Hello everyone. I'm not very good at explaining feelings and such so please bear with me. Me and my wife have been married for almost 2 and half years and are coming up on a breaking point. We were great when we were dating and still are about 1/3 of the time. Now the problems. We are fighting all the time over very little things. We got pregnant a couple months after I got back from Iraq but my wife has Lupus and it was made worse by the pregnancy and we lost the baby at 16 weeks. My wife's Lupus spread into her kidney's and became Lupus Nephritis (Lupus of the kidney) and she swelled around the stomach. It left some bad stretch marks that haved killed her self confidence. She didn't want to be physical for a long time and I masterbated to take care of myself. Sometimes we get into a fight and I'm not interested in having sex that night. So, she will get angry that I didn't want to have sex and as such won't sleep with me for days afterward so, I masterbate. This has been the vicious cycle for over a year.
The other issue is us arguing. Alot of it stems from the fact I'm not good at expressing my emotions, never have been and feeling like I never will be. My wife has a habit of picking fights over small things and the fact that I don't respond to her being angry about these things makes her more angry. (I'm not say that alot of things she gets angry about aren't perfectly legitimate things.) The more she gets angry about small things though, the less empathy I feel.
I don't know what exactly to do at this point. I haven't brought up our daughter in my little narrative yet because she isn't any of the problem. My wife brought a daughter into our marriage and I've adopted her. As far as I'm concerned, she is mine. With all the issues we are having, I am mostly staying in this marriage for two reasons. One is so my daughter has both of her parents and also because with her medical condition my wife struggles at working and has been denied disability. My government health issurance takes care of her incredibly expensive medical bills. I'm leaving for a year in Korea in March and I'm looking forward to going. I feel bad feeling that way and don't want to be away from my daughter but I'm so unhappy on a day to day basis. I'm really not sure what to do.
So if the these small things she harps on are legitimate, why wouldn't you address them before she gets annoyed. By you not addressing these things it is building resentment up between you both. That leads to you both losing love for each other. The arguing and AOs have to stop. It just a merry go round you cant get off of and the resentment builds. Have you identified what you can do or change on your part to lower her tensions?
Hear the emotions behind her words and respond accordingly. Don't fixate on the actual words. Very rarely is the object of the nitpicking the real problem she needs to talk about. She's just expressing herself the way God made her. She's lost a child. She's done the deployment thing. On top of all that, she's battling a terrible illness. Your chaplain ought to be able to help y'all line up some counseling or maybe hook y'all up on a marriage enrichment retreat. Both of you have been through a lot. I applaud you for staying with it for your child and your wife's illness. Folks get and stay married for lots worse reasons.
I appreciate the comments. Her legitimate issues aren't the ones I am usually ignoring. I meant that I have no empathy for the other things that she gets worked up over. It's not bad advise but we really aren't go to the chaplain kind of people.
Has she been checked by her doctor for depression? Losing a child (even an unborn one) is a very traumatic experience for a woman (my wife has 2 miscarriages) and she can still be hurting from this and it could be manifesting itself as you've noted above
I wasn't suggesting you go to the chaplain to handle snakes and be baptized. You don't even have to believe in God. Your chaplain is a trained marriage counselor and he/she has resources to help you that you haven't even heard of. You can also go to the nearest military hospital and they have counseling as well. I suggested the chaplain because he's supposed to be like the guru who knows how you can access all the help that's available.
Also, you say you attend to her "legitimate" issues. Understand that women don't have male brains. You can compartmentalize and switch from airman, to parent, to TV viewer, to sex with no problem. You're in the military and have become expert and turning these switches on and off. She (and all other women) are wired differently. Counseling will help you understand and even appreciate these differences and it'll help you learn to navigate the stew that is a woman's brain.
We'll, I've been caring for a wife for 6 years that has lupus. She's asleep most of the time and I don't see her much. She's lost two children. blah blah blah - it is what it is.
This is my blunt advice:
1. Take care of your wife. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, your wife has a terminal illness and won't be around forever.
2. Don't drag any children into the arguments if possible. Most arguments will be heard by children no matter where they hide anyway. Do your best.
3. Get yourself help so you can help your wife. This is very important! Jerking off only helps a little (if any).
4. Learn how to express yourself - NOW! Stop jerking around with excuses.
5. Do something good for another person in this lifetime - your wife!
6. Good luck, if I can do it, so can you!
Those advising counseling, whether with your chaplain or not, are correct! Not sure I understand why you say you're not 'chaplain' sort of people; you did say you're in the military, right? Aren't they supposed to be available for all service men/women?
Idontknow has a good point in reference to your daughter/children - but be careful, no matter how good you 'think' you are at hiding it, children are not stupid; they can feel the tension and it affects them. Best thing to do for your daughter's sake is to find help somewhere.
I wouldn't stop at just marriage counseling. Facing a potentially fatal disease is not easy. Depression is a common result of a poor prognosis. She needs help dealing with what her life is now, and she needs an outlet that does not endanger her primary relationship.
IMHO she needs counseling on her own before the two of you can start marriage counseling. Without it the process will likely be more painful than necessary for both you and your daughter. Often kids feel the affect the worst. Be very wary if your wife starts to compete with her daughter for your affection.
I think you do need relationship counseling. I think it would help exponentially, but I think she needs to attend to her confidence issues first so that marriage counseling does not risk poorer than necessary outcomes. This, however, does not absolve you of your responsibility for your own behaviors in any way.
I hear how you feel about being around your wife when she's hypercritical. It can be hard to be strong enough to handle supporting her when you don't feel she's supporting you. You might have to ask your battle-buddy for some help and emotional support. Just don't let anyone tell your CO that you're masturbating. I understand it. The world understands it. Your buddy understands it, but the Army doesn't.
I know you can understand the distinction.
If there's any way you can apply for family emergency exemption, please do so. Deployment right now will be very hard on her, even if she comes with you. Being uprooted, I think, is not what she needs right now. I know how hard that can be, but it won't kill your career, though it might put it on hold for a while.
The VA is improving the waitlist for psychological services, and have been for a while. They're still adding a large number of good docs to handle the backlog.
I suggest, however, that you use out-department services for marriage counseling so that what you say in session does NOT become part of your service record. If you live close to a major university almost all of them offer relationship and client counseling to the public on a sliding scale that even military families can afford.
It's hard, I know. But we take care of our own.
Just one more thing: if she hits you, slaps you, starts to threaten you, leave and report it. Make sure you CO knows even if you have to send him a letter stapled to the police report. This is no BS. Don't go back until it's documented, and the both of you are in relationship counseling.
A lot of good men and women in uniform have been caught in that trap. Protect your daughter first, then yourself, then your wife, then your country. Nobody wins any other way.