Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:15 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

You need to figure a way to take being treated like crap? If she hasn't got the message in 25 years I doubt she will.

At this time you're the problem for putting up with this.

You ok with this the rest of your life with her?

For the most part people treat you like you let them.

If it was me I'd start giving her a lot of alone time and I'd go my own way. She'll either figure it out of she won't but I sure as hell wouldn't spend more of my life in this situation.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:38 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Yep, we teach people how they can treat us. You have taught your wife that most of the time you are ok with being spoken to like that. And of course once in a blue moon you will snap back at her. She's ok with that.

What is it that she wants the most from you? Does she want you to spend time with her? Does she want you to do things for her?

When my son was about 1 he thought it was really funny... when i'd pick him up, he would bash my face with his hard head. And then when I yelled, he would laugh. What did he want the most from me? For me to spend time with him and play with him. So when he bashed my like that, I would immediately put him on the floor, say "No one wants to play with a boy how hurts them." and I would leave the room. He would cry and I ignored his cry.

It only took me doing that a few times to put an end to his head bashing. I taught him that he could not treat me like that.

Now of course your wife is not a toddler with a hard head. But you could do something similar in that when she talks to you like that, instead of getting angry and yelling at her, you could calmly say something like "Gee that's disrespectful and not acceptable." and walk away. Take your kids with you if you can. Just leave her standing there by herself to deal with her own BS. Even leave the house for an hour or so if you can.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:40 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Read this:

https://www.lynneforrest.com/article...ces-of-victim/

What did you learn from it?

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:41 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Too late to train this horse how to switch leads brother....

Either live with it or get out. There is no changing her.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:31 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
Too late to train this horse how to switch leads brother....

Either live with it or get out. There is no changing her.
I disagree that it's too late change how she interacts with him.

I shared what I did with my son.

Now Ill share what I did with his father who was an angry abusive man. He used to pick on me verbally endlessly. Often hed escalate into angry outbursts with yelling, screaming, throwing things and even being physically abusive.

I read a book (The Dance of Anger) that had an idea of how to stop the outbursts. It said that when a person acted like that, just get away from them.
So when he was calm I told him that the angry outbursts had to stop. That it was impossible to take back the garbage that came out of his mouth. And his physical violence was unacceptable. So, from that point on I was going to tell him to STOP and then walk away the moment I felt that he was escalating. A that point he was responsible for calming himself down. I would leave, go to another room, go for a drive, go for a walk . I would just get away for him for an hour or so. We could talk again once he was calm.

And I did that. Within a few weeks, when I said to STOP, he could take his helmet and go for a hour or so long bike ride. He would return in a much better mod. All the ugly words and angry outbursts stopped.

Now yes, I did divorce him. But that had a lot to do with the fact that he was cheating. But at least the ugly, angry outbursts had stopped.

Old dogs can be taught new tricks.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:55 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Sometimes.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 01:34 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Ah I find the idea that people can't control their outburst to be bull****. My stepfather used to do this to my Mom all the time. Funny if it was the 250 pound 6' 5 cop he never had an outburst. You know what kept him in line fear. I wish these people who behave like that would get put in the hospital once, maybe be left with a limp. The outburst would stop. This kind of thing is allowed to happen from childhood on never with any consequence.

Sorry this is a tangent I know. This **** hits a nerve.

Last edited by sokillme; 04-16-2017 at 01:54 AM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 01:40 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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I disagree that it's too late change how she interacts with him.

I shared what I did with my son.

Now Ill share what I did with his father who was an angry abusive man. He used to pick on me verbally endlessly. Often hed escalate into angry outbursts with yelling, screaming, throwing things and even being physically abusive.

I read a book (The Dance of Anger) that had an idea of how to stop the outbursts. It said that when a person acted like that, just get away from them.
So when he was calm I told him that the angry outbursts had to stop. That it was impossible to take back the garbage that came out of his mouth. And his physical violence was unacceptable. So, from that point on I was going to tell him to STOP and then walk away the moment I felt that he was escalating. A that point he was responsible for calming himself down. I would leave, go to another room, go for a drive, go for a walk . I would just get away for him for an hour or so. We could talk again once he was calm.

And I did that. Within a few weeks, when I said to STOP, he could take his helmet and go for a hour or so long bike ride. He would return in a much better mod. All the ugly words and angry outbursts stopped.

Now yes, I did divorce him. But that had a lot to do with the fact that he was cheating. But at least the ugly, angry outbursts had stopped.

Old dogs can be taught new tricks.
God spare us from ****ty people who you try to have a discussion with, while they need a whole hour to calm down right in the middle of it, just so they don't act like adult babies. Life is WAY WAY too short to waste time with such bull****.

Half of the time that **** is just to control the conversation. It's not that they can't control themselves because they never do it if there is a real threat of danger. I bet if you pulled a gun on him he would stop yelling real fast. (no saying to do this). What it really is is a form of abuse by intimidation. It's a way to take control of the discussion.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 01:53 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

OP treat her like you would a 5 year old. Because that is her mentality. You need to get mentally strong though. Realize that this is all on her just like most good parents don't get bent out when their 5 year old acts out. Don't lose your cool just stay in a firm way, "If you are going to speak to me that way I am going to leave." If she continues get in your car and drive away. Even if you are out. Let her find a ride home. Don't be there when she does. If she starts up again say, "Until you start treating me with respect you are on your own." And mean it. If it is in the middle of an argument say "There is a way to stay that without the disrespectful tone, if you can't do that then this conversation is over." If she doesn't stop just leave her to her own devices. If you can't get away just ignore her and get on your phone or something. If she tries to talk to you again say. "First I would like you to apologize for the way you spoke to me." Frankly you should make her apologize every time she does it. Don't even talk to her until she does. Just like the little baby child she acts like.

My mom used to do this to my step-father and it drove him bonkers. He would end up making himself look like more of a jerk. In your case if you do that at least you won't be the one who looks stupid. I suspect that this is more about her controlling you through intimidation and fear of embarrassment. Once she sees that won't work and it actually backfires she may change her ways. Personally I would not be able to live with that ****.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 02:02 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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God spare us from ****ty people who you try to have a discussion with, while they need a whole hour to calm down right in the middle of it, just so they don't act like adult babies. Life is WAY WAY too short to waste time with such bull****.

Half of the time that **** is just to control the conversation. It's not that they can't control themselves because they never do it if there is a real threat of danger. I bet if you pulled a gun on him he would stop yelling real fast. (no saying to do this). What it really is is a form of abuse by intimidation. It's a way to take control of the discussion.
Yea, had I pulled a gun on him he would have stopped the angry outbursts immediately. But the next time he might just bring his gun too.

Yes, it's a form of abuse by intimidation. But sometimes a person cannot just leave. Sometimes they have to find a way to be able to live in the same house with someone who acts like this. (Yes I could not leave, but this thread is not about me so I will not derail it with why.)

And yes, I know that you will reply to this post by insulting and attacking me more.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 03:07 AM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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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.

Hi @bob1471

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.

Cheers
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 05:55 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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Yea, had I pulled a gun on him he would have stopped the angry outbursts immediately. But the next time he might just bring his gun too.

Yes, it's a form of abuse by intimidation. But sometimes a person cannot just leave. Sometimes they have to find a way to be able to live in the same house with someone who acts like this. (Yes I could not leave, but this thread is not about me so I will not derail it with why.)

And yes, I know that you will reply to this post by insulting and attacking me more.
I didn't mean for that to be a suggestion for how to deal with it. I just meant that they could control themselves if they really wanted to. I am not attacking you at all. If anything I feel tremendous sympathy with you because I totally remember how that is. I am sorry if it seemed that way. In no way was any of that directed at you, it was directed at the *******s who do that kind of stuff. I hate that with a passion. Again sorry if you got caught up in my tangent.

Seriously.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 05:58 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

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Originally Posted by shrah25 View Post
Hi @bob1471

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.

Cheers
You are way too rational and thoughtful to post on here. /s Where did you come from
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 06:55 PM
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Re: Looking for advice on how to handle - wife talks to me badly

Buy the book "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans, that should get you started.

I think this is one of those times when passive-aggression is your best friend. Just say, "I don't respond to that kind of behavior. You will have to try harder."

Then go away and make her beg for you.

My mother treats me the way your wife treats you. She calls me stupid. She'll ask me to help her with something she can 't do herself, usually related to the internet, but then gets impatient and verbally abusive.

I rarely call her. And I think she's smart enough not to ask me to do anything anymore. My repsonse would be "sorry, no can do. I'm stupid, I know this because you told me so."
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