You're A Bad Person To Suggest That...

Before I was married, I considered myself an emotionally mature person. I prided myself on listening to the other person's point of view, understanding that there's always two sides and that if a problem exists you need to examine your own role in the conflict. When examining what is wrong, you need to understand what are you doing wrong as well, that you can improve on, not just focus on what the other person needs to change.

I prided myself on knowing my own emotional limits, on being able to step away for a while and come back clear headed. I wanted to bring a calm level headed approach to being a spouse and a parent once I decided to start a family.

My wife played into these things before we were married, but no longer. I didn't see that it was her playing along before, but it's become apparent she was just humoring me. Now, when I try to talk things out, she goes off the deep end immediately. We just moved into a new larger place to accommodate our growing family since I now have a 7 month old daughter.

We supposedly agreed to clear things out, but when I tried to get rid of 15 year old used checkbooks belonging to her mother, I was told I'm selfish. After all when we got married and she moved in she got rid of more stuff than me. Which while true, still begs the question, what the hell do you need this for? We have four night stands, enter the same argument with her hollering at me and her almost in tears even though I approached her like you might a rabid dog.

She almost died several months back thanks to a ruptured appendix. While her weight wasn't a contributing factor to the appendix, it did have an affect on her recovery, and caused the subsequent near death experience. I knew she was overweight when I met her, but she has put on another 100 pounds since then (well over 300lbs now) and my tearful pleas for her health were ignored. I told her how I had imagined trying to tell our daughter about her mommy while pointing to a picture, but I just got yelled at and again. I was told how horrible I am because I already knew she was overweight when I married her. The mentions of "what about our daughter, I don't want to be a single parent" were deflected in her making me feel like a heel again for even bringing it up.

Any argument no matter how small somehow always wound up with her turning it into me being a bad person, disrespectful, inattentive, greedy, selfish, whatever. I'm at the point where my sole objective is to avoid all talk with her.

Most of the time when she starts a conversation it starts off with her having such a sharp tone that it leaves me angry. If I answer even a question of hers it becomes obvious fast that she was just looking to start an argument. If I offer an opinion, it's wrong and I have no heart. My answers if required are as short and completely non-committal as possible because I'm tired of it being a fight. I just don't even want to talk anymore.

Some of it could be attributed to what we saw when we were raised, though it led to different conclusions. My parents had some god awful verbal fights which led to an eventual divorce. Her parents had the same fights, but they stuck together, mostly thanks to their religious faith in which divorce is not an option. I see fighting like that as detrimental, she sees it as just how married people work. Instead her father would have massive outbursts, which she calls rage issues and often accuses me of. Strangely, anyone she ever mentioned this to laughed at the notion I had a rage issue. So, she doesn't mention it around others anymore, though subtle accusations are still leveled in private (You lose your temper so fast, are you sure I can leave the baby with you for a couple of hours?) Maybe this should have been a hint.

Early in the marriage we had a blow up fight. She had already asked me not to leave the house during fights because when I walked out we couldn't talk anymore. Even if we picked it up later it bothered her so much she demanded I not walk out of a fight. I obliged on this night. When I tried to ask to stop and let us cool off, I went to a room in the back of the house, she followed shortly afterwards and continued berating me. I, for the first time in my life called a Significant Other in my life some really nasty names at the top of my lungs and slammed the door behind me. I even had to shove her out of the way because she was intentionally blocking my only exit from the back room. She later admitted fully she didn't see what the problem was.

The incident still bothers me, leaves me almost in tears because that is not who I am or want to be. It left me in tears that night that I would do such a thing, I didn't think it was even a part of my personality. I got us into couples therapy, the therapist backed up my wife. Sure we were screaming at the top of our lungs and being verbally nasty is the worst way possible, (and I quote for my wife), "But we were actually talking and saying something which we can't do when you walk away." So I don't do it anymore.

Many people don't realize that Pavlov actually did hundreds of experiments with dogs and conditioning. One of them involved two dogs. One dog was in a cage with two halves and an electrified floor. A light bulb would go on seconds before one side of the cage delivered a shock. Another dog would be in a cage with no escape, but the light would still go on. The dog in the two halve cage with an escape learned to jump out of the way when the light bulb came on. The dog without escape, would curl into a ball waiting for the jolt, even when later put into a cage where it could escape. I feel like the second dog. I haven't walked out of an argument for a long while. Instead I sit in one place while I get calmly told what a horrible person I am, take the electric shock, and hope it will be over soon.

On occasion I can't take it anymore and lash out verbally at her. She points these occasions out to show how I have rage issues. She sort of right, but doesn't realize she's the reason I'm becoming just like her father. Sometimes she just nods politely when I yell back, "Oh gee, my husband is just having one of those episodes, it will go away and be fine in a little bit." Nothing ever comes of what I say, yell or beg.

I always promised myself I would only get married once and do it right because of what I went through as a child, but I can't take this much longer. I'm not sure I can afford child support but I can't afford this emotional abuse anymore. I loathe to think I could only see my child a few days a week, I love her too much.

I now have a wife I can't talk to, who constantly turns everything into a lecture of how I'm bad,. I'm at the point where I don't care anymore, I don't listen because it can't be all me all the time. If I actually do verbally hurt her I don't think I would care. She doesn't help with the house work, she doesn't help with the money, she's not even a trophy wife as she becomes a candidate for a weight loss TV show.

Sex sucks because of her religious views she won't use ANY form of birth control so I'm left using a condom with my wife. Not that I'm eager to be intimate as most of the time I'm silently harboring resentment towards her. I can't keep this up forever, and every time I start to think of suggesting a therapist, she snaps at me in some way showing that there's no way therapy will ever go anywhere. Sure it will improve for a bit, but I'm convinced it will either be an act for the therapist or eventually go right back where we started.

My best attributes in a relationship have been turned against me. How much longer can I keep this up? When will I grow the balls to leave her?

I just hope it's before I completely lose who I am in the tireless barrage of mental abuse.
Lataal Lataal
4 Responses Aug 10, 2011

Your wife is behaving as she thinks she should as this is how married life from example is all she has,if you want to stay with her then you need to break this cycle and find a family councillor who will help both of you,or you can think of divorce,but you have a choice of child maintainance or child.For your child to remain with mother then its more then possible wife will find another partner but still act same as with you so child will follow.<br />
Hope you find happiness

Truthfully ***** the situation. Really it is quite simple. Do you want to stay or do you want to go.<br />
If you want to stay you will have to change things to make your existence with her better. If you want to go, you will have to realize that will have consequences also.<br />
I believe the worst thing for both of you would be to remain in the situation as it is. Truly nether one of you are happy and life is too damn short for same ole same ole.<br />
Remember, that the mind heals fast even from trauma. Divorce is traumatic but doable. Mistakes remain mistakes if nothing is done to correct them.<br />
When you do decide, and if you look for a new mate, be very careful when you commit again. Better still stay SINGLE.

Becoming fat and nit-picky (aka bitchy) are 2 signs that your wife is done trying to please you and has decided it's your job to please her. The fact that you're lashing out at her is a sign that you've been turned around from what is normal in a relationship.<br />
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Psychologizing and reasoning won't help. It's not that females are irrational as is often cited stereotypically. It's just that in your case there is a power game at play, and she will not cede control of the relationship to logical pleas to change her behavior. If all you are doing is telling her to change, she need not do anything.<br />
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To bring your sassy fat cow of a wife back in line, you must stop doing what she wants and give her no choice but to do what you want. Show her that you are important by taking care of your needs (gym, appearance, sports, hobbies, friends). Demonstrate that she is not in charge by not doing what she wants and even doing the opposite at times. Belittle her demands by responding with criticisms - Her: "I wanna go out to eat!" You: "As soon as this kitchen is clean!" Tell her what you want her to do (but don't debate it) - "Vacuum the floors today / Make yourself up before we leave / Don't talk to me like that." Yes, you CAN ignore her sometimes, like when she is acting poorly - if you want to speak, just change the subject to tell her something you want / news / whatever. Drop a compliment and / or give her physical affection randomly and really mean it - not EVERY time she does something right and not ONLY when she has done well.<br />
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The more you psychologize with her and share your world views and plans, she will just see ways to control you. She is not your friend and confidant. She is your manipulator. Now man the **** up and turn things around.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Now that you have a baby, things have become a lot more complicated. On the other hand, you don't seem to have an option but to divorce her. I mean, you really can't do this forever, can you? The sooner you leave, the better. Sure, it'll break your heart in a way, but if your life doesn't change for the better (and why would it), you'll start to have suicidal thoughts. Or maybe not, at least I do, from time to time. How death would solve every problem I had instantly. I think you still love her in some contorted way and it'll will be difficult to tell her that it's over. However, there's a lot of stuff on the net about divorce and planning your divorce, so be prepared, have a plan. Remember, you only have to do this once, and then you'll be free and feel so much better (read comments of divorced men here on EP, they'll all say that their lives changed 180 degrees for the better after divorcing their horrible wives). I wish I had the strength to do this. I guess I'm still waiting for her to do something really unforgivable. Anyway, the choice is yours, this is your life, but there are tough decisions to be made, and I'm sure you've suffered enough to decide to escape from that Pavlovian cage of yours.