year old! I was also tired of my teenage kids having to grieve someone that passed 25-30 years before any of them were born!!!! I’m not Jewish, but it doesn’t sound or look normal to me! What? Should I have her grieve my great grandparents death for the rest of my life and have my grandkids do the same? It makes no sense. There is a time to move on! Why should our kids be expected to deeply grieve someone that died 25 years before they were born and have that as a major memory one day a year of their entire childhood? It makes no sense! Ok, remembering him, no problem... but this was like funeral grief! Even to the point that we were not allowed to be happy not only that day but the entire week! I told her it was nonsense for the first time in eighteen years of marriage and nearly exploded making my point. It caused a half a year conflict in our marriage where she felt I did not care anymore and we almost divorced. Notice I’ve felt this way years, but only said it once... most the time, I’ve been that shoulder to cry on... I just got frustrated that I suddenly became the worst husband in the world because I forgot that date one year and scheduled something Else and couldn’t take the frantic accusations anymore.
This incident is what readers of the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover call a "victim puke." It reflects deeper troubles in your marriage that can be laid at your feet just as much as hers.

"Victim pukes" reflect an individual's inability to set acceptable behavior boundaries for their partner. The "Nice Guy" will enable unacceptable behavior from their spouse day after day, month after month, year after year. All along, they absorb all the toxicity consistent with an imbalanced relationship of this nature. Ultimately, the frustration gets to be too much and the "Nice Guy" witholding spouse blows their top and expresses all of their anger in one instance - essentially "puking out" all of their grievances at once.

The long answer for you is to first acquire the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" book and see if the issues he describes apply to your situation. Work through the book and it's exercises and develop an understanding of how you contribute to the dysfunction in your relationship.

The short, pithy answer to this issue is simple: You enable it. Why does she act this way? Because you have taught her over two decades that this type of behavior is acceptable. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are as big a part of the problem as she is. If you are victim puking in the manner described above, the first task at hand is to clean up your side of the street. Start communicating - and enforcing - legitimate behavioral boundaries for the relationship. Glover's book will describe in more detail. But the key takeaway to recognize here is that you are equally to blame for this problem and - if you want to see change - it's imperative that you step up, identify all the issues that are contributing to this situation and begin to grow into the leader that your family needs to resolve this.
 

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TriedandTrue, your are being held captive and have to tiptoe around so as not to anger your W. This is unreasonable whether you believe in divorce or not. In all major religions there are always justifications for ending a marriage. Get some backbone and fiole on her. And if she doesn't like it, too damn bad! Your life is just as valuable as hers, and yours is being wasted!
 
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