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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please can someone help!!!!

My wife and I have been together for 8.5 years,
married 6.5 years. Our daughter was born 7 months ago.
My wife was a non-traditional student having dropped out
of college and worked for a number of years when we first met.
Through out her life, earning a B.S. has been a life-long dream.
We both come from somewhat humble beginnings which is partly why we clicked so well.

Back then, she was the nicest kindest person and everything has been wonderful. Like all couples, we have had the occasional disagreement, but nothing major. Growing up, even though they had limited means, my family (parents) always stressed the value of education and made sure I always treated it as the most important thing in life. My wife's family never stressed or took education seriously. One of my wife's long long term goals was to earn her B.S. How we handle stress is very different. I've learned not to take life too seriously and that the measure of a person is his ability to bounce back and get up after falling down or suffering a setback. My wife is always the one who seems to (in my opinion) invest way too much stress in things that are everyday small things.

Anyway, my wife had college as one of her life's goals. When we married, I made it my first priority to support her in making sure it happens. At the time, I was finishing up my dissertation
for graduate work. I told her she didn't have to work, to focus on school and I would take care of it because I took her goals very seriously. She insisted on working, so we compromised and she worked part time for about 10 hours/week. I paid her tuition, took care of groceries and cooking, didn't watch TV to keep the house quiet so she could study, rented a more expensive 2 bedroom apartment so that we could use 1 room for an office. I bought her her own computer so that we wouldn't have to contend over use of my computer.

Four years ago she graduated with a B.S. and ever since, she has been very very negative, moody, argumentative, seems like she has given up. After graduating, she went to full time in the job where she works. She hates her job but refuses to look for a new one. When I ask her what type of career she wants, she says she doesn't know what she wants to do and gets angry at me. I used to point out job adds for things that she might like and she gets angry at me. Once she had a big blowup because that particular day at work was very bad and I asked her to please let me help her with her job search.

She said OK. So I sat down with her and asked her what
she wants to do and what she likes to do. The entire process was painful, she got angry at me, cried, yelled, throughout the entire thing, but I didn't let it bother me, I chalked it up to someone venting. Every week, I found job adds for things in which she might be interested. I nudged her to apply and that was like pulling teeth. I helped her write her cover letter and she took it very personally whenever I suggested changes. She had 3 calls for interviews. The first was at a university. She was so intimidated by the professor that phone interviewed, she said she didn't want the job and refused the in-person interview. I pleaded with her that the person must have thought highly of her or he wouldn't have called back for a second interview. She wouldn't budge, so that job was dead before arrival.

The 2nd call was from a university but this time the professor was female. My wife said "she seems nice over the phone" so, when she received an invite for 2nd interview, she decided to go to it. When I asked my wife how was the interview, she got angry with me. When she finally wanted to talk about it, she totally messed up the interview. What I cannot understand was that, in the interview, she completely sabotaged herself. When asked about long term projects she had completed. Her answer was that she hasn't completed any long term projects. I was confused because I rattled off 14 different long term projects she had worked on both as a student as well as an employee.

The 3rd call came in and she was invited for an in person interview. Suggested that she do a mock interview. Whenever I asked her a few questions, she got angry and frustrated. I kept telling her that the reason for practicing is so that you'll know what to say when you are interviewing. I don't understand why it is like pulling teeth.

Given that history, since she graduated with her B.S., my wife
has become more and more and more miserable. She is no longer the happy, kind, bubbly person that I married. Our daughter was born 7.5 months ago. When she was on maternity leave, she was back to being the woman I first met. She was bubbly, kind, warm, etc. I know that she hates her
job and I have worked very hard to try to help her get a different one. We currently cannot afford for her to be
a stay at home and she also insists on working. Anyway,
towards the end of her maternity leave, I had a heart
to heart talk with her that I was honestly afraid when
her maternity leave ends because I don't want to miss
the person she was then.

Its been a few months since her maternity leave ended
and she has gotten much much worse. It is clear to me
that my wife is very unhappy. For some reason
(I honestly don't know) she seems to take things out on me.
She is quick to resort to anger at the slightest thing and
she tries to attack my dreams and goals for the future
such as buying a house. She has become very very
negative. We used to attend church every Sunday
and I volunteer frequently for our church. She
avoids social situations. We are often invited to activities
by friends in the church and my wife actively avoids all
such things. She complains that the money I wish
to donate is "too much." So, I said I'll take it out of my
own spending money. She complains that we never go
anywhere, but the moment I say "hey lets go to the
orchard" she complains when we get there that its
too much money.

Recently a few burglaries have happened in my area.
I purchased a home security system. When it arrived,
my wife angrily asked me how much it cost. When I
told her, she flipped out. She then blamed me for the
debt we have (half of it is hers), then proceeded for 20
minutes with a barrage of ugly verbal attacks on my goals
such as buying a house. The part of this that bothered
me is that it was in front of our young daughter.

I am always an even keeled person who never expresses
anger. My wife grew up in a family with parents that
fought all the time (both verbally) and physically. I've
learned over the years that there was also a fair amount
of emotional abuse in my wife's family. I want to confront
my wife about this because, to me, it is unacceptable
to "go off" in front of your children. Moreover, she came
across as a person that I do not like. Her dad cheated
on her mom. Her dad was abusive. Her dad was
controlling. Her mom was manipulative and emotionally
abusive. I feel like she is punishing me for what
her family did. She is always trying to catch me
doing something. When I'm on the computer working
on anything (slides, reading news, etc) she'll pop into
the office unexpectedly demanding to know what
I'm doing. I show her and tell her. She always seems
to make what I call (not to her) loser friends. She
seems to gravitate to certain type of dysfunctional
people- such as the woman's husband is cheating on her and
they are going through a divorce. She seems to only
talk about news concerning abductions, rapes, forced
prostitution. When she does this I say "can you talk
about something positive?" then she gets mad at me.

She spends many many nights in front of the TV 5+
hours per day lying on the couch eating chocolate
ice-cream. I watch 3 hours per week typically a
recorded football game. Outside of that I'm doing work.
If I try to say anything to her, she unloads on me.
I suggest that we need to get out of the house, and
she snaps at me. I suggest we go out to eat and she
argues its to expensive. She looks for confrontation
at every turn and I get the feeling that she considers
me her adversary. I don't know where this comes
from or what to do. Whenever she starts snapping
and arguing, she always goes to the relationship
saying stuff like "a marriage is suppose to be
about compromise." Why she makes statements
about the relationship, I don't know. In my experience,
99.99% of the time, if she doesn't get her way
it means I'm not working together. Compromise
always means that we do what she wants to do.

When I'm not worried about the small things
she gets angry at me. For example, she
was worrying about getting pumpkins for halloween
a month ago. I told her, I'll care about it when the
time comes, outside of that why worry about it.

When she said she wanted to go to grad school,
I suggested she take a GRE prep course. She
didn't complete the diagnostic and dropped
out of the classes because she was embarrassed
that she didn't know as much as she thought.
I keep telling her stop worrying so much about
what you feel others think. She got mad.

I love my wife deeply and always support her. I don't
want to start hating her. I'm tired of the negativity
and the snappiness. What puzzles me is that she is
so sweet to coworkers at work who treat her horribly
but is ready to unload on me who supports and respects her.

Please help. I cannot do this for the rest of my life.
I'm not a bickering person. I'm an upbeat person
with goals and dreams as well as the drive to work
hard to accomplish them. Not looking to break apart, just looking for advice on how to approach her.

Is my wife depressed?

856 Posts
Have you looked up the signs of depression?
Yes it is 100% wrong to argue and fight in front of children, it's terrifying for them.
She needs to unlearn the dysfunctional patterns she saw in her childhood.
She needs to learn to agree to disagree with are entitled to your own opinion.
I do think that all purchases over $100 should be discussed in advance by every couple. Not to do so causes many arguements.

I think you both need to do a lot of research on conflict resolution and the rules of fair fighting.
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