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Wife isn't interested in helping provide anything in our marriage


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I've been with my wife for 4 years. Officially married last year due to Covid but we been living for 3 years. For reference we're both 30.

For about a year she's been very un-interested in helping or supporting us. For example, financially in our marriage and whenever i bring it up she makes herself the victim, that i'm attacking her and offending her and even brings up past events which are linked to me not working or similar ( i was unemployed for about 6 months and had very low income as a freelancer ).

Besides not being interested in finding a job, she gets stubborn when I use logic and reasoning when I speak to her about things that need to be done ( example, she needs to pass her drivers exam and finally get a drivers license (SHe can drive but just doesn't want to make it official) , she needs to lower the amount of daily times she talks to her toxic mother ( She is always angry when she hangs up her phone after talking to that woman ), schedule an appointment to a psychiatrist to talk about her bursts of anger for the littlest of  things ... etc... ) She knows I am making sense and whatever I say is correct but she won't do it because i'm "Pushing the issue which is at hand at the time." She knows its the smarted thing to do but just decides "Fu** it, i won't do it because I don't want to do what you tell me" Or some similar nonsense. 

How do i get through to her. Am I being way too patient with her? Do i need to be more strict or? I'm just confused and i don't have a friend who i can share this issue with to get an opinion from since I believe they just won't understand.

I can share more info if required but I believe this will suffice for now. 

Looking forward to the responses.

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You're her husband not her parent.  You're treating her like a child telling her what she has to do.  It's not about logic and reasoning only.  It's about tone of voice, timing, context, word choice, body language.  It doesn't matter if it's the smartest thing to do.  It matters if it is her choice, her initiative, not coming from your dad-like lecturing tone.  

And even if you were her parent it would be a poor parenting technique because there should be a short list of "my way or the highway" depending on the child's age. With an adult there can be a short list of "my way or the highway" but only where the couple has discussed in advance and made commitments to do or not do things.  

You don't get to dictate how often she speaks with her mother. If she acts disrespectfully towards you -meaning her mother or if she does by acting out because she's frustrated with her mother - then you can tailor your own reaction -tell her it's not ok to treat you that way.

Now if she is not contributing financially then you have the right to control you.  Meaning you can choose not to buy her certain things, etc. You can say no to things she wants to spend money on that would not be within the household budget if she has no income of her own .  You get to control your own behavior.  

If she will not work and there is financial struggle as a result of course you can tell her that the two of you cannot pay the bills/rent on just your salary so if she wants to stay where you are living she will have to contribute to the family income.

Are there any plans to start a family?  Do you want to stay married to her?  Also has she ever suffered from depression?

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Stop nagging man. She's not a kid and you don't get to dictate her life. She's an adult and has her own mind and will do things when she see fits.

I see some incompatibilities here however. How was the relationship like before marriage/a year ago? Was she contributing more?

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7 hours ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

How do i get through to her. Am I being way too patient with her? Do i need to be more strict or?responses.

As the previous posters said - you are not her parent, so putting yourself in that dynamic will not end well for your relationship or create positive feelings towards you from her. It’s inappropriate and undermines you both and the relationship.

If she has a number of issues and she is aware of what they are and what needs to be done to address and resolve them but chooses not to, then the only thing you can do is choose where your limits and boundaries are and honour them. The ball is completely in her court and it’s on her to decide what her priorities are and how she handles herself. All you can do is respond to those choices by making your own. For example, if she chooses not to seek help for issues she feels she has and will not contribute to the household finances, then you can choose to separate from her or walk away completely.

You also don’t get to tell her what she must do or how she must handle her relationships. You can certainly let her know that if things don’t change then you will reevaluate the relationship. But, don’t say anything you don’t mean or intend to do, and definitely don’t make threats or give manipulative ultimatums. Just let her know what you need in a marriage for it to be successful and that if she is not able or willing to meet you half way/compromise/or meet those relationship needs then your choice will have to be to walk away. It’s a tough situation, but recognise what is and isn’t appropriate for you to involve yourself in or push your position on.

Edited by LotusBlack
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I always have a lot of questions when I read these kind of posts, so here I go:

How did she financially support herself before you met her?

Has she supported herself financially since you two moved in together?

Have you discussed finances before you got married?

Do you live in an area where there is easy access to public transport or do you need to drive her around?

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8 hours ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

she needs to.....

You seem overbearing and almost abusive. Your entire post is about telling her what "she needs to do" .

Fix yourself first. Get a handle on your finances, drinking issues, work problems,etc.

 

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8 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Are there any plans to start a family?  Do you want to stay married to her?  Also has she ever suffered from depression?

Yes we are trying to start a family. Yes even though she isn't supportive in many things, or knows how to show support, I want to stay with her and make this work. Yes she's been depressed before, 1 year ago when she misscarried at 3 months.  I read yours points and they make sense, it's nit abiut control and I have been looking at it wrong. The decision needs to be hers and  that is now obvious. 

 

3 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Stop nagging man. She's not a kid and you don't get to dictate her life. She's an adult and has her own mind and will do things when she see fits.

I see some incompatibilities here however. How was the relationship like before marriage/a year ago? Was she contributing more?

I'm actually far from nagging her, i just focus on the future a lot whereas she doesn't seem too much invested in it as I am. But yes, I do have a contro problem and try to get everything to run my way so i need to let her make her own decisions without my input. 

We fell in love with each other within just a month. We knew what each one of us wanted, how to express ourselves, had very little arguments or quarrels winxw we understood eachother and supported one another. About a year ago she was working for a call centre but She decided to finally quit because it was draining her in every possibile way. Since then, she hasn't worked except about 2 months ago when I asked her to help me finish my work wince it piled up. It was just for 2 days, amazing pay, but the eye rolls and deep sighs showed she did not enjoy doing it.

31 minutes ago, Blue_Skirt said:

I always have a lot of questions when I read these kind of posts, so here I go:

How did she financially support herself before you met her?

Has she supported herself financially since you two moved in together?

Have you discussed finances before you got married?

Do you live in an area where there is easy access to public transport or do you need to drive her around?

Her parents supported her and she worked a very tiny bit 

Yes we both worked online and bith quit the same job sinfe it made us super toxic and very angry all the time because we worked at a call centre. We managed to save up quite a bit when we worked together. 

Yes, we have discussed finances and have saved up quite a bit when we worked together. 

Yes and no. Public transport is a thing but its inconsistent and horrible so i have to drive her around. It's a third world country so that part of the system just doesn't work as intended. 

17 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

You seem overbearing and almost abusive. Your entire post is about telling her what "she needs to do" .

Fix yourself first. Get a handle on your finances, drinking issues, work problems,etc.

 

Read everything above. Also nice of you to assume but, miss. I don't drink, do drugs, gamble, smoke or anything of that nature. I've never laid a finger on her or have ever been aggressive toward her. All her friends have said that I'm the best possible husband a woman can ever find.

My wording might need fixing, but the "she needs to" actually means, these things, among many, are the best possible things that can happen in order for us to move forward even stronger. 

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You say you have discussed finances before you married, but you did not say what the outcome of the discussions were.

My mother always pushed me to be financially independent, so here is my take on things.

Your wife was supported by her parents previously, then she worked for a while, quit her job, did another odd job and again no job. It does not sound to me she is eager to find a new job. Does she live of her savings or from your money?

Even though she technically can drive, she can’t, because she does not have a license.

Stop telling her “what to do” but start asking yourself instead why you married this woman. You cannot change her, because this is who and what she is. Please think very hard before you put children into this marriage, because clearly you are not happy in this situation.

If you don’t want to drive her around, stop doing it, unless you are going somewhere together.

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32 minutes ago, Blue_Skirt said:

You say you have discussed finances before you married, but you did not say what the outcome of the discussions were.

My mother always pushed me to be financially independent, so here is my take on things.

Your wife was supported by her parents previously, then she worked for a while, quit her job, did another odd job and again no job. It does not sound to me she is eager to find a new job. Does she live of her savings or from your money?

Even though she technically can drive, she can’t, because she does not have a license.

Stop telling her “what to do” but start asking yourself instead why you married this woman. You cannot change her, because this is who and what she is. Please think very hard before you put children into this marriage, because clearly you are not happy in this situation.

If you don’t want to drive her around, stop doing it, unless you are going somewhere together.

We're married, so there is no mine / her, it's our money. The current salary i make is enough for both of us but its not enough to add to our current savings which i find to be an issue. 

Well, she has both her negative and positive things about her and her love and affection makes uo for her bad sides. 

In a way, i just want her to live a better life and try to make out life together. 

I only recently started not driving her around for her things like, getting nails done, shopping etc.. 

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I am going to go against the grain and say that you are dealing with the kid. Stubborn kid who throws temper tantrums and wont do something because you said so. Kid who was at her parents back and now she is at yours back. So you should treat her like a kid.

She wants money for something? Oh well, she exceeded her allowance so no money for her.

She wants to be driven somewhere? She can take a bus or get a license and drive herself.

You are way too forgiving to her. She doesnt work because YOU allow her not to work. If you want her to change you cant allow her to take advantage of you anymore in order for her to realize that she needs to do those stuff on her own. If she cant do it, she can pack and get back at her parents expanse. Its that simple.

 

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16 minutes ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

We're married, so there is no mine / her, it's our money. The current salary i make is enough for both of us but its not enough to add to our current savings which i find to be an issue. 

I never wanted to get married, but I did have 2 long term relationships. I like relationships based on equality. I like it when there is a balance in a relationship, equal rights and obligations. In my view, both partners should contribute (both financially and efforts to make it work) to a relationship. And for me only giving “love and affection” would not be enough.

I don’t buy the argument, “we’re married so everything is ours”. You don’t have children for the moment and I presume she is able and healthy enough to get a job. Reality is for the moment YOU pay for everything. If she gets her nails done, YOU pay for it. She wants to go shopping for herself (I am not talking grocery shopping here), YOU pay for it and not WE are paying for it.

As Kwothe says, you are allowing her to do so. How long do you continue to allow her to?

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10 hours ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

  Do i need to be more strict or? 

Do you have the same goals as far as family and future? Who does most of the domestic tasks? How are you dividing that up? Do you do most of the cooking cleaning shopping etc.?

Yes once you are married your assets are legally joint. You seem to have a poor transition from live-in GF to married couple.

Strict?  What exactly does that mean? 

Sure let her walk for miles, take the bus for hours to get your dinner on the table. Maybe that's 'strict' enough?

 

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12 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Yes once you are married your assets are legally joint.

That depends on the law of the country where you are living I guess. Where I live here in Europe, one could get married with the legal arrangement that you keep financials/assets separate. If there are no legal arrangements, then yes, financials are joint.

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Why is she getting her nails done if she's not working and why would you be driving her to a nail appointment? She can't take care of herself/she is not adulting in any basic way =she is NOT READY to be a parent.  It's hard work - physically, mentally, emotionally,  taking care of a newborn, an infant, a baby, a toddler (meaning if she chooses to work at that rather than outside the home).  And it's expensive especially if you're the only financial provider.  Especially if she has to take baby in a car seat in a car service to the doctor or mommy and me activities or wherever if you are working during the day.  

I don't believe in "equality" in a marriage -I believe in fair.  Fair is different for each couple but typically they know it when they see it.  I was home the first 7 years with our son.  I worked my behind off.  My husband worked more than full time, traveled a lot plus cared for his aging parents hundreds of miles away, plus was a student, plus spent tons and tons of time with us, with our son any second he could. 

But I brought $$$$ to the marriage that I insisted on dipping into to contribute to the family income when I was not working outside the home.  I was lucky I had saved for years and was older and if I hadn't my husband would have been totally fine with that because we found it fair -as a couple-to have me home as long as I could to raise our son while he would be the main financial provider.  I know of many couples where that would not have seemed fair at all.  

You and she have to sit down -I would suggest with a counselor or a religious type person if you both are people of faith -and have an adult conversation about division of responsibilities and what seems fair.  Be nitty gritty -money, housework, child care, working outside the home, luxuries, time for socializing independently and/or child free, etc.  Will your mother in law be helping with a child - and since that is a volatile situation on the phone how does that work?

If she won't have an adult conversation -and you be an adult too -no lecturing or silly arrogance - make normal eye contact, be quiet and listen without rehearsing what she "needs to hear" while she speaks - then you have bigger problems. Parenting requires many adult conversations on a regular basis.

Also is she on any meds/hormones resulting from the miscarriage (so sorry for your loss!!!) - like fertility drugs -I never took but those can be mood-altering too.

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25 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Why is she getting her nails done if she's not working and why would you be driving her to a nail appointment? She can't take care of herself/she is not adulting in any basic way =she is NOT READY to be a parent. 

I second Batyaa.

Listen,  I come from the a third world country too and understand why you're doing these things. But you can't chauffeur her everywhere and provide her with everything UNLESS this is an okay agreement between you two and are fine with it. But it doesn't seem to be the case.

1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Do you have the same goals as far as family and future? Who does most of the domestic tasks? How are you dividing that up? Do you do most of the cooking cleaning shopping etc.?

I'd like to know your answers for these questions too.

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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It’s likely a mix of Kwothe’s opinion and also your communication or how you communicate with one another. You’re assessing her like she’s a client and telling her what items are actionable rather than engaging with her anymore as an equal. You don’t see her as such and there’s lack of respect in your marriage. If you’re pulling all the weight financially or providing for her this can get stale very fast for many couples. She no longer interests you, challenges you nor does she seem to ignite any passion for you. 

You both can try marriage counselling or engage in a healthier way to communicate so that you feel heard in your concerns and she can feel heard or voice what’s missing for her in the marriage. You both are just not communicating well and disrespecting each other in the process. Nothing changes.

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"Her parents supported her and she worked a very tiny bit". I hate to say it, but the problem with people is, they usually don't change. I know it's very tempting to think that someone will change and I used to think the same thing in relationships. For the most part people don't change unless they REALLY want to. And just from your post it doesn't sound like your wife actually wants to. She was like this when you met her and barely worked, and four years later she's still the same. That's most likely because that's who she really is.

If she hardly worked and was supported by her parents in her late 20's, obviously she was fine with this arrangement. I understand times have been tough with COVID and the economy the last two years, but if she was like this 3-4 years ago then she didn't really have an excuse why her parents financially supported her. Also I understand that working in a call centre is hard and draining but people don't usually just quit their job, unless they already have another job lined up. People who just quit their job know that they'll have no income and I guess this is where she thought you and/or her parents would come in and financially support her. This isn't really how a 30-year-old should be acting.

The problem is you're nagging her and even after that she's still not doing what you wanted. And really, people should act like an adult and doing those things on their own. I agree with another poster that if she can't do anything by herself and her motivation is so low, how can she take care of a child? Being a parent is a 24 hour job.

I'm really just not sure what you can do in this situation except A) Accept it because it's who she is, or B) Divorce her. If she's so unmotivated because she's depressed then yeah, she really needs to see a psychiatrist. But a person needs to want to actually get help, otherwise you can't really force them.

In regards to speaking to her mother. How often does she talk to her? You can't really say that she needs to stop talking to her mother or talk to her mother less. It's her parent and she has the right to speak to her. Unless she's talking to her mother really constantly. If she can't handle her emotions after talking to her mother, then that's the issue I think. It's actually HER who needs to deal with this and either decide that she needs to cut down on talking to her mother or be able to handle it better.

I think if we use the term "controlling" here, it's in the sense that you knew your wife, you knew her personality and behaviours, and you chose to marry her. You had three years of living with her before marrying her so it's not like you didn't have the opportunity to really get to know her on a deep level. It just comes across like you want to mould your wife to be a certain person. And she's not doing that because she just isn't what you want her to be.

Don't get me wrong, of course it's absolutely reasonable to want your partner to work and make an effort in your marriage. What you're asking for isn't crazy or anything but your wife just doesn't reach that basic standard of what you want. 

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6 hours ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

 

My wording might need fixing, but the "she needs to" actually means, these things, among many, are the best possible things that can happen in order for us to move forward even stronger. 

 . . . *according to you. 

But there are two people involved here.  I always wonder if the other person had a voice, what their version might be.

Suggesting she needs a psychiatrist, especially when the tone seems somewhat tense or maybe volatile as you describe, is never received well.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Do you have the same goals as far as family and future? Who does most of the domestic tasks? How are you dividing that up? Do you do most of the cooking cleaning shopping etc.?

Yes once you are married your assets are legally joint. You seem to have a poor transition from live-in GF to married couple.

Strict?  What exactly does that mean? 

Sure let her walk for miles, take the bus for hours to get your dinner on the table. Maybe that's 'strict' enough?

 

Yes we both agree on what we want from our future, how we'd raise our kids if we had any. I have plans to have my own restaurant but she has 0 inspiration or vision of seeing herself doing / wanting something from her future. To questions like "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" she has no response and usually just shrugs it off. However, we both agree that we don't want to live in this country and would love to move and prosper together somewhere else.

Domestic tasks are mostly done by her but I do help whenever I feel like it ( which is , in rough terms 3 out of 10 times something is done ). 

Most of the time cooking is done by her but I rarely do cooking even though I'm a great chef, but, I never clean except maybe the smallest trivial things. Shopping is mostly done together.

The transition was horrible yes. I never cared for having long relationships and most of mine lasted a maximum of 3-6 months. She on the other had only had one 4 year relationship and no one else before / after it except with me. Since i'm forced to live with my parents ( can't wait to be economically ready to move out ) our living situation is somewhat "shaky" and she constantly is nagging about anything that my mom does ( father is abroad working so he's rarely home ).  It took me a while to realize that someone I call my soon to be wife is living with me and since I used to have all the free time in the world to do whatever I want, the transition was horrible and it took about half a year for me to finally change some of my ( being on the PC all day for example.. )

12 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

You’re assessing her like she’s a client and telling her what items are actionable rather than engaging with her anymore as an equal. You don’t see her as such and there’s lack of respect in your marriage. If you’re pulling all the weight financially or providing for her this can get stale very fast for many couples. She no longer interests you, challenges you nor does she seem to ignite any passion for you. 

You both can try marriage counselling or engage in a healthier way to communicate so that you feel heard in your concerns and she can feel heard or voice what’s missing for her in the marriage. You both are just not communicating well and disrespecting each other in the process. Nothing changes.

To be honest, I have a low opinion of her ability to figure things out. She's not the smartest person in the room but neither is the dumbest. It's why sometimes i've treated her like  a "client". 

There aren't any real marriage counselors where I'm at but there are psychologists and psychiatrists which I've actually recommended her to try, have at least 1 conversation and then see if she's go through with it or not , but, depending on the mood she either loves the idea or hates it.. I'm very open and would love to see us work but It's very clear to me that she's too scared to exit her comfort zone and fix the issues that she has. 

9 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

Honestly I think you just made a poor choice in a partner and you are clinging on to an idea that you can change her. 

Everything you said does make sense but I wouldn't just throw a 4 year relationship into the toilet without seeing whether she'd be willing to change or not. To be honest Only recently did i actually start looking for "outside help" on this predicament and only recently did I try to actively try to change her opinion on things. I've actually succeeded in many things and now she is a better wife because of it but since i'm somewhat impatient I want to see what I might be doing wrong..

 

8 hours ago, smackie9 said:

You cannot "work" on a marriage if you are the only one trying to do it. It take team work. So you go back at her and say if everything is us, we, ours, then she needs to be a part of getting things set up proper for the future ....she needs to pull her own weight and that you are not doing this alone. 

She was very depressed after she miscarried. That didn't stick with her however, it was only for about a month in total. From all the replies here I like this the most ( what I quoted ). I've never sat down with her and actually told it like it is. We can't work on a marriage where I'm the only one trying. We can't call things OURS when i'm the one who acquired them ( financially ). 

 

I'm compiling so much data here and re-reading all the replies and honestly I'm surprised of how many great tips i'm getting. We are genuinely in love with each other ( I feel like we almost show this to each other daily ) but I strongly believe just loving one another is not enough for a successful marriage.

Am I wrong?

Edited by QuestionGuy11
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8 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

 . . . *according to you. 

But there are two people involved here.  I always wonder if the other person had a voice, what their version might be.

Suggesting she needs a psychiatrist, especially when the tone seems somewhat tense or maybe volatile as you describe, is never received well.

To be honest, if she was any different I'd show this thread to her but knowing her she just wouldn't understand why I'd ask strangers for advice when I could talk to her instead.

How do you explain these problems to someone when all they know is to be the victim when the arguments come out , when they don't know what to say and because of that they just go on the defense. 

I don't think this type of behavior is normal, hence why I've actually suggested to her seeking medical and professional help ( psychiatrist / psychologist ). Depending on her mood, she either loves the idea, or absolutely hates it.. and that's where I get stuck on this particular subject. 

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16 minutes ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

To be honest, if she was any different I'd show this thread to her but knowing her she just wouldn't understand why I'd ask strangers for advice when I could talk to her instead.

How do you explain these problems to someone when all they know is to be the victim when the arguments come out , when they don't know what to say and because of that they just go on the defense. 

I don't think this type of behavior is normal, hence why I've actually suggested to her seeking medical and professional help ( psychiatrist / psychologist ). Depending on her mood, she either loves the idea, or absolutely hates it.. and that's where I get stuck on this particular subject. 

I think because of your tone of voice, delivery, and timing -that is why she reacts as she does.  It's not depending on her mood necessarily -it could be depending on how and when you say it.  Also you show little respect for her "all she knows is to be the victim?" Really -every single time? Why are you with a person who you think reacts this way "every single time?" You really think she "doesn't know what to say" -she's that unintelligent? You want a person who "always" does that to be the mother of your child?

Or -possibly -you don't know what to say or how to say it in a way that's communicating rather than lecturing? She gets -and knows -you have little respect for her, you regard her as less than you because - you would react differently if these things were said to you?

Certainly you can tell her "I think you need professional help. I am not a professional but I feel awful when you react as you do to adult conversation.  I feel that we are not a team here. I feel that I am being treated unfairly when it comes to managing our lifestyle and finances.  If you choose not to get professional help at some point I need to take care of me. I probably would do that by moving out and getting my own space.  This is not a threat or an ultimatum I just have to watch out for my own health and situation and right now I feel like I'm in an unhealthy situation and environment".

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Meh. I’m going to just put my two cents in here because I’ve already made up my mind from reading the post in the very beginning and everything I read confirms it.

A women that feels secure in a relationship will generally behave better if they feel like this is the best they ever going to get. It seems like to me that the financial issues have been putting a strain on the relationship.

Some women don’t want to work, they want to stay at home and raise children, I don’t see this as a bad thing. In fact it seems you guys tried this once already. Personally, I think you would be dealing with a different person if you were making more. 

Of course beggars can’t be choosers and maybe this goes both ways.

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9 hours ago, QuestionGuy11 said:

 if she was any different I'd show this thread to her but knowing her she just wouldn't understand why I'd ask strangers for advice when I could talk to her instead.

 

Apparently, she's not as stupid as you think she is. You have zero respect for her. You treat her like a servant.

She is correct. Why would you need a jury to agree with you about how contemptuous you are of her and how arrogant you are?

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