Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Control seems to be a never ending problem in my marriage. She says I'm controlling and I say she is. This morning I got up and I had no clean clothes. I mean none. So I started gathering some up for a load of wash. When my wife realized this she told me that she wanted me to only wash enough clothes for today. I was a little miffed and I said I didn't wanted to have to wash more clothes tomorrow. At this point I was thinking I can't even do a load of laundry, CMON. I didn't yell or anything but with just a little attitude I basically told her I was going to wash a full load. She asked if we could sit down to talk. Then she explained that she was going to do the laundry and the only reason it had gotten behind is because the washer had been broken. She said I just needed to listen to her. I tried to explain that this was a control issue but she wouldn't let me talk. She said that I wasn't listening and I was trying to make it about something it wasn't about. This is just a small example of what goes on. I mean if we are both in the car she has to drive. She doesn't think I am capable of deciding if a situation is safe or not. She does all the finances and if I have some input she doesn't like she will just say I don't have the whole picture. I have been told I not a good shopper. We watch a lot of movies but it is a huge battle if I want to choose just one. There is a park I have wanted to go to with her for about 3 years. She says it is too far away but it is only a half hour drive. And it goes on and on and on. All I want is some help. Everything I try fails. I get so angry and bitter about this control stuff. There was this book has a forty day plan. You read it a day at a time. I was doing the first few days that were all about not saying anything negative to the other person and doing nice things for them. It was really working good but then she did something really mean and selfish. I don't even remember what it was. I was calm and tried to talk about it. STONEWALLED again. I lost it. When I started writing this I felt really helpless. I wanted advise on what I could do. Writing has giving me some clarity. I will try the book again. It is called the Love Dare. No I am not some book advertiser that has too much time on my hands. I guess I will still post this just because I spent so much time on it. Maybe other people want to talk about their control issues. God bless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
It could be my wife youre talking about. She doesnt want you I suppose not in the kitchen or in the laundry. Its her room. Youre invading her space. Dont expect logical answers.
About your finances do you both work. How is it that she has been doing it. I suppose you mean paying bills and basically spending money. You earn it she spends it.
What can you do about it. Well not much, she wont change.
You could do things on your own or with others which dont involve her. But that can backfire, since she wont be controlling you anymore, thats not what she wants and will make things even worse. The best thing for your sanity is to do it without her knowledge.
Why does she think youre not capable of deciding. Have you done something wrong in the past.
You dont say how long you are married or if you have children or how old you are.
But speaking from my own experience, if you cant somehow make a 'life' for yourself its better to get out than 'live' with it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
44,459 Posts
Does your wife work outside the home?

Choose your battles well…. Take each of these separately….
Laundry – apparently she considers laundry her area. It’s her job, she wants to do it. She has her own method. As long as no clean clothing in a seldom event, let her do your laundry. Give her this one.

Driving – can you give us an example of what you mean when you say “She doesn't think I am capable of deciding if a situation is safe or not.” This sounds like something my husband does. When I have driving he tries to tell me which routes to take and micro managers my driving. I refuse to drive with him in the vehicle any more. He wants to make all the driving decisions? He can drive.

Shopping – again she apparently considers this her area. Let her do the shopping. Are there specific things you want her to get and she’s not getting them? If she does most of the shopping, what kind of things are you wanting to shop for that she objects to? Does this mean that she will not allow you to spend money on anything at all? Need more info on this.

Movies, going to the park – These are a battle worth fighting. It’s not a huge battle so it can be done over time. This is worth talking over and getting an agreement that the two of you take turn picking movies to watch. The same goes for activities like going to the park.

Money – one spouse handling all of the family finances without the other having any insight is HUGELY unacceptable. Of the things you listed this is the big one. This is the battle worth dying on the hill for. But I also suggest that you not make it a Blitz Krieg. You can deal with this in a series of small battles, or skirmishes. For example do you know what your bills are? Do you have access to your bank statements and your online banking account access? Do one of these things at a time. Find out where she has all of the paperwork and go through it. Tell us what you do not know about your finances. Tell us more about this and perhaps we can give you ways to slowly get transparency into your own finances.

In my marriage I do all the bills and handle all of our finances because my husband refuses to do anything with them. But we make financial decisions together and he spends whatever he wants to spend. I keep giving him the passwords for our online financial accounts but somehow he misplaces them. Then has me do things like check balances, etc. Any day he want to take over the finances he’s welcome to it… but I would insist on complete transparency.

How is your 40 day plan going to solve the above things?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,565 Posts
The laundry point caught my eye. I can relate. My wife would always repremand me on error I made with laundry or gave specific driections, which sometime were "don't touch the laundry". Fine, but a bit controlling.

The fact is, in my case, she is a bit unorganized and would likely admit it if not in defensive mode. I always tried to get her involved with finances, even asked her to learn what we were doing, with me in case I was ever unable, but not a lot of interest there. Then she would call me controlling.

I wonder sometimes when people label others if they are really labelling themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does your wife work outside the home?
How is your 40 day plan going to solve the above things?
No she doesn't work but she goes to school. We don't have children. What do you think I should do? Argue my way to victory? The 40 Day plan builds back love affection back into the relationship. I think it would be a lot easier to work on our problems if we aren't pissed off at each other all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
No she doesn't work but she goes to school. We don't have children. What do you think I should do? Argue my way to victory? The 40 Day plan builds back love affection back into the relationship. I think it would be a lot easier to work on our problems if we aren't pissed off at each other all the time.
Dude, can I relate. Man, does this stuff sound familiar. I can't really offer any advice, and if you read my postings in other threads you'll see what I've been dealing with. I feel your pain, brother.

I've learned a long time ago that you never try to reason with an unreasonable person. The problem is, when the unreasonable person is your spouse, you gotta try. It can be very frustrating.

I started the 40-day thing, too. When we got to the day where you were supposed to ask your spouse what you could do to be less annoying, I was hoping for "Say excuse me after you burp," or "Quit leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor." You, know, something I could hang my hat on.

What she came up with was, "Be a better husband and father." Wow. I'll spend the rest of my life working on that one. And the worst part is, her definition of a "better" husband / father changes from month to month. So I quit reading the book. Maybe I need to pick it up where I left off.

Anyway, I feel for you. Hang in there. It's important to not let things like this fester for years until you have kids, or else it will be much, much worse. Trust me on this one. Try to deal with these things now, even if you need to go to a counselor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,613 Posts
That is correct for controlling people
This may be what is called projection. It appears that both spouses are doing it and are locked in a power struggle. Control on it's own is not particularly good or bad. Over-controlling and especially compulsive over-controlling is a real bad thing. And calling someone controlling is disrespectful, imho.

To the OP, the Love Dare is a great book but I don't think it will solve your problem. Go to the Marriage Builders website and look at what Dr Harley calls the Policy of Joint Agreement. This will solve control issues.

My wife claimed I was controlling. She got a lot of traction with her family and friends and she lined them all up against me. She filed for divorce and I told OK, go ahead, where do I sign. I guess she must not have thought about custody arrangements and her having to get a job because she got cold feet and decided not to proceed so she's still here with me.

So I'm struck with having to try to defend myself against a lot of subjective, nonspecific accusations so I quit asking her to do anything. That's when I found Dr Harley's program. I showed the program to her and she agreed with it, but I think she thinks it's a joke because she has still never asked for my agreement on any matter. She thinks that being married to her means that I automatically agree with her or there is something wrong with our marriage.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
790 Posts
A book is not going to solve your problems. You guys need marriage counseling. You have created lots of power struggles in your marriage.

People who are controlling are insecure. She needs to work with a therapist on this. Nothing you do is ever good enough and her parents probably treated her the same way and she's replaying it in your marriage.

There is a lot of hope for you guys, but you need professional help. Find a psychologist who can guide you as they are more professional and better trained.

Good luck!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
790 Posts
In the meantime, tell her how you feel about the things she's doing. So about the laundry, you could have said "I was panicked to have no clothes, so I wanted to do a full load." And she could have said "I meant to do more laundry but the machine broke and I kind of feel guilty that you are doing your own laundry. It makes me feel like I'm not holding up my end of the bargain."

You are both assuming the worst in each other. You assume she is trying to control you and she assumes your doing laundry is a statement about her being lazy. But neither one of you was actually correct.

I suspect your wife had controlling and critical parents. I also suspect that she was treated in a way that made her feel like she had to be perfect in order to feel acceptable and okay. So she is self-critical and that also flows to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
i may be over simplifying but . . . . why not just choose not to let these small things bother you?

Everything that you have mentioned happens in my relationship but i see them as his 'little quirks' and laugh about it rather than let it cause problems.

eg
- The kitchen is 'his' room, i dont clean it 'correctly' i dont loads the dishwasher 'his way'. He asks me to stay out of the kitchen . . . . so i do. Where is the problem?
- I do all the washing (clothes), i have a system. When he 'helps' with the washing it disrupts my system so i ask him not to. .. . . .
- He handles all the bills (except the mortgage). i say thank you.
- I handle the mortgage. He says thank you.
- He does all the shopping as he says 'you're no good at shopping'. I say thank you.

If you have settled into the routine of her always handling these things maybe she feels put out that you now what to get involved, like you dont trust her to handle it anymore. Could that be it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
You can't argue your way of this. She will argue until your dead. Only your actions will make a difference. I don't understand the laundry thing entirely, but if she does it herself all the time then I would just say "OK dear". It's not wise to have only one spouse do the finances. It should be shared as much as possible. However, why can't you go to the park by yourself? Can you just say hey "I'm going to check out this park and your invited". Do you have to ask for permission to do everything?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i may be over simplifying but . . . . why not just choose not to let these small things bother you?

Everything that you have mentioned happens in my relationship but i see them as his 'little quirks' and laugh about it rather than let it cause problems.

eg
- The kitchen is 'his' room, i dont clean it 'correctly' i dont loads the dishwasher 'his way'. He asks me to stay out of the kitchen . . . . so i do. Where is the problem?
- I do all the washing (clothes), i have a system. When he 'helps' with the washing it disrupts my system so i ask him not to. .. . . .
- He handles all the bills (except the mortgage). i say thank you.
- I handle the mortgage. He says thank you.
- He does all the shopping as he says 'you're no good at shopping'. I say thank you.

If you have settled into the routine of her always handling these things maybe she feels put out that you now what to get involved, like you dont trust her to handle it anymore. Could that be it?
Your marriage seems to have power sharing. We don't share power on anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update. On the surface things are better. She has acknowledged the way she talks to me sometimes is inappropriate. We still have been bickering and fighting some but don't seem pissed off at each other all the time anymore. Sometimes when things get a little better, is when I get the most frustrated. As quickly as things get moving in the right direction they run into the complicated web of road blocks that are our underlying problems and come screeching to a halt. It just makes it seem impossible. I should be thankful but I can't stop thinking about things like... ... How she manipulates things so she can maintain control of everything but has no idea that she is doing it or things are off balance. Half the time the means she uses are harder on her then on me. Take for example if she has a big test coming up in school. Maybe a week and a half before the test I want us to go to the park. She says we can't because she has to study. I say okay no problem but she ends up putting it off to tomorrow. Everyday she stresses more and more about the test but doesn't study and I mean stresses. The test excuse is used for everything and anything. If during this period before the test we are watching TV and I want to put on a movie I like (or anything else I would like us to do) she says that she is too stressed to handle that right now but she will watch it with me after her test. Then a day or two before the test she finally gets to work. In fact she spends every waking moment on it. Because she is working so hard she expects me to have tons of sympathy for her and appease her in every way possible. Like I said before, that entire process is probably harder on her than it is on me. Now you might be thinking that doesn't seem so bad I mean it just a sort period of time but maybe there is another test after the first or maybe she hasn't done anything all day and is restless or maybe she has been very busy or maybe it is that time of the month or maybe she had had too much to eat or maybe she hasn't had enough to eat. And it goes on and on with out stop. Oh course if there isn't a good excuse to get her way there is always a guilt trip, or a bribe she wont live up to, or begging, or just declaring it then stonewalling me etc... Things weren't like this at all when we were dating. There were a few warning signs but not much really. I have to admit it is nice to complain. I can't talk to my friends or family like this because they will start to hate my wife and that will only make things worse. I don't want to explain it but I do know that is what would happen with my friends and family.

Also thank you all for your posts. Some of you have mentioned counseling. We started going on separate occasions to two different counselors but she didn't like them and wanted to stop shortly after starting. I am working on getting her to go again. I really do love my wife. She is a good intentioned person. She is just very confused and most likely scared about some very important things. It may sound stupid to some but all I can do is to seek God, pray, have faith that God loves me and is working things out for my good, do my very best, and wait for God to work in our lives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't understand the laundry thing entirely.

However, why can't you go to the park by yourself?

Do you have to ask for permission to do everything?
The washer has now been fixed for a while and she still hasn't washed any of my clothes.

Yes, I could and have gone to the park by myself. The park isn't the point. It is that if we do something together she dictates what it is.

No I don't have to ask permission but if she doesn't like what or how I am doing something she will let me know. I get some strange angry or snippy comments. She has made some progress in this area as of late.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
Maybe you should take a step back and look at WHY she is controlling you.

I don't get the impression that she is controlling you in order to keep you where she wants you or to get her jollies by manipulating you and being domineering. It sounds to me like she is just trying really hard to impress you or do her part by taking care of all this other stuff because maybe she is afraid you won't love her if she isn't doing those things for you. If that's the case, then, anytime she slips up or fails, she fears losing you, so she scrambles to make up for that.

Look at the laundry example, carefully. She isn't insisting that you leave the laundry alone because it's her turf. She isn't suggesting that you're going to do it wrong or something like that. She is defensive, making apologies for why she hasn't gotten around to it and for inconveniencing you into having to do it yourself. She is trying to get you to do the minimum (one outfit) because she wants to minimize the inconvenience she is causing you.

I think she's probably afraid that you will love her less if she slacks off on the things she sees as her responsibilities. This is pretty common for women who have grown up in traditional homes who have been taught that acts of domestic service indicate the extent to which one is a good wife and that it is a way to gauge love.

I can understand that you're probably annoyed and frustrated and feeling trapped. It is kinda controlling in a way, but, it's not insidious or based on power cycles. It's more like she's steam-rolling over what you're saying to her or you're not communicating it to her in a way that is getting through. She seems oblivious to the effect it is having. Like it's insecurity or something. Are you every really critical or judgmental of her? Does she feel like you are? She might just be responding to pressure she has perceived and internalized.

I think you guys should get a marriage counselor because it would probably help to have someone on the outside show you guys what's going on here. You're trying to fix things, but she seems totally unaware that there's a problem. It doesn't sound mean, but it sounds like she's got some stuff she needs to work out and like you both need to reconnect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,829 Posts
UsernameID, wow lots of red flags in your posts. Not of an affair but of a deep incompatibility. Not knowing you two in real life, and only hearing your side of it in a few short posts, makes it impossible to have an accurate picture of what is really going on.

It sounds like you two are still pretty young. Part of this could be lack of experience in relationships for both of you. In that case some good marriage therapy could be the key.

Her being in school and stressed is a factor. But do not, DO NOT allow it as an excuse. Because then there will be another excuse after she is done with school. And then another and another. There are reasons for bad behavior in a marriage but not excuses. Do not make excuses for her either. It is bad enough that she may make excuses for herself, don't you do it for her!

One red flag was your comment about "wanting us to go to the park". Really it should be either "I wanted us to do something together" or "I wanted to go to the park". You cannot do her wanting for her. You can only want for yourself. She has every right to not desire going to the park. But she should have some sense of desire to do things with her husband with some reasonable frequency.

So I sense maybe a bit of an enmeshed relationship on your part. And/or maybe a hint of you being controlling. Your controlling behavior may be just a misapplied reaction to other issues, like she doesn't spend as much time with you as you'd like. So rather than a healthy response of "Hey let's do something together this weekend" you are using a controlling response of "I want you to do this particular thing of going to the park".

The laundry thing is worrisome to me. Does she feel that she failed you by not doing the laundry? Is she being overly defensive? Or is it that she can't stand the idea of you doing the laundry for some reason? Is it her territory or is it that you will (in her mind) totally screw it up?

It could go either way from what you wrote. You could be the controlling husband which made her defensive because she failed to do the laundry. Or you could be a reasonable husband but she could have some deeper issues going on.

Taking what you wrote at face value, that your wife is controlling and she appears to not trust you to be competent, I see it as a big red flag of some deep emotional or psychological issues on her part. The fact that it was not like this while dating is a red flag. Her stress and procrastination with school work is a red flag. Her not wanting to see a therapist is a red flag.

People don't become controlling for no reason. People don't expect failure from their spouse for no reason (which is a form of control btw). People don't fear a therapist for no reason. People don't change after the wedding for no reason.

I really think you need the services of a qualified marriage therapist, and you should see that therapist individually as well. From my personal experiences I advise not putting up with this situation in your marriage or with this disrespectful and controlling behavior from her. You are being twisted around emotionally by her behavior. A qualified therapist who knows both of you will be the person who can give the right guidance.

You reading a book by yourself is not going to have the horsepower to turn things around.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top