My Wife Is Making Me Lose My Smile.
I have never written into any websites like this butt I am in desparate need for clear unbiased advice. I am 35 years old, a father to three great daughters, and married to my highschool sweetheart. Our relationship has been difficult at times all the way back to our highschool years and it has continued to become increasingly more difficult as time goes on. When we started dating I noticed the qualities in her that I found appealing such as family oriented, great with kids, good looking, religious, honest, loving, sensitive etc. As time has gone on, many of those qualities have been overshadowed by her self-centered ways. It just seems like our life priorities are very different and we can't even agree on the basic ways of day to day life. She is very concerned with her appearance, as well as, the appearance of our home. I believe in eating healthy, staying active, helping others, being financially secure, having a loving home environment, and making sure we raise our daughters to be adults with those same values. My wife tends to feel defined by how she looks, what she drives, and where she lives. Just one example is that we are needing to replace one of our cars and she will get the new one that we buy while I will drive the old one. My criteria for choosing a car is #1 safety, #2 reliability, #3 price and #4 fuel economy. Her criteria is nothing beyond how classy and rich it looks. When I suggest cars that meet my criteria, she gets angry and accuses me of trying to control her and make her drive some piece of junk. The cars that I suggest are 20-30k mile cars that are top safety and reliability picks and cost $15k-$18k. When I explain to her that her $35k car choice would hinder college savings for our daughters as well as savings for retirement and our emergency fund she becomes defensive and says that she has already lowered her standards from a $50k car to a $35k car. She says I just don't want her to be happy. In our relationship it doesn't matter how much I give or do, she always pushes for more. She has lied to me about purchases and had secret credit card accounts that I have had to work overtime to pay off. I am talking $35k in credit card debt! She has told our daughters to "not tell daddy I bought this" and that teaches them to not respect their father and future husband! I am afraid they are going to grow up to be self-centered, shallow, and materialistic. It feels like I always try to do the right thing by using analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and my moral antenna. More often than not she chooses to do what feeds her need to look perfect without considering the consequences. I believe her perfect appearance is trying to fill a void in another aspect in her life, but she has a very hard time really taking an honest look at herself and behavior. Anytime I try to talk to her about anything she instantly becomes defensive and angry, and will try to turn things around to make it seem like I am attacking her. We couldn't even talk about a family budget without her getting angry and accusing me of trying to screw her on her monthly allowance. By the way she gets $400 dollars per month allowance to buy whatever she wants. All other bills are paid including her fuel. I get $200 per month and pay for my fuel out of that money. I try to explain my reasoning for my decisions in a very calm, clear, and consise manner. I tell her that we need an emergency fund just in case something happens like a very sick child and one of us has to quit working etc. I also mention retirement savings, college for the girls, and money for vacations and to enjoy. She will come back with a statement like "you just want me to be like your mom, plain, no makeup and not dressed up." It is almost like talking to a spoiled brat child! She rarely looks at any situation from anyone elses view point, other than her strange sense of reality. Her parents are the most genuine, down-to-earth christian people you could ever find. They don't posess one ounce of selfishness between the two of them. The didn't spoil her growing up and I think that made her feel inferior to her friends that had an over abudance of everything. I feel that she has been trying to heal that wound by over compensating for it now. I think her low self esteem is the root of many of her problems and I am trying to help her to adopt healthy habits and hobbies that will make her feel good in other ways and create that self worth that she deserves. She is a very hard person to help due to that chip on her shoulder. Aside from that we had an argument of xmas day because my work schedule prevented me from getting to my parents family gathering untill one hour from the time we were supposed to go to her parents house. Since we drove to my parents separate and I had just eaten, told her to go on to her parents and I would be there shortly. This would give them time toeat over there and me time to visit with my side of the family. So one hour after she left, I also left and went to her parents. Upon arriving, I found that she was furious that I didn't leave with them and chose my parents over her and the girls. I said that she wasn't being fair because the previous weekend we had another xmas gathering with her family and that the total time with her side was going to be 12 hours compared to 1 hour with my side. The extra hour I stayed made two hours with my side. Her reply was "oh! so now your holding my large family against me" and I told her that I am only trying to quantify the facts to show her that she is being unreasonable and unfair. She said well I guess it will be understood that blood is thicker than water and you will always choose them over me! I told her that if roles were reversed, she would have been furious with me for wanting to leave to go to my parents after she had just gotten to hers. But that would not have happened because I would not want her to barely see her side of the family on xmas and I would have waited to go to my parents until later. HOW DO I DEAL WITH THIS WOMAN? Again, I think that what it boils down to is her low self esteem was to blame for this situation too. I can clearly lay out the facts of our disagreements and try to bring about compromise, but I am the one that normally ends up compromising just to bring peace. My overall question is how do I deal with a person that can't compromise, or even discuss differences of opinoin in a constructive manner. I need help! I don't want to break up our family. I know that the real her is hiding in there somewhere because she comes out sometimes. By the way, if you would see her you would wonder why she has low self esteem. She is gorgeous. I just want a happy life. Just like I tell her, we have a happy and healthy family, good jobs, food to eat, and a roof over our heads. Everything else is a bonus! Thanks to everyone that tries to help...John