Insecure wife in almost perfect marriage
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Insecure wife in almost perfect marriage

Dear readers,

I have been married to my wife for ten years and we are in our thirties. We have beautiful young children, great paying jobs for both of us (though busy, like 110-120 hours combined a week), live in au-pair to help with childcare, great house, three cars, a lovely pet dog, and pretty much everything most people would care for. My wife makes more than I do and both of us are very proud of that. She is petite, slim, and pretty. She works some more hours than I do and more than she wants to but we are working on scaling it back for her, which should work out. We have great sex (probably 1.5 times a week) though I still enjoy adult videos on the side, which I suspect she just turns a blind eye on. When we make love, she certainly gets more out of it than I do. I do envy how much more she seems to enjoy her climaxes than I enjoy my one climax, ha ha. It totally relaxes her and our sex is a major stress reliever for her. And we try to make love as much as our busy life allows.

However, she does have issues with episodic emotional outburst, both at work and home. A good part of this is that she is raised by parents who have poor coping skills (with people and changes in routine) though they are very successful. Her side of the family are all very intelligent, hard working, and successful financially. However, they have no other concern in life other than that. So, my wife is brought up to have no other goal in life. However, though she is very good at her job and makes very good money doing it, the job does not give her much satisfaction other than that. I have very clear goals in life and wants happiness for everyone else. I do almost all the cooking, arrange/provide childcare, and arrange most of the details of our family life (she files stuff and arranges/do cleaning). I want us to retire early in another 16 years or so, so that we can move close to our parents and take care of them when they are in their late 70s/80s. I take pride in myself in been pretty much superdad, superhusband, super son-in laws, etc. I consider myself been pretty much everything woman can ask for in a marriage. I am extremely dedicated to my family and everyone on both side of the family.

However, my wife lacks empathy, as does the rest of her family. They are all good people but are mainly concerned about themselves. Therefore with her occasional emotional outburst, she would say the most hurtful things AND mean it. She can't help herself. She just can't cope. And this can happen both at home and at work once in a while (so it really can have nothing to do with me). Throughout the years, these infrequent episodes (maybe a few times a year) have made me turn to the bible and other psychology resources to learn how to love her despite her unkind words. So, I have, to the greatest extend possible to me, convinced myself that love for another should have nothing to do with the other but only everyone to do with myself. I decide to love her despite her flaws (I should not love her FOR her flaws, no?). I want to love her regardless of, what many would consider, occasional emotional and verbal abuse. Though I am not perfect, I want to emulate what Jesus does.

The only thing my wife wants is my love and I want to give her that. She is relationship based and I, like most men, am goal oriented. I have been encouraging her to seek outside goal, interest, friends, and hobbies that would fulfill her in other ways as well. However, probably because she is not concerned about anything else other than herself and then me and due to my "almost flawlessness", she is only interested in our loving relationship and feels that I am giving her less attention than before, given that I try to take care of everyone else. So, I have arranged nanny coverage and set aside time on a regular basis so that we can spend time or a day together alone and I take her shopping, dinning, movie watching, etc. She loves our time alone, for good reason. I am very good at achieving anything possible under the sun (well, almost everything) for my family.

And I talk to her about all of these. Maybe I talk to her too much and analyze it too well for her. Both of us understand clearly that she has major personality flaws and that I am "almost flawless". It most likely makes her feel insecure and not good enough for me. She probably feel that there is nothing ABOUT her that makes me love her and that I love her only because I DECIDE to love her (which fortunately or unfortunately has turned partially true). The biblical analogy would be that people are sinners and can achieve salvation only though the grace of God. Gee, that can make the people insecure about themselves, no? In the religious context, that's OK because the other one is God. But when you apply that analogy to two mortal beings, I can see that it can bring insecurity.

I am certainly not perfect. I am not. I can work out more and be fitter (I can be a little slimmer to get my cholesterol down but I am limited by how busy we are. I am certainly not fat as I wears only size 32, weighs 165 pound, and am almost 5'11"). Though I do think of infidelity, I know very well that that's a dead end street. We have a young, intelligent, and attractive live-in au pair who the kids love and to whom I am nice, just like I try my best to be nice to and help everyone else. I keep my distance and mostly keep our conversations public. Our current au pair and future ones will come and go since they, by rules and regulation of the law, can only stay in the US for up to 2 years. I try to reassure my wife about this. How else can I attract good future au pairs to help take care of our adorable kids if I treat the current one badly and words get out (as it will)? I KNOW that the pasture is NOT greener on the other side. I want to work on this relationship and this one alone. Though my wife's occasional outburst started well before we even have our first and current au pair, the au pair probably makes it worse.

My wife needs therapy badly. You may wonder what kinds of things she gets ticked off at, it can be about small things that I deem inconsequential. I deem those inconsequential since those things, in my context of goal in life, are just inconsequential. I have inner peace and consider myself wise well beyond my years. However, my wife has little basis to make such a judgement because she has NO goal in life, besides wanting to be with me all the time. I am very happy living my life the way it is but I wish she can be happier living her life. She knows that, if there is a way to make her happier, I will try to find it and help her through it. I even go as far as telling her that, if she wants to be "set free" so that she can find herself, I can try to arrange that for her. I want her to be truly happy like I am and be with me not because of her insecurity. (But obviously I hope and want her to "come back to me" for me and the kids.) I want us to be co-interdependent on each other, not her depending her emotional need on me alone.

Gee, this starts to seem kind of tough on and for her. It is tough for me to be co-interdependent on her, when we both know that I do and can be independent of her. To make our early retirement possible, we will need her higher income and I certainly appreciate her for that. But, that makes her feel like I need her only to work for the good of the family. I do want her to be "lovely" and "lovable" in her own right but she likely needs to work that out herself.

I love my wife. She loves me too, but probably too selfishly. I am afraid that her infrequent outbursts and unkind and hurtful words will chip away, little by little, at our relationship years down the line. I am not a saint and I am afraid that I won't love her years down the line.

This is probably NOT a situation and problem you hear about frequently. Most women probably would envy my wife very much because I simply make her sooooo "happy". I can see 99% of the men would hate to be me, committing almost all my time and energy to my family, housework included (I cook very well too). But I am very happy and am grateful that I have been given the means and opportunity to give happiness to others.

I appreciate your thoughtful and constructive comments and any suggestions.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insecure wife in almost perfect marriage

well my first impression is that your and your wife are codependent. your wife sounds a lot like me, with the emotional outbursts and the verbal abuse. i tend to be that way, too.

i dont know if you know anything about codependency, but there is usually one person who wants the other to make them happy (i.e your wife wants you to make her happy) and then the one who is a martyr, who will do anything to make that person happy (i.e you).

I think you should lose the martyr role. stop trying to be the 'perfect' guy.

it sounds like you two are extremely disconnected. your post sounds very dispassionate, almost removed from it all. you say you love each other but you probably hardly see each other. you are thinking of divorce and cheating, and she is freaking out periodically, trying to work less, and asking for more time with you. sounds like a very neglectful relationship where the actual goal is financial gain and image. i certainly think those are admirable goals, but not when they supersede the quality of passion in the relationship.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insecure wife in almost perfect marriage

dillema-

Your post shocked me... my mouth fell open. I would tell you my true feelings, but only if you ask, as I sense you don't take criticism well, and I was about to launch in at you.

The only clue I will give you for now, is that I used to be a bit like you. How the mighty have fallen.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dear ljtseng,

Thank you very much for your helpful input. I did not know about the concept of codependency. I looked it up at wikepedia and do find that my situation kind of fit my situation. This will allow me to research into its characteristics and treatment options. Maybe marriage counseling separately and together would be helpful also, to allow a third party point of view.

Divorce and infidelity did cross my mind but I know that it really does not solve the problem and create more problem really. I do not want to engage in another relationship. Beside that it really is a huge hassle and hurts lots of people, I will bet that the new relationship would have its own issues to deal with, both in short and long term. So, it is much better to stick with my marriage. That's why I am seeking help and advice in such forum rather than turning to other single woman.

My wife says the same thing about me that you said, about not trying to be the "perfect guy" all the time. I always thought, why should I not try? I am spiritual but not religious. In the Christian framework, why should not people try to emulate Jesus? Why NOT to try one's best to treat other people as one would like to be treated? I hope further reading on the subject of codependency can shed some light into the answer.

I do sound kind of dispassionate, don't I. Thank you for pointing it out. I am a very analytical person. It bothers my wife that I pretty much never yell at her since I can be calm pretty much all the time, even when she starts her outburst. Gee, isn't it supposed to be good to be this way, rather than yelling, fighting, and stuff? When she is mad, she has her outburst and she shuts off and can't communicate as an adult. I have to give her time to cool off and then try to talk to her about it. In some way, I am more like a women, been very much interested in communication and sharing feelings. I always figure that it takes two person to have a fight and if I don't fight back, there won't be a fight. Gee, our relationship does not seem better without fighting either.... Mmmm, that's food for thought.

Yeah, my wife do feel neglected since I try to take care of everything and everybody else. But, like I said, I have recently started arranging our time alone and I hope it will improve things in time. Nurturing my kids really give me lots of joy as that is what I have been wanting to do for years. Unfortunately, that's not the case for my wife. You are right that I need to spend more time rebuilding our relationship. Sigh, there is only 24 hours a day.... So much to do and so little time.

Once again, I greatly appreciate your input. It helps to learn that I am not alone and there is a term for my situation. I hope that further reading and thinking will help our relationship.



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Originally Posted by ljtseng View Post
well my first impression is that your and your wife are codependent. your wife sounds a lot like me, with the emotional outbursts and the verbal abuse. i tend to be that way, too.

i dont know if you know anything about codependency, but there is usually one person who wants the other to make them happy (i.e your wife wants you to make her happy) and then the one who is a martyr, who will do anything to make that person happy (i.e you).

I think you should lose the martyr role. stop trying to be the 'perfect' guy.

it sounds like you two are extremely disconnected. your post sounds very dispassionate, almost removed from it all. you say you love each other but you probably hardly see each other. you are thinking of divorce and cheating, and she is freaking out periodically, trying to work less, and asking for more time with you. sounds like a very neglectful relationship where the actual goal is financial gain and image. i certainly think those are admirable goals, but not when they supersede the quality of passion in the relationship.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Now I'm even more shocked, than I was in my first post!
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would appreciate any assistance in this matter. It sounds like you know something I want like to find out. I am pretty resilient. The glass is almost always half full, not half empty. Please do share.


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Now I'm even more shocked, than I was in my first post!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Please do share.
Are you sure?

You seem to have what we call in the UK, a messiah complex. You seem to believe that not only does your wife think you are almost perfect, but you yourself think you are almost there.

I used to think I was better and more spiritual than my wife. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I may as well 'fess up. Since that time, I have been knocked of my pedestal. I had no idea how much innate wisdom she had. Neither could I see my own feet of clay. I suppose I was young and arrogant. These days I'm just arrogant.

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Originally Posted by dillema
My wife says the same thing about me that you said, about not trying to be the "perfect guy" all the time. I always thought, why should I not try?
Already, we can see your wife's wisdom, but you see it as an inappropriate complaint.

If you can absorb this message: that you are not superior to her, you will become happier with your marriage overnight. It is interesting how much we have or had in common. for instance:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillema
I am a very analytical person. It bothers my wife that I pretty much never yell at her since I can be calm pretty much all the time, even when she starts her outburst. Gee, isn't it supposed to be good to be this way, rather than yelling, fighting, and stuff?
My wife could not stand the fact that I used to be so calm when she was angry. The truth was, that I was not engaging with her. But I felt that my way was superior. However, she found ways of getting me angry in the end

On a practical note, it sounds like your wife would like sex more often than you give it to her. You mentioned adult videos. If you are ejaculating solo while watching these, they will draw down your desire to have sex with your wife. I'm not telling you to cut out the videos (but they are probably not helping), but I am concerned about the ejaculations!

By keeping yourself sexually hungry, you will find you wife more desirable.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi MarkTawain,

Thank you so very much for your comments. It is helpful to find out that I may have more blame on this matter than I thought. It is easier for me to change probably than for my wife. But then, would that line of thinking be part of the messiah complex again, that I feel I am superior?

A good part of me knows that you can't change people, married or not. So, my logical half tells me not to expect change from my wife and that I better do it from my end, if I am to get our marriage happier. My sentimental half does, however, wish for her to change, that if only she has a goal to pursue and if she will depend less on me to make her happy, then she would be happy and not insecure, and finally I will be happy because she is happy. It seems I may need to reach a higher plane than these two sides of my brain. I need to let go of any expectations of her or me changing to improve our happiness and accept the state of things and be happy and content with what is already there. I need to NOT get all beat up about changing her or changing myself. I should be happy and content with what we have already because we DO have a lot already. The art of letting go and reaching some degree of enlightenment.... What do you think?

As for sex, yes, my wife needs to and would like to have more sex. But, it is not because I don't want to or can not give it to her. Half of the time, she is just exhausted from work and needs to rest. The other quarter, I am too exhausted from work. The last quarter, I am busy taking care of things for the family. Regardless, your point is very well taken. My wife and I need to hit the sack more often. Gee, we really need to work on cutting back our work hours some more.

Finally, on such short notice from you, I will need time to reflect and work on this superiority complex. This may be a tough one but I am going to spend lots of time thinking about what you said.

I think you and the first commenter really help me see the light at the end of this tunnel of mine. I really appreciate your thoughts and time and thank you. I do copy and paste these comments to another similar web forum where I also posted the same problem. I hope to see if any one else wants to expand on these well taken points.

Now, I need to think of what to say to my wife. I need to tell her that she does not need to change and not get stressed out or feel guilty about it.

I hope I am on the right path and that's why I am letting you know what I am thinking. If not, PLEASE let me know.



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Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
Are you sure?

You seem to have what we call in the UK, a messiah complex. You seem to believe that not only does your wife think you are almost perfect, but you yourself think you are almost there.

I used to think I was better and more spiritual than my wife. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I may as well 'fess up. Since that time, I have been knocked of my pedestal. I had no idea how much innate wisdom she had. Neither could I see my own feet of clay. I suppose I was young and arrogant. These days I'm just arrogant.


Already, we can see your wife's wisdom, but you see it as an inappropriate complaint.

If you can absorb this message: that you are not superior to her, you will become happier with your marriage overnight. It is interesting how much we have or had in common. for instance:



My wife could not stand the fact that I used to be so calm when she was angry. The truth was, that I was not engaging with her. But I felt that my way was superior. However, she found ways of getting me angry in the end

On a practical note, it sounds like your wife would like sex more often than you give it to her. You mentioned adult videos. If you are ejaculating solo while watching these, they will draw down your desire to have sex with your wife. I'm not telling you to cut out the videos (but they are probably not helping), but I am concerned about the ejaculations!

By keeping yourself sexually hungry, you will find you wife more desirable.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I hope I am on the right path and that's why I am letting you know what I am thinking. If not, PLEASE let me know.
I feel you may, just may be wrong about your wife needing to change. She sounds just perfect to me:

A woman that has outbursts a few times a year? A woman who earns more than you and does not make an issue of it. A woman who wants regular sex? A woman who puts up relatively well with detached a perfectionist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillema
A good part of me knows that you can't change people, married or not. So, my logical half tells me not to expect change from my wife and that I better do it from my end, if I am to get our marriage happier.
You are absolutly right, work on you, and then, when all your viewpoints are transformed, see if she still needs any adjustments. I think she will be so thrilled with the new you, she will probably faint
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ha ha... Points well taken. I should be thanking her and tell her how much I appreciate her! Thank you!

p.s. Here in the US, the GEICO auto insurance commercial says something like this: a quick 15 minute phone call can save you a couple of hundreds of dollars a year. Well, I think I just saved myself a couple of thousands of dollars and a few days of marriage counseling!! I have you, all the other people who read or commented on this, the internet, and this free country to thank for this! I know I can count on the netizens of the world!


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I feel you may, just may be wrong about your wife needing to change. She sounds just perfect to me:

A woman that has outbursts a few times a year? A woman who earns more than you and does not make an issue of it. A woman who wants regular sex? A woman who puts up relatively well with detached a perfectionist?


You are absolutly right, work on you, and then, when all your viewpoints are transformed, see if she still needs any adjustments. I think she will be so thrilled with the new you, she will probably faint
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is all very interesting...

I can relate to you dillema....somewhat.

My wife and I are in our Upper 30's, we have three great kids.

I coach 2 soccer team, play in an adult soccer league, I am the president of our Home owner association, I ran our 20 year reunion for our HS class, from another state. we run girl scouts out of our house..etc.

I am the super dad...I have a great paying job.

But like you, my wife has a better paying job, she works 35 hours a week, becuase she did not want to work the full 40 (still makes more then me)....

She is a slob for the main part, cleans when she wants to but clothes could sit on the floor for a week. Man I would love to have an Au pair.

Our sex life is fantastic, I try and push the envelope.

My wife can also do the outburst when the kids don't listen....We definately "resolve" or get mad at our kids in different ways.

I try and get our children to think about what they are doing and reason why and what they are doing, with a spanking being the ultimate punishment or a drop of hot sauce on the tongue for foul language.

where my wife will just scream, she also ahs a hard time with allowing "groundings" to run their course, Say like my child is banned from the computer for 2 weeks.....when I am not around she will let him sneak on the computer to play his game. My wife and boys are "gamers"

I've learned to understand my wife better and how she opereates, and she has adjusted to me as well.

Marriage is defiately a give and take.

I would get rid of the au pair, that is just bad news. I had a neighbor who had one while I was in college, a pretty blonde from Denmark, I used to take her out on her nights off, clubbing and into NYC, we were simply friends, she confessed to me at the end of her stay she was sleeping with the father and felt horrible and torn. I imagine this happens often.

My wanted to get an Au pair I vetoed the idea...reason given.

why stick a chocolate donut in my face while on a diet...temptation is way to great with a pretty girl walking around in my house....would you mind having a youngstud walking around your house when your not home?

I would get rid of the au pair and start being more hands on parents with the kids, seems like you are bored and trying to figure out your wife.

While the bible is a great resource for many, you are not going to find your answers in there.

your communication needs work, as so does your wife's.

I been with my wife for almost 20 years... do we get bored?? Sure sometimes we find new things to stimulate our relationship.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So, my logical half tells me not to expect change from my wife and that I better do it from my end, if I am to get our marriage happier. My sentimental half does, however, wish for her to change, that if only she has a goal to pursue and if she will depend less on me to make her happy, then she would be happy and not insecure, and finally I will be happy because she is happy.
I find it interesting that you say your wife is relationship based and you are goal oriented, yet you seem to have the idea that in order for one to be happy, one must have goals to reach (as you say, like most men.)

I just turned 46 last week and it took me just about that long to figure out what truely makes me happy, and it's family. My husband & kids...seeing my kids laugh, learn, grow and being in a loving home together does it for me. Spending time with my husband, talking, touching, doing projects together, laughing and intimacy are all important to me in feeling connected to him.

I have worked many years, climbed the corporate ladder (jumped off the ladder ) and enjoy hobbies, etc. but none that leave me feeling happy/fulfilled as I do as a wife and mother.

For me, this is not a conditional thing where I have expectations of my family in order for me to be happy...believe me, with 3 teenagers challenges arise fairly often. I just can't imagine my life being very fun without my husband and kids to share it with. I love them, flaws and all.

If you haven't read it, you may find 'The 5 Love Languages' by Chapman an enlightening read.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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and my thoughts on 'perfect' from another post:

When I was young my mom gave my older sister and I some flower seeds and told us to plant them in the garden. We made a line down the middle. My sister spent about 10 minutes quickly turning the dirt (big lumps everywhere) sprinkled seeds all over the place and squirt some water on it & went on with her day.

I spent hours turning the dirt, breaking it down into tiny pieces, followed the instructions to a tee, planted neat little rows with several seeds in each hole, added some water and packed the dirt tight. I tended to it for weeks as they sprouted up pulling the extra sprouts so they would overcrowd one another.

Mid-summer, you could clearly see the line in the garden...my sister's side with colorful flowers everywhere and my side with 3 rows of flowers, evenly spaced. Night and day--hers blew mine away!

Sometimes what we view as perfect is so far off. I (and probably anyone who knew me as a child) would say I was a perfectionist, but I learned fast after my kids were born how imperfect it is to expect little kids to sit quietly, eat silently, keep their toys all neat and tidy...kids learn by being themselves and being kids and to push what I think is the right or wrong way to do something, to act will just make them fearful to find their own way and use their creativity.

I'm still pretty hard on myself, but very laid back with those around me because I love who they are and want them to feel happy and comfortable around me...there's nothing more perfect than that.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I just turned 46 last week and it took me just about that long to figure out what truely makes me happy, and it's family. My husband & kids...seeing my kids laugh, learn, grow and being in a loving home together does it for me.
This basically what my wife said to me yesterday.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I went to subway just now to get a sandwhich, infront of me was this lady with a young boy, just a couple of months old, in the car seat thingy, Kid saw me behind him I started making silly faces at him to get him to smile....Sure enough he smiled and had a little giggle.

Those are the things to enjoy out of life...

Now I can't wait to see my kids tonight and have some fun.
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