Wife changed after father's death - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wife changed after father's death

Ok where do I begin! Lets start 12 years ago. Twelve years ago my wife and I were married. I always felt we had a OK marriage. We currently have no kids.

In 2008, we found out that my sis-in-law were having marital problems. They have two kids. We (Wife and I) knew they were having problems in their marriage and prior to thier divorce kindly gave advice to my sis-in-law that divorce is not the answer. Nothing good comes from a divorce. In any case, they filed for divorce. We eventually found out that my sis-in-law was the one who was cheating. My-sis-law and wife relationship is strained probably because we told her the effects that come from divorce. Also, It probably appears from my sis-in-law viewpoint that we have taken he ex-husband side because he was the faithful partner. We don't take sides, but the ex-husband lets my wife talk to her nephews, whereas her sister did not. My sis-in-law has given my wife the cold shoulder. My wife has not spoke to her sister or her nephews in about 3-4 years. My wife is upset about this.

In 2012, I get a call from my wife that her father had a heart attack, but was in stable condition. I left my job immediately to pick up my wife at her place of employment (about 30 mins away). When I got there, my wife was dillydally. She was just finishing up some paperwork. I was like "come on" we need to leave. We procrastinated about 15 minutes then finally left for the hospital (40 mins away). When we finally got to the hospital, the doctor brought us into a room and told us that her father had died. I was shocked and my wife started to ball crying. This was back in July.

Ever since that fateful day, my wife has done a 180. She says that she is a changed women. I asked her "how she's changed?", and she would say "that she isn't putting up with my nonsense anymore." I have know idea what she is talking about, so I ask for examples. First, she says that I was inconsiderate when her father died, because I didn't hold her hand after finding out the death of her father. Second, she says that I yell at her all the time (Not true!), and make her feel unconfortable. Third, she very upset at something that happen 3 years ago when I didn't go with her to her nephew's baseball game. Forth, she says that I had no time for her on her anniversay day (I never said that). Fifth, she is upset that I took strawberrys from the freezer and didn't leave her any breakfast. Sixth, she says that I forced her to go to college (Not true). I feel she is taking everything out on me. I mentioned to her that whatever I did/didn't do, I apologize, but I can't change the past. I said why dont we go to marriage conseling. She doesn't want to go. I feel that she is distancing herself away from me. I feel alone. Im trying hard to do the right thing. Concerning our anniversay I bought her a beautiful ring. I do some laundry. However, I dont know what else to do. She puts her guard up when I go to kiss her. I feel that we are on two different pages. She says she wants to move where her mom is, about 150 miles away. I tell her, we can't. I have a job here and there are no jobs for what I do there, and I am not going to quit my job in one of the hardest economies ever.

We come from strong religious backgrounds, so divorce is not an option unless infidelity is present. I have not committed such. I feel I am a good husband. Yes, Im not perfect, but Im not so deficient either. She says that she changed. She says that since her father died, she is different. She does admit that she has changed. She has a "I dont care" about our relationship attitude. She says that she is damaged emotionally. Could the events within the last couple of years between her sister and dad cause this. What does those events have to do with me? It seems like she is taking it all out on me.

Any advice?

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 01:32 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

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Ok where do I begin! Lets start 12 years ago. Twelve years ago my wife and I were married. I always felt we had a OK marriage. We currently have no kids.

In 2008, we found out that my sis-in-law were having marital problems. They have two kids. We (Wife and I) knew they were having problems in their marriage and prior to thier divorce kindly gave advice to my sis-in-law that divorce is not the answer. Nothing good comes from a divorce. In any case, they filed for divorce. We eventually found out that my sis-in-law was the one who was cheating. My-sis-law and wife relationship is strained probably because we told her the effects that come from divorce. Also, It probably appears from my sis-in-law viewpoint that we have taken he ex-husband side because he was the faithful partner. We don't take sides, but the ex-husband lets my wife talk to her nephews, whereas her sister did not. My sis-in-law has given my wife the cold shoulder. My wife has not spoke to her sister or her nephews in about 3-4 years. My wife is upset about this.

In 2012, I get a call from my wife that her father had a heart attack, but was in stable condition. I left my job immediately to pick up my wife at her place of employment (about 30 mins away). When I got there, my wife was dillydally. She was just finishing up some paperwork. I was like "come on" we need to leave. We procrastinated about 15 minutes then finally left for the hospital (40 mins away). When we finally got to the hospital, the doctor brought us into a room and told us that her father had died. I was shocked and my wife started to ball crying. This was back in July.

Ever since that fateful day, my wife has done a 180. She says that she is a changed women. I asked her "how she's changed?", and she would say "that she isn't putting up with my nonsense anymore." I have know idea what she is talking about, so I ask for examples. First, she says that I was inconsiderate when her father died, because I didn't hold her hand after finding out the death of her father. Second, she says that I yell at her all the time (Not true!), and make her feel unconfortable. Third, she very upset at something that happen 3 years ago when I didn't go with her to her nephew's baseball game. Forth, she says that I had no time for her on her anniversay day (I never said that). Fifth, she is upset that I took strawberrys from the freezer and didn't leave her any breakfast. Sixth, she says that I forced her to go to college (Not true). I feel she is taking everything out on me. I mentioned to her that whatever I did/didn't do, I apologize, but I can't change the past. I said why dont we go to marriage conseling. She doesn't want to go. I feel that she is distancing herself away from me. I feel alone. Im trying hard to do the right thing. Concerning our anniversay I bought her a beautiful ring. I do some laundry. However, I dont know what else to do. She puts her guard up when I go to kiss her. I feel that we are on two different pages. She says she wants to move where her mom is, about 150 miles away. I tell her, we can't. I have a job here and there are no jobs for what I do there, and I am not going to quit my job in one of the hardest economies ever.

We come from strong religious backgrounds, so divorce is not an option unless infidelity is present. I have not committed such. I feel I am a good husband. Yes, Im not perfect, but Im not so deficient either. She says that she changed. She says that since her father died, she is different. She does admit that she has changed. She has a "I dont care" about our relationship attitude. She says that she is damaged emotionally. Could the events within the last couple of years between her sister and dad cause this. What does those events have to do with me? It seems like she is taking it all out on me.

Any advice?
It could be what I call NHS, Nearest Human Syndrome. Where the nearest human -you- gets all the blame for everything.

However, before this gets out of hand, you might need to see if you can insist on some form of counselling for her and perhaps for marriage counselling.

Is there a possibility she is cheating?

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http://mygeneralblog1.blogspot.co.uk...-cheaters.html (Be afraid UK cheaters! CheaterVille has come to the UK!
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 01:51 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

MY SIL had the same reaction when her father died. She suddenly pulled away from her husband and their marriage quickly got into big trouble.

The truth is, she had not been happy in the marriage for years, but stayed in it and played the happy wife because she didn't want to upset her father.

Strong religious family with a father that the daughters admire and want to please (and don't want to be a disappointment to their father). That's the forumla.

IMHO, your wife's change of attitude doesn't have anything to do with your SIL or her divorce.

What you are probably experiencing is years of suppressed frustration with your and the marriage finally coming to the surface.

In other words, your marriage hasn't been nearly as perfect and rosy as you thought it was for many, many (many, many) years. But, because she didn't want to disappoint her father with a failed marriage, she has been keeping up the appearance of a successful marriage. Now that her father has passed away, she no longer has to maintain appearances--and she isn't.

Get ready for a roller coaster ride.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

Thanks for your responses. I dont think she is cheating; I dont get that feeling. In some respects, I feel that she is really deeply, deeply depressed and doesn't know how to handle. Whenever you start to criticize and find faults, it makes you feel good. Its sought of a way to cope.

I guess I will wait and see what happens in the coming months.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Firefly View Post
MY SIL had the same reaction when her father died. She suddenly pulled away from her husband and their marriage quickly got into big trouble.

The truth is, she had not been happy in the marriage for years, but stayed in it and played the happy wife because she didn't want to upset her father.

Strong religious family with a father that the daughters admire and want to please (and don't want to be a disappointment to their father). That's the forumla.

IMHO, your wife's change of attitude doesn't have anything to do with your SIL or her divorce.

What you are probably experiencing is years of suppressed frustration with your and the marriage finally coming to the surface.

In other words, your marriage hasn't been nearly as perfect and rosy as you thought it was for many, many (many, many) years. But, because she didn't want to disappoint her father with a failed marriage, she has been keeping up the appearance of a successful marriage. Now that her father has passed away, she no longer has to maintain appearances--and she isn't.

Get ready for a roller coaster ride.
I agree with this. My father died recently and it has made me take a look at everything in my life. He and I were very close and his passing has caused me to look at the important things in life. I have since cut out a few people that didn't add anything to my life, fortunately my husband wasn't one of them. If I had been unhappy though he'd be gone now. Death makes you realize just how short life is. You need to get to the bottom of why she's not happy in the marriage because like Blue said, she doesn't have the same view as you of your marriage.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:58 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

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Originally Posted by db52993 View Post
Thanks for your responses. I dont think she is cheating; I dont get that feeling. In some respects, I feel that she is really deeply, deeply depressed and doesn't know how to handle. Whenever you start to criticize and find faults, it makes you feel good. Its sought of a way to cope.

I guess I will wait and see what happens in the coming months.
Waiting to see what happnes is a really bad idea. There are things that you can do and the time to do them is now.

Look at all the things that she told you. Unless you think your wife is a liar there is some truth in it all.

She says that you yell at her all the time. To you it might not be yelling. But there is something in the way you talk to her that bothers her. Take a look at that. Often the person doing the yelling, or speaking forcefully, our a bit louder, or more terse does not even realize they are doing it. Maybe what she means that that when she says something you always have to be right, so you shut her down.

She is upset about you taking the strawberries and not leaving any for her. Well maybe she feels that you often do selfish things and leave her out, or don’t take her into consideration.

You say that you do some laundry. Does this mean that this is the only thing you do around the house?

Your wife is probably also very depressed. This adds to her seeing everything in a negative light.

There are some good books that can help you. One is “His Needs, Her Needs” I’m sure that others will suggest other books.

Go to counseling yourself if she will not go. Also, ask her to go some so she can tell the counselor what you need to improve on. This is a way to get her into some counseling with her thinking you are the subject. But it gets her through the door.

Start working on yourself.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 02:33 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

Sometimes when a loved one passes, a person feels it as a personal blow, as in "I've been doing all the right things and THIS is what I get???"

And in your case, the "right things" were suppressing issues she has had with you. One of those issues could have been overlooked, maybe two. She has let them pile up so that a handful of relatively minor issues are now major issues.

There is only so much you can do until you have to address it rather bluntly in that you have apologized for these transgressions but it's time to move on. It may help if you could point out some of HER transgressions like her using the last of the milk. It sounds childish to do a tit for tat but it points out that what you have done is NOT earth shattering (or marriage shattering) and that it's time to move on.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 03:43 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

Athol Kay's MMSLP for starters.

If you have a church you attend couples counseling may be available there as well.

If your lifeboat is taking on water do not wait a couple of months to see how bad it can get - start bailing now!
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 11:27 AM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

You are in a very dangerous position. The fact you have written on here shows your concern.

Your wife is going through turmoil. She missed seeing her father alive because, as you say, she dillydallied and in the end it was too late for her to say what she needed to say to him before he died. Her fault, not yours. As a consequence she is lashing out and you are the nearest experiencing her wrath.

It may be appropriate if you can for you to seek on your own some counselling on how to deal with this situation from a professional and if finances don't allow this cost consider the views of the posters here on TAM. There is a lot of sound advice and views.

I think your wife may be going through a personal crisis where she is blaming everyone, mainly you when the reality is her procrastination on visiting her father prior to his death. Added to which the loss of contact with other family members she is going through a bit of a mid life crisis and with no children herself she may have too much time on her own when you are out working.

It is very hurtful for you to hear her blame you and not take responsibility for her own actions.

Assuming her blame shifting is not cheating (cheaters are very devious and great liars in the art of self deception often re-writing history of your relationship) you need to listen with two ears what she is saying about your relationship and quietly evaluate if she is speaking the truth and you just haven't seen any of her resentment building.

If you are able to quietly reassure yourself there is no one in the background by carrying out some subtle checking, unusual transactions on credit cards, unknown telephone numbers showering often, perfume overuse etc, I would say your wife is lashing out and very dissatisfied with herself and in turn she is blaming you.

The problem is trying to evaluate if she is geniunely depressed and grieving or looking for an excuse to exit your marriage and thus blaming you for everything. If cheating, her father's death could be used to exit the marriage. Just keep your options opened, don't discount an affair.

What about her friends and your friends are any of them cheating? "Friends" that are cheaters are unhealthy for any marriage.

If you sit back on this issue you will be in the divorce court so you need to be strong and ask her how can you help her in the grieving process.

Once you have done your subtle checking to eradicate any fear of cheating ask her outright if another man is involved. Look her straight in the eyes....if her eyes drop be prepared for a rollercoaster fight to save your marriage. Cheaters are great at bare faced lying.

If your wife just needs a new challenge, it could be that her father's death has made her revisit her life and all she needs to do is make her life more rewarding. If she is not working, maybe help her to join interest groups, language, art, camera, drama or flower arrangement classes etc to help her with a new lust for life but with you in it of course!

Don't become fearful of her need to flee. Show strength, kindness and compassion and ask her outright what she needs you to do to help her.

In the meantime try not to take all that she says too much to heart but certainly do not dismiss the resentment warning signs.

Her lack of taking responsibility for her actions is very worrying and it could lead to a lot of harm for you. Protect yourself from this blame shifting behaviour.

2012 is not long ago therefore grieving is likely to last some years there could be more going on here because of her need to blame you.

Blame shifting is a really bad character trait that could harm you emotionally and financially.

Last edited by Lazarus; 05-17-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 09:12 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

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Originally Posted by db52993 View Post
Thanks for your responses. I dont think she is cheating; I dont get that feeling. In some respects, I feel that she is really deeply, deeply depressed and doesn't know how to handle. Whenever you start to criticize and find faults, it makes you feel good. Its sought of a way to cope.

I guess I will wait and see what happens in the coming months.
Women don't really like passive wimpy guys. The kind of guy who says "I guess I will wait and see what happens in the coming months."

Most women "settle" for the best guy they can get when they marry. Your wife is one of those women. Death puts things into clarity for these women and that's why a death in the family, or a wedding, is a catalyst for affairs and divorce.

Why no kids after such a long marriage?

Do women hit on you a lot?

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 12:55 AM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

She doesn't care eh?

Well you don't need to be in a relationship where your spouse "doesn't care". You don't have kids. Count that as blessing in your case.

You're ruining your life staying with her and trying to appease her. Do her a favor and have her served. Lets see if she doesn't start caring when you stop caring too.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 12:55 PM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

This is really scarey stuff, I know because I am going through something very similar with my wife, we separated in July and nope I saw nothing coming no signs nothing, and it is all for such similar reasons as this, thing is my father I law welcomed me as his 3rd son he wouldn't want to see us going through all this torture but I honestly cant see a way around it either and that honestly petrifies me, we too were very happy, very content, we had just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary and have been together nearly 20 years so we have a hell of a lot to lose, I have been tormented by this and have often felt as though I was losing my mind, I am seeing a counsellor to help me come to terms with the shock yet she is doing absolutely nothing to help herself, things can only get better and right now certainly couldn't be any worse
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 09:32 AM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

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Waiting to see what happnes is a really bad idea. There are things that you can do and the time to do them is now.

Look at all the things that she told you. Unless you think your wife is a liar there is some truth in it all.

She says that you yell at her all the time. To you it might not be yelling. But there is something in the way you talk to her that bothers her. Take a look at that. Often the person doing the yelling, or speaking forcefully, our a bit louder, or more terse does not even realize they are doing it. Maybe what she means that that when she says something you always have to be right, so you shut her down.

She is upset about you taking the strawberries and not leaving any for her. Well maybe she feels that you often do selfish things and leave her out, or don’t take her into consideration.

You say that you do some laundry. Does this mean that this is the only thing you do around the house?

Your wife is probably also very depressed. This adds to her seeing everything in a negative light.

There are some good books that can help you. One is “His Needs, Her Needs” I’m sure that others will suggest other books.

Go to counseling yourself if she will not go. Also, ask her to go some so she can tell the counselor what you need to improve on. This is a way to get her into some counseling with her thinking you are the subject. But it gets her through the door.

Start working on yourself.
I agree your wife sees much wrong with your marriage. And, it is always a good idea to work on yourself, or at least look at your behavior to see if anything needs improving. And counseling seems like a wonderful idea.

However, your wife's present unhappiness is not necessarily your fault or your issue to resolve. It is your job (as always) to be a responsible, supportive husband who is considerate of her needs (with an extra measure of support for now). It is not your job to subordinate your needs to hers several months out or to do things that harm you or your family over the long term.

Many of her complaints seem resonable from what I can see. However, one thing that is clearly unreasonable is asking you to move without job prospects (which you were correct in rejecting). Most likely, she would not be any happier in the end. You would take an income hit, and that would give her something else to blame you for.

At any rate, setting such a high expectation on you (that you upend your life and figure out something to keep the family going) to appease her speaks poorly about her level of respect for you. You need to hold firm and lovingly (but firmly) note that you are willing to work on her happiness, but tolerating disrespect, allowing her to rewrite history, and harming yourself are lines you will not cross.

I'm curious. Has she tended to be selfish before her father's death (meaning it's just becoming worse now)?
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 09:44 AM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

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I agree your wife sees much wrong with your marriage. And, it is always a good idea to work on yourself, or at least look at your behavior to see if anything needs improving. And counseling seems like a wonderful idea.

However, your wife's present unhappiness is not necessarily your fault or your issue to resolve. It is your job (as always) to be a responsible, supportive husband who is considerate of her needs (with an extra measure of support for now). It is not your job to subordinate your needs to hers several months out or to do things that harm you or your family over the long term.

Many of her complaints seem resonable from what I can see. However, one thing that is clearly unreasonable is asking you to move without job prospects (which you were correct in rejecting). Most likely, she would not be any happier in the end. You would take an income hit, and that would give her something else to blame you for.

At any rate, setting such a high expectation on you (that you upend your life and figure out something to keep the family going) to appease her speaks poorly about her level of respect for you. You need to hold firm and lovingly (but firmly) note that you are willing to work on her happiness, but tolerating disrespect, allowing her to rewrite history, and harming yourself are lines you will not cross.

I'm curious. Has she tended to be selfish before her father's death (meaning it's just becoming worse now)?
Also wanted to add that you definitely should not ignore this and see how the next few months shake out. If she is willing to work with you on genuinely improving the marriage (and not just scapegoating you) you should definitely invest the effort. If not, then you need to consider that in her current mindset her comfort comes first and she will not hesitate to screw you over in the process of making herself feel better.

I have BTDT with my ex (losing our young son to cancer) so I've seen exactly how bad it can be.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 12:45 AM
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Re: Wife changed after father's death

Hi I wanted to give you some input from the wife's perspective.

First off the loss of a parent is devistating. Unfortunately early my marriage both my mom and my husband's mom passed away 3 months apart. Neither were able to comfort the other due to the devistation we both were trying to deal with.

My mom died first of cancer. My husband's mom was dying and we did not even know it, she dies a few months later. To make a long story short I was with my Mom in hospice when she took her last breath. I called my husband who was home with the new baby to tell him mom died. He said he was sorry so I got home and he was sound asleep. I felt disgusted and hurt.

Fast forward 20 years I Lost my sister two years ago to a tragic unexpected death. Now that was a real turning point on the marriage and again I felt he could not understand my pain.

Men and women handle pain in different ways. Your the closest to her therefore she will take her hurt out on you. I agree your at a very dangerous point in the marriage. If you want my advice it would be to ask her to go to dinner with you to talk. Tell her you want to help but you don't know what to do. ask her what you can do to help her? That might be all she is looking for or wanting to hear. Unfortunately sometimes the people we are closest to are the ones that we hurt the most.
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