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#242648 01/24/04 02:07 AM
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I'm 32, my wife 30. I’m a software engineer, she’s a hairdresser. We've been married for 17 months, and have been together for a total of 7.5 years. The first year we did not have a single conflict. The first one was a big one. It was when we went to my company’s party and I left her at the dinner table with my colleagues for 5 minutes to say hello to a few people. So she left me there with no ride home. That’s when I told her it was over. Big mistake. She begged and begged for me not to leave her because she had finally found a good boyfriend with a good family and a good future—not an abusive or manic/depressive one like her past two. So, I caved in, but waaaaay too late. Since then, she does not act like the needy one for me, but more like she would let me go in a flash. I think it’s a method of coping with being hurt--as if she won’t let herself fall that deeply in love ever again. She NEVER embraces me and tells me how much she’s in love with me. She does show it in cards, but not much physically. She’s not even close to being as affectionate as I would desire, and I’m really not asking for a lot.

So, since that 1st big one, we have little arguments every week or two, and really TERRIBLE ones every month or two. And once it happens, it takes here weeks before she comes back to "normal", but during which time there is increased likelihood of further arguments. As for me, I am good to go the next day--as if nothing happened. Even better, if she were to come over to hug and kiss me or otherwise make up, I would be INSTANTLY cured. Unfortunately, she has only done this about two or three times since I met her. Normally when I try to make up with her--even by accepting blame for something I had nothing to do with--she won't let me anywhere near her.

We've been to counseling dozens of times over the past 4 years with three separate counselors. We got married knowing we still had problems, but you, love is blind. We learned about some communication skills and were given numerous exercises. Unfortunately, she has not attempted to participate even once. I try to get her to calmly discuss our differences by she does not have the patience to listen. She often misconstrues things that I can't imagine anyone else taking the same way she did. Yet when I try to explain how I could have never meant what she interpreted, I don't even get so far as to say, "honey, I must have not made myself clear because what I meant was..." Unfortunately, she’s not a right-brained thinker by any means so I have to go to greater lengths to get out some very simple logic. Even more unfortunately, she does not have the patience required for the long version, and accuses me of being too overwhelming as a result. With my closes friends and family, I can state things clearly using less than half the verbiage.

She has a very short fuse, or at least one with no clear warning. When she loses it, and over things I can’t even imagine, she kicks and throws things and becomes very verbally and sometimes physically abusive. Of course, I’m nowhere near perfect, but boy do I always get more than I bargain for. When she loses it, I try to hold myself calm and have successfully avoided returning any body grabs or punches which she throws on occasion. I’m 6’0 and almost 200lbs but she has practiced kick boxing. Let me tell you, she can punch, so it’s a darn good thing I can control that side of me. God I am so glad she is not with someone who can’t resist returning one. Really, it’s not easy once you’ve been hit. Instinctively, people are either fighters or flighters, but I somehow manage to just stand there and take it or block it. Imagine if I threw a good one back? Who would be to blame, of course?

“Officer, she punched me six times before I returned just one.”
“Yeah, right.”

When arguing, and I normally try to defend myself calmly which she confuses it with apathy—as if I’m not the one hurting, only she is. Anything else I can think of at the time just seems to make it even worse—especially shutting the door and leaving the scene. She threatens or insults our marriage and calls me horrible names. She states that she is not happy ever but when things are good, she tells me otherwise. She normally locks herself in the master bedroom and will not allow me near her. One bad thing in one day a month equals only one good day in a month. If she insists that she did not say something, and I had proof that she did (say a recording which, frankly, I should start doing) there is NO way she would be willing to let me prove it. She would immediately call me obsessive/compulsive, and too overwhelming even though I am 100% correct and have no other way to prove it. She would say that I have very poor memory or that I’m crazy, but still not let me show evidence otherwise. If she would just be willing to stop, listen, let me finish a sentence, and otherwise cooperate, I wouldn’t seem nearly as compulsive as she thinks I am.

We make love once a month and when we do, it’s beyond amazing, but I am ready, willing, and able several times a week. Even when we haven’t had a fight for two or three months straight (which is rare) the love is still just as infrequent. She doesn’t show affection but would claim I am a horrible husband to even think that she isn’t in love with me. The fact that she got pregnant two months ago is nearly a miracle—the only time we didn’t use protection since she got off the pill over a year ago.

Just tonight we had a horrible fight. She said she wouldn’t let my “schizophrenic” mother (which wasn’t very nice) watch our baby. She said she wanted to hire someone for daycare service so she could work. I stated I would not allow someone outside our family to raise our child because of many reasons. Frankly, I don’t understand why a mother who has a husband that can easily provide enough $ for the whole family would want to let a stranger watch her baby. Certainly, there is no definite wrong or right here, just strong opinion but nothing that should cause a disaster. Anyway, I said I won’t let it happen and she said it’s not only my decision. Now bear in mind that, under normal circumstances, if for example I wanted to purchase a Ferrari, it would not be MY decision only; I would have to win my wife’s approval as well. That is to say, we both must approve, or should either one of us disapprove, the purchase won’t happen. Again, using the same philosophy, if the issue is to hire someone for daycare or hire a nanny, than we must BOTH approve, or should either one of us disapprove then it won’t happen—and some other solution will have to arise. So in knowing that I would not agree, then it was a simple matter of fact that it won’t happen. I even went so far as to say that I would make whatever arrangements with my work as necessary so that she could work—even if it meant a reduction in family income. She took this as a guilt trip, and then called me “selfish”. I said if she thinks I’m selfish for willing to give up income and wanting to provide the love and care only a mother or father can give, then she is certainly selfish for wanting to work for her own needs instead of caring for her own baby.

THEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Now I understand that it wasn’t the “right” thing for me to say, nor the correct method of making a point. But holy hell karate chop! I’m called an “f-ing a-hole” (several times) that needs serious help. I was called such horrible names and our marriage was threatened. She even said something about not wanting the baby anymore or wishing she didn’t have it. She said she’s now in a mess that she can’t get out of. So I try to explain that I absolutely meant no harm or insult to her—that I only have an opinion for good sound reasons that many other people share. But the point of no return had already gotten the best of her.

Mind you that not once did I threaten her or call her hateful names tonight. I learned to avoid that after so many other arguments. Yes, I did call her “selfish” after she called me selfish first, but I didn’t intend for that to be hateful—only to make a point. But she says calling names back is what children do and it’s no excuse for me. The word hypocrite does not register with her. She says it’s okay for her to say it to because, and I quote, “I’m me and you’re not me.” So I guess what I said really wasn’t “me”. God I wish it wasn’t me. Then maybe she’d think the real me is just grand.

So she locked herself in the master bedroom and began sobbing. I felt SOOO horrible and helpless. I felt like, “how am I going to fix this huge mess now? How long is it going to take before she ever loves me again? Will she ever be able to put this in the past so it doesn’t leave her to be even more sensitive and more prone to argument? Or should I just shoot myself (not really)…” I could not believe that an argument of such a nature could lead to this level of catastrophe but I suppose I should have known: I walk on eggshells very often. She would totally disagree.

Anyway, I just could not bear to hear her sob, so I calmly spoke to her through the door for about 15 minutes and got her to calm down. I begged for us to make it up and explained that we both know from experience that it won’t lead us anywhere to let this continue without making up—that fighting is b.s., never got us anywhere good, and we know we’re going to get over it anyway, so why not start now? I told her how I didn’t believe the nasty things she said, and that I love her like crazy. That I didn’t mean any harm by being strong headed in my opinion.

After having her calm enough to let me near her, I tried to explain my reasoning very carefully. I wanted to say, “on the one hand, if you wanted to stay home with the baby and not work a lick in your life, I would totally support that. On the other hand, if you wanted to work full time and not take care of the baby at all [SHE CUT ME OFF HERE] then we, of course, would neither want that. So the question is where is the point at which we can find a balance where we can both be happy and find a way to make things work. How about sometime next week, when we’re both calm, we discuss where that balance is and how we are going to support it.”

Now bear in mind where she cut me off as noted above. Here response was, “get the F.. away from me. I NEVER said I wanted to work full time and not spend any time with the baby. You make me SICK. There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with you and it scares me. I can’t take it anymore. I am so unhappy with our marriage.” Just a couple of days ago she gave me a card saying how much she loves me so I’m not sure which one to believe now. Anyway, she absolutely would not allow me to explain even the fact that she had TOTALLY misconstrued what I had tried to say. Just by trying to explain WHY I needed to restate it was WAY too overwhelming for her. Every time I tried to say anything, she would interrupt and yell at me to get out. This misconstruing of what I say (mostly by interruption) happens all too often, and I pay dearly for it.

[insert scream of frustration here] Can you imagine the feeling of insanity from being stifled like this?

Well, I’m starting to believe that the perfect recipe for a marriage is either one dominant and one submissive person, or two submissive persons. Unfortunately, we’re both dominant. The amazing thing is that I still love this dominant woman, but I don’t know how much longer I can put either of us through this torture anymore, and I don’t think I have the strength to “yes dear” her 24/7.

God help us. Please.

#242649 01/24/04 10:04 AM
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you should both strive to be submissive and honest w/ eachother.
that's what creates a loving, intimate relationship.
i know how difficult it can be, believe me.

you came to a good place though..have you read up on the concepts here?

#242650 01/24/04 10:35 AM
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You both can help one another. I think there is definate room for improvement. To be honest, reading your post, even I felt annoyed. Not that your communication skills are lacking, but yet each word screams "I must be right--because I am".
There are a few things that need to be addressed:
first, the baby.
Arguing over who will care for the child is the least of your worries. I understand it was something that came up perhaps, but there are many bigger things to discuss. Given her hormones and emotionalism at times already, she is going to react more dramatically. Gosh, pregnant women do! The whoel description you gave about your car scenario is in fact, wrong. No, here are not certain things in a marriage you can have absolute say over, discounting what she says. And vice versa. Reading about the policy of joint agreement may help you. To pick apart the current argument, your wife may feel she has every right to not want her child sent off to your mother. This needs to be discussed. And what you said about her not wanting to spend time with the child--I would take that as an insult too. It is learning the art of arguing, discussing, and knowing when to stop arguing your point. When you rwife needed to be comforted, instead you still tried to argue your point. I am sorry if I am attacking this from your ponit of you, but changes begin from within, and since your wife isn't on these boards I can only offer advice on what I perceive could be improved onyour part. You get that a lot around here [Wink]

Secondly, her angry outburst and emotional abuse:
Yes, I used the words abuse. I agree that something isn't right--holding grudges for that length of time. Both of you may have different emotinoal processes-it may take her longer to process, but that certainly doens't mean taking it out on you. Perhaps some of her lashings are from ehr own frustration..seeing how you seem to cope so effortlessly, and she is still trying to stop seething? Again, jsut an observation. Getting and actually encouraging help is a delcate subject for this. SHe may need to go to counselling on her own. Has she done this?


Thirdly, your lack of emotionalism in the beginning of an argument.
I am in the hospitality industry. One of the mantras we have is the LAST approach. Listen, Accept, Solve, Thank.
When your wife is yelling and screaming, she is correctly judging your reaction to her words by thinknig you are aloof. You may want to calmly discuss (knowing that this may in fact be better way to solve the argument, for you especially).
BUT, those people who emotionally are trying to vent off need to feel heard. You need to Listen, let her get out what she has to say, Accept the complain as a gift and discuss a Solution together and offer your feelngis as well, only after she is done saying how she feels. Then, thank her for sharing her feelings, and offer any suggestions that may help in the future. Like, I really appreciate what you said to me, the only thing is, I felt attacked when you yelled so loudly, I know it is hard when you are angry to not holler, I wanted you to know his is what I felt.

She is currently wearing her ENTITLED hat. She beleives that people owe her, she needs to have things her way, and she feels she can do whatever she wants and treat you however she wants because you OWE HER BIG TIME for some past injustice.
Sound familiar?
The entitled needs to grow up. Soon she will ahve a baby to care for that will test every ounce of strength she has and constantly demand on her and you and the relationship.

My best advice for now is to really think about attemtpning to just listen and thanking her for sharing her feelings. This effort in itself may help a lot--you have excellent self control it sees so at least this effort may not seem so hurculean yet may be effective.

#242651 01/24/04 10:41 AM
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[ January 24, 2004, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: WhenIfindthetime ]

#242652 01/24/04 10:49 AM
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Nicholas,

I don't have a lot of time this morning, but I have a lot to say - so put away your engineer cap, turn on your ears and LISTEN close.

LOGIC will not work with your wife. The more logical you talk - the less likely she is to listen. The more you get into telling her how it is by using extremes - the less likely she is to hear you.

She's an artist. She's a creative thinker. She's people oriented and thinks everyone is basically good.

You my dear friend the logical engineer are driving her bonkers with your focus on the logical-black-and-white-dramatic. The more you focus on telling her how you meant something - the more she is going to focus on how stupid you are. She isn't stupid, so don't insinuate she is. (Neither are you - but her creative thinking brain sees you as a logical book centered blooming idiot because while she's thinking of a creative solution to fix whatever is wrong - you are discussing all the logical reasons why her creative solution won't work - using extremes that she knows don't exist in her world. You are thinking black and white - and she's living in vivid color.

With these extreme personalities --- the more calm you get - the angrier she will get - because she doesn't understand your calm. She literally does see it as apathy, because if you 'truly cared - you'd be more emotional'. In her world words like emotion, creativity, color, people, and life make a difference. She doesn't have a clue what logic is, doesn't care, it doesn't work in her world.

You are the one here - so you are the one who will have to make the changes. Trust me, when she sees you as an emotional being capable of understanding that RED is a color in her life - you will suddenly have a better chance of getting YOUR point across.

Now, all of those WORDS up there - go reread them again until they make since to you. I used color to emphasize the importance of being illogical. She doesn't think in LOGIC. Don't try to change that - you can't force her to become an 'engineer thinker'. You are gonna have to get outside the box and figure out that not only is the world round - but it isn't smooth either.

Creative hair dresser vs. LOGICAL engineer - is something like putting a round peg in a square hole --- unless the circumference of the peg is smaller than the width of the square it won't fit - and it ain't gonna fill the corners.

You have a lot of room to grow buddy, start reading and learn all you can about communication, cuz your ability to communicate with that lovely wife of yours SUCKS.

Blessings,

Jan

PS. Just ask around, everyone knows I pick on Engineers really well. But, it's kinda because I jumped the fence and work both sides of the vs. I'm creative - but I do a lot of logical engineer stuff. Engineer think is really hard to live with if you are JUST creative. Engineers are eyerollers in most conversations - because they use EXTREME logic.

#242653 01/24/04 11:53 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by sj *trouble*:
She literally does see it as apathy, because if you 'truly cared - you'd be more emotional'.

Or, if she's anything like Mrs. O, then her thought process is this: "If you REALLY believed you were right, then you'd be as passionate & outspoken about you opinions as I am about mine. Therefore, you obviously are acknowledging that I am right and you are wrong."

No joke. She actually said something along these lines a few years ago.

Nelly & CD & Jan are right about one thing: you're gonna have to set aside whatever mode of conversation comes naturally to you and you're gonna have to try to understand her mode of communication.

Grab a bottle of aspirin before you start, because if you're anything like me, it'll make your head throb.

#242654 01/24/04 11:53 AM
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WOW everyone! I think I really needed to hear that. I knew I was wrong the way I handled the last big one. I think the root of my frustration was mostly in that I got back something that "seemed" a hundred times worse than what I delivered, and that I led her to believe things that I knew weren't true. Now I can see that what I gave her WAS much worse even though in black and white it isn't. Her reaction proves it. I now see that I need to improve my communication skills so that she doesn't misinterpret me--by using emotion in color as one of you mentioned. You're absolutely right. No matter how sound my logic is, no matter even if a panel of a thousand judges rule to its accuracy and correctness, and no matter how much it hurts to be right in my world and totally out of her world, I need to learn how to fit that square peg in that round hole and appeal to her emotion.

God love you guys. I'm so glad I came here for help.

#242655 01/24/04 02:06 PM
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What I would like to know is WHY the heck are you wanting to have a baby when your marriage is so shakey and abusive?

Ya wanna bring a precious baby into this hell? Are you thinking clearly here? Having this baby will increase all problems in your marriage by ten.

She seems like she does not even want the child. (She is not stuck like she thinks, it is not too late for "you know"..is she mentally ready to have and raise a baby without damaging the childs life?)

I don't care how abusive you are to each other or how bad you yell, hit, and miscommunicate with one another or how long it takes to get your marriage on the right track where you both get your needs met and both love each other again.

Because it is possible to make your marriage better if you both want that to happen.

But to bring an innocent child into this seems totally selfish to me. It seems to me like more insanity. It seems (to me) to be heinous. And I don't understand it.

I fear that the child you bring into this marriage will have to "suffer" being raised by fighting, abusive parents like you two. Why make an innocent child suffer?

************************************************

I am speaking from my own experiance as a child with parents similar to you two. It took me 30 years plus and 4 years of therapy to work through the issues so I could cope normally with life.

My sister did not fare so well. She is mentally ill now. Never worked thru anything. The parents affected her worse than me.

I am still to this day working thru issues from my parents and how they lived, treated each other, treated us, and raised us. It still causes me pain.

ALL I WILL SAY IS IF YOU GO THROUGH WITH HAVING AND RAISING THIS CHILD, YOU BETTER GET YOUR STUFF TOGETHER FAST.

OR ELSE SAVE UP LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY FOR 20 YEARS OF INTENSIVE THERAPY TO HELP THE CHILD RECOVER FROM YOUR "EXAMPLES" AND PARENTING.

AND IT WILL COST THIS CHILD MORE THAN HIS MONEY OR YOURS OR THE TIME SPENT IN THERAPY. IT COULD COST HIS VERY LIFE.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

[ January 24, 2004, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: baba2 ]

#242656 01/24/04 03:56 PM
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Wow baba, that is outrageous advice, even from you. I truly cannot believe you typed it.

Ughh...

Mike

quote:

She seems like she does not even want the child. (It is not too late for abortion.)

But to bring an innocent child into this is totally selfish. It is insanity. It is heinous. And I don't understand it.

The child will have to suffer so much with fighting abusive parents like you two. Why make a child suffer?


#242657 01/24/04 04:04 PM
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Ok, Even though it hurts me alot to see parents like this raise a child I will soften my post.

#242658 01/24/04 09:51 PM
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It hurts me too, but killing an innocent unborn is never the solution.

Mike

quote:
Originally posted by baba2:
Ok, Even though it hurts me alot to see parents like this raise a child I will soften my post.


#242659 01/24/04 11:20 PM
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So my guess here is that your W is pregnant? Could be the cause for some of the emotional outburst she had today.

Perhaps after the baby she will be more willing to be a stay at home mom. Most women have a really hard time leaving the baby to go back to work.

#242660 01/25/04 01:13 AM
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Well, some GOOD news. I bought my wife a boquet of flowers and hoped that she would allow me to appologize and get close enough to hug her, and SHE DID!

I told her with great emotion how sorry I was for being a complete jerk and I did not ask for anything in return. I told her I am seeking help to learn how to better understand her needs and to drastically improve my ways of delivering my feelings and opinions which seemed to make her feel more comfortable.

I think she will come around to be a much happier and nicer person once I make the honest effort to keep my end of the deal. I must focus on absolutely preventing any disagreement from getting to the point of no return no matter how much it hurts. After all, the outcome is guaranteed to be much worse than what I will have to go through to prevent the outcome. I just have to remember that and never let my own emotions get the better of me.

I'm obviously not going to be cured overnight, but I now feel like I have some solid direction to take. I will read my post and your replies as reminders of what happened so I don't lose sight of it. I will try to stick around to learn more from others and to possibly one day try to help others.

Thanks again everyone.

#242661 01/25/04 07:54 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by baba2:
Ok, Even though it hurts me alot to see parents like this raise a child I will soften my post.

baba, don't soften it too much. I like your blunt, say it like you see it approach. While I do think you shock people sometimes, it is usually good to get a "wake up call".

Thanks for posting your thoughts as you see them.

#242662 01/25/04 09:56 AM
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Nicholas,

Please don't be offended by what I am about to say here--it's long--but from a left brain thinker
maybe I can share some insight--

--The first year we did not have a single conflict.

TR--Are you SURE there was no conflict--or was it more you were both still in the "I" love you so much I phase--you compromised??

--The first one was a big one. It was when we went to my company’s party and I left her at the dinner table with my colleagues for 5 minutes to say hello to a few people.

TR--Are you sure it was 5 minutes??? And did she know your collegues? You mentioned she's a hairdresser and your engineer--could you imagine the situation in reverse--going to her office party and her walking off leaving you talking to a
host of hair dressers who THINK and COMMUNICATE
the same way your wife does, and how frustrating that would be for you??

--So she left me there with no ride home. That’s when I told her it was over. Big mistake.

TR--A threat because she felt hurt?? hmmmm VERY LOGICAL THINKING!! [Roll Eyes]

You basically told her---I'm going to do what I want, when I want and I don't care how you feel about it--if you don't like it I'm just going to take my toys and go somewhere else and play--and you wonder WHY she was hurt???


--She begged and begged for me not to leave her because she had finally found a good boyfriend with a good family and a good future—not an abusive or manic/depressive one like her past two.

TR--No, it sounds like SHE REALLY LOVES YOU!! And knows that one incident isn't worth throwing marriage away--

--So, I caved in, but waaaaay too late.

TR--You Caved in?? Or you recognized how stupid the threat was--and that she was RIGHT?? and for some reason your pride is getting in the way--

--Since then, she does not act like the needy one for me, but more like she would let me go in a flash.

TR--Good for her--she shouldn't be so needy that she loses HERSELF in you--she's a person--she has her own feelings, her own thoughts, her own wants and needs--just like YOU!!! But the bigger point is--even though she's right--SHE DOESN'T NEED YOU-
She WANTS to be with you!! It's her choice to stay married to you--

--I think it’s a method of coping with being hurt-

TR--I think your right--you tend to hurt less when you know you have a choice to stay or go--


-as if she won’t let herself fall that deeply in love ever again.

TR--This is a disrespectful judgement--how can you presume to know how deeply she loves you??

--She NEVER embraces me and tells me how much she’s in love with me. She does show it in cards, but not much physically. She’s not even close to being as affectionate as I would desire, and I’m really not asking for a lot.--

TR--Okay--so you basing how much SHE loves YOU by how YOU need to be shown your loved--Physical Affection--so if you want to show her you love her--you want the physical affection--

But--on the same token--she shows love the way SHE needs to be shown she's loved--that's why the flowers you bought had such an impact--She feel's loved by you when you take the time to do little things like for her--

What other things does she do for you?? look at those as key indicators of how she feel's loved--
if she cooks dinner for you--has it ready or even almost ready when you get home--then that's an act of love--and maybe you can do the same thing for her sometime--make her dinner--or take her to dinner--show her you love her in way she shows love--

--So, since that 1st big one, we have little arguments every week or two, and really TERRIBLE ones every month or two.--

TR--Maybe because you talk down to her?? And not respectfully?

--As for me, I am good to go the next day--as if nothing happened.

TR--I can see why she stays mad--your acting like nothing happened..when indeed it did--the issue for her was never resolved--and your wanting to go on as if it was--

--Even better, if she were to come over to hug and kiss me or otherwise make up, I would be INSTANTLY cured.

TR--Again--your ignoring there is and was a problem--she's can't--because for her--it was NEVER resolved--

--Unfortunately, she has only done this about two or three times since I met her.

TR--Maybe she felt these were minor issues--and was worth compromising on--

--Normally when I try to make up with her--even by accepting blame for something I had nothing to do with--she won't let me anywhere near her.

TR--Hmmmm Why accept blame for something that had nothing to do with you??? Maybe she just wanted you to listen and not solve the problem--and you were trying to solve the problem and not just listen--so she got frustrated that you weren't LISTENING--

--We got married knowing we still had problems, but you, love is blind.

TR--All marriage's have problems--and will so love was NOT blind--it was acknowledging reality but still saying--I love you even though we have problems--but I know we can work through these issues together--

--Unfortunately, she has not attempted to participate even once.

TR--Are you sure you would say this?? or maybe again you weren't listening because she wasn't speaking YOUR language??

I try to get her to calmly discuss our differences by she does not have the patience to listen.

TR--Again--maybe your not listening to her either

--She often misconstrues things that I can't imagine anyone else taking the same way she did.

TR--Why because the people you work with all think like you do--and she doesn't??

--Yet when I try to explain how I could have never meant what she interpreted, I don't even get so far as to say, "honey, I must have not made myself clear because what I meant was..."

TR--Here your basically telling her--her feelings and thoughts are WRONG!! Not acknowledging that she did infact interpret them this way--

Maybe try something like---"Honey, I'm sorry what I said made you feel or think _____--That was not my intent--let me try to explain--

--Unfortunately, she’s not a right-brained thinker by any means so I have to go to greater lengths to get out some very simple logic.

TR--Disrespectful---Why is it unfortunate she is not a Right Brain thinker??? Unfornate for YOU maybe in that you have to make adjustments in your communication skills--but so does she--in order to comminucate more effectively with you--

But because she see's things from a different perspective than you--doesn't mean she is wrong--
or that she isn't thinking logically--but more that because she is thinking in terms of how it effects EVERYONE emotionally, physically and logically--Logic isn't always logical--because it takes away the "human emotion" factor--

--Even more unfortunately, she does not have the patience required for the long version, and accuses me of being too overwhelming as a result.

TR--She doesn't have the patience or doesn't like to have her opinions and feelings diregarded??

--With my closes friends and family, I can state things clearly using less than half the verbiage.

TR--Again, you speak the same language--

--She has a very short fuse, or at least one with no clear warning. When she loses it, and over things I can’t even imagine, she kicks and throws things and becomes very verbally and sometimes physically abusive.

TR--Yes, I agree she handles these things wrong--
but just because YOU can't imagine what the reason
is--doesn't mean there isn't a reason she's responding this way--maybe she's learned this is the only way to get you to sit down and really listen to what she's saying??

--When arguing, and I normally try to defend myself calmly which she confuses it with apathy—

TR--But do YOU acknowledge HER hurt or act as if she shouldn't be hurt???

--If she insists that she did not say something, and I had proof that she did (say a recording which, frankly, I should start doing) there is NO way she would be willing to let me prove it.

TR--This confuses me--why do you have to insist she did or didn't say something to defend your position??

--She would immediately call me obsessive/compulsive, and too overwhelming even though I am 100% correct and have no other way to prove it. She would say that I have very poor memory or that I’m crazy, but still not let me show evidence otherwise. If she would just be willing to stop, listen, let me finish a sentence, and otherwise cooperate, I wouldn’t seem nearly as compulsive as she thinks I am.

TR--And in many ways--by not acknowledging her feelings your doing the EXACT same thing--the evidence doesn't matter--when it's something she's 'feeling' inside--

--She doesn’t show affection but would claim I am a horrible husband to even think that she isn’t in love with me.

TR--Not horrible but just not recognizing HER love languages--just as she's not understanding yours---

--She said she wouldn’t let my “schizophrenic” mother (which wasn’t very nice) watch our baby.

TR--but is it TRUE??? What has happened in the past that would cause HER to feel this way?? How does your mother treat her?? this may be a key indicator as to how she views your mom--(take off your rose colored glasses when looking at your family)

--She said she wanted to hire someone for daycare service so she could work. I stated I would not allow someone outside our family to raise our child because of many reasons.

TR--I have a HUGE issue with how you said this--
you "WILL NOT ALLOW"??? I'm sorry but again--your not taking HER feelings into consideration--and only looking at what YOU want--this needs to be discussed---why do you feel so strongly about family taking care of your child? would she agree to someone other than YOUR mother who is family taking care of the child??

--Frankly, I don’t understand why a mother who has a husband that can easily provide enough $ for the whole family would want to let a stranger watch her baby.

TR--ACK!!! Again, it may not be an issue about a stranger watching the baby--but more an issue about your MOM watching the baby--maybe she feels your mother would try and take over HER role as mom in the child's life--telling her how to or how not to raise the child--and if an outsider were to watch the baby--it would be less likely the baby would get more attached to them--

So maybe ask her--Honey, what about my mother watching our baby bothers you? can you be specific? and don't disregard her opinions as stupid--or unfounded--they are HERS--and just because you don't agree--doesn't mean she's wrong to feel the way she does--


--Certainly, there is no definite wrong or right here, just strong opinion but nothing that should cause a disaster. Anyway, I said I won’t let it happen and she said it’s not only my decision.

TR--Again, I have a problem with how you responded here--your acting like her feelings don't matter--when they should matter most to you-You married HER--you made a vow to love, honor and cherish her above all others--(including yourself and your family this part of the vow wasn't just about other women)

--I even went so far as to say that I would make whatever arrangements with my work as necessary so that she could work—-even if it meant a reduction in family income.

TR--I can see where she felt the comment was made to cause her to feel guilty---had you left out the comment about the reduction in family income--
it could have worked--but because you threw the income information in there---Here a ticket on the GUILT TRIP train--

--She took this as a guilt trip, and then called me “selfish”. I said if she thinks I’m selfish for willing to give up income and wanting to provide the love and care only a mother or father can give, then she is certainly selfish for wanting to work for her own needs instead of caring for her own baby.--

TR--I can see why she felt it was selfish as well-
again--your only looking at YOUR own WANTS here
and ignoring hers--she doesn't want you to give up your job--just as she doesn't want to give up hers--she wants you to come to a mutually agreeable person--that's not your mother--


--So I try to explain that I absolutely meant no harm or insult to her—that I only have an opinion for good sound reasons that many other people share. But the point of no return had already gotten the best of her.--

TR--And again--maybe she's seeing things about your mother YOUR not seeing--because you love them both for different reasons--so maybe you really should discuss this issue further and not be so adament that this happen--maybe her reasons are JUST as VALID as yours--

---How long is it going to take before she ever loves me again?

TR--What makes you assume that just because she's hurting inside she DOESN'T love you anymore???
Don't you understand that you can argue with someone, hurt inside and still feel love for them?? but hate the situation in which your arguing about--it's NOT about loving you or not loving you--it's about the situation--


--Will she ever be able to put this in the past so it doesn’t leave her to be even more sensitive and more prone to argument?

TR--that depends--will you learn to acknowledge her opinions and feelings as just as valid as yours?? because what you've shared thus far--you haven't acknowledged this at all--


--Or should I just shoot myself (not really)…”

TR--Do you do this alot?? idle or veiled threats??

--I could not believe that an argument of such a nature could lead to this level of catastrophe but I suppose I should have known: I walk on eggshells very often. She would totally disagree.

TR--What level of catastrophe?? that your seeking help??? I would say that's progress--


-- I told her how I didn’t believe the nasty things she said, and that I love her like crazy. That I didn’t mean any harm by being strong headed in my opinion.

TR--This was good--

-- So the question is where is the point at which we can find a balance where we can both be happy and find a way to make things work. How about sometime next week, when we’re both calm, we discuss where that balance is and how we are going to support it.”

TR--Again--Very good--

---I NEVER said I wanted to work full time and not spend any time with the baby. You make me SICK. There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with you and it scares me.

TR--She may have felt that is what you implied by your statement--she didn't say that--those were YOUR words--and taken as your assumptions--that just because she disagree's that your mother should be the one to watch your child--or even that you should work less--



--Well, I’m starting to believe that the perfect recipe for a marriage is either one dominant and one submissive person, or two submissive persons.

TR--The best is two equally submissive people--and knowing where to give in and where to stand firm--so that you BOTH win--both being submissive to God--and Both being submissive in LOVE to each other--because you want the best for the other person--but you need to take the lead here--and learn to submit first to God--and He will answer your plea for help--

--God help us. Please.

#242663 01/25/04 11:17 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan-O:
quote:
Originally posted by sj *trouble*:
She literally does see it as apathy, because if you 'truly cared - you'd be more emotional'.

Or, if she's anything like Mrs. O, then her thought process is this: "If you REALLY believed you were right, then you'd be as passionate & outspoken about you opinions as I am about mine. Therefore, you obviously are acknowledging that I am right and you are wrong."
That's IT!!! Though she's never said it, I'm 99 and 97/100ths percent (like Ivory soap! [Smile] ) certain that's what my wife thinks!

When we have... um... 'discussions', she gets pretty passionate about things, and I don't mean 'passionate' in the GOOD way, darn it! [Frown]

I (Mr. Engineer) try to be logical, and look at alternative possibilities, etc. It drives her BONKERS, but I'm not trying to. And then, of course, since I'm not absolutely agreeing with her (IMO) extreme stance, her emotions get turned around toward me. IOW, I'm the a**hole for not acting and feeling the exact way she does!

And if I 'withdraw from the battlefield' because it's obvious that no more rational discussion can take place, she takes that as an admission that she's right, and says so.

Anyway. That's why I keep coming back here to read. For those nuggets of insight and wisdom like sj's and Dan-o's and others, that maybe I've been thinking anyway, but never saw so clearly stated.

Nicholas, good luck to you in learning to think like a non-engineer! I hope you can catch on quicker than me! H*ll, I've been married 22 years and I STILL haven't got it right! [Frown]

F&I

#242664 01/26/04 09:38 AM
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Thorned and Jan - great advice! Baba - great insights except for the abortion comment. Is KILLING the child really an acceptable option to make this M better? Ever hear of adoption? I encourage this couple to get some counseling ASAP for their issues, BEFORE the baby is born. I do agree with you, Baba, that no child should be forced to live in this dysfunction.

Fireandice - Someone here gave me some fine advice recently about my communication issues with my W. She reminds me much of your W, and you remind me of myself. HER PERCEPTION IS HER REALITY. YOUR PERCEPTION IS YOUR REALITY. I am a law enforcement officer. I learned through severe trial and error that I CAN'T bring my job and my WAY OF DEALING WITH PEOPLE ON THAT JOB into my household. The "just the facts, ma'am" strategy doesn't work in relating to people with the emotional make-up of your W. She isn't wrong and you aren't wrong in your MOTIVATIONS in communications, it's your TACTICS that get you both in trouble. You need to be less analytical and fact-finding, she needs to calm down and apply rational thought to her comments. If you two can find this balance, and it will require hard work and behavior adjustments on both sides, you can be successful. It will require discipline and practice and WILL NOT happen overnight. Be patient with each other and love each other in the meantime. Stay away from LB's and and work on those EN's.

And yes, God will indeed help you if you turn the issue over to Him and allow Him in your M. God bless!

#242665 01/26/04 11:42 AM
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First off- the woman is verbally abusive and physically abusive. That is totally unacceptable behavior from either male or female.
It is always suggested to a woman that if a man is physically abusive, the woman should leave until the man has agreed to anger management counseling AND GONE THROUGH IT and been able to PROVE with a clear track record that the woman is totally safe to return.
Why should it be any different for a man if the woman is physically violent? You should not choose to stay and "take it". It is morally wrong to use violence against a spouse.

Secondly-
Her communication skills (from your description- we don't have her side to it ) are atrocious and childish. She's a married woman going to be a mom in a few months and she's acting worse than a 2 year old. She appears to be mentally ill, is that true? Are her hormones so completely off whack that sh'e acting this way or was she abused growing up and knows no other way? (I am a woman, so I am allowed to question her hormones! [Roll Eyes] )

Now, if those weren't factors, this is what I would have answered:
Did I miss any posts from WIFTTy telling you to look into your inherent personality differences (beyond engineer/hairdresser, which is significant)? There's a good start:
"Just Your Type" (And other books) by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Baron-Tieger
It helps identify your personality types and how to talk and relate to the other so they can understand what you're trying to communicate.

Another important thing is, can anyone see that you are BOTH verbally abusive? Disrespectful judgements fly everywhere, angry outbursts, and they need to be stopped on both sides.
Now, only YOU can change YOURSELF, however, there are ways of communicating that you can learn that can diffuse the anger in a situation and allow you to not participate or encourage the verbal abuse/vitim dance. One book I found helpful is called "You Can't Say That To ME" by Suzzette Haden Elgin, PhD. It is from the focus of HOW language works (and doesn't work)in communication. It is very logical, but can work in very illogical situations. The reason people get verbally abusive, is because it WORKS. It gets your attention and holds you hostage to the point that you agree to ANYthing to make it stop.

Your w has been in abusive relationships and she is now abusing you, both verbally AND physically. It unacceptable in ANY relationship for that to continue. When that precious baby is born, the mom is going to be physically abusive to the child as soon as the child doesn't do things her way-- in other words, the first time mom doesn't feel like nursing or changing a diaper and that baby cries, she will lose it and physically harm the child.

Please, GET IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION and help from Dr.s who can recommend meds, and/or Psychiatrists and programs that will help her learn to relate to humans in positive ways BEFORE the innocent child is born(who has no choice- YOU are an adult and you have a choice).
If she assults you again, immediately call the police, press charges and see if there can be conditions put on her before she will be allowed to be released.
I am praying for you and your wife and unborn child.

#242666 01/26/04 11:50 AM
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WHEN BOTH PARENTS ARE ABUSIVE, LIKE IN THIS SITUATION, THE CHILD BORN TO THEM WILL SUFFER TERRIBLY EVERY DAY OF HIS OR HER LIVING LIFE.

THESE KIND OF PARENTS AND THIS TYPE OF PARENTING WILL MAKE THEIR CHILD'S LIFE HELL.

EVEN WHEN THE CHILD ESCAPES HIS FAMILY BY MOVING AWAY FROM HOME AS SOON AS HE IS ABLE.

HE WILL HAVE THAT HELL TO DEAL WITH (GIFT FROM HIS PARENTS) ALL HIS LIFE, WITH THE PARENTS, IN A RELATIONSHIP, OR ALONE.

#242667 01/26/04 11:51 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by fireandice:
H*ll, I've been married 22 years and I STILL haven't got it right! [Frown]

Welcome to the club. It's been 19 years for us, as of yesterday. And I know I still don't have it right.

But I gotta tell ya ... when Mrs. O said that to me 3 or 4 years ago, the lightbulb went on for both of us. It's not "perfect" by any means, but our marriage is better now. I just think it's a damn shame that it took 15+ years for her to clue me in on that little detail.

In my family, the yelling & cussing was the last resort.

In hers, it was the first step. Then they all got together & hugged & made up.

By the time my family got around to the yelling & cussing, the last darn thing we wanted was a hug. We'd rather you kissed our butts at that point. We darn sure weren't going to give you the time of day.

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