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My wife doesn't know who I really am


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btw annie24, I would be willing to see a counselor, but I don't think she would. And I'm afraid if I were to suggest it she'd be very hurt or insulted. Some have suggested I print out some of this thread to show her--she'd be so hurt to know I felt I had to turn to strangers for advice. I think it's a smart move myself, because I know I'm getting unbiased opinions, but I just think she would take everything the wrong way....

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It is sad that everything has to turn into an argument before anything is resolved. It sounds to me like there is indeed part of your in-laws marriage in your own marriage. Perhaps her parents marriage started off the same way...power struggle battles before finally an issue was compromised on. In other words, over time the father got exhausted from all the epic battles and gave up. Some people thrive on power struggles and "duking it out" so that everything turns into a fight because they get enjoyment out of seeing how far they can push things. It sounds like she is like her mother...wants the upper hand and relishes a good fight to attempt to get the upper hand...you (like her father) fight in order to get your needs met and feelings heard...it is not about power but about fairness...you (like her father) don't get off on the fights...so you will end up getting exhausted over time when every single thing turns into a contest of wills. The problem with people like your wife is that they never seem to learn how to apply one experience to future issues...in other words for every situation the learning process on how to solve the issue starts all over again...it is like the previous battles never happened and nothing was really learned to carry forward the next time something similar happens. I wish I had more optimistic feedback for you but some people are just born arguers and as much as your wife doesn't want a marriage like her parents, she is setting up the scene that allows it to become like her parents' marriage.

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Interesting thread.

 

To echo and summarize what others are saying.

 

It sounds like you are making a genuine effort here.

She just may "need" to argue to express her resentments towards you.

No, this will not improve without some major change - hopefully counseling.

In fact, you can bet that 10 years down the road, she will serve you with divorce papers if there is no change.

If you seek help and she refuses, this is a very very bad sign.

 

It sounds like you were ready for marriage but she was not. I think it makes a lot of sense to date for a year and go to counseling and then get married, here is one thing to consider. Women, like men, can change A LOT in their early twenties - or perhaps in some cases change to become more like their parents. I think that's why the majority of divorces stem from couples who wed in their early twenties. They grow and change and grow apart.

 

While you know who you are, she may not know who she is. And you are seeing more and more sides of her now. It just sounds like marriage was something she really really wanted and then once she got it, the fantasy wore off a bit.

 

Regardless, I suggest counseling.

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Maybe try word it in a way thay she might not take offense to? Try word it as something you would do TOGETHER (no fingerpointing), to try find ways to communicate better so that both are happy?

 

I wonder if having a counselor referee would actually satisfy her "I want you to find someone who agrees with you" thing.... That actually makes me wonder if her mother is influencing her in some way, pushing at her to move home again, so when the arguments crop up, she wants numbers.... A sign of insecurity there I guess.

 

As for the dog, I LUV dogs, and actually let them on the bed. HOWEVER, I also lay down clear rules and my dog is well-trained and obedient. The dog has places he can go, and places he cannot go. I fully understand not wanting a dog everywhere, and if her dog is badly trained, I can see feeling even more uncomfortable. Maybe sign up for a dog obediance course together - as both an activity to do together and as a way to teach the dog some manners?

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