Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit test?
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit test?

Hello All!

I've been getting so much help from you all over the past few days. Big Bad Wolf, Conrad, other 'Alpha' members - females - learning!

I'm changing from a door mat to a man.

Last night my wife was going upstairs - yelled / nagged down to me about locking the back door. I stayed calm - told her I always do it before I go to sleep.

She fought - she called me lazy, stupid. She said " what if someone broke in" I told her "I'm right here Crystal." She imasculated me by saying " like you could do anything."

Anyway. she stormed to her room.

I went upstairs - opend her door - remembering the words of big bad wolf. Calm, confident - in control of my emotions.

"Honey - next time come down and speak to me like an adult. "

closed the door gently and left.

I wrote a note for myself of points to bring up with her - as i forget things so quickly.

-belittled me by treating me like you'd treat a child. nagging, yelling.

-Name calling - lazy, stupid.

-Attacking my manhood and imasculating me by suggesting I'd be defensless if our house was broken into

Under those points I wrote "unacceptable"

SO

She found it - ripped it to peices. didn't say anything - is acting all calm.

What should I do - is her finding it enough?
I'm thinking it's a fitness test - and I'll have to bring it up anyway - make sure I speak to her calmly.

Thoughts?

She always attacks my manhood - telling others I'm not handy - threatening to call her father, making fun of a gate i built 5 years ago. I won't accept that lack of respect anymore - it's to the point where I don't want to do anything - if I do it, and it's not perfect - I'm attacked. if I do it and it is good - there's no recognition.

I am handy. I can wire a house, build amazing pokertables, fix cars etc.

I feel like a beta even typing this - but I'm just learning.

Thanks Everyone of you here. The ones with the questions and the ones with the answers. I have no more mr nice guy and will start reading it tonight.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Her finding it is enough.

If you dig on it, you will appear "needy" as you will be seeking her need acceptance on this.

Stand tall and reflect her behavior back to her.

A great question to ask is, "How is this helpful?" It holds her accountable for what she's trying to accomplish (which isn't very pretty)
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Conrad!

big fan. hahaha.

Anyway - first - what if she confronts me about it? Same thing - cool, Calm? Just say something flatly - I'm new to all this.

Conflict has not been a strong suit.

I guess my thought was "I'll rip it up - see if he's man enough to confront me about it - or to just let it go" But I don't know if that thought even crossed her mind.

"Reflect behavior back to her."

What does this mean exactly? Nag her? Do the same things she was doing to me about a non-issue?

then when she gets mad - ask her "how is this helpful?"

Sorry if I'm needing more clarification.

Thanks for the "feeling needy" pep talk - sounds true. its like I need her to aknowlege she did it.

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

When she speaks to you so disrespectfully don't allow her to continue. Tell her I am no longer going to tolerate that kind of talk from you and I don't expect to hear it again. Talk right over her don't wait to hear what she has to say then turn around and walk away She will at first up the ante and get worse before she get the message be consistent. . Tell her when you are ready to talk like a normal person we can discuss it. I may be wrong but I am a fan of disengaging from verbally abusive people. Say what you will not tolerate and if she does not listen, you are justified in acting like she does not exist as a human, she is not acting like a human. Call her on every thing she says. If she badmouths you to people when you are in public get in your car and drive away. She will find her way home and she will be careful next time.

Don't be fearful of doing this - you cannot live ,like this and if your change of attitude does not bring the same from her, then take you new found skills to a fresh relationship. It is really true that women will treat you the way you allow them so you are totally in control. In all of this you have to decide the deal breaker - are you willing to separate if she does adhere to your behavioral request. You have to be willing to exercise a negative consequence for her which is positive for you.

I'll tell you about my relationship my husband is a dominate man, calm, does not take any crap from me. I can run my mouth with the best of them but I am never inclined to do that with him ever. Why it his personality - he sates calmly when he does not like what I say or do and then leaves it alone. I respect him because that what he demands. Women feel safer with a man who sets boundaries it a demonstrate of his ability to manage in the world. If he capitulates to me then I would become anxious and maybe start telling him what to do.

So take heart. Her response to your changes will get worse at first but stay the course, keep posting for support and don't worry about making a mistake, you can always recover.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

I would ignore the fact that she tore it up and be very cool towards her. She looking for a fight and is baiting you, if you ignore her she will she that she can't get any response by her actions.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

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Originally Posted by jonny View Post
Conrad!

big fan. hahaha.

Anyway - first - what if she confronts me about it? Same thing - cool, Calm? Just say something flatly - I'm new to all this.

Conflict has not been a strong suit.

I guess my thought was "I'll rip it up - see if he's man enough to confront me about it - or to just let it go" But I don't know if that thought even crossed her mind.

"Reflect behavior back to her."

What does this mean exactly? Nag her? Do the same things she was doing to me about a non-issue?

then when she gets mad - ask her "how is this helpful?"

Sorry if I'm needing more clarification.

Thanks for the "feeling needy" pep talk - sounds true. its like I need her to aknowlege she did it.

Thanks!
Here's the thing.

Respect is the issue. There's no earthly way to characterize her treatment of you as respectful.

You sound like tiptoeing around to keep her from getting upset has been a strategy you've employed. Sadly, that gets you less of (respect) what you really want. She can sense your tiptoes and it's like waving a green light to push further in.

A cool, firm response is required to enforce the boundary. The key thing is that response does not include defense. So, your encounters require a certain amount of wisdom to navigate - at least at first.

If she's asking you a question? Just answer it. Don't assume any sort of ulterior agenda on her part until she starts "pushing it". You'll know that by the internal alarms that start to go off and the temptation to start with the tiptoe soothing routine.

Pay attention to what's happening with your emotions. If you feel yourself getting amped up/defensive, you can always say, "How did this get so big?"

What this does is it reflects back the negative emotion and holds her accountable for initiating conflict. She then has to decide how far she wants to go.

I'm sure she's been very good at pressing your buttons. And, she's been getting the same response for years. You changing the dance will be met with resistance.

Think of it like a soda machine. She's going to press the Coke button and Coke is going to stop coming out. It will take awhile for her to adjust to this, so be patient.

Do not nag. Do not initiate.

You simply want respect for yourself - you won't get it by going on offense.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

I'm going to read more closely later - and really digest - when i can be alone.

But what I'm gathering - is I'm not straightforwardly stating that " my boundary is this - yadda yadda yadda. " but I'm making the statement with action and through situations.

Letting her put the pieces together for herself so to speak? Seeing - if I do this - I get a bad reaction etc?

OR - does one state. 'Honey - You're belittling me and treating me like a child, which I will not tolerate.'

or something?

Thanks again everyone!

Thanks Catherine.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

You've gotten good input.

I will also state that a good deal of this will start to change, once you have come to terms with yourself - as far as how to handle these things.

Remember, boundaries are for you, not her. She has zero input on what your boundaries are, unless of course she's crossing them.

If you know that you are confrontation averse, than you need a different tack. As Catherine suggested, compete disengagement, ignoring her may be more appropriate for you.

Or when she makes an outrageous request or comment, get used to saying "No." And that's it. Give her nothing else. If she wants to throw down, leave - leave the house if necessary.

She WANTS you to try and defend yourself - to continue validating her perception of you as her punching bag. Simply don't ...

Strongly recommend the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" if you don't already have it.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

jonny,

While there is no desire to placate, there is also no desire to incite.

I would suggest eliminating the word "you" from the vocabulary as much as possible.

"You are doing this" brings an immediate "Prove it" or "No I'm not"

That gets nowhere quickly.

"I find this line of discussion unacceptable and it won't be tolerated"

Very strong, but depersonalized.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny View Post
Anyway. she stormed to her room.

I went upstairs - opend her door - remembering the words of big bad wolf. Calm, confident - in control of my emotions.

"Honey - next time come down and speak to me like an adult. "

closed the door gently and left.
Do the two of you have separate bedrooms?

That alone is a real problem.

Don't take crap, but not escalate her distress. Difficult walk if you haven't done that before.

But you can turn it around. Don't indulge in her game. Set boundaries for sure. Enforce them.

No eggshell walk around her.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Whether she ripped up the note or not, those are still issues you need to and will address.

That's the important part.

So she disputes and belittles the importance of those issues by ripping up your list?
Show her it won't work---you'll address the issues whether she rips up the list or not.
Her tactic to distract and invalidate you will not work.

Confronting her about her immature tactic gives her more power and opportunity to attack you and what's important to you.

She wants you to react to it.
Don't. Show her that something so immature and disrespectful does not merit a response from you.
And treat other similar immature and disrespectful behaviors the same way---unworthy of a response.

And yes, it is enough that she found it.
She doesn't like that you're standing up for yourself so she's trying to control your efforts to do so.

I'm learning some of these things too, even though in my case I'm a wife who needs to "man up."
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Ya'll need Marriage counseling not how to "man up" lessons. My wife hasn't said half of what yours has in our 13yr of marriage.........sounds like the relationship is very unhealthy.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Of course counseling would be great.

But both parties have to be willing.
Jonny, I absolutely hope your wife would go to counseling with you and think it would help.

In the meantime, I think "manning up" and/or looking for ways to start improving the relationship in other ways is great and can be effective.

Many people here on TAM have turned around their marriages by beginning to make changes in their own behaviors and thinking.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

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Originally Posted by OhGeesh View Post
Ya'll need Marriage counseling not how to "man up" lessons. My wife hasn't said half of what yours has in our 13yr of marriage.........sounds like the relationship is very unhealthy.
People tend to spew from their own autobiography.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife found reminder note of points to talk about.ripped it up. Boundaries. fit te

Will read through more carefully and respond more later when my wife goes to bed.

On the weekends we sleep apart - More something implemented by me so I can do some of the things I want to do - video games, movies she refuses to watch etc.

Even that - I need to work around her, and can only do that stuff when she's sleeping.

Counsilling - We have gone - To a psychologist that's quite good one on one - but like most therapy - favors the female once 2 are involved. The sessions mimic real life - her doing all the talking - everything being my problem. The reason she's like that is that I'm not a man of action etc etc etc.

I found therapy to do more harm than good.

'Manning up', after all the reading i've done here - in other locations - seems to be a very good way of bettering my life, and OUR lives. i'm in this to better my life - as a whole. relationship, family, self.

Thanks - keep posts and opinions coming.

I really really appreciate it.

Oh - things seem to be sinking in.

tonight - " why are you being mean?" " Baby! I'm not being mean in the least! I'm good right now! "

She went to have a shower - she's been cute / pouty a bit since I'm not paying her the same amount of atention i would.

After the shower - comes to hug me and says " I love you "

I said it back.

She said - are you just saying that?

"no - I mean it."

There will be a HUGE resistance - I know it. But it has to be done, or this relationship will not last. I can't live "below" my wife for the rest of my life. I deserve respect - so does she.



thanks again.
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