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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I'm a new member here, so if this question has already popped up, my apologies.

The issue in a nutshell is this- my wife of 20 years still gets angry about, and demands apologies for, events that are 20 years or more in our past.

The biggest issue? When we were dating, I made the stupid mistake of talking about my previous relationships, and my wife also found photos of past girlfriends in my apartment. Nothing even remotely R rated, just usual family style photos. At that time, we had a big fight about it, I apologized, and we got over it (I thought). But, it never really went away.

I understand it was a thoughtless and immature way to be on my part. I guess I wanted to look 'cool' or 'popular', and it backfired disastrously. Since then, I have never even had so much as an email from anyone in my past. Yet now, when we are watching TV for example, if one of the characters or newscasters has the same name as one of my past girlfriends, my wife gets upset and starts the fight again: "you were such a b&stard to me, why did you tell me all that stuff?!?" and so on.

Lately, she has started claiming she cheated on me (after we were married) as a way to get revenge for it. I'm not sure if I believe her, or if she is just trying to get attention, but in either case it's also more than 15 years ago. I just want to live our lives in the present.

The problem is that the more she brings it up, the more resentful I get. She demands that I apologize again and again, which I do. But she says that I don't really mean it, and that I secretly still want to be with them and not her. I'm getting to the end of my patience about this.

Help!!
 

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Uh, she tells you she cheated and you are apologizing? Do you see what is wrong I this relationship dynamic?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like I said, I think she is just saying it to get a reaction from me, I honestly don't think it's true. The fact that I don't react probably makes the situation worse, but frankly I'm tired of the whole situation. I'd rather be able to live like adults, but her constant fall-back position is "YOU started it, so everything is your fault".
 

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maybe she really did cheat and is wearing on her. She needs to release the guilt but cant because you are so accepting. So she is frustrated internally and the guilt is percolating out as anger.

Why dont you ask her for more details of her affair and check her facts?


Alternatively, she's simply slowly becoming mentally disturbed and you have the front row seat?


Or, she has some health issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Aug; Thanks for the reply. IF the affair (very brief, she claimed) did happen, how am I blocking her from releasing the guilt by being accepting? It was 15 plus years ago, and we now live literally 10,000 miles from where we used to. It's half a world and half a lifetime away.

No health issues that I know of. We are both in our 40s, she's in great shape, could still probably fit into her wedding dress, looks at least 10 years younger. That's what makes it hard for me to accept that she feels so insecure and angry, and constantly needs reassurance that she's winning/better/cuter etc.

For me, the problem is that no matter what discussion/disagreement we have, it inevitably devolves into a rehash of past issues and mistakes. Especially about past relationships.
 

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Hi Aug; Thanks for the reply. IF the affair (very brief, she claimed) did happen, how am I blocking her from releasing the guilt by being accepting? It was 15 plus years ago, and we now live literally 10,000 miles from where we used to. It's half a world and half a lifetime away.

When she told you, was she angry? Was she expecting you to react? In anger? Did you get upset? Perhaps she wasnt getting the reaction that she expected from a BS?


Some other possibilities...

Any stressful happenings in her life currently? Is there a problem at work? With her family? With your family?

Did she lose some weight? Did she improve her appearance? Do you know if she's having an EA/PA?

You say she's in her 40s. Is she in perimenopause? If so, her hormones could be throwing her out of whack?


just some quick ideas...
 

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Only thing I'm thinking is that those 20 year old problems are not. From reading, she needs to control her triggers and use her words to express herself.

Something is bothering her, like maybe she thought you were being flipant about, and you haven't calmly talked about.

Did you take it upon your self to fix the situation?? Nothing wrong with fixing things, but maybe she hasn't gotten the closer she needed. Maybe after all this time she hasent trusted you...don't know, just tossin out ideas.

Ask her what her what her feelings are, and listen. She is entitled to her thoughts and feelings. She might see this situation differently than you do.

Maybe she is insecure. Does she know--as in did you tell her--the only reason you did these things?? Maybe she dosent believe you. These conversations are not easy to have rationally. Keep cool. She will probly yell but try and listen to her words.

Just let her talk..she is the one with the problem. If you double talk her and yea but, yea but, she will shut down and continue the status quo.

I might be off base, maybe Im over thinking this or it's close to home for me to give advise. Hope this helps.
 
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At the very best, she doesn't know how to fight fair. Bringing up things from 20 years ago is not okay.

At the worst, well, at the worst you've got worse problems than you suspect. You have to find a way to communicate better, and if that means counseling, then get thee hither.
 

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I'm no expert but, I can relate to this in a way becasue I do this myself. (Bring up old issues). Reason I do it becasause I nevver got closure at the time. ITs often minor details in hindsight but nevertheless, at the time, it was upsetting and I confronted her about 'the issue' before and after the event becasue I thought it was out of order but never got an apology. Mostly these days I will bring it up at the time, usually not get anywhewre with it then mentally file it away with a mental note of 'Dont waste your time with this one, lifes too short.

Seems like your wife has issues with dealing with this event in your life. if its as simple as you describe and it still is mentioned then there is clearly one of 2 things (A) something else aside from the photsos and discussion at the time and there has been no closure (B) mental issues with inability to let go, accept, move on.

good Luck
 
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