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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 <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

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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<small>[ January 24, 2004, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: WhenIfindthetime ]</small>

#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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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by sj *trouble*:
<strong>She literally does see it as apathy, because if you 'truly cared - you'd be more emotional'. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">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.

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

<small>[ January 24, 2004, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: baba2 ]</small>

#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

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
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?
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">

#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

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by baba2:
<strong> Ok, Even though it hurts me alot to see parents like this raise a child I will soften my post. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">

#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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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by baba2:
<strong> Ok, Even though it hurts me alot to see parents like this raise a child I will soften my post. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">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!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

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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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Dan-O:
<strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by sj *trouble*:
<strong>She literally does see it as apathy, because if you 'truly cared - you'd be more emotional'. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">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." </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">That's IT!!! Though she's never said it, I'm 99 and 97/100ths percent (like Ivory soap! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> ) 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! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" />

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! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" />

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! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> )

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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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by fireandice:
<strong> H*ll, I've been married 22 years and I STILL haven't got it right! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">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.

#242668 01/26/04 12:06 PM
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Dan-O,
that sounds exactly like us.
in my family we rant and rave and scream and cuss..and put it ALL out there.......and then we hug and kiss and make up...and we never hold grudges. but, we do tend to bring things up again and again.

his family was large and forced to be very independant. they never saw thier parents disagree let alone argue or fight..... everybody kept everything in.... and dealt w/ it internally.
remembering that, always forces me to go slower and be more understanding of his approach.
so, thank you!!
i needed to be reminded of that today.

.......and it took us 15+ plus years to 'figure that out" too.
we have been married for 18.
this is weird.
<img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" />

#242669 01/26/04 12:47 PM
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I am so glad you have taken the time to post. I have been printing out portions of this to show to my H because so much of it is us(minus the physical abuse and cussing him out)! I totally agree with sj and Thorned Rose that learning to communicate in your W's language would help...it would make a HUGE difference for my H and me. It is true that the more my husband just stares at me as if I am a lunatic when I'm trying to communicate w/ him the more frustrated and angry I become w/ him. After all, it makes perfect sense to me! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" /> And he must not care because he just keeps insisting that there's not a problem (by his silence)or if there is, it's MY problem because he thinks "logically". <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> Your post is providing opportunities for the "lightbulb" to go off for both of us!

I do think that WHILE you are practicing these important steps of communication w/ your W and meeting her EN's, you also need to let her know calmly that it is not ok to hit you.

#242670 01/26/04 12:49 PM
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Calmly say to your abusive wife: "If you ever hit me again, I am going to put you into an insane asylum! Pronto!"

#242671 01/26/04 05:30 PM
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baba2, you're funny. That's what got me here. ;-).

To be clear, when she’s has really lost it, and this is on a rare occasion, she’ll corner me, grab me strongly, and sometimes punch me in the arm—not the face or balls and such. I realize that doesn’t make it right. She’ll nearly always charge toward me, but not necessarily get physical. Perhaps I exaggerated previously to the extent that she might have hurt me. Usually, she’ll bang her fists on the table which could do herself some harm. Frankly, I’d rather have her hit my arm than the corner of a door where she can break her wrist and be out of work for 6 weeks. I have no problem taking it, and it’s hardly the part that I can’t live with. I can take it 10 times harder and still not even get bruised. Guys punch each other for kicks like that, but yes, she’s pretty effective for a woman. The problem isn’t even so much what comes out of her mouth or her fists. I don’t even suffer any emotional trauma as a direct result. I’m actually more distraught by the fact that she’s so upset and I had let her get that way—mostly because I know how long it takes for her to emotionally heal. I don’t want her to leave me and I don’t want to see her suffer. I really feel that I have to blame myself for letting her get to that point. I can always prevent it by immediately apologizing, even if it’s not my fault to begin with. I too am guilty of saying terrible things after being provoked. The truth is I have a LONG fuse but a big bomb at the end too. I could argue for hours on end without losing it and then come to a settlement and be fine. The problem is that when she loses it and storms toward me, it sometimes causes me to lose it—except for the last few times when I concentrated on not throwing back hate or threat words. I just verbally defend myself trying to explain my reasoning. I try to stay away from ‘if I’m a this then you’re a that’ comments.

I never had problems even remotely like these in previous relationships (one of 5 years, one of 2.5, others 1 year or less). We had arguments once in a while but not too much drama. Some I have never even had a disagreement with. Actually, I think I lost my temper only once with another woman, and that was when she forced me to rip up some memorabilia of previous relationships. She was just too possessive. Now I have the opposite problem. My wife behaves (key word, behaves) as if she’s overly independent and, like I said, could live without me. If I dropped dead, she'd be devastated, but she’s convinced me that she would let me go and never ask for me to come back if I just got up and left. I'm sure this is a protective mechanism. I believe being in love means _needing_ someone, making yourself vulnerable to that person, and becoming one with each other and depending on each other. That’s why I find it such a turn-off when she behaves so independently. Okay, I blame myself for contributing to that.

You know they say that alcohol help you loose your inhibitions. Well, on the rare occasion that she had one or two cocktails too many (say at a big family party) she gets very touchy-feely and extremely sweet. I love her this way. It's just about impossible for us to get into an argument then--somewhat the opposite of an alcoholic. I almost want her to get drunk more often, but she's usually too careful to have that much. Right now she doesn't drink anything since she's pregnant. She doesn't even want to go near alcohol. Extra hormones and no antidote... I should have known what I was getting into. ;-).

I'm not worried about my wife being abusive to our child. I know. Some of you think I need to wake up. I really think it's a certain chemical combustion that we alone have (and hopefully HAD). She might be a strict mom, but I'm SURE she would not do harm to a child. She would completely flip out if I even showed concern for that because it would think it would be sickening for me to even imagine that she would harm a child. Again, I think I'm the only one that can bring her over her boiling point so easily. In fact, I really didn't mean to make her out to be so awful; I wrote my initial post in the heat of the moment. She actually has a HUGE heart, the problem is that it's ultra sensitive, again, partly because of my behavior, and I'm sure partly because of her past. Deep down, she is a GOOD person. She says she thanks God for what she has every night. In general, she is known to be a very nice and fun person. All of her acquaintances and close friends think she’s just wonderful --although I've heard one say she can be a little hard on the outside. My brother and sister sometimes complain that she can be somewhat cold and sometimes rigid--but I think that's just evidence of our problems. Otherwise, they love her enormously. I mean, they really adore her.

She works full time and cooks for me every day except for the once or twice a week that we go out for dinner or when we go to eat with family. Once in a while (say once a month) I say, "sweetie, I know I don't say this every night, but I want you to know how much I appreciate that you cook for me. You're the best cook in the world as far as I’m concerned." The way I help out is I do the dishes every night IMMEDIATELY after dinner--or else she’ll be royally pissed. Hey, I don't like cooking and I can't be good at everything. I do everything else in the house, including my share of the floor scrubbing and vacuuming, and especially all the fixing and yard maintenance. I'm a serious DIY guy--including electrical, plumbing, cars, you name it. If I don't do it, it's only because I don't have the right tools. I never complain that she doesn't do her share because she does.

But back to the main issues which I will list below… To be fair, I must state that she would totally disagree with these opinions, and that she would say her friends would too.

* She HATES it when I interrupt her. And I'm talking about just small talk when things are going good. For example, if she's starting to tell me a story about somewhere she went with her friends, I might interject and say, "oh, I heard about that place. Did you know that it was written up in the newspaper recently?" She would say, "Excuse me, but I was trying to tell you about it and you just completely interrupted me. Just forget it." I'm like, "people interrupt and banter like that all day long and everyone’s always okay with it. I didn't mean anything bad by it. You do it to me consistently I find it completely normal." And she'll say that's because "I'm me and you're you." Sometimes, the argument escalates to an explosion over THIS!!! She says when she's on a roll; she doesn't like to get interrupted. The only option is for me to say, "I'm sorry sweetie, please continue", at which point she sometimes still says, "just forget it."

* She's overly sensitive, and I'm not talking about when I'm overly offensive. I partly blame myself for this because even though she was always sensitive, it's worse after what we've been through.

* She’s a lark, and I’m an owl. I have never been a morning person—not even at 5 years old. She has a “normal” schedule (gets in bed by 9 or 10 and out by 6 or 7). After 9pm, I finally get some freedom to do what I need to do that I can’t enjoy with her, like watch the programs I like, catch up on e-mail, do some quiet housework, etc. I’m in bed usually by 1:00am, sometimes later, sometimes as early as 11:30. I’m up by 9 to 9:15 and at work by 10 (totally normal for my line of work and acceptable to my company—in fact most come in after 9:30). I sleep later on the weekends but I try not to for her sake.

* She works only 4 days a week, but LONG days on her feet. Some days 9 to 8, and sometimes without a lunch break. She’s totally exhausted when she comes home and much more irritable. I’ve tried to convince her to work five short days instead, but NOOOO way. Heck, I’ll even take four short days if it means she’s going to be a better person and feel better. Mind you, she works out four days a week doing pilates, elliptical, running, etc, so I can’t complain that she doesn’t have enough endurance or take care of herself.

* She's, in general, not very flexible or spontaneous. She likes structure and things very planned out (not that this is a bad thing, just different from the way I am). I leave most of my structure at work. If I say I'm going to do something on a particular day, and something else comes up that can't wait, she can't handle the last minute change in schedule. I feel like I can't make any promises, ever. I always have to qualify by saying, "I'll do my best to make it happen, but there is a chance that something could change the plan." Sometimes she doesn't even give me a chance to express how sorry I am. She goes straight into complaining and so I go straight into defending myself (I know now, there are much better ways). Things like doing yard work Saturday because it's gonna rain all day Sunday and therefore washing the kitchen floor like I promised I would do on Saturday doesn't get done by Saturday. For an extreme example... One time we had to go to her friend's wedding. Something came up last minute: a serious bug in some oem software that was needed by a client on Monday or our client would lose their contract with a big customer. I was called into work to fix it. I went through hell and a huge argument trying to get her to understand that I'm not looking forward to missing the wedding but I have no choice if I want to make sure I keep my job. Frankly I found it seriously disrespectful that she could not understand that what I had to do was more important. I guess she must have felt convinced that it wasn't more important because keeping her surely is more important.

* I'll give her a massage (foot, back, neck) several times a week (usually without being asked) and she won't return the favor without a lot of begging, and even then, she'll cut it short. I call her nearly every day from work to see how she's doing (if she's working, I leave a message). Yet she'll still complain that I'm not there for her. Asking her how she's doing is not enough. I somehow need to show more emotion to persuade her that I really do care. I am trying much harder now and I will certainly ask "what can I do for you to help you in any way or make you happy?"

* She's not a risk taker by any means. She needs security. I like to take chances. You don't get far in life without taking chances.

* I like to watch Discovery channel, learning channel, animal planet, health, politics, history, science, movies of most kinds. She likes to watch Sex and the City (which I frankly find trashy and not of great influence), Joe Millionaire, Friends, Sopranos. But I watch it anyway because SHE is in charge of what we watch nearly 100% of the time.

* She is not interested in anything unless she has some direct connection or can associate with it. Egocentric in a way. For example, she would never pick up a baby book before she go pregnant. She would not read about a country unless we planned on going there. She won't read national geographic; she'll read Self. I've got to give her credit for reading the newspaper, but I don't think she absorbs much beyond the headlines unless she's in the travel, weather, or entertainment sections.

* For those that mentioned I need to be the artist and not the engineer, I used to like to play Classical guitar almost everyday (some Spanish, some Baroque, some renaissance, etc.). She doesn't show much interest. She'll have to be doing something else if I want her to listen to me. I hardly have motivation now to keep it up. She'll "wow" me like you do a child if I look for complements. My previous girlfriends and friends-that-were-girls used to find it fascinating and even ask lots of questions. They used to ask me to play. So why did I leave them? Eh... I guess I wasn't ready to settle down (except one being overly possessive did not help).

* My dry or perhaps in some ways, overly complicated sense of humor does not interest her. Okay, sometimes it's and I'm childish because I still have that little boy in me--which is why kids just love me. Her friends’ kids beg for me to come over. She thinks its funny when people poke at themselves or do a good imitation of someone else. She's not good at being the object of the humor. I hastily generalize that she has no sense of humor. I just have trouble finding it or evoking it.

* She's a little too serious sometimes. She'd say I'm a little too immature. I can be serious when need be, and the complete opposite when I'm having a good time. The problem is that I need to be more serious when she thinks I need to be.

* She's generous in many ways, and likes to give, but usually on her own terms and in her own categories.

* My friends and her friends are complete opposites (that's no surprise). My friends are educated (I mean institutionally) and like to speak of world events, culture, history, science, politics, etc. Most (certainly not all) of her friends like to speak of small talk, gossip, and the weather. They think you're too overwhelming if you talk about something of educational value.

* I usually like to clean up all at once, not as I go like she does. This creates some issues when I leave a coffee cup on the table, or some tools lying around. Although, I must give credit where credit is due; she has made GREAT progress in this area.

What we do have going for us in no specific order is that we both find each other physically attractive, we vacation well together (hey maybe low stress environments is more of what we need), we enjoy hiking and picnics, we enjoy much of the same foods and wines (when she's not pregnant of course), we are both very honest and loyal, we are both very successful at work, neither one of us is possessive, and pretty much have the same tastes in decorating (a big bonus around the house!).

Finally, I’m not perfect, and I’m sure my wife can come up with a list of things about me like “he’s a slob,” but I list these issues for perhaps some further advice on how to deal with them. I appreciate enormously the advice many of you have already given. I am convinced I can overcome many of the issues we have, even just by me being the better person—especially while she’s pregnant. Again, I will try to stay open minded, be more sensitive to her feelings, use emotion in color, and let her healing process begin. Oh, one of you asked… yes, she’s in personal counseling now, and I’ve met with her therapist. My wife is pretty happy with her, but frankly I haven’t seen improvement in the anger category. As for me, I think I’m going to buy those books that were recommended and get some self-help—because helping yourself is ultimately the only way one can change.

Oh, one more thing. If she read this, it would be over. Stupid me, I used my first name and I’ve been surfing and participating in on-line forums for years. I should have known better. If she could only know I’m doing it for the better of both of us…

<small>[ January 26, 2004, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: Nicholas ]</small>

#242672 01/27/04 12:29 AM
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You can change your posted name - if you choose to - so she won't recognize you.

Just go to profile and change it.

Jan

#242673 01/27/04 01:56 AM
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Hey bud

You know the part where you described how you can't explain "anything" to her. How she's inclined to interpret anything you say into something you had no intention? That combined with the fits she throws when she "loses it". Dude, you just described how my wife was a long time ago. Mine no longer "loses it" but she still takes 90% of what I say and turns it into something entirely other than what I meant. It's taken me years to learn how to get my message across, and even now, if the issure isn't that important I won't even bring it up.

My wife is a diagnosed "Bi-Polar". Not saying yours is but there are definate similarities. Whatever it is your describing, IMHO there's a connection with emotional, if not mental disturbance going on.

M.

#242674 01/27/04 08:51 AM
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your posts were long and i didn't finish but, something stood out for me and i wanted to post you.

you said she HATES to be interrupted and gets very upset by this.

my husband is the same way.
infact, i read many similarities in your w and my H.....i think you could benefit from taking the personality tests and figuring out your types...it might make it easier to learn how to communicate better.

getting back to HATING to be interrupted.
that might go back to her childhood. my H was from a large family and never felt heard. it really sets him off when he feels that i (his wife, who should be supportive) am not LISTENING to him.

when we identified THAT.....he was able to realize that he was a bit over sensitive about this and work on it...
.and I was able to better understand where he was coming from.
being able to relate to that.....
i was able to feel compassion for him,and try harder to LISTEN to him, and not interrupt.

#242675 01/27/04 11:14 AM
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Mortimer, I hope she's not bi-polar. She'll never consider it possible, but she probably thinks I am. Nelly, about family... read on.

SOME IMPORTANT FACTS:

* My wife is one of 6 kids.

* She's has a twin brother.

* Her older sister is from the same parents.

* Her two older brothers are from her mother's previous marriage but she knew them as brothers since her brothers were only babies when her parents got together.

* Her younger brother is a late comer and is only 16.

* Her parents have split up about 3 years ago but they're still not legally divorced. Her father lives with his original wife and their daughter who was unknown to my wife until recently.

* She is bitter at her father for leaving for another woman and not divorcing properly. They don't speak. Her family situation tears her apart. Holidays are an organizational and emotional mess. Her maternal grandmother and mother do not speak and they live next door to each other. Her maternal grandmother even has her father and his mistress over for dinner on occasion!

* She has a great relationship with her mother.

* She had a bi-poloar ex boyfriend for several years who was at least verbally abusive. She has had another boyfriend of several years that was also at least verbally abusive. I just can't get the details out of her.

* She thinks I am by far the one that needs the most help. She is utterly convinced that there is something seriously wrong with me.

#242676 01/27/04 11:25 AM
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Just changed my display name to "Iam N. Ormal" but as I suspected, my previous posts don't change. UhOhhh.

...well whadda ya know: they just changed even though I had done a refresh a few times before without seeing it change. Probably just takes a while to update the system. Older version of UBB coudn't do that. Very cool.

<small>[ January 27, 2004, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: Iam N. Ormal ]</small>

#242677 01/27/04 11:35 AM
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"she thinks i am by far the one who needs the most help. she is utterly convinced there is something seriously wrong with me."


she must be an ISTJ. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

#242678 01/27/04 08:54 PM
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You might be N. Normal, but from your description, she is not. . . sorry, you describe a person who has manipulative tendencies, who has been hurt from her FOO, (Family of Origin), and exhibits some borderline behaviors. . . and a few others. . .

These MB behavioral changes by you won't fix her "emotionalism," they will just make them more infrequent. . . I suggest IC (Individual Counseling) for you, as you are dealing with way more than just what the Harley's approach can/will do for you. . .

good luck,
you will need it. .

wiftty

#242679 01/27/04 09:52 PM
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You exibit some controlling tendencies- the I won't allow our child to be brought up by a stranger -NOT YOUR EXCLUSIVE CALL. Words like I won't allow are asking for an arguement with a spouse who is supposed to be a partner. People do not tell partners what they will and will not allow.

You also seem to be very focused on her understanding you and not visa versa.

These are the negatives that I see regarding you.

However,
She seems to have some major problems with blowing things way out of proportion and reacting in a manner that is not conducive to good communication and good feelings.

As a woman I can very easily see that there is something wrong with your wife.

For example, if you had said to me that you will not allow a child to be brought up by others I would say that you can't dictate what we will do we are going to have to find some kind of compromise on this and that would have been IT!!!If you were reasonable you would probably realize that you can't dictate the terms of our marriage and would have said, yes, we need to come to some kind of compromise, because you would know that the issue would not be resolved until an agreement was reached.

Instead your wife turned it into a major major issue. She is using her emotionalism to gain the upper hand because she can't do it with reason. She doesn't have patience nor desire. She is abusive to you because she doesn't know any other way.

You two seem very incompatible. Neither of you communicate in a way that the other can understand. Love is not enough.

#242680 01/28/04 01:35 AM
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The nature of our latest argument is almost never the method by which she gets into rages. I WAS DEFINITELY WRONG THE WAY I HANDLED IT. Mind you, I didn't go straight for the jugular. The child care issue started out with me saying (all paraphrased), "lets discuss it at another time", to "I don't feel comfortable with it", to "why don't I work less instead," to "you can't make that decision on your own," to "since we must come to an agreement, and since I'll never agree to someone outside the family rearing our children, I just won't let it happen--I'll stay at home myself if I have to." Then she called me selfish and I said (again, I’m paraphrasing), "If you think I’m selfish, then you’re selfish if you put your work ahead of your baby."

The last one is what caused her to explode into a rage--primarily because I believe in her mind, it is so absolutely disgusting and insulting that I could even begin to think that she would put herself ahead of her baby--even though that is, in fact, what she would be doing given that money is not an issue. That does not NECESSARILY mean its bad for the baby. Perhaps a super nanny could instill even better values into the baby and give it even more love, but given that it would be an unknown and therefore a risk, I can only conclude that taking a risk with a child to better yourself is at least to SOME (even if minute) degree a matter of selfishness. But it sure sounded a lot worse to her, and I certainly didn't mean my comment as an accusation that she doesn't care at all about her baby. It was really only to point out that she was being hypocritical—which I know is not a good thing to do but when you’re already pissed off, it’s not that easy to be perfect. But I am learning, and I’m thinking about my behavior more than ever.

Anyway, back to my main point—that fights almost never occur that way. What normally happens is she’ll complain about something that I believe most people would find insignificant (like interrupting with questions or comments on the same topic while having good conversation). Then I’ll go into trying to explain that I was not trying to be offensive. Next, to me being defensive. Finally, it just escalates from there. The SIMPLE solution is to just say, “I’m sorry sweetheart, I will try to never let it happen again.” The problem is that it's not the EASY solution. It is just SOOOO difficult saying sorry for something so pathetically innocent. It eats at me because it’s so abnormal to say you're sorry when you really aren't. I have never had to behave this way with family, friends, or even in any other relationship. It feels so self degrading.

Another example happened recently. I was running late for work. As I was leaving, she asked me to fix the DVD player. I said, “I’m sorry I can’t. I’m running late.” Then she said she really needs it fixed because it’s her day off and she really wants to work out with the fitness DVD. So again, I said, “But I just can’t be late for work. I don’t have time.” And again one more time and I said, “Why can’t you understand that I have to go to work?” Finally she said, “Well that SUCKS.” So I went into the exercise room wher she was sitting on the floor, and I said, “Please have some respect for me and my work,” and then I closed the door (swiftly, but not slamming at all) and walked away. Boy does she hate that and I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I felt disrespected. Then she immediately STORMED out of the room and went into a total frenzy, throwing the remote control down the stairs where it broke into a number of pieces while screaming at me. After it was all over, she claimed that it DID suck that I couldn’t help her, but not because I was being a jerk, but just because the situation plainly sucked even though she understood why I couldn’t help. Then she said she got so upset because I accused her of something she wasn’t feeling but mostly because I shut the door on her after saying it. She also said things like, "How could you let me get this way--especially when I'm pregnant?" Needless to say, I was very late for work.

But finally, some good news. I have been extra careful over the past few days, and it’s paying off. I have thrown out DOZENS of complements (e.g., “you are so amazingly beautiful.”), shown concern for her well being (e.g., “How are you feeling today?”), and offered help regularly (e.g., “Is there anything I can do to help you?”). Of course, there are some things I do to help that she doesn’t need to ask for. Not only that, but there are plenty of things that I AVOIDED saying.

I have also been in tune to her complements. NONE. But that’s okay. She’s still warming up to me after the last big one, and she does give me the feeling that she’s happier with me. I notice she is much more at ease. Looking back, when things go well for a while, I do notice that she is not as sensitive to certain things—like the innocent interruptions. The problem is that once she has been so far over the edge, it takes a while for her to back away from it, so she stays ultra-sensitive for a while. I just have to make sure I don’t let her get there ever again—and I DO think it’s possible. She’s sounds whacko but look, we’re not talking ever day here. Like I said, weeks to months go by where we don’t have any tiffs. Really, I think she’ll be a lot more manageable with some extra TLC.

We can take it from there. We’ll do it. I promised my unborn child on it.

<small>[ January 28, 2004, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: Iam N. Ormal ]</small>

#242681 01/28/04 08:47 AM
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> You know they say that alcohol help you loose your inhibitions. Well, on the rare occasion that she had one or two cocktails too many (say at a big family party) she gets very touchy-feely and extremely sweet. I love her this way. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I would learn not to love her for this, I also feel FOO is at work.

#242682 01/28/04 10:50 AM
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WOW! Whatever I've been doing the past few days has already rewarded me with something I almost never get in a non-mechanical or non-routine way: affection--or better described as, "spontaneous affection". She just came into the bathroom while I was getting ready, leaned against the wall, stared at me with a smile, then gave me a huge hug!

Hmmmm. Maybe I alone can break this vicious cycle. Well, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to be optimistic!

Dreadthesilence, thank you for the advice. I definitely don't look to alchohol as a solution, I only liked to sieze the opportunity on that rare social occasion where she has had that much--and it happens when we're alone, not just at family functions. I looked at it as a window into what I might be able to find behind that hardened shell. Thank God she's not an alcoholic.

<small>[ January 28, 2004, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: Iam N. Ormal ]</small>

#242683 01/28/04 04:00 PM
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I'm glad that you are getting some affection back.

However, what happens when for some reason you again say something like I've got to go to work can I do it later and she blows because she is SO SELF CENTERED.

Your wife wants your life to revolve around her. She also blows little things like small interuptions way way out of proportion. She is taking it WAY too personally. Her tantrums are a way to try to get her way. As long as you give her a lot of attention and affection and agree with everything she says and do whatever she wants she will give back, but if you dont.......

That's where the problem is, her reaction to your not agreeing is abusive and controlling.

The thing about who is going to take care of the baby? No matter how much you want this to be your call, it's not, it's her call, unless you do want to stay home and take care of the baby yourself. This is a trust issue. You need to trust that she knows herself enough to know what she is capable and not capable of doing. You have avision of how things SHOULD BE that is not in line with what your wife is emotionally able to do. Some women get seriously depressed and go crazy when they just stay home with a baby and do nothing else. We do not have a society like some where women are part of a larger group taking care of children. For her mental and emotional health, and for the mental and emotional health of the baby it might be better if she is not the sole caretaker. Given her very childish emotional responses I would be worried about the baby. I know you keep thinking there is nothing to worry about, but her own reaction to taking care of the baby by herself tells you something.

#242684 01/28/04 11:18 PM
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to be optimistic! </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">well, maybe not at the moment, but give it sometime, and you will find that her acting out gets more tiresome, and she will play the closeness / distance game, just enough to keep you tagging along.

its a very seductive mind game. . . once i woke up to a more subtle version, all hell broke loose, as i no longer responded the way my X's temper tantrums were intended. . .

my first post, that i deleted because you have kids, is to go straight to divorce, but since you have kids, that is not a very good answer at the moment. However, I suspect that she will use the kids as an emotional blackmail subject with you. . . and as confident as you are about her abilities, so was I about what i thought the future held. .. but the future is very difficult to predict, and seldom does anything turn out consistently the way that we intend or intuit.

wiftty

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