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A couple days ago, I had an appointment with my new doctor (the other one moved) and in the course of things she had some new blood tests done, etc (had to renew some meds that have some mild risks) and apparently, I am now drifting into diabetic territory at times, as well.

For those who don't know, I have stress caused fluctuating hypertension, I've been through every freaking test to find out why , except the obvious... stress.

The labs show metabolites of stress related hormones. In other words, my difficulty losing weight, digestive difficulties, high blood pressure, and now high blood sugar can be traced to... stress.

But it's not physical stress, it's mental. Mostly emotional, I can tell you.

Now, for a while I have been keeping track of the things that bother me - like what I am reacting to, or what I'm thinking that is a trigger.

I have a list of 30 items. 3 of them are about my business and finances. 27 of them are about my relationship with my wife. That was obvious before I did this, but I'm trying to make sure I'm not just deluding myself, and all this in my head... i want to be sure I'm not stressing over the unreal. That my anxiety, my anger and frustration and violent emotional turmoil is NOT just my imagination.

I wrote here in other places that we are our own worst blind spot. We are the most blind to our own faults and our own failings.

My question is this: How do I objectively determine what is true? They say in matters of politics and relationships that perception is reality, but that's not quite true.

For instance... My wife wants me to make more money. She's said a number of times she resents that she has to work while she's in pain ( injury at work, we're slowly winning the case to get the insurer to pay for the surgery to correct it all). And she uses every opportunity to mention it when I'm around, or can read it (like on facebook). I take it as trying to guilt trip me into taking on a job in addition to my business. I'm sure she'd disagree if I asked her, but I would not have any faith in the denial.

And I've got about 20 more things that are similar in nature. They are guessed judgements about what she intended. there's a handful of things that are, with NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER intended to hurt me as bad as she could hurt me emotionally.

But she said them. I don't say things unless that's what I truly think, not how I feel at some moment. Words cannot be recalled. You can't un-ring a bell, you can't retrieve feathers scattered by the wind. And I learned long ago to not say what I don't think. I'm still having a hard time thinking she just spouts any old thing at the drop of a hat, without thinking and without really meaning it.

So, how do I determine if my perceptions are correct? What I would be accusing her of, if what I suspect is true, is pretty ugly... It would be an almost marriage ending thing. If I once start down the road, it's all going to come out, with years of frustration and anger that's not going to be containable.

But I am an honorable person. I do not want to think, accuse, or otherwise do this while uncertain. She once accused me of cheating on her, in an intense, several hours long screaming conflict - and I have not. In ANY way with anyone. Not even entertained it. I refuse to. And, I refuse to do that to her (no, it's not accusations of cheating), because false accusations are indeed truly the stuff of of near fatal wounding. I know by experience and I do not want to be guilty of it.

Still, I have suffered with this stuff for years, and what is on this list ranges from the just intensely annoying, to the kind of things that make me physically ill when I think about them. I need to deal with this, because it's killing me, literally. And yet, I don't know if it's all imaginary on my part... Or totally real. And I'm in such a high state of emotional stress I don't trust my own thinking very much.

And don't tell me my wife's a psychotic ***** - or anything of the sort. That's not what this is about. This is about me, making sure I am thinking clearly and seeing reality.
 

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You said the majority of your health issues are stress related.
So, how do I determine if my perceptions are correct? What I would be accusing her of, if what I suspect is true, is pretty ugly... It would be an almost marriage ending thing. If I once start down the road, it's all going to come out, with years of frustration and anger that's not going to be containable.
Your perceptions are your reality. You are holding it all in and that is affecting your health. It is extremely difficult to slowly release the pressure without exploding. You know that. The only methods I can think of to do in a controlled way is to:

A) Find some other ways of releasing that stress. Not just activities, but things you can do anywhere, anytime. So anytime you feel stress you have a relief valve. This is not a solution, just a means of minimizing the effects on your health.

B) Counselling. Presents a controlled environment.
 

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You said the majority of your health issues are stress related.Your perceptions are your reality. You are holding it all in and that is affecting your health. It is extremely difficult to slowly release the pressure without exploding. You know that. The only methods I can think of to do in a controlled way is to:

A) Find some other ways of releasing that stress. Not just activities, but things you can do anywhere, anytime. So anytime you feel stress you have a relief valve. This is not a solution, just a means of minimizing the effects on your health.

B) Counselling. Presents a controlled environment.
I'm working on A... B is impossible for now - she's far away.
 

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For instance... My wife wants me to make more money. She's said a number of times she resents that she has to work while she's in pain ( injury at work, we're slowly winning the case to get the insurer to pay for the surgery to correct it all). And she uses every opportunity to mention it when I'm around, or can read it (like on facebook). I take it as trying to guilt trip me into taking on a job in addition to my business.
Is your business bringing in enough money? Would you get more with a job you're qualified for? Basically, do you feel your wife is partially right in saying that you can realistically do better without killing yourself over it? Nothing put more pressure on a guy than something he suspects might be true.

There are a lot of articles that connect mental state and health. Our state of mind can have a brutal effect on several measurable physiological levels that directly lead to a better or worse health situation. You should take that very seriously.

And there is no difference, for this effect, between perception and reality. If you feel it you suffer the consequences of it.
 

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Is your business bringing in enough money? Would you get more with a job you're qualified for? Basically, do you feel your wife is partially right in saying that you can realistically do better without killing yourself over it? Nothing put more pressure on a guy than something he suspects might be true.

There are a lot of articles that connect mental state and health. Our state of mind can have a brutal effect on several measurable physiological levels that directly lead to a better or worse health situation. You should take that very seriously.

And there is no difference, for this effect, between perception and reality. If you feel it you suffer the consequences of it.
One at a time: On paper I am not qualified for squat. Sure, I have skills and knowledge and a lot of experience with a number of things, but on paper, I don't fit the profiles and thus, I qualify to flip burgers and hold sandwich boards. Capability and resume are not even close to being the same. However, for most things which I would be fit to do, the "application requirements" eliminate me. So, just a "job" isn't going work. I live in a relatively rural and low population area, so really good paying stuff is rare anyway, and all but impossible to achieve quickly for someone with no degree and an unimpressive resume.

Can I "realistically" do better? Not sure. When I started, I made certain trade-offs... no debt, I bootstrapped, which mean growth was slow and had to be self funded. I could be "ahead" of where I am, had I sought funding and gone into debt. Chose not to.

My business, at times, is very demanding and I put in 12 hour days - sometimes several in a row. But in between, it may demand very little, giving me free time. This was also done so I can be home, spend time with wife and so on. Deliberate choice to NOT open a storefront and be gone 8-10 hours every day. It probably cost me growth.

The answer is "yes I could have been ahead" of where I am, but I do not regret the choices and I would not, even in the shoes I am in, choose to do differently. There are things more important than money. Lots of them.

If I actually thought that some kind of time and effort investment on my part could be translated into immediate growth and signficant income, I'd probably have done it, sometime over the last 3 or 4 years. So, I don't see it as her being critical of what I have done, more along the lines of forcing me to choose between my business and leaving it to get a larger and steady paycheck - IF I can find a way to do that.

And yes, over time, this HAS caught up with me physically, and threatens my life and health. Always it seemed like there had to be a better time to deal with this than the crises we were in, but the consecutive and continual stream of one crisis after another has never actually broken.

The issue here, is that she has a degree, and a professional career. And, is advancing both her education and and her career. In about 2 years or so, she's going to make very seriously good money (she does now, actually, but it will go up 40 to 70% then). With the two of us combined, it will likely put us in better than the top 10%, nationally. What we'll earn when her injury is fixed and she heals will be back well into the top 1/4.

Now, her injury has put us in a terrible temporary bind. The judge ruled just 2 weeks ago in her favor and she'll eventually collect all her back pay and this nightmare will start to go away. but right now, she is working ,and she spends ALL OF IT and demands I add some more, while my part of the household scrimps and scrapes and does without, while she buys computers and toys and whatever she wants and pays the kids school bills we can't afford... while I've robbed my business so badly it's in danger of failing, so I can have food, etc.

There's a LOT going on here, and nothing you can find in this has escaped me, including money management and so on.

But that's not what this is about. It's about me and not being sure that what I see her do, is really what she's doing. If it's wrong.. I need to fix me, not her.
 

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How can it be all about you? Your wife over-spends yet complains there isn't enough money?

I really think there is more to this. Sure, YOU have to figure out how to handle the situation, but you're talking like you want to figure out how to ACCEPT the situation, rather than figuring out how to have a rational discussion about the realities of your lives right now.
 

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How can it be all about you? Your wife over-spends yet complains there isn't enough money?

I really think there is more to this. Sure, YOU have to figure out how to handle the situation, but you're talking like you want to figure out how to ACCEPT the situation, rather than figuring out how to have a rational discussion about the realities of your lives right now.
No, I'm just not discussing money issues here. That's a separate topic and cannot be addressed until I have some idea of where I'm going and relatively certain what she intends. In terms of money... My wife does not get credit cards and blow through them. She doesn't just spend to spend. It's just that her priorities I strongly disagree with, and the result of her priorities in spending means we live in constant financial chaos and distress - which she takes out on me by endless carping and angry tirades and sullen behavior.

What this topic is about is how I am interpreting her behavior and words, and how I perceive what she's doing and saying, and whether I am properly grasping intentions vs actions. But is it actually intentional, a consciously planned and executed plan to try to make me so intensely miserable I'll just do anything so as to shut her up?

If it is, I'm packing my bags and moving on - nobody does that to anyone they have any concern or respect for.
 

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Here's another idea. If 27 issues involve your wife, how about make another list of possible stressors if your wife was out of the picture.

Divorce being an obvious top stressor. List everything about a single life that would be stressful.

Compare the two. Go back to the 27 items. What can be done to negate any of these to reduce their affect? Show this to your wife (tho not the divorce option one, LOL) and ask her if she can help you reduce your stress along with a timetable for doing these things. Ask her to make her own list (so it's fair) and include her not working and put a timetable on that, too. Or if shes in pain what you can do about the pain.
 

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Here's another idea. If 27 issues involve your wife, how about make another list of possible stressors if your wife was out of the picture.

Divorce being an obvious top stressor. List everything about a single life that would be stressful.

Compare the two. Go back to the 27 items. What can be done to negate any of these to reduce their affect? Show this to your wife (tho not the divorce option one, LOL) and ask her if she can help you reduce your stress along with a timetable for doing these things. Ask her to make her own list (so it's fair) and include her not working and put a timetable on that, too. Or if shes in pain what you can do about the pain.
It's an idea, but to me this means "managing" each other's behavior.

I need to get the dynamics changed in how we relate to each other, not just modify some behavior patterns. This is mostly about MY inner stresses.

I read all the time here about how people misread each other. We do that because often our own reactions to events are the least understood. We often say "I did this because blah" and reality is, that's not true. We have a huge blind spot called ourselves. I don't know how to discern between me being angry and frustrated and having that "fill in the blanks" for me, and her actually doing stuff to hurt my feelings.
 

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Geezer, when did your problems start with your wife? I ask because, after reading all of your threads, I am frustrated that you haven't told us whether these issues were there immediately after your marriage 25 years ago -- or, rather, started showing only 5 years ago. Another missing piece of information is whether you are confident that, despite all her controlling behavior, she truly does love you.
 

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When we're stressed, it can be very difficult to see the wood for the trees, and we can end up rushing down one path after another trying to find the root cause of our problem. The trouble is, by that stage our bodies are working in over-drive and it can be near nigh impossible to recognize the problem (and often there can be many of them), even if it jumped out and hit us in the face.

IME, time out is key in dealing with stress. Be it relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, music etc), or physically removing ourselves from our usual environment, temporarily, and being alone for a while (eg a short break in a log cabin, or near a lake).

I don't know if you'll find this documentary useful, but it explains what happens to us when we become stressed, and I found it very useful. Project 10:10:10 – Pill or Perception? | Watch Free Documentary Online
 
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