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I did not follow my gut feelings with respect to my wife's red flags and we ended up getting married anyway. I am looking for some guidance with how to best to deal with her and maybe figure out a way going forward.

There are a lot of background influences that I think affect how she reacts to things and I will summarize:

- Child of abusive, alcoholic father. Mother there but did not protect the kids
- Fourth child of four, the "accident"
- Military brat
- Promiscuous through HS & college
- Recovering alcoholic
- No long term relationships except for first husband
- Has been treated for depression in the past

Did I mention that she is a licensed mental health professional with a Phd? She is a smart woman.

Here are some of my issues, no particular order:

1. She believes that if she has a problem that she should just say it out loud, to avoid building resentment. It usually comes out as smart a$$ little comments about the given situation. Doesn't matter if it hurts someones feelings, she is just "telling how she feels." If would not be as bad but she expects the situation to be corrected to her line of thinking. Lack of compliance ususally generates additional discontent. I have brought this up that she should choose her battles wisely and some things are best left unsaid.

2. Addition to #1. She will never let an issue drop. It must be resolved to her satisfaction . She cannot let things go in order to either avoid or reduce a conflict. Everything involves change. I believe that we should grow together in marriage. It is about the journey, not the destination. Some changes may happen along the way but it should be a joint effort. She cannot let it go...

3. Her exH. I get the impression that he ran the relationship and pretty much did what he wanted to do. He still does with respect to their children which annoys my wife to no end. Before you ask, they managed to get divorced without a custody agreement (How?). There are no rules and he will not listen to her and she hates that she has no control over him anymore. Why does it bother me? She gets depressed about the situation and the next minute I am the cause of all her problems. To her: I am the reason she has no friends, I made her move to a different area, I will not move to a 'better' area (I live near my children, hers live in another state), I will not change jobs, I don't get her a bigger house, etc.

4. My kids. I will admit that I am not perfect with respect to my kids. Every time my kids come over (I share 50/50 with my ex), I get a lot of #1 above with regards to things that my kids 'should' be doing. Some things I agree are valid and I am working with my kids on those issues. But the list of issues never stops and my kids can feel it. Also, I 'ignore' her when my children are around, which I do not feel is true. I try to spend time with everyone, just her time is reduced due to the additional people. Lots of tension in the air and I feel as if my relationship with my children is not important to my wife. My kids do not like her and will not make an effort to interact with her unless they have to.

5. Her kids. Oldest son is in college. Type A personality (like Dad) and does what he wants. Wife argues with him everytime he comes to visit, turns into a regular shouting match. However, she still does everything (laundry, food, ect)for him and buys him what he wants. But he is a 'good kid.' He has a dog. Does not matter that dog has caused a couple thousand in damages to the house, wife allows dog to return. I feel that I am not being heard when I say that I don't like the dog in the house. "My kids have just as much right to be here as yours do..."

Youngest son lives with Dad in another state. Per verbal agreement, youngest was supposed to move in with us next fall after living with Dad for the past couple of years. Guess what, Dad emails recently that youngest has 'decided' to stay in other state. Wife is off the hook, see #3 above. Due to no custody agreement, there is no real legal recouse. Total depression and now I am at fault for it. How??? That's right, I won't move to other state.

6. Money. I handle all of the bills and the house. She does not contribute anything except a couple hundred for food. She makes a very respectable salary + clients. I know about how much see makes but for whatever reason, she is "tapped out of cash" on a regular basis. I am hesitant to take over all the joint finances since she came into the relationship and did not tell me about all her finances. She finally disclosed that she had considerable debt that I was not aware. I have even helped her pay down her debt but she still has no money. I ask for an equitable distribution of the bills for the budget yet I get nothing. I am keeping our finances separate for the time being (only married a few months) until we can come to a resolution.

I guess that after reading what I have written, I have to wonder to myself why I married her. As I said, lot's of red flags that I ignored. I want to stay true to my vows of "For better or worse" but it is hard. I am the peacemaker but I am tired. Everyday there is new drama about something and her associated depression that seems to follow is difficult to bear. It feels like nothing I do is good enough.

She sees a therapist but I don't think she is helping. My wife is also on medications for non-depression related medical issues, not sure if they are having any effect. We do talk a lot and I am better about expressing my opinions, however see #1 & 2 above.

Not sure where this is going and I realize that I am dumping a lot of blame on my wife. I just want my life to return to the low key version it was before we moved in an got married. The drama/sadness/anger is just to much sometimes.
 

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Goodness...that alot that you are dealing with in such a new marriage!

I know you said you saw the "flags" but ignored them...now what?

She's getting help...but perhaps some marriage counseling to help sort out these issues?
 

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From what you describe, it sounds as if the key to dealing with her is to be louder, firmer, more obnoxious, and even less yielding than she is. That's what her ex did and he has her youngest. She didn't even fight him. You say he's the longest relationship she's ever had. That's what her oldest kid does and she thinks he's great and pampers him. Think maybe underneath that know-it-all exterior she's really very insecure and seeks a strong, firm man to basically run the show? Maybe a surrogate for her alcoholic, abusive dad? She's a military brat. I'm guessing her father was the military sponsor? It's not unusual for career military types to be a little "my way or the highway". You might try to pull out your inner drill sergeant on her and see what happens. She does think you are a little too lenient with your kids. I wonder what would happen if you got all John Wayne on her.
 

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Inside every co dependent enabler beats the might heart of a tyrant. Your wife is an enabler tyrant. And stubborn stubborn stubborn. They ALL are. I think it's fairly hard to 'treat' those types. They not paranoid narcissist types but they come across like that sometimes. It's more like cripplingly low self esteem.
 
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