I've been married for 13 years. 90+% of the time - life is good. We have 2 kids and are in that 'comfortable' stage of our relationship. We get along well - but we're past those exciting years at the beginning of marriage.
Like anyone, we have our differences at times. And over the years, I've learned to respect my wife's approach. I like to talk it out right now - and get past it. She wants to mull things over and get her thoughts collected. That may mean an hour, an afternoon, a day. Lately, it's become less predictable. She stops talking to me 'out of the blue'. I test the water and ask if I've done something...later, I'll ask again. I know not to push the issue. But we're talking about days now - where she gives me minimal communication.
To complicate matters - our kids are young (under 6 yrs). We try not to expose them to our differences - we never argue in front of them, etc. But going days with minimal pleasantries and interaction is obvious to kids. There's no way around it.
To complicate matters further, I'm the sole bread-winner. I work from home - out of my home-office. Since my wife is caring for the kids, we can't avoid each other during the day. And like I said, I'm the type who doesn't like things to drag on. When I worked outside the home, it was easier to let these situations pass from my mind. Now, I find myself stewing during the day. It's not only a drag on my personal life, but affects my work focus. I'm around it all day. I can't chat with a friend at the water cooler. And it would certainly be awkward for me to call a friend - lest she overhear my conversation.
These things used to be infrequent, but seem like they're happening more now. I'm not professing to be the perfect husband, but I can't tell you what the last couple were even about. I know it's bad when spouses yell and fight. But it's just as tough when your wife won't even talk about it.
Maybe it is time that you sit down with your wife and set boundries if at all possible. Let her know that it is okay to take the day to work out what she wants to but other then that not only are things no longer fresh in the mind but that resentment can build. An old wives tale is to never go to bed without things resolved. I am not entirely sold on that idea. I think taking a night can clear your head, but my wife and I have a set of ground rules we follow when we don't se eye to eye.
I too am the "lets not waste time, lets talk now" type, while my gf is the "give me time" type. I feel like I'm just being strung sometimes and I end up folding just to end the tension. I also hate feeling like I'm kept at arms length, and that my only thanks is prickly interactions.
I hate guessing, because not only will I never guess correctly, I'll add fuel to the fire. The only way to beat the technique is to take away its power by refusing to be worn down. Its easier said than done, but if she believes that time with you is more scarce, she won't waste it.
Which brings up my next point -- how long have you been working at home. Maybe space is the issue. You didn't mention whether you give her "alone time" and maybe once or twice a week say "why don't you take yourself out or spend time with friends, I'll watch the kids tonight".
Alternatively, can you take your show on the road once in a while -- give her some alone time during the day? When my gf was out of work and home all the time, I NEVER and I mean NEVER got time to myself and it was frustrating. She was tense cuz she was looking for work, and I was tense because I didn't have any time to myself, and it was a powder keg.
I think we all need more info -- I like the idea of setting boundaries but I'm skeptical that she'll respect them if she feels her feelings are justified.
There also comes that point where you may have to say "OK, you've been mad for 3 days now and that is very disrespectful to me. You need to either communicate with me, or drop it"
Some good questions and points above. I smiled when I read the comment about not going to bed without resolving things. It was offered on my wedding day - and I quickly learned this was not sage advice for our relationship. And I think I've done well to respect that about my wife. It's never been something I couldn't do for her. At the same time, I don't see movement from her to talk things through anymore today than when started out.
To Chopblock, you raise a good question about space and working from home. I've been doing it for a year now - and we openly discussed the changes we'd endure because of it. My wife initially worried about being interrupted when I came out of the office for a snack or break, etc. By the same token, I was worried about being the caregiver when she had to run an errand, etc. I know I sometimes disrupt her day - and I try to limit my presence. And she takes advantage of my proximity - she leaves the baby at home when running our son to school. It all seems to be a fact of life when you 'work and live' together.
Anyway, your space and time comment strikes a chord. We're relatively new to the area, and have few friends. Recently, my wife struck up a friendship with a classmate's mom. They get along great, and I encourage her to get out for lunch or shopping, etc. With the kids getting back to school now, I could work my schedule around an extended daytime break for her - take the baby off her hands and let the 2 of them go out.
I'm grasping at straws though - I don't think this is the problem. But I'm happy to try it - after she's talking to me again.
I am also married to the same wife for almost 13 years and I can also say that life has been good except for some financial troubles. Just like you, I am also the only breadwinner.
But please do not get me wrong, I am not trying to be a nice guy as my wife is also "silent" to me sometimes when there is a problem. Knowing my wife, I try to understand her until the time she wants to talk. But while I am waiting, I am not taking the chance to make the issue bigger. I always remind her that she needs to talk and I am willing to listen.
I think it is still the best tip yet is consistent communication, and talking is not the only way to do it. Smiling, laughing around at even watching a good tv show together can be among them.
I think I am just fortunate to be born a very happy-looking person which I am using to keep open communication with my wife, and even to my children.
juvenal, have there been any developments made on this issue? Is she speaking to you again? Did she admit what the last problem was?
I know I hated being "detective" and she'd just get madder when I couldn't figure it out. Eventually I would just say that I'm not going to play sherlock holmes and if she wants to talk, she knows where I live.