If you put a hidden cam/tape recorder in your kitchen your W would legitimately get upset. BUT you can accomplish "almost" the same thing in certain situations.
On several occasions, I have thought of recording one of our interactions so that I could show her just how inappropriately she was behaving. It could easily backfire though, so I haven't.
Wife: Snaps at you
You: Quietly look at her until she is looking at you or you say something like "hey" to get her to look at you
You: Repeat what she said in as close to perfect tone/pitch and definitely verbatim on the words
You: Look at her silently with some body language that makes it perfectly clear "that" type treatment is not going to fly.
If she starts to argue - gets aggressive - just hold up your hand and firmly shake your head. Do not say anything - she understand perfectly what is happening. This interaction is NOT about communication, it is about bullying your partner. Her attempting to bully you. This will silently convey that "there is no WAY in hell are you going to get away with doubling down on this". If she continues just walk away and do NOT make the peace on this.
I definitely have to work on the body language part, as it seems like it would be very easy to come across as threatening without meaning to.
Sometimes when she snaps at me, I try to give her a look that says "WHAT did you just say to me?" and not say anything. It is usually interpreted as a blank, vacant, uncomprehending look and she then gets pissed about that. At which point I tell her that it is extremely offensive and insulting to assume that I'm giving her a blank look just because I don't say anything. Probably not the best response on my part.
I have to be very careful about repeating what she said back to her, because she will pick apart my wording as not being exactly what she said. This happened last night, actually. We were purchasing something online and she was holding the baby so I put the transaction through for her. I didn't see an option to change the Paypal payment type, so I finished the transaction.
She flipped out because it was going to go to her bank account instead of her credit card, and then snapped at me that "I shouldn't have let you do it."
My first response was "no, I guess you shouldn't have," with more than a hint of anger in my tone.
As soon as the words get out of my mouth, I said "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have responded like that. You told me that 'I should never have let you do it.' I would never say such a thing to you, so please don't say it to me."
Her first response was "I didn't say that I never
should have let you do it, I just said that I shouldn't have..."
I didn't let her get any further with it. I said that "it amounts to the same thing, and I'm not going to argue over exact wording. The message was the same."
She paused for a moment, and then said "you're right. I'm sorry that I snapped at you and said that."
Within the next half hour, she apologized to me two more times for "being a b*tch" to me (her words, not mine).
You need to get your W to UNLEARN the habit of taking her bad days out on you.
If you back off enough - while remaining fun/playful maybe even a little edgy SHE will come to you. And she will love you MORE. She wants an equal.
I feel like this is already starting to happen. I've been taking this approach for a little over a week, and I've diffused every potential situation with either a bit of humor (showing that it just rolled off of me like water off a duck) or by calling her on her behavior and not letting myself get emotional. In the former situation, she often acted like nothing happened, and in the latter, she'd sometimes get distant for a few minutes but then be back to "normal" shortly thereafter.
The power balance in the relationship already seems to be shifting back in favor of balance. I haven't truly been tested yet, so I'm not going to get too full of myself. I think that she is starting to realize that I'm not reacting the way that she's used to.
No matter WHAT you do with her. Practice a blend of very few words and reinforcing body language.
Do NOT talk about your feelings about HER behavior even if she asks. Her behaviors are all:
- not ideal - followed by a brief/brief suggestion as to how you would prefer she handle that situation in the future
"You are better than that" is the adult version of parent/child guilt. Works like magic - if not overused.
When she asks "what is happening" just smile.
Great advice. If I don't catch myself, I'll turn everything into an in-depth discussion and analysis and I'll end up saying way too much.