Hilltopper,

The advice you are getting is spot-on, especially kilted_thrower's short but simple message: keep a todo list, and don't accept the abuse.

You should not have to be afraid of making a mistake while grocery shopping. It is okay for your wife to be bothered if you forget something at the store; it is not okay for your wife to punish you for it! If you make a mistake, simply say "I'm sorry." Don't add any explanations. If she becomes demanding, disrespectful, sarcastic, angry, abusive, or hysterical, just back off and remove yourself from the situation in an appropriate way.

Later, tell her that these behaviors (demands, disrespect, anger) are not acceptable to you and are a severe problem, and that you expect her to do something about it. I agree with MelodyLane's recommendation of radical honesty: you need to let your wife know that this is an extreme problem.

Do not succomb to the temptation to become demanding, disrespectful, or have an angry outburst, yourself. It is very hard when you are being abused not to become an abuser yourself. But if you engage in any of these behaviors, it will affect her emotions in such a way that it will become LESS likely that she will ever be motivated to change. You have got to learn how to NEVER react with one of these behaviors, no matter what she does.

Don't harp constantly on the behavior, but let her know periodically (maybe once a week or so), that the disrespect or angry outbursts or demands are still a problem for you.

Buy the Love Busters book and memorize it! You need to become a world-class expert in identifying Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, and Angry Outbursts from yourself and from your wife. You can practice here by reading other threads. smile

Also, start practicing refraining from disrespectful judgments yourself when you post here. If you will strive to keep your writing free of disrespectful judgments, it will help change your thinking.

I commend you as a husband for doing the grocery shopping. A lot of men would respond to abuse for making grocery mistakes by saying "I have a simple solution. I'll just not do the shopping any more."

Any chance of starting to make some time together? Most women respond well when a husband puts forth the effort to plan an event together, make auxiliary arrangements like childcare so she doesn't have to, etc. The Undivided Attention time component of this program is nonnegotiable; couples that do well together, whether they do this program or not, are couples that spend at least fifteen hours a week alone together giving each other their undivided attention.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.