Always Walking On Eggshells

That's how I feel, like I'm always walking on eggshells.  My wife and I both have bad tempers, though I feel her temper is what often triggers mine.  Married almost five years and it's been an emotional rollercoaster ride.  We have two beautiful children that we'd do anything for; that's what keeps us together.  We tried counseling, read a list of self-help books and though things have got a little better (at least we're fighting less) there almost always seems to be an underlying tension that threatens the peace.  Honestly, I'd be happier if I were a traveling salesman.

think2much think2much
46-50, M
7 Responses Jun 28, 2008

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Hello :)

I just read your message & I'm sure everything you say is true & you really feel the almost 'contempt' she exhibits.

I just think, you are smart enough to know that maybe she is a sad, bitter & cranky person towards you / kids / everyone because she hates herself?

I can hassle my husband at times. Really question him etc & at the end of the day usually it us because I feel lonely, want love & kindness.

If you have already given up, like your second reply suggests then you shoukd leave. That's not fair on anyone. But, if you look at her & there is 1 thing you still like about her or 1 thing you remember about her that you miss... Take the time to say, tonight, even though she has been a right cow today Im going to sit a bit closer to her on the couch. Im going to touch her hair. Im going to say, quietly, 'miss you'.

I would be honestly surprised if she didn't melt just that tiny bit. Do that for a fee nights & try to show her the great guy you are.

You sound like a good person.

Sounds bad, but if you have to fake it til you make it for a few nights.. It will be worth it when she responds :)

That could be my story. I have two small children. My wife has an explosive temper and is extremely negative, always criticizing me and everything. She even blows up at the children, even for things that's her fault, like when she's lying in bed in the morning watching TV when she should be helping with the kids and then makes herself late, and then explodes at the kids for not moving fast enough because they're late. I try to defend the kids but then that makes her even more angry and then she starts swearing at me in front of the kids and when she's angry enough, the inevitable threats of divorce come out, often in front of the kids. We have nothing in common anymore. If I want to do anything, like take the kids to visit my elderly father, she has a suspicious habit of getting sick, claiming to feel like throwing up even though I've never actually witnessed her throwing up, and even though she never feels sick when we visit her parents every weekend. She refuses to seek counseling. She claims it's because of a bad previous experience with a counselor but I'm convinced it's because she can't stand the possibility that a therapist might criticize her. She can't stand anything remotely resembling criticism of her. She takes everything as an attack on her. If I ever express a concern or thought about the kids, she takes it as a personal attack on her and her parenting. Once I noted that we had a lot of music cds that we might try to play more for the kids and she took it as an attack on her that she wasn't exposing the kids to more music. I can't discuss anything with her because if i ever disagree with her, she goes into angry passive aggressive mode and basically takes a "Fine! Have it your way!" reaction, when all I might be doing is just expressing concern about something. It's literally impossible to have a mature discussion with her about anything that we might have differing opinions on regarding the kids or anything. Everything's about her. When I suggest seeing my dad, if she goes, she says she's going so no one thinks bad of her, or when I came back from a doctor with a possibly worrisome report that I may have degenerative spinal disc, she got mad that I would be imposing on her for getting sick. If it weren't for the kids I wish I had the guts to have left her before we got married. I don't love her anymore, but I tell her I do to maintain the marriage because it wouldn't be fair for the kids to break up the family. I just hope for the kid's sake I can tough it out, but I'm certainly not happy.

I suggest you read the book by Mort Fertel called Marriage Fitness. It is a marriage counseling alternative. He tells you constructive advice on how to reconnect with your spouse. I've read alot of books but this one I highly recommend.<br />
He also gives free marriage saving tips via email:<br />

I'm in the same situation... we both love our 3 kids and want to stay together for them, but "issues" always come up that cause a fight. My husband is unhappy in his job as a radiologist. I've encouraged him to leave his current practice and partners but he just continues to complain about them and be in (as the kids say) "grouchy"moods. Everyone walks on eggshells when he's home ~ it's so unpleasant! We have personal issues that we fight about as well, there's such a disconnect between us, I just want to be happy in a relationship.

have you each tried councling on your own? I hae a temper and often rage because I do not have the skill to properly explain myslef so that I feel as if I am being heard. This is a really hard spot. At least you both love your children. Perhaps you could start there and start looking for more common ground?

Honestly, I don't care about my marriage anymore. I'm just going through the motions for the sake of the kids but I feel like I'm cheating myself out of being happy and free.

I know your feeling. We never seem to escape that cloud of tension that hangs over us. I feel like cleaning up the house, cooking a huge pot of food and moving out. i would visit after work and leave once the kids go to bed. I hate coming home. I drink far more often. <br />
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I dont know what to tell you. I am in the same situation and like a dummy I put 2 kids in the mix.