Talk About Marriage banner

21 - 40 of 124 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
A huge problem is that the more often we started fighting, the more severe we started fighting … It's gotten to the point where police have been called because I had felt we had lost control of the situation. I try to leave to cool off, and she has blocked the car in and caused damage to the vehicle to keep me from leaving. Things have been thrown, damage to the house has been caused, by both of us. She continues to shame me for feeling like the police needed to be called but I stand by the decision to do so. I've never dealt with anything like this in my life.
This doesn't sound like a marriage, it sounds like a war zone. Sure, couples argue. But what you are experiencing - and participating in - is beyond the pale. People who love each other sometimes say things they regret. But what you are describing is downright nasty and violent.

Nope. Not normal. Not even close. I generally suggest separation over divorce, but it sounds like she has black-and-white thinking when it comes to that. I'd just divorce her, move on, and enjoy living quietly alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,935 Posts
I don't really see the point of going to MC until she gets her anger under control. I don't see this as a marriage problem. I see this as a problem with how she expresses herself. The solution is *not* for you to walk on eggshells and make everything perfect so she never gets upset. The solution is for her to learn how to express herself in a constructive way like a rational adult.

I think that MC might actually be detrimental at this point. It may empower her to think that this is partly your problem and that you have to change so she doesn't feel the need to act out. I would suspect that her time in MC would be spent giving every excuse why she shouldn't have to change and giving lots of reasons you need to change. It would be like working with an alcoholic spouse in MC. The problem is more a problem of one person rather than a dysfunction of the marriage.

From what you've been describing, start doing some reading on the mindsets of victims of domestic violence. It's common for people to somehow become accustomed to it or think they deserve it. I don't think you're at that point yet, but start reading about it now so you can recognize if you start going down that path. If the genders were reversed where the husband was doing all this stuff to the wife, we'd be urging her to get out immediately whatever it takes. You've already shared enough details that makes me think you should start having an exit plan just for the safety of you and your kids.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,750 Posts
HiT,

Why not move out and then if she chooses to divorce - accept that for the lack of commitment it is.


I rarely know when she's happy or content. I ALWAYS know when she is angry, frustrated, upset, *fill in negative feeling here*. That is exhausting by itself. I have no problem listening and apologizing when I'm wrong or when I'm the reason for the negative feelings, but when they are almost constant, it makes me want to just stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
What type of things cause the frequent conflicts? Can you give some examples?

Do conflicts usually start with her getting mad at you, or you getting made at her?

My first thought is "cut your losses" but knowing a bit more would be helpful. There might be things you can do but it depends on what is causing the conflict. (Is she determined to be mad at you or are you inadvertently doing things things that really frustrate her.)

What was your relationship like before you married?

It's good that she was willing to go to MC, but her approach - stay married no matter what or divorce right now - seems extreme. Do you think she could be bi-polar or have some kind of mental health issues?

Hey there, obviously new here. Me: 39 year old husband, married to 43/f. Each on our second marriages, she has teenage children and mine are just a little younger than that. We have been together for just over 3 years, married for almost a year and a half. We have always, what I would consider, to be a high conflict couple. I understand completely that every marriage has it's amount of disagreement and arguments. What we do is far different than what I feel the "normal" is...like major blow ups at least once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lately feeling like I cannot do a single thing right in her eyes and she has to call me out for every single perceived discretion she can. I am at the end of my rope and now have it stuck in my head how much happier I would be without her on my back nearly as often as she is. Lately, I cannot go a day without one more thing being piled on top of the heap of things I cannot do right. Even when I feel like I'm doing something right, she's in my face showing me that that can't be true. I own up to my shortcomings and I take responsibility when she's hurt or has hurt feelings about something said, done, etc.

I don't know what to do. We haven't been married long. We own a house together but have no children in common.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
Some people seek drama in their lives, they aren't comfortable with situations which aren't chaotic, and if the other people in their lives aren't upset or off-balance they find a way to make that happen.
Some of them do this deliberately, but compulsively; others aren't even aware of it and blame others for either making them do it, or for allowing it to occur (ie they just find another excuse to fight over to avoid dealing with any issue).

If you stay in the relationship, you will be blamed.
If you leave, you will be blamed for that.
Spot the pattern? Whatever is happening in the world, it's not that persons fault, they are "just coping the best they can"(TM).....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,172 Posts
I've seen a couple of IC's as well. Perhaps not the right ones, but the one that knew the most told me that he saw little chance of this working out long term and he couldn't understand how I hadn't run...and she hadn't run, for that matter, already.

We talk about the bickering and nitpicking almost constantly. It's a major problem in my life, and not in hers. Her first marriage was full of it also. There were so many red flags when we first got together, this included, that I just ignored because of those love blinders.

She knows how deeply unhappy I am, and all she does is put the walls up and defend herself and tell me it's up to me to change my own narrative.
And is this why her first marriage blew up?

Therapy sessions for you might be like sending the fire crews to the house in the next street and wondering why the house in the next street over is still on fire.

Your wife needs help. You? Maybe not.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,172 Posts
But aren't they both in it together?
Because making someone have treatment when there is nothing wrong with them is an exercise in futility.

Her current husband did not blow up her previous marriage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
I don't really see the point of going to MC until she gets her anger under control. I don't see this as a marriage problem. I see this as a problem with how she expresses herself. The solution is *not* for you to walk on eggshells and make everything perfect so she never gets upset. The solution is for her to learn how to express herself in a constructive way like a rational adult.
Attending the couple of MC's we saw seemed fruitless. My wife actually would argue with the first one we saw, the one I liked best and thought had the best chance of finding a path for us. She'd get upset after appointments that we talked too much about me, and not enough about her and her feelings, which I did not agree with. I'm not saying I don't contribute to problems in the house, because I know nobody is perfect in that way. We've both made small incremental changes in how we deal with things and react to things, but in an overall sense, I feel roughly the same even after those changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
HiT,

Why not move out and then if she chooses to divorce - accept that for the lack of commitment it is.
Maybe I'm scared? I don't know. I've thought about it endlessly lately. I'm scared to put the kids through one more big life change. I guess maybe I should look at a change like that as a positive for them, and not a negative. Maybe that would help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
What type of things cause the frequent conflicts? Can you give some examples?

Do conflicts usually start with her getting mad at you, or you getting made at her?

My first thought is "cut your losses" but knowing a bit more would be helpful. There might be things you can do but it depends on what is causing the conflict. (Is she determined to be mad at you or are you inadvertently doing things things that really frustrate her.)

What was your relationship like before you married?

It's good that she was willing to go to MC, but her approach - stay married no matter what or divorce right now - seems extreme. Do you think she could be bi-polar or have some kind of mental health issues?
A lot of conflict comes from me not responding or reacting to things the way she would like me to. For instance, she got visibly angry at ME last night when my 9 year old son was getting close to completing his chore for the weekend of not washing the entryway floor to her satisfaction. I watched him clean that and the bathroom, and from what I saw, he was doing a fine job. It wasn't good enough for her, so she went in and re-cleaned the bathroom and the floor. The things that are good enough for me, never seem to be good enough for her. I listen to her feelings about it, but it doesn't stop. I give and show empathy, I tell her I understand her viewpoint, but that doesn't seem good enough either. I tried to convey these feelings I'm having of rarely being or doing well or good enough in her eyes, and it turned into a 4 hour long argument.

Many, many times, it is my perception and feeling that she is simply determined to be mad about something and it's mostly aimed entirely at me. I don't go out of my way to frustrated her. Of course some things I do are going to cause frustration, like I said I'm not perfect and would never claim to be. I get normal, everyday frustration...I get there myself. This feels like so so so much more than that.

Our relationship was similar to this before we got married. The problems just seem more severe now at times. I think I'm finally finding a limit to what I can handle and what I can't.

I've suspected that she is BPD at some points, but no diagnosis of anything like that. Maybe just a high conflict personality?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Some people seek drama in their lives, they aren't comfortable with situations which aren't chaotic, and if the other people in their lives aren't upset or off-balance they find a way to make that happen.
Some of them do this deliberately, but compulsively; others aren't even aware of it and blame others for either making them do it, or for allowing it to occur (ie they just find another excuse to fight over to avoid dealing with any issue).

If you stay in the relationship, you will be blamed.
If you leave, you will be blamed for that.
Spot the pattern? Whatever is happening in the world, it's not that persons fault, they are "just coping the best they can"(TM).....
I've suspected this for a long time with my wife. I've (maybe wrongly) brought this suspicion to her attention and I bet you can guess how that went. I'm guessing that was the wrong move. It's ok for me to think that, but airing that particular issue to her probably wasn't the best idea. In my mind I guess I blame myself for letting the behavior occur for so long and not doing much about it.

Yes, blame is a big issue for me. I'm not afraid to take responsibility for my shortcomings, but it seems as if I'm being blamed almost daily for things that most people I guess would let go from time to time. Like the saying goes, sometimes it's just not worth the fight(?) That doesn't seem to hold true in my wife's world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
And is this why her first marriage blew up?

Therapy sessions for you might be like sending the fire crews to the house in the next street and wondering why the house in the next street over is still on fire.

Your wife needs help. You? Maybe not.
I'm sure it contributed to why the first marriage didn't go well, yes. Along with other problems. They were just not a good fit in many areas overall.

MC seemed like an exercise in futility at the time, and looking back, still feels that way. Very little was gained. My wife had a hard time seeing where she could be wrong, even after being faced with it point blank by a professional.

She tells me she believes she's gotten all the help she feels like she needs. I'm sure I could use a little help too. The one IC I saw that I actually liked and saw as a fit, she got upset about me seeing because he wasn't a Christian and she felt as if he was actively trying to get me out of the marriage because he saw smoke and fire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
HiT,

Why not move out and then if she chooses to divorce - accept that for the lack of commitment it is.
Maybe I'm scared? I don't know. I've thought about it endlessly lately. I'm scared to put the kids through one more big life change. I guess maybe I should look at a change like that as a positive for them, and not a negative. Maybe that would help.
Since the police are being involved and your child has had to contact relatives because she is scared, a big change might come your way that you didn’t plan for. If that continues, at some point a child protective services agency may be informed. You could be found guilty of child neglect just for having a heated argument with your wife, no violence needed, and that could impact your custody. How the two of you interact is actually quite serious in the eyes of child welfare folks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Since the police are being involved and your child has had to contact relatives because she is scared, a big change might come your way that you didn’t plan for. If that continues, at some point a child protective services agency may be informed. You could be found guilty of child neglect just for having a heated argument with your wife, no violence needed, and that could impact your custody. How the two of you interact is actually quite serious in the eyes of child welfare folks.
This is exactly a huge thing I'm afraid for. My ex, the childrens' mother has brought her concern to my attention a few times now as the kids obviously talk to her about the things going on at my house. She has told me she is concerned about the amount of conflict in the home. That alone is reason enough in my eyes to leave, no matter how my current wife would react to me doing such a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,051 Posts
she got visibly angry at ME last night when my 9 year old son was getting close to completing his chore for the weekend of not washing the entryway floor to her satisfaction. I watched him clean that and the bathroom, and from what I saw, he was doing a fine job. It wasn't good enough for her, so she went in and re-cleaned the bathroom and the floor. The things that are good enough for me, never seem to be good enough for her. I listen to her feelings about it, but it doesn't stop. I give and show empathy, I tell her I understand her viewpoint, but that doesn't seem good enough either. I tried to convey these feelings I'm having of rarely being or doing well or good enough in her eyes, and it turned into a 4 hour long argument.
She is not just being abusive to you, but is being abusive to your children. Yes this is abusive behavior. She also showed your child that although you thought that he was doing a fine job, what you thought did not matter to her, as only her opinion mattered and that your child should only answer to her and what she thinks.

You have only known her for 3 years, and have already seen 2 MCs and 2 ICs. She is creating unhappiness in your life and in the life of your children. Before the damage she is doing to your children, and to your long term relationship with them becomes permanent, you need to take them out of this environment. You need to do this for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
She is not just being abusive to you, but is being abusive to your children. Yes this is abusive behavior. She also showed your child that although you thought that he was doing a fine job, what you thought did not matter to her, as only her opinion mattered and that your child should only answer to her and what she thinks.

You have only known her for 3 years, and have already seen 2 MCs and 2 ICs. She is creating unhappiness in your life and in the life of your children. Before the damage she is doing to your children, and to your long term relationship with them becomes permanent, you need to take them out of this environment. You need to do this for them.
What kills me about last night is that he could clearly hear from his bedroom upstairs what she was angrily saying about it. The kids were excited to watch a movie after chores were done, and after she talked, confronted, whatever...me about the chore that wasn't done to her satisfaction, he all of a sudden wanted nothing to do with coming down to watch the movie with us. He spent the rest of the night upstairs in his room by himself after not seeing me all day long as I was at work. We have the kind of relationship where I'm lucky enough to still be his hero-figure at his 9 years old. I just wanted to cry.

After behavior like this for much of our relationship...my wife wonders why my son doesn't like to come out of his bedroom when I'm at work and it's only my wife and the kids home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
Perhaps I knew deep down even then that I really didn't want to separate but really wanted the divorce.
In my experience, if you know deep down that you want a divorce, that feeling is going to fester and grow and grow (especially in the environment you're in now). Better for all to rip the band aid off sooner rather than later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
I started finding myself more angry than I've ever been. Saying things I wouldn't say to my worst enemy in the face of receiving the same treatment. Basically in a way, I found me lowering myself to a level that I've never been and I feel extremely guilty that I let myself get to that point.
A spouse should bring out the best in you, not the worst. You need to get out ASAP. You don't want to be this person and you don't want your children seeing you handling conflict this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
What kills me about last night is that he could clearly hear from his bedroom upstairs what she was angrily saying about it. The kids were excited to watch a movie after chores were done, and after she talked, confronted, whatever...me about the chore that wasn't done to her satisfaction, he all of a sudden wanted nothing to do with coming down to watch the movie with us. He spent the rest of the night upstairs in his room by himself after not seeing me all day long as I was at work. We have the kind of relationship where I'm lucky enough to still be his hero-figure at his 9 years old. I just wanted to cry.

After behavior like this for much of our relationship...my wife wonders why my son doesn't like to come out of his bedroom when I'm at work and it's only my wife and the kids home.
BE the hero that your son sees and save him from this TOXIC WOMAN. Even if you were wrong and she was right (which isn't the case here) you do not want your son exposed to an environment with this woman in it another day. Criticizing you for not being a cleanliness-nazi over a NINE year old cooperatively doing his chores? Your son staying in his room to avoid this shrew? Cut your losses and save your son. NOW.

3-4 years? This needs to become a life lesson in the rear view mirror as soon as possible.
 
21 - 40 of 124 Posts
Top