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First time poster!

So, where to start. Married 21 yrs. Wife is always complaining that I don't listen to her recommendations for things to do, places to go or movies to watch.

Case in point, she gets a dvd of a 1 star stinker of a film. Her pick. But her picks are usually bad (even she admitted this issue) and I have become skeptical when one shows up in the DVD player. In the past, we did watch and then 9x outta 10 we agree -- stinker! She also forgets what movies she's seen too, so I'd say, "You know, we've seen that one before . . ."

As the years went on, I started to say things like, "you know, I'd rather not waste my time watching that one" But her wife ears hear, "You don't want to spend time with me" instead of being like a man, "Oh really? Ok, I'll watch it by myself"

So, she recently got one out I thought we saw already, I wasn't real sure. I just said, "I THINK we may have seen that one already" So it sits for a few days. So last night she decides to watch it by herself. She even told me, "I'm going to watch this by myself tonight while you're out!" I'm thinking, "ok, that's cool!" Until I got home last night.

She starts screaming,
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TOLD ME WE'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE!"
"THIS IS A GOOD MOVIE WE SHOULD HAVE WATCHED TOGETHER!" "WE NEVER DO WHAT I WANT TO DO! IT'S ALWAYS YOU THAT DECIDES!"

Umm, gee, I attempt to clarify, "I never said we DID see it before, I said I THINK we saw it before"

I attempt to make her think rationally, "Why didn't you stop it and let me know it wasn't one we saw before?, why did you watch the entire movie then attack me like that?"

Then it's the same old, "WE NEVER DO WHAT I WANT TO DO!" "I WANT TO GO TO SPA WITH YOU, BUT YOU DON'T LIKE SPAS, CAN'T YOU SCARFICE ONE THING FOR ME FOR ONCE!"

Yes, not everyone enjoys a spa treatment like a woman. I hate them and massages. Would I go to a spa for her? Well, too late now, I already said once I'd never go to one. More ammunition for her? Dunno.

Just had to vent. Of course we've done many things together that she has suggested, including movies and trips. Yet, she has selective short term memory lose. I think I need to keep a log of her picks and wins! I would never be so affected by her turning down anything I suggest. Yet I find it impossible to pretend I enjoy something when I don't -- I mean -- she admires frank and honest people unless they're honest about her and her tastes.

I sense an inferiority complex, and she blames me for it.

Oy.
 

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I cant really say from what you have written here whether your wife is actually insecure or irrational. Maybe to some extent she is but I will say your own attitude seems dismissive and rather rigid. I will also say your wife is trying to tell you how she feels, not in the best way, I will give you that. I suggest you really listen and try to understand what she is really trying to tell you. When a woman complains over and over about the same things her needs are not being met. After a while, she may eventually give up and stop talking. Thats when it is likely too late and you may end up very sorry you hadn't tried harder...or at all.
 

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I don't see anything there that says "inferiority complex". Wanting a spouse to spend time with you doesn't qualify as self loathing.

This seems like a lot of frustration over what looks like a pretty small thing, from an outsiders point of view. We can only go from what you wrote, but people usually cast their own position in the best light.

To you, her not having any interest in what you want to do is no big deal. To her, you not having interest in what she wants to do is. And I suspect that she also feels bad that you *don't* care whether or not she wants to share in your pursuits.

So if one person says "I want us to spend lots of time doing things together" and the other person is saying "I dont care if you spend time doing anything with me" thats a pretty big gap.

Bridging it takes compromise. Maybe you *should* try bringing her along with the things you want to do/like to do. It would mean fewer spa days and crappy movies, and I think for her it would be just as good.

So some days you watch a crappy movie, and then other days you do XYZ (whatever you enjoy)

Seems better than arguing IMO
 

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After 21 years you still don't know what she's saying?

If you don't clue in you you'll be back here posting about how she cut you off in the bedroom or worse.

Hint: This ain't about a movie, it's about making nice.
 

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This isn't about her having an inferiority complex. It is about you having different likes - and that's OK !
My H and I share the same tastes in movies in a large part. We watch together genres like romantic comedies, thrillers, horrors. But, I dislike closed space movies, movies about war / camps, anything depressing. He loves " Life is Beautiful " - I hate this kind of movies, I watched it with him, but agreed he will watch this kind alone bcause I gave it a try and not enjoy them. On the other hand, I can stayed glued to the screen for hours, watching a soap opera like "Desperate Housewives". He doesn't like soap operas, so goes and watches something else in the living room, and I'm perfectly fine ith it :) So, I would say, decide together not to impose your preferences on each other. Pick up a movie seems appealing to both of you.
As for the spa, you could give it a try. You would be surprised how much it will relax you. Meet eachother half way. You may have differences, but you surely have common likes too - focus on those .
 

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"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TOLD ME WE'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE!"
"THIS IS A GOOD MOVIE WE SHOULD HAVE WATCHED TOGETHER!" "WE NEVER DO WHAT I WANT TO DO! IT'S ALWAYS YOU THAT DECIDES!"
Let me translate *ahem*: " I'm so sad you didn't watch that movie with me. It makes me feel connected to you and loved when we watch these movies. Please say you love me and care about me!"

Your wife was speaking Woman-ese. The language of emotions. Understandable you couldn't understand.

I attempt to make her think rationally, "Why didn't you stop it and let me know it wasn't one we saw before?, why did you watch the entire movie then attack me like that?"
You approached the situation logically and technically, like most men. Rational approaches do NOT work on someone who speaks the language of emotions.

Then it's the same old, "WE NEVER DO WHAT I WANT TO DO!" "I WANT TO GO TO SPA WITH YOU, BUT YOU DON'T LIKE SPAS, CAN'T YOU SCARFICE ONE THING FOR ME FOR ONCE!"
Again, translation: "I would love to go to a Spa with you. It would make me so happy. I do not feel like you love me enough to go with me, and that hurts my feelings. "

Of course she needs to temper her emotions there, and learn how to better verbalize her feelings to you. That takes time and a lot of inner work.

You would benefit from learning how to recognize the hidden meanings in what she's saying, and how to validate those feelings.

The main issue I see here is: She doesn't feel like you Cherish her as #1 in your life. A woman needs to feel like she's considered #1 to you ALL THE TIME and feel like you would do anything for her if she asked. This doesn't mean giving in all the time to her wants, but you can fix this situation if you helped her secure her confidence that she is your #1 priority.

IE say sincerely (holding hands, looking in her eyes would do wonders as well ;) ): "Honey, I understand you'd like me to go to a Spa with you. I would do absolutely anything to make you happy. I'm worried because I personally feel uncomfortable in Spas, but I really want to make you happy. Can you help me figure this out?"

In this sentence you covered many core needs for a woman: Reflection (validating technique), Validation, and made her feel Cherished, while also making your feelings known. Once she feels secure in her place in your priorities and you're showing sincere desire to make her happy, she'll be way more understanding and back off in a big way.

Good luck and hope things get worked out for the better! :)
 

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IndianaJones,

How many hours a week do the two of you spend doing things together ... date-like things? Just the two of you?
 

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I pick up on something different here....

Her love language is "Quality time." She might even choose stinkers subconsciously because it lets her feel more connected to you through little criticisms of the movie as it plays. Whether that's true or not, each time she picks a movie to watch together or suggests a place to go, you're rejecting her attempt to show you that she loves you.

Your love language may not be quality time, so you show your love in a different way, and may not feel that same degree of love from quality time as she does.

I'd encourage you to learn about the Five Languages of Love (this link is to the men's edition on Amazon) and I believe you'll see this entire issue vanish quickly from your marriage. If you would like to read it with your wife, too, the general edition can be found here.
 

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I agree with everything posted above for the most part.

I bet those movies are romantic comedies. I feel for you. How many Hugh Grant movies have you had to endure?

But a SPA!!! If my back hurts so bad I have to take Vicodin and have gone to the chiropractor for three weeks with no relief I might get a massage.

You have got to be kidding me. Just go for no reason ? For fun ? Are you supposed to go for manicures and pedicures also ? Quilting parties ? A scrap booking overnight ? A candle party ? Has she bought you a man purse ? Are you invited along for Bunko? Botox or Disport? Watch Food Network? (BBQ competitions exempted :D )

Sounds like she needs some female friends and let you go piddle in the garage for a few hours.

I got a better suggestion, go volunteer to be a Cub or Boy Scout leader at a pack that needs help. It is a blast and you get to go camping. Your wife is welcome also. Beats watching stinker movies.
 
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