Looking for advice on how best to deal rather than advice of whether I should bail or not. Bit of background - been married 25 years, two kids, one young.
Wife has got long term illness which makes things difficult for her. Shes constantly in pain so its difficult at times I get that. It makes her in not a great mood a lot of the time.
BUT, I have a big issue with how she speaks to me sometimes. i.e. like crap. Most of the time I let it go but sometimes I just can't. And I kick off then. Of course, then even though Im right I handle it badly. It might be in public/ in front of the kids. I just get so incensed at the way shes spoken to me. Of course, I end up looking the bad one then.
Example. Just today one of the kids said something to me and I didnt hear so she basically raised her voice at me and spoke in a pretty nasty way. I just saw red etc.
Thing is its just not me. Shes had problems in work in the past so she does it to everyone. For her thought its weird, its just a quick snap and thats it. Sometimes I just dont think she realises what she does. Bit sometimes it can get a bit much. Some days its as if shes like bear with a sort head and sometimes just cant be bothered to try and be nice to people - it just comes out.
I've asked her about it and she'll say something like "but yes you were being annoying doing this". I disagree. Im the sort of the person that thinks you should speak to someone properly no matter what. If you have a problem even if its huge. But she doesnt see this. I've tried to nicely tell he - look, at times, you find everything and everyone in the entire world annoying so it can't be just me. But again she doesnt change.
I think I need to stop exploding. Like I said I just end up looking bad... But I need to find a way to deal with it and do something each time to deal with. Hoping she'll get message eventually.
Thanks for your post.
Let me tell you, this is extremely close to home for me as I saw it happen all the time with close family members and it's so sad, because it has such a detrimental effect on all those who are surrounded by it.
Yes, your wife needs to absolutely take responsibility for her behaviour. It's not good enough and she does need to be responsible and accountable for it. However, fundamentally it all stems from pain that she must be feeling at a very deep level (not just physically, but mainly emotionally). It could be a number of things but it's amazing what happens when human beings hold onto mental and emotional pain from a younger age. It compounds and compounds and and then as time goes by, the negative reaction gets quicker and creates more and more pain.
Now in my own experience, my mother was someone that had so much frustration and anger that was built up from various experiences earlier in her life that she then used my father and me as a punching bag. My father would just tolerate it and, on the odd occasion, blow up and I would constantly fuel the fire by showing anger towards her.
There are a lot of different schools of thought on how to handle it. Some would say that you need to fight fire with fire. Some would say that you should treat her like the 'child' that she is behaving like. But I believe in tackling this in a completely different way and that's from a place of love.
In my own experience, when i've changed the way I look at things, the things I look at change. I'm not trying to get too spiritual or anything here but it's something I wholeheartedly believe in because my experiences have suggested so. When I decided to take a more compassionate view of my mother, her experiences, her pains, her regrets, frustrations etc, I then was able to view the situation completely different. As a result, my actions were different leading to a completely different quality of relationship. The relationship between her and my dad though hasn't changed much mainly because both of them have tolerated it.
What is absolutely crucial here is that you set boundaries and standards for how you wish to be treated. As long as she knows that she can do this sort of thing without too many negative consequences, then she will continue to do so. It's really important for you to demonstrate your strength of character but without being aggressive or intimidating. In addition, when you take a more compassionate approach to your relationship, this will also help with 'breaking down her walls' of pain and helping her to open hear heart more. It's always hard to be 100% sure whether it will completely heal her because there's so many layers of complexity here but it's the right approach to take.
Finally, we get what we tolerate in life. So the question for you is - what are you prepared to tolerate and what are the standards you set of yourself as well as the standards you wish others to live up to?
I hope that all makes sense.
Any questions, please let me know.