Dealing with my wife's negative disposition
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

My wife and I have been married 3 years. Im 30, shes 27. We are very much in love, and generally supportive of eachother in basically every way.

But my wife has a temper from hell. Shes aware of this and readily admits it. But her awareness of it does not lead her to exercise any restraint. Her position tends to be "This is the way I am, if u dont like it, find someone else." Which is infuriating to me.

One of my major character flaws is that I am easy going to the point of being lazy and unproductive. This has affected our relationship in areas ranging from romance to finance. My wife obviously doesnt like it that Im this way, and it has caused us problems in the past, so I recognize this aspect of my personally as being a defect and I try my best to take appropriate actions to combat it, such as getting more organized, waking up earlier in the morning to run errands and get things done, and making more of an effort to show my wife affection and letting her know how I feel about her.

But when it comes to her negativity, she doesnt do the same. She is almost protective of it. She thinks that my not liking IT = not liking HER. She doesnt stop to think about how harmful it is to our relationship. She takes no responsibility for the problems her negativity causes.

I'll give a quick example. A few days ago my wife returned home from a 2 month vacation w/ her 8yo niece visiting family in their home country. It is 10pm and my wife is on the phone w/ her father, Im sitting next to her on the bed working on our laptop. She isnt speaking English so I dont know what shes saying, but its obvious that she is angry b/c of her tone and the loudness of her voice. We live in an apartment building with very thin walls, and our window is wide open b/c its summertime and we live on the 3rd floor so it gets really hot in our place.

Over the course of about 10min she begins talking louder, and louder, until it gets to the point that she is basically yelling nonstop into the phone. I finally interupt and say calmly, politely, something like "Hon, the volume is getting a little loud." She gives me kind of a dirty look and quiets down.

Long story short over the next 36 hours we're basically caught up in a terrible fight over this. She feels hurt that I asked her to quiet down, saying that she feels that I am annoyed by the sound of her voice. I assure her that that isnt the case, that it was late and she was talking very loudly and I didnt want the neighbors to complain. She then says why am I so worried about "kissing the neighbors' ass" and that she was talking to her father and so what if she was talking loud. I tell her that I was just trying to bring it to her attention b/c maybe she wasnt aware of how loud her voice was getting. But she was offended to the point of being angry with me, and during the subsequent hours of argument goes into her normal routine of being combative toward me while also claiming to have somehow been victimized by me.

So given the mundane nature of what started this latest fight, u can imagine how often this kind of thing occurs, and how unbelievably horrible it gets when an actual "serious problem" arises.

Anybody have any similar experiences with this kind of thing? What is the best way for me to proceed?
Thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by SeeThomasHowl; 08-18-2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

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Originally Posted by SeeThomasHowl View Post
My wife and I have been married 3 years. Im 30, shes 27. We are very much in love, and generally supportive of eachother in basically every way.

But my wife has a temper from hell. Shes aware of this and readily admits it. But her awareness of it does not lead her to exercise any restraint. Her position tends to be "This is the way I am, if u dont like it, find someone else." Which is infuriating to me.

One of my major character flaws is that I am easy going to the point of being lazy and unproductive. This has affected our relationship in areas ranging from romance to finance. My wife obviously doesnt like it that Im this way, and it has caused us problems in the past, so I recognize this aspect of my personally as being a defect and I try my best to take appropriate actions to combat it, such as getting more organized, waking up earlier in the morning to run errands and get things done, and making more of an effort to show my wife affection and letting her know how I feel about her.

But when it comes to her negativity, she doesnt do the same. She is almost protective of it. She thinks that my not liking IT = not liking HER. She doesnt stop to think about how harmful it is to our relationship. She takes no responsibility for the problems her negativity causes.

I'll give a quick example. A few days ago my wife returned home from a 2 month vacation w/ her 8yo niece visiting family in their home country. It is 10pm and my wife is on the phone w/ her father, Im sitting next to her on the bed working on our laptop. She isnt speaking English so I dont know what shes saying, but its obvious that she is angry b/c of her tone and the loudness of her voice. We live in an apartment building with very thin walls, and our window is wide open b/c its summertime and we live on the 3rd floor so it gets really hot in our place.

Over the course of about 10min she begins talking louder, and louder, until it gets to the point that she is basically yelling nonstop into the phone. I finally interupt and say calmly, politely, something like "Hon, the volume is getting a little loud." She gives me kind of a dirty look and quiets down.

Long story short over the next 36 hours we're basically caught up in a terrible fight over this. She feels hurt that I asked her to quiet down, saying that she feels that I am annoyed by the sound of her voice. I assure her that that isnt the case, that it was late and she was talking very loudly and I didnt want the neighbors to complain. She then says why am I so worried about "kissing the neighbors' ass" and that she was talking to her father and so what if she was talking loud. I tell her that I was just trying to bring it to her attention b/c maybe she wasnt aware of how loud her voice was getting. But she was offended to the point of being angry with me, and during the subsequent hours of argument goes into her normal routine of being combative toward me while also claiming to have somehow been victimized by me.

So given the mundane nature of what started this latest fight, u can imagine how often this kind of thing occurs, and how unbelievably horrible it gets when an actual "serious problem" arises.

Anybody have any similar experiences with this kind of thing? What is the best way for me to proceed?
Thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Read it, a few comments.
From what you describe, she has more than a negative disposition or personality traits. She sounds a little mental, maybe bipolar or borderline personality ( some undiagnosied mental condition) since she has so much anger and expresses herself with so much drama.
She also sounds very controlling with the increased yelling louder and louder....
Lots of people are that way. Being your the laid back, almost lazy type, this would give her so much to get mad about, more so if your also prone to procasteration and do not finish what you start.
Your communication styles vary greatly and maybe do not mesh. Unless you both want to find ways to communicate better, your going to have a rough time, filled with lots of drama, yelling and screaming, resentment building up...

Counseling would be a good option, if that proves unhelpful, could be your personalities just don't jive.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

Thanks for the comments preso.

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Unless you both want to find ways to communicate better, your going to have a rough time, filled with lots of drama, yelling and screaming, resentment building up...
This is whats already happening and it sucks. Unfortunately we cant afford counseling at at present. But that might be our only hope.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

Maybe you can find some on a sliding scale through an agency that does state funded counseling.

The thing with that though is... unless you both want to make the marriage work, its not going to be worth it.
Some people are just not compatible.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

My husband has anger issues similar to your wife. The smallest thing will set him into a rage and donít even bother getting into a car with him. Same thing, he acknowledged it but demanded that I just accept it. I know what youíre going through and itís hard to live with someone feeling like your walking on egg shells all of the time. She needs to realize that this behavior is not okay and that she can control her reactions that lead to the anger.

You might take a look at the way you communicate to her that this is a problem. She feels like youíre attacking her (maybe even trying to control her) and even if thatís not justified it is how she feels so it needs to be addressed. What about using *I* statements? Tell her how it makes you feel when she gets angry and try approaching it from that angle.

DH and I are in counseling and it took five sessions for him to come around to agreeing just with the idea that he possesses the ability to control and manage his anger. Iím sorry I donít have any better answers for you, your wife needs to be the one to decide that this is something she needs to work on. Even if she comes around and tries to change it for you it wonít stick, it needs to be for her. She really canít be happy living like this either. Iíd suggest working on the areas she has asked you to work on and maybe sheíll see the effort you are putting in and it will make her want to do the same.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

WantsHappines,
I appreciate the sympatico. Yeah she takes no responsibility for her behavior and takes the position that it is everyone and everything else that is making her behave this way. Whenever I have a point of view about an issue that is different from hers she interprets it in the most outlandishly negative way possible and takes it as a personal attack. She is actually a very sweet person, a very good person, but she just has this other side to her that is almost monstrously negative and irrational and it ends up making me so angry and frustrated that I start yelling and cursing and often just have to leave the house to prevent further escalation. Which just compounds the problem even further. Eventually things go back to normal and everything is great. But then the inevitable happens and the cycle restarts. Neither of us has ever had any form of counseling, but this seems not to be something that we can correct on our own, sadly.

Last edited by SeeThomasHowl; 08-19-2009 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

She sees few problem in her temper and she expects you to adapt to it. You being the mellower person will get trampled. A few years later you will probably wonder why you're putting up with this **** all along. This is speaking from my personal experience.

I have done a lot of soul searching to see what kind of character can fit well with this kind of woman. I thought me being calm and nurturing can complement her short temper. This only get to incite my own temper more than anything. Maybe it is easier for two angry type of people to yell at each other. Deep down I guess she is looking for a powerful and authoritative figure so that she will be willing submit to.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Deep down I guess she is looking for a powerful and authoritative figure so that she will be willing submit to.
I respectfully disagree. I dont think this disposition is something that can/should be complimented by any personality type, authoritative or otherwise. Just to clarify, I am a pretty mellow guy, but nowhere near a pushover. I have a very low tolerance for bulls**t actually. I just tend to look on the brightside of things, not to panic when things go wrong, and not to sweat the small stuff, while my wifey is the exact opposite.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry for the confusion. I have gone off track and I was actually mumbling about my own wife.

I'm really interested to find examples of successful adaption. The fact that the other person largely don't see it as her own personality problem make me hold little hope in improvement. Each time this happens it is only going to wear down your tolerance a bit and this thing will become routine.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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WantsHappines,
I appreciate the sympatico. Yeah she takes no responsibility for her behavior and takes the position that it is everyone and everything else that is making her behave this way. Whenever I have a point of view about an issue that is different from hers she interprets it in the most outlandishly negative way possible and takes it as a personal attack. She is actually a very sweet person, a very good person, but she just has this other side to her that is almost monstrously negative and irrational and it ends up making me so angry and frustrated that I start yelling and cursing and often just have to leave the house to prevent further escalation. This just ends up compunding everything. Eventually things go back to normal and everything is great. But then the inevitable happens and the cycle restarts. Neither of us has ever had any form of counseling, but this seems not to be something that we cant correct on our own, sadly.

Yes, yes and yes this too sounds familiar. There is no objectivity when it comes to opinions. External causes are always to blame for severe reactions. Itís not that external item, never is, no question about itÖ We canít control everything but we can always control our reactions. My husband is the same way, he also has an extremely kind, caring side. I wouldnít have married him if he didnít and unfortunately Iím one of the very few who see the worst.

I would recommend you take care with your own reactions. No matter what donít let yourself yell and curse and storm off. By acting the same way she does youíre reinforcing that this is the way you communicate and youíre establishing a pattern. Youíre never addressing the root problem, only the symptom problems which are caused by the root problem, which is why youíll keep going in circles where everything is good for awhile and then it all goes back to the same old. You can do this on your own if you canít afford counseling but it wonít be easy and it will be harder if she doesnít commit to working on it with you. Try reading some books about communication in marriage because neither of you are communicating when youíre yelling at one another and the right kind of communication is where it all starts. I donít have one in particular to recommend, a lot of people here have had good results with The Five Love Languages. And use this forum as much as you need to, to vent and ask for opinions. I've found that you'll get very honest opinions around here.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would recommend you take care with your own reactions. No matter what don’t let yourself yell and curse and storm off. By acting the same way she does you’re reinforcing that this is the way you communicate and you’re establishing a pattern. You’re never addressing the root problem, only the symptom problems which are caused by the root problem, which is why you’ll keep going in circles where everything is good for awhile and then it all goes back to the same old. You can do this on your own if you can’t afford counseling but it won’t be easy and it will be harder if she doesn’t commit to working on it with you. Try reading some books about communication in marriage because neither of you are communicating when you’re yelling at one another and the right kind of communication is where it all starts. I don’t have one in particular to recommend, a lot of people here have had good results with The Five Love Languages. And use this forum as much as you need to, to vent and ask for opinions. I've found that you'll get very honest opinions around here.
This is good advice. And I almost always fail at it. I just get so mad at her for being mad at me. I feel like shes looking for every possible opportunity to blow up instead of thinking of the emotional health of our relationship. And that makes me really frustrated and irate. But I guess I need to find some more patience and restraint somewhere so as not to add more fuel to the fire.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

I'm dealing with the same situation. You mentioned that your wife is from another country. Would that country perhaps be, the Philippines? Because my wife is very similar. Heres what I did to help with our situation.


My wife was very much like your wife. Nuts. She had anger issues and would let her anger control her. She used rotten tactics to escape accountability for her actions during arguments. Tactics like ignoring me by not answer questions during the argument. She would also turn her back to me to where I would be stuck talking to the back or side of her head. My wife was not open to any discussion. She would also do or say whatever to justify her actions. This included lying in order to protect herself.

My wife was a foolish woman. Her fleshly desires ruled her and it almost costed her a marriage. She often reminded me of a foolish woman who is quick to tear down her house over mundane things.

The thing is with this woman is that her family had no sort of real discipline standards. They let the kids run around unattended and thought it was cute when they disobeyed. As a youth she would ignore people away. To this day she still has those childish angry tactics as a 33 year old woman. She is a FAILURE at communicating respectfully and properly as an adult. Like your wife, my wife is one of the sweetest people in public, until you bring something to her attention about herself. Then she turns into an unreasonable 3 year old.

I recognize reactions were extreme. Because she would react this way in any situation. She had no balance in her life. She was always from point A to Z with descision making. She had developed a mental block. To fix this chemical problem that had developed, I put my wife on medication. She was convinced that she didn't have anything going on with her, so I told her it was just a health supplement I heard about. In order to persuade her, I had to take it myself for awhile. I was willing to do whatever I had to in order to fix this very terrible problem.

After being on the St.Johns Herbal mood enhancer for about 2 weeks, our arguments became less and less. When they did arise she was more willing to talk as adults. Give it a try! I hope this helps. I understand the pain you're going through.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

A question for those who have angry spouses: Did you see this side of them before you married them? I ask this since my guy had an EA with someone who was both angry and petty. And until I put the breaks on the relationship, he thought she was such "a good friend."

But looking back on my failed marriage, I was angry about a few things and now I realise from reading this message board, it was due to the fact that my exH never apologised for his behavior with his EA. And in fact, continued to say that for all the rude things that she did to me, "she may have ahd a good reason to do so."

Just wondering, if any of you could be the source of your spouse's anger.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with my wife's negative disposition

I'm a former angry negative wife from hell. LOL For me it came from childhood abuse and resulting depression/ptsd. Therapy taught me that I was really angry at my parents but chose to take it out on my husband because he was well THERE and was an easy target.

Learning to not take my anger out on others was an easy fix once I saw it and had the desire to change. I went to therapy weekly for about 6 months and that fixed that problem.

Now dealing with the underlying anger took longer. I'm presently in my 3rd round of therapy dealing with that.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I know what its like. My wife has the loudest voice and highest pitch of anyone. Many people dont want to talk to her because of this. It really 'grates' on ones nerves. I dont even know anyone else with a voice anything similar. She also has a habit of telling anyone off she can especially children who cant answer back. Although others also find it jolly difficult like shopkeepers, some even refuse to serve her.
I can only say I havent found the answer and have learned to live with it. I dont think it can improve.
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