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my wife and I have been married for several years and have 2 young children (after marriage). We are both in our early thirties. Things on the surface couldn't be better - healthy family, good jobs, etc - but I feel heaviness in my heart. I love my wife very much, but we have certain differences which I did not anticipate being an issue prior to marriage. Sometimes I feel like I'm having what people call a midlife crisis.

When I first met my wife, I thought she was essentially the prettiest/cutest girl I'd seen in real life. I found that she had many terrific attributes and that she was really a diamond. She was smart, hard working, good morals, nice, faithful, supportive, etc. However, it always seemed to me that she seemed insecure and never allowed me to "pursue" her - to feel that angst that people get when they really want something - something that engenders the feelings of being "passion/longing". Nevertheless, things went along and I listened to me brain and my eyes and we subsequently got married.

Since marriage, things have gone relatively well. We get along well for the most part. I never lose my temper, never become impatient, never express frustration, and always listen and try to help. However, there is always something that bubbles to the surface with her. Whether it is insecurity of her personal achievements in career, insecurity that I work with accomplished/attractive professional females, insecurity that I need to be more romantic and re-confirm my love and attraction for her, insecurity that she is not assertive enough as a mother, insecurity that my parents don't approve of her, etc etc, these "emotional crises" have been arising with more and more frequency (sometimes every day) especially since we've had kids.

At first, I tried to reason with her and help her think through it, but after several years of this and getting absolutely no where, and after reading books, I realize that women often just need "support and encouragement" rather than "advice" in these situations. However, these emotional crises, which consist more of being angry at me and upset that in some way I've been deficient rather than simply teary-eyed and needing a shoulder to lean on, more of stomping around the house and really changing into a different person, are been emotionally draining on me. In addition, it makes me sad to see her like this and to think that this insecurity pervades her being. She says that she just needs to release it sometimes and it would help if I just listen and that she'll get over it, but frankly, I am really tired of it and don't know how long I can take it.

I have always made concessions and tried to ameliorate her feelings by adjusting my actions and my life to help, but they never help. Oftentimes, the next day, she'll say that she was just emotional and I should just disregard yesterday's attitude. To this I always think, thank goodness I didn't make any drastic changes/sacrifices to try to help the situation.

It saddens me to see this side of her. I have always felt that ever we met, she always is deferential and seeking approval. I am certainly not one to try to take advantage of other people, and for the years that we were dating, I was equally "nice" and did not speak my opinion strongly, in order to match her preferred mode of communication. While this is not perfectly natural to me, it is not unpleasant, but it prevents me from being myself, which, I might add, is nowhere near being a loud, opinionated person, but rather just a normal person at ease. I always feel like I have to tread so lightly, lest I instigate some feelings of insecurity. I often come home from work and don't know if she's going to be stomping around and being mad at something (me). Often, I've woken up to her castigating me in some way and being responsible for her emotional turmoil/distress/stress.

I am sad because I feel marriage should be between two people who are like at the core, best friends, and attracted to each other and in love. I just feel there is a disconnect between us. Even though we are perfectly compatible, we are just on different wavelengths. I don't know what to do - I love my wife and married her because I was attracted to her and I knew she had great qualities and would make a great wife - which she is, and I believe I am a great husband - supportive, caring, understanding. I just don't know if I felt that instinctual/deep connection, and it saddens me that I don't know if I/we ever will. I don't know what to do. I don't want to go thru life feeling that the person I am supposed to be closest with is on a different wavelength deep down inside. What am I supposed to do when we are both old and all our other family and friends have moved away or died? I'll feel like I'm all alone in the world, and I don't want her to feel the same way. There are times when I feel closer and more connected to people I work with than my own wife, and she has said something to that effect too. I hate to say it, but maybe I went about things all wrong. I don't know what to do or how to correct things. I long for a deep connection, emotionally, one that you look into someone's eyes and you just connect. You just connect because you are looking into another person's soul without anything between you. It doesn't even really matter to me physical attraction at this point...my wife is beautiful and I am physically attracted to her. That is not really even an issue, probably contrary to her fear. Sigh.
 

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I guess the easiest answer is stop putting up with her crap. When she starts flipping out, tell her (a) you didn't cause the problem, (b) you're not going to take the brunt of her emotions and (c) she needs to figure out how to handle these situations.

Yes, sometimes you have to let her vent, assuming she does so within reason.
 

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She is who she is, and you married her. My question for you is why you take this so personally.

You *could* look for the humor and laugh it off. Even when you are the target of her anger, you can remind yourself that she will get over it, that it's not about you, and that you're providing her a service when she uses you unfairly like this. You're doing her a favor. Change the subject if it's possible. Tell her she sounds like she needs to vent and invite her to sit down and tell you how she's feeling. Don't fix, just listen and ask her what she plans to do with her unhappiness on the things she says.

Having said that, it's also important to distinguish when she has legitimate complaints and address them.
 

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It kind of sounds like she has traits of borderline personality disorder. Im not a Dr and cant diagnose anyone but from what you have said she has extreme mood swings, flipping out over nothing and can be furious with you and a few hours or a day later shes perfectly fine and acts as if nothing happened.

I am living with someone like this. I walk on eggshells constantly, i cringe when i hear the garage door open in the evening, wondering what mood she will be in today. Yelled at for carrying one bag of groceries in each hand when i should be carrying two or more, as if the number of bags someone carries has a significant effect on the outcome of life...one day she tripped and fell down a few stairs, over her purse, that she put there only minutes earlier, yet i was scolded for the incident.

i used to apologize constantly, everything that happened i constantly took the blame, it was easier to admit defeat and let her walk over me emotionally then try and defend myself as i would literally NEVER win an argument, she would stay mad at me for days, even weeks for tiny arguments until i apologized so i would just take blame immediately and save the stress. I recently started defending myself verbally using some techniques ive learned such as "I statements" and saying how her actions make me feel, etc... its yet to solve anything and she still stays mad at me but at least i dont feel like a pathetic whimpering puppy being kicked across the room, that alone has put me in a much better mood.

Now when she explodes, i try and calm her, talk with her and give her a shoulder to cry on and of she doesnt accept that as adequate i tell her that its not my fault, dont be mad at me for the situation and just laugh it off.
 

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Sounds like these issues have been there from the beginning of your relationship. There have to be more stronger positive ponits in your relationship that got you both to get married besides the children. Love and attraction are enough reasons but i believe as years pass by, the relationship matures and your relationship 'grows up', i might say and the attraction and lust for each other is not as it used to be.

I had an arranged marriage and i still am not sure if you would understand but for us the love, attraction and sex is supposed to grow as you live together after marriage. The issues for me and my husband are that the most common thing between us is our children. So what about when the kids grow up as they have now.
 
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