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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a ladies' opinion as I have already spoken to my male friends with little help. :-(

Brief background:
-Married for 8 years
-Many wonderful kids (more than 4!) in mixed family (she from divorce, my wife passed away, yours mine, ours situation)
-I have a stable job at same place for over 15 years with good income
-Wife is stay at home mom (BIG job as you can see with so many kids)
-I have no hobbies or friends which I spend significant time away from my family duties.
-Past 7 years have been good.....but somewhat stressful due to all the kids and their school, activities, sports, etc.

Brief situation:
-Marriage has degraded over past year or 2. My wife is constantly angry and sarcastic at me......She says I never listen (for which I think I do most of the time), I find I cannot do anything right in her eyes, the kids, work, conversation, sex, driving, putting things away, chores not done right....you name it, she has complained to me about it. Lately she has been more distant (listening to music much more now, big time into Facebook and worrying about her looks) and I am fearful of saying or doing anything......say something-wrong, do nothing-wrong. Do as told---probably not done right.

Now do not get me wrong I am not perfect. On the other hand I do feel I carry my weight...working 40+ hours/week, making dinner (probably 4-5 days/week), doing chores around the house (I do my own laundry and have taught our older kids how to do theirs so the laundry load is greatly minimized). After work I also do my job in driving and picking kids up from school/sport I also try to spend time with her although words are measured. I still treat her like a princess giving her foot, back rubs, trying to do anything I can for her, dinner...although I will admit it is generally not the most intimate (kids always running around or things we have to do cuts our one on one time short).

We have tried to talk but generally it becomes an argument. I have told her how I feel as well as try to be thick skinned but after 4,5,10 sarcastic comments pointing out all my faults I may break and make a negative comment back.....then look-out!

Long story short she feels I am not a good husband.....I do not give her what she needs......but she never spells it out what that is (she says go read a book on it.....also a few comments such as I am too distant for which I generally reply it is because it is hard to have a constructive and pleasant conversation when someone is shooting the other down all the time. Also she has made a comment or two on how I need to man-up (tell off certain people, etc. but that is not me unless pushed....for the very reason I have not grown big balls and said enough...I am leaving). She has talked about a separation and I am not sure how that will go.

So any advice Ladies that can help me save our marriage? Counseling is an option (not done yet) and may try to give this a go if I can convince her to do it (I mentioned it but she says it likely not work as I may not be able to give her what she needs anyhow.......

So seems like she is ready to end it.....yet still wants me to give her rubs, make her dinner, still we go out together (but not sure why as sometimes she invites me to go out even though she may run off with a girlfriend....leaving me to wonder am I supposed to interact with her or give her space.....but wouldn't space be better if I was not there?).

So what is this need or is there any insight into the above actions for me to think about futher?

Thanks

p.s. sorry if this is not enough info....tough to distill down into a few paragraphs (and I know there is always my wife's side of the story which for all I know could be very different)
 

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I'm sorry to say, it sounds like your wife may have "checked out" of your marriage already....

You do a lot for a husband who has a wife that stays home. Nice people get taken advantage of, even in a marriage. I'd be willing to bet if you did have some hobbies and stopped doing dinner, chores, and foot rubs things may change. We are all human and sadly, don't appreciate things until they are gone.

You may want to post this in the men's forum. I've seen them recommend books regarding the nice guy syndrome. They may actually be of more help to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks dixieangle for the reply.

I am wondering if there is anything I could do to check her back in.......

So is it really true nice guys finish last? Am I doing too much?

Thanks again
 

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I'm sorry to say, it sounds like your wife may have "checked out" of your marriage already....

You do a lot for a husband who has a wife that stays home. Nice people get taken advantage of, even in a marriage. I'd be willing to bet if you did have some hobbies and stopped doing dinner, chores, and foot rubs things may change. We are all human and sadly, don't appreciate things until they are gone.

You may want to post this in the men's forum. I've seen them recommend books regarding the nice guy syndrome. They may actually be of more help to you.
:iagree: Exactly my thoughts as I read this. You're being too nice and she's being very disrespectful.
 

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I think you need to fill up your Kindle/Nook with some reading.

No More Mr. Nice Guy
The Way of the Superior Man
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty
5 Love Languages
Getting the Love You Want (and the workbook)

I think you need to approach your wife with a non-accusatory appeal to work together to rebuild the marriage. Ask her open questions and then just listen to her answer. Don't correct her or offer your opinion, just listen. Ask further questions based on what she says. She will feel heard.
 

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I think she has taken you for granted. I would love if my husband did half the things you did. If anything my husand is exactly like your wife. That being said, You deserve better and It sounds like she already threw in the towel! No one should be treated unfairly especiallly if you are putting more than your share into the relationship. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all for the great information.

First let me say why I do what I do......I love her and I take my wedding vows seriously. I do not want to see our marriage fail and with many kids in the picture it gets complicated.

So....I love her but I do not like (hate!) the way she has been treating me. Just today she threw several sharp sarcastic comments at me....and when I mentioned I did not appreciate the digs she says that is part of normal conversation that I cannot handle. I did not realize sarcasm and highlighting the other persons faults as normal conversation.

I may try Thor's approach in a few hours........I will ask and try to listen....although I will need to grow some titanium skin as I know I will begin to feel like the worst person on Earth.

I will keep you posted...wish me luck!!!

Thanks again
 

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Dude, don't try to talk to her. Next time she treats you badly, walk away. Explain that you refuse to be treated like dirt when you are bustin' your butt for the family (as she is too; I disagree that you are doing too much, b/c you have so many kids, but she has no right to speak to you like that).

You don't need to read the books--just take back your pride. Stop what you are doing and leave it. She can do it herself or be kind to you. She may know why "your way" of doing things is just making more work for her, so be patient about how you are supposed to do household chores (would you want someone making your job worse by doing things less effectively?) If she is the general of the household, you owe her the respect of doing things right/fully. BUT she owes YOU respect as she teaches you.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dude, don't try to talk to her. Next time she treats you badly, walk away. Explain that you refuse to be treated like dirt when you are bustin' your butt for the family (as she is too; I disagree that you are doing too much, b/c you have so many kids, but she has no right to speak to you like that).

Good luck.
Thanks and I have tried to walk away in the past, not much comes of it as she feels she is always right and will not back down. I would see me not backing down and her not backing down leading to,,,well, you know what.

This leads to my ultimate issue, is it really me and whatever I am not doing to cause this (what the H$#L is it?)......or is it partially her....or a little both...

Try to talk it our or grow some bawls and begin WWIII? Which to do?

Thanks again.....I need to decide soon as we will be talking in the next hour or so.....maybe I will flip a coin, best 2 out of 3 :)...or maybe if the listening approach does not work then flip over to the other.
 

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Gunthar, there are forums which could probably help you over on nomoremrniceguy.com/forums .

As far as talking to her, here's what I would do. First off, don't get into any kind of blaming conversation in either direction. If she gets nasty towards you just tell her that you want to have a conversation with her but will not tolerate being abused (or use whatever word works for you, e.g. disrespected, belittled, etc). If she continues the blame/disrespect immediately STFU and leave the room. Go clean the garage or watch a ball game in your man cave for a while. Do this without anger. She has to see she isn't pushing your buttons.

Keep conversations short and on topic. Don't argue anything with her for the time being. Like just for a few days, this isn't forever. She needs to see that you are serious about changing the tone of communications. If she starts blaming or criticizing, just say something like "We can discuss that topic later, but right now I want to get back to the issue of ______".

I would tell her that you are not happy with the way the relationship is going, and you want to find a way to get things back on track. I would say that you try to help her out and try to be a good husband and father, and that you value the marriage and the family. But this situation has become unpleasant for everyone involved and is not a healthy example for the kids.

I told my wife that it wasn't fair to either one of us to go on like this. Then I said I wanted us to go to marriage counseling. Then I asked her what she thought of all this.

That is when you STFU and just let her talk. Find out where she is at in her thoughts. She may surprise you in a lot of ways with what she says!

This isn't a single event which cures all, it is what kicks off the process. She needs to know you are serious and that you have been thinking about what conditions might cross the line to where you would divorce.

And you have to be willing to entertain divorce as possible for you.
 

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Gunthar,

I have read this far and I am groaning inside. Why you ask? Because you are just another one of the many that comes on this site asking for advice and when people who have heard your story 1000 times before tell you to stop doing what you are doing and try something different you immediately tell everyone you are going to do more of the same. I know that you know the "Definition of Insanity".

Read "Married Man Sex Life" asap and start working on yourself (by doing the 180). She will not change immediately and she may not change at all but you really need to start working on yourself and get out of doormat mode.

By the way I see a red flag I have not seen mentioned. I really hate it when people bring out the affair card but if your wife is this distant and spending a great deal of time on FB then I suggest that you do a bit of snooping to rule out an EA.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I survived!

Let me extend a million thanks to all who provided some insight into my situation.

Well, I did do things a bit differently. I began as Thor suggested which produced an answer why she has been so angry/sarcastic (yeah!) but then I had to change tactics when she put the whole blame on me.

So in summary:

--Stillhopeful's post was spot on in this area on the one big problem she feels. My wife said that while I work, cook, clean, take care of the kids that is not enough for her as I have not given her enough emotional intimacy she needs.

Before I go any further are any words of advice as I work to better understand and try to lessen this issue (looks like the internet could be a great source here...just did a search)

--After the emotional intimacy point got out she began to put me down and bring up my past mistakes which have led to the issue at hand. Here is where I took a stand (thanks folks who said this!)and said while I may not be perfect (no cheating, just focused a bit too much on keeping a good job (sometimes long hours and travel), putting food on the table and taking care of the kids) our current never-ending cycle is partially a result of her constantly being angry and sarcastic......who in the world can be emotionally intimate with their partner if they are constantly being put down. So unless she begins to treat me with a little respect and give me the opportunity to be emotionally intimate we will get nowhere...guess what.....I think she got it!!

Well....she did not admit she was wrong as she still tried to justify her actions......but I noticed she softened greatly at that point.

We then sat and talked until early morning.......emotional intimacy with very few put downs. PROGRESS!!

Only 2 things that bothered me a bit during our emotionally intimate conversation that I am looking for the Ladies to help here are:

--As we talked she actually opened up about how she has noticed a few guys checking her out (kept my cool here even though I asked for details and she said there is no point in telling you who and where) and kept talking about her looks (how she is not pretty and needs to do this and do that) and that maybe she is too flirty. She would ask me why guys do this and why guys do that......started to worry me as it sounded like she was using me to understand something that happened to her (jealousy bug biting but kept my cool)........the red flag that RClawson mentioned.....EA.....came into my head. Ladies.....any thoughts on why she said this and is this cause for concern on my part? At least she talked to me about it vs. not saying anything....good, right,,,she seemed open about it...not sure what to make of it? I acknowledged it as good by saying I tell her how beautiful she is and see....others see it too. Not sure if I should do some snooping or not.

--Another issue brought out in our conversation is she feels she has no identity (recall she is a stay at home Mom). I picked up most of the house chores and running kids from A to B many years ago due to her having health issues. While the health issues are still present she talks about her going back to school, getting a job and being more independent. I support her in these actions but I am wondering if there are any motives behind them beyond just getting an identity? .....or am I reading too much into these words?

I do want to save our marriage and if it takes more emotional intimacy then at least I know the issue at hand. As long as we can create the atmosphere together then I can see myself opening up more.....but I hope she can also put an effort forth (StillHopeful, what did you do to resolve your issue (assuming it was resolved?).

Thanks again all for the help.....that was the first time in a long time (after the initial rocky start) we actually spoke for more than 5 minutes without a sarcastic put down thrown out to derail the conversation.
 

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While it was great that she did open up, I would be concerned about her asking why men do this or that. I guess I would be thinking the same thing...EA. Kinda strange that she would ask YOU those kinds of questions. I think I would have to do some snooping.

Being a SAHM can be very difficult because of not having adults to converse with. It is easy to lose your identity. You have to work at it. Women, especially moms, are taught that the kids come first and taking time for themselves is horribly selfish. They need to realize that to be a better mother, they need to do the things that make them feel good and give them purpose, outside of mothering. We need to be able to put on different hats....mom, wife, sister, daughter, and even career person. Moderation and balance in all things is important...when you focus too much on just one area problems occur.

I'm afraid though that she may be reaching out to others in an unhealthy way.. to fulfill the needs she's not getting met.

I have a feeling if you could check her Facebook, you'd have your answer as to whether she is having an EA.

Ruling that out an EA would be a good starting point...then both reading the books suggested here on this forum and MC.....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh that's great news Guntha!

Trust me, as soon as you start connecting with your wife the sarcasm and anger will stop. Find out what makes her tick, which from reading what you've written she wants YOU. For you to spend time with her, to desire her and to want her.

All the best, it sounds like things are moving in the right direction.
I would love to give a happy update but I cannot.

I was hopeful you were right stillhopeful that she wanted me but no....she wants a real man.......see below.

We were sitting on the couch chatting when "out of the blue" said she needs more space......so stop touching her and doing things for her and only talk to her when she wants to interact! Wow! Here I am thinking interacting with her was a good thing (emotional intimacy). I was so dumbfounded by this that I told her to answer me one question......do you want to work on our marriage/relationship or are you done? I said I am willing so are you? She proceeded to provide a classic sarcastic answer saying in so many words maybe..........

What went on after that was the biggest fight of our relationship as I was done with the sarcasm and the put downs.

Well...more truth came out per her viewpoint (complete with all the sarcasm anyone could want) that she resented all the things I did....she told me she wanted to marry a man and not a woman! She also said how I have not made her feel like a woman in a long time. Unfortunately my explanations of the things I did was for her and the family (to help her and not take away her identity) as well as I was also challenged with treating her with unconditional love and care due to the constant sarcasm (one can only be beat down for so long before the tail goes between the legs).

She did have some points in that I did make mistakes in the past to contribute to how she feels....basically every instance when I should have "manned-up" and did something. While I did address issues, I am more of a talker and lets resolve things in a civil manner vs. a more physical approach (kids, ex-husband, coaches, teachers, friends, family, etc.). To me she was angry at everyone and she should look at herself at why that is the case. I thought her early anger and sometimes sarcastic attitude was a function of her bad divorce......as time went on I think I started to see it went beyond that as it did not get better but worse to the point we are today.

Well.....for this reason I think we are done. At least the truth has come out to how she feels and I am not living up to her expectations.:(

dixieangle-while she did not admit to an EA I want to say she did or is contemplating it due to her comments and actions....grass is greener type mentality...looking for that real man who will treat her like a woman,,,which I guess my manhood radar was way off as I thought I was doing that until sarcasm made it impossible to sustain without significant effort.

I also do not think that type of man exists....one who will treat her like a princess but pull out the manhood in all external situations but tuck them away neatly when it comes to dealing with her (for which she would have a major problem with as she never backs down).

Any words of advice as I head down the dreaded divorce path? Never divorced before. :(

Many thanks goes out to all the great people who took the time to reply to my post.
 

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Oh Gunthar - I am so sorry that this is happening and that she has been so cruel. I will never understand the sharp, sarcastic tones. They are so demeaning and hurtful.

I am sure there will be some people here with great advice soon (the 180, No More Mr. Nice Guy and a couple of other books - go to the men's forum, they can tell you!!). Do you think that she could possibly already be involved with someone? Does she go out without the kids? Her FB page/messages might tell you a lot. Can you get onto her page? I'll be honest, when I read that she is asking you about other men, that made my stomach turn. I can only imagine what that did to you. If she isn't involved with someone now, she will be soon. Sorry, that's just how those comments seemed to me.

I guess it's a matter of do you want to be with her knowing how she feels? I mean apart from keeping the family together, do you want to work on this with her or are you fed up with her attitude? Good luck to you.
 

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Gunthar,

I am going to put this bluntly so be prepared...

You have become the typical doormat of a husband. You have let your wife walk all over you for so long it has come to this. Classic resentment being shown all over the place from her side and from your side. You think doing all those things will make her happy with you and life will be bliss, wrong. She just told you that.

Please, take the advice of others and first read Married Man Sex Life Primer which you can buy over at www.marriedmansexlife. Also, No More Mr. Nice Guy as suggested. Read Five Love Languages too, read that one together.

I can promise that your whole idea of being a good husband will change. Why do I know this. I have read the first two and know much about the third b/c of people here.

The first two books changed me forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks joelmacdad

yes, I have felt like the doormat which I know perfectly clear now is not healthy for a relationship......for myself and my wife.

On the flipside I am not sure if I will ever understand women, even a little.......which I am going to write another post on this here shortly.

also thanks for suggesting the reading material. I know it will be of value.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Allright.....now I really need HELP folks after last night. I will say with certainty I will never understand my wife......(women in general? starting to doubt that too).

Where I left everyone was that my wife tells me she is done with me......she wanted a real man.....not a woman. She said do not touch me, talk to me or do anything for me. She put me down in every way. What I did not mention was the sex part where she attacked me saying I have become a robot with no emotion or feeling and she cringes at the thought of seeing me (ouch! even though we have had a great sex life for many years until our problems came up and that I am in pretty good shape for an older man (lift weights/run/not overweight).

Ok.......ladies (and guys)...last night I am sitting on couch minding my own business when my wife decides to sit next to me and talk. We talk for 2 hours about this and that (mainly family, few other misc. topis.....but very little about our problems).....then OUT OF THE BLUE she says let's go have makeup sex! I am thinking what the F%$K! after all our problems and the putdowns???

Well, I was a bit paralyzed, not sure what to do. Well, in the end we spent a few more hours having some very good sex. I say very good as I was trying to figure out what she was doing and was not the most passionate (maybe a little more than recently) due to all our fighting lately. I did notice a few peculiar actions which she normally does not do (such as closing her eyes most of the time). I figured to spice it up a bit and she seemed to enjoy. She was also a bit more rough than usual (reading into this maybe?) telling me to grab x and y.

In the end she says good, but this does not erase the past (not sure why she spoke of this).

Allright, please help me read my wife.......was she just "in the mood:" and I was the easiest target......or is she trying to make things work by doing this?

I have started reading a bit....alpha, beta, niceguy stuff and realize I can make some changes which could help us in the long run (and me for however we end up) but not sure what I should do now.

Alright, paralyzed now......how should I act today? Leave her be? Try to sit and talk about last night (meaning of it, better? Same?) Try to read her cues and go with gut? I am completely dumbfounded as I was planning to talk to a divorce attorney next week. Stillhopeful....since your situation is very similar to mine maybe you can make heads or tails out of it.

:scratchhead::scratchhead::scratchhead:

Flowers or divorce court? (BTW feel like I should try for as we still have several young kids in grade school)

Thanks to all for reading this.
 
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