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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you know my story, then hi :)

If not, in short: wife was always criticizing, complaining, I was miserable, read the book no more mr. nice guy and through much support from nice people here really worked on myself.

Things has gotten better, so much so that I stopped visiting here - I was happy.

But now, as we are in a very stressful time - details are not important - she is all back to her old self. In the past, when everything was fine, we enjoyed some good time together and many things got really better. But as soon as she is under stress, or fearful (which she is often), she is back to accusing, nagging, and driving me crazy.

I realized that what she need is to
* be able to communicate her feelings, rather then letting them out in the negative way she does
* seek outside help - if she needs a babysitter, or any other kind of help. I always offer to find one, or to pay for one, but she simply don't know how to take care of herself. She believe she destined to suffer
* Appreciate what I do for her (right now I get zero of that).

But what can I do about it?
* Nothing
* Just make sure I won't get hurt in the process.

So yes, I know that. It's still hard. I have got into a so much better situation, yet we are moving back to the beginning point.

She is being upset about something - some of which she is right to be upset about- she was taking to me in such a disgusting manner that I told her I am not going to reply as long as she is not willing to talk normal. She ended up yelling, waking up kids from her screaming (it's 12AM!).
 

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Habits can take a long time to break (for you and for her - especially if she doesn't realise she's got them.)

'Manning up' is a lot of effort, and sustained effort at that. But it does seem to work - you've seen the benefits. The long haul is going to be a lot of work - are you up for it?
 

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Sorry, but I can't agree with you on the "details are not important." It's impossible to offer any advice without knowing the trigger(s) that is responsible for your wife's behavior. There is a huge difference between you failing to lift the seat or the dishwaher being broken, versus you losing your job or hitting on the babysitter. There is a reason, at least to her, that she's losing her mind at midnight.

Prioritize your priorities, Josh. You can only control what you can control.
 

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The type of behavior (yelling at midnight loud enough to wake the children) is just plain abusive. Period. Not acceptable.

She needs to seek out counseling to learn how to communicate problems in a way that will allow you both to hear and repair.
 

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You need to train her in the appropriate ways to talk to you.

You do have to become comfortable coexisting with the anxiety you feel when your wife is having a hard time (which you probably internalize as disapproval).

So, you need to receive her message, and she needs to deliver it in an appropriate matter.
 

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NMMNG boils down to three things.

1. Setting boundaries of behaviors / actions you want to see from your relationship.

2. Knowing what the consequences will be if your bounderies are crossed.

3. Having the inner strength to enforce those consequences when necessary.

You can't control what she does. Only control your reaction to her behavior. She screams out of control at midnight because - however you did it - you have conveyed to her that it is an acceptable practice in your relationship.

You may never change her behaviors. Or she may shape up over time. But it will take awhile. You have to be consitent as the sunrise and be the rock of your family. Hang in there. This change does not take root permanently overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for replying. I realized, I should have said "sorry, this is too much for me, I need to go out to catch some fresh air". That would have shocked her.

I was shocking her before to be honest. She was very stressed out because of something, and was yelling at me "what are you doing about it? huh? answer me right away!". Now I was doing plenty, but refused to answer her till she stops talking to me as if I am her employee or little child. She got frustrated and started yelling even louder, to which I replied in the same manner, and so she was escalating more and more.

This is how I viewed it:

* Emotionally weak people really try to control others
* She was very stressed out, hence had an urgent need to feel a little bit in control by controlling me
* I wasn't playing along, rather making sure she understand I'd work with her as much as she wants, but she must stop this control game
* She freaked out, and tried every way possible to control me - including yelling like crazy.
* It didn't work.

Now, some of you are going to tell me that I have issues with the whole control thing, and maybe it's because I am a control freak, etc. Just for you to understand, I almost never yell at my wife, tell her what to do and when - not even what to make for supper, always accept her mistakes and flaws even when they are rather stupid, etc.

But when someone is talking to me, and wants my help, ASK for it. Don't think that yelling would get you anywhere.

Couple of days later (i.e. in middle of last week) she came and explained to me that whenever she is stressed out she is letting it out as anger, and I should understand it. I said that yes I understand, but when I am being attacked, don't expect me to be this extra super smart husband that understand, rather I am going to bite back. So yes, you would have to learn how to express your emotions in ways which are not anger.

It's a bit hard for her, especially since her mother has major emotional issues - but I believe she is moving in the right direction, which makes me very happy. Of course those setbacks makes me upset.
 

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I realized that what she need is to
* be able to communicate her feelings, rather then letting them out in the negative way she does
* seek outside help - if she needs a babysitter, or any other kind of help. I always offer to find one, or to pay for one, but she simply don't know how to take care of herself. She believe she destined to suffer
* Appreciate what I do for her (right now I get zero of that).

But what can I do about it?
* Nothing
* Just make sure I won't get hurt in the process.
Hi Josh,

I suggest you read also Married Men Sex Life.

I am reading it right now and it contains a lot of informations and examples on how a husband should behave in a marriage. It's not everything about getting sex from your wife but also how "win" **** tests and being in control of the relationship.
The book also explain the right balance of Alpha and Beta traits.

It will take time to change things, don't give up!

P.S. stop apologizing if she's mad for no reason and/or it's really not your fault. That would be a big archievement if you're a nice guy.
 

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... She was very stressed out ... and was yelling at me "what are you doing about it? huh? answer me right away!". Now I was doing plenty, but refused to answer her till she stops talking to me as if I am her employee or little child. She got frustrated and started yelling even louder, to which I replied in the same manner, and so she was escalating more and more ... I wasn't playing along
I think you were playing along, actually. Not playing along on her terms - that is, by complying with her demand to "answer right away", but playing along with the dynamic of escalating shout-back.

... rather making sure she understand I'd work with her as much as she wants ...
That's something that needs to be done, certainly, but trying to do it when she is "in the grip" of her runaway emotion isn't the time for it.

... but she must stop this control game
Probably better to stick to the need to stop the actual behaviour (yelling, shouting, demanding) rather than label it as 'controlling'.


She freaked out, and tried every way possible to control me - including yelling like crazy.
Again, let's set aside the label of 'controlling' - she might have been desperately reaching out to have her pain recognised

... some of you are going to tell me that I have issues with the whole control thing,....
Sounds as if the thought has already occurred to you! ;)

... I almost never yell at my wife, tell her what to do and when - not even what to make for supper, always accept her mistakes and flaws even when they are rather stupid, etc.
OK, so you're not an across-the-board control freak. All the things you mention are practical day-to-day things that don't come with a great heap of emotion. But just maybe you'd like to control the situation when she has intense outbursts of emotion? And frankly, who wouldn't like to?

Couple of days later ... she came and explained to me that whenever she is stressed out she is letting it out as anger...
So, she has some insight. A big plus and something to work with.

... and I should understand it. I said that yes I understand, but when I am being attacked, don't expect me to be this extra super smart husband that understand, rather I am going to bite back ...
Whoa! How about "... I am sorely tempted to bite back and I'm finding it difficult not to"

...So yes, you would have to learn how to express your emotions in ways which are not anger...
... "and how can I help with that?" perhaps?????

Hold up the mirror! Even if she is angry, that doesn't mean you have to respond angrily by ramping up the emotional intensity. How about you learn too, and when she starts the shouting and yelling, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath and respond along the lines "I can feel that you're in a lot of pain ('feel' probably better than "see"), but when you start yelling at me I feel it's very hard for us (not 'me') to have a meaningful engagement". Give her a hug and say "Let's have a time-out to get calmer (not 'for you to calm down'), but I do want to know/hear what's happening with you". And agree a definite time to resume - which may be half an hour or half a day.

Don't do that in a patronising or controlling I-know-best-do-as-I-say tone of voice and resist the temptation to remind her about ...
...hav[ing] to learn how to express [her] emotions in ways which are not anger
... because she already has insight into that, and it's a discussion for another day, right?

The underlined text will probably be important to her (Barbara de Angelis, "What Women Want" - I haven't got my copy to hand so can't give the page reference I'm afraid).

It's ... hard for her ... but I believe she is moving in the right direction, which makes me very happy.
Have you told her that?

Of course those setbacks makes me upset.
Of course. But they provide an opportunity for you to raise your game as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay guys, thank you all for replies. It just a bit hard for me as my wife almost always finds negative things about EVERYTHING, and I am always looking for positive, enjoyable reasons to be happy. So it's a marriage of one happy person plus one not happy. The problem is, that happy isn't happy enough to pass the happiness to his wife, and her moods do affect him too much!

Few days ago she traveled for one day, and I was left with the kids. It was crazy but I was happy that she wasn't home, kind of more relaxed atmospher. Not that she is always yelling or any of it, she just not a happy person.

Why was she yelling? Because we were planning something, and she felt it wasn't planned enough. But she never comes and says "let's plan", rather when she is tired, she would start yelling at me how I never plan things properly etc. Not to be honest I am very bad at planning, but heck - if you don't like it, why won't you help? Or get more involved? Don't just sit there and complain, expect me to do all of the work and then blame me?

So I responded to her that sure, let's plan, but I am not going to talk to her about it until she is calmed down and stopped yelling at me.

She: okay, I am not yelling now. Tell me why don't you plan properly? Why you never do things properly?

Me: I am not going to respond to this way of talking.

And then she started yelling, etc.

Btw, when I wrote "in the same manner" I meant that I was trying as much as I can to stay calm.

Call me a baby, but I don't want to be always the big kid who can deal with his wife talking to him the way my wife does. I am expecting her - at least! - to learn how to communicate without insults.
 

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Okay guys, thank you all for replies. It just a bit hard for me as my wife almost always finds negative things about EVERYTHING, and I am always looking for positive, enjoyable reasons to be happy. So it's a marriage of one happy person plus one not happy. The problem is, that happy isn't happy enough to pass the happiness to his wife, and her moods do affect him too much!
Then turn that off. You can't let her mood effect yours. There is no reason you can't be happy independent of her.

Call me a baby, but I don't want to be always the big kid who can deal with his wife talking to him the way my wife does. I am expecting her - at least! - to learn how to communicate without insults.
Tell her that you refuse to communicate with her when she is yelling or disrespectful. Then follow through on it. You can't control her, only your reaction to her.
 
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