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in a bit of a rough patch...

thekunk07

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...with the wife. nothing specific, just not getting along lately. she cannot handle any personal criticism and i am a fairly critical person. maybe extremely critical. think i'm just feeling a bit resentful of having been the only one working for a very long time now and her inflexibility about certain things. 3 kids, bills, mortgage, car payments, retirement, and adulthood are bogging me down.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by thekunk07
...with the wife. nothing specific, just not getting along lately. she cannot handle any personal criticism and i am a fairly critical person. maybe extremely critical. think i'm just feeling a bit resentful of having been the only one working for a very long time now and her inflexibility about certain things. 3 kids, bills, mortgage, car payments, retirement, and adulthood are bogging me down.

Adulthood certainly has its more mundane and onerous side. Buck up though, and remember not to get petty with the person you share your life with. It's easy to allow to happen, but does the relationship no good. If you have a major problem, such as her not working, address it directly. Don't snark constantly for the small shit, deal with the big issue.
 

thekunk07

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^that's my issue. explored the not working and she is looking into some options for fall. but she often lacks follow-through which is a big pet peeve of mine. and then, because i get no where on the big issues, i attack the small and it snowballs. we went from being very young and poor to being successful on paper but still being clueless as to how to handle finances which seems to be at the root of all our interpersnoal "challenges" right now.
 

redcaimen

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From what I understand you have 3 small children at home. Thats a lot of work. If you cant stay afloat on a single salary thats one thing, but if the extra income is just to pad your lifestyle I would recomend you dont push her. If she is a good mother and a good companion then count your blessings. Rarely will extra money fundamentally improve a relationship. You have kids. You are no longer allowed to take chances with your marriage. Plus didnt you just stick her with a dog she didnt want?
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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Hope you're doing alright!

This is a subject close to my heart - I had a front row seat for the rather spectacular fireworks that occur when the marriage of a young couple with three small children dissolves. Whatever happens make sure you are thinking of the potent effect these things can have on young children.

I abhor the thoughts of marriage counselors (awful, condescending people with lurid wallpaper and tacky blazers) but it seems like a neutral third party would certainly help. Is there a mutual friend, perhaps a trusted family member that might serve as mediator?

You've characterized things as a "bit of a rough patch," which seems like a good start to me. As long as you don't view things as dire, they tend to not become such. Sometimes just contextualizing the situation as rough patch to get past is enough to make it so...

If it helps give you an ego boost an maybe some perspective, I want you to know that I view your lifestyle as terribly romantic and I have genuinely entertained fantasies of transferring to a NY university (likely) and getting an internship with you (admittedly silly).
 

Gus

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First, a lot of what you describe is common for many couples. It is normal for there to be rough patches, especially about financial matters and priorities. You can work through this.

Sometimes you need to step back and appreciate the value in resolving things and not focusing on "who is right" or "what happened yesterday" thinking. Start with yourself and ask what you can do to make things better. Your actions will speak louder than words. Try accepting her for who she is, not what you want her to be.

Most of all, give it time and remember she is a woman and really does look at things differently than a guy.


Good luck.
 

The Deacon

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Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
First, a lot of what you describe is common for many couples. It is normal for there to be rough patches, especially about financial matters and priorities. You can work through this.

Sometimes you need to step back and appreciate the value in resolving things and not focusing on "who is right" or "what happened yesterday" thinking. Start with yourself and ask what you can do to make things better. Your actions will speak louder than words. Try accepting her for who she is, not what you want her to be.

Most of all, give it time and remember she is a woman and really does look at things differently than a guy.


Good luck.


Excellent advice!


Very important to self evaluate/regulate and also let the past go, focus ahead and remain positive and supportive, reframe difficult issues with this in mind. My curse is/was that I remember every argument, disagreement, conversation literally word for word. (Innocent bystanders would attest)That can be a big problem depending on how that "facility"s used. When my wife unexpectedly reached a point where she felt it would be useful, necessary and desirable to adjust/change her way of interacting with those who were close to her, I knew that I owed it to her, the kids and myself to respond positively to her courageous, extremely difficult sustained effort. I had to work very hard to adopt and hone the Buddhist-like technique of placing the perceived hurts and negative memories into a large metal filing cabinet and pushing it off a cliff, never to be seen, mined for correlation or broached again. That was three years ago, it worked beyond my greatest expectations. Continue to be a positive partner in aiding your spouse out of a rut and into an increasingly constructive, emotionally secure and nurturing paradigm. I hope I'm not all wet...just tryin' ta help.
 

TC (Houston)

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My wife and I had a pretty rough spot a year or so ago and went through some marriage therapy. It turned out to be just what we needed. I'm in a similar position to you. I am the only on that contributes financially, and my wife does not work. It surprised me to find that the problems between us were as much with me as they were with her. I just wasn't taking care of her other than providing financial security. We made some pretty big changes in our relationship and things have been really great over the last year or so.

The format was actually pretty innovative. We had two therapists, a man and a woman. I would meet with the man separately and she would meet with the woman. Then the four of us would meet together. We would discuss issues that each of us were having, then come to an agreement on what to change in our interaction to address those issues. Then the next session we would have to report back on how successful we were and be graded on our performance. The sessions were actually pretty entertaining at times, as they would have us act out scenes playing each other. The main benefit of therapy (at least for us) was that we needed to have someone else tell us that we weren't doing something right. When your spouse tells you, it just doesn't have the same effect and usually ends up in an argument about who is right and who is wrong. Also, having our own "advocate" in this format ensured that we didn't get a therapist that was more sympathetic to one gender over the other. It was great, I can't recommend this enough.

Good luck to you and hang in there.
 

Thomas

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Clearing the air is one of the hardest things to do because it's "rocking the boat". It's made harder for me because Mrs. Thomas is a bit argumentative at times (law school...) - but there are times when I ask - is this what I really want? If this is the state of my marriage for the next 40 years, will I be happy? If my answer is no, then...where do I go from here?

I believe in reciprocity in relationships, to the point where each of us has a effect on our partner's behavior. This - in fewer words - means shared blame - no finger pointing. I've taken the lead a few times in wiping the slate of past injustices and starting over and each time I've been happy with the outcomes. It's hard to do but worth the effort.
 

nate10184

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This is one of the things about marriage that frightens me the most. Women, especially those that don't work, seem to have more of a sense of financial entitlement than men do (broad generalization of course). They expect certain things regardless of economic conditions. To a certain degree this makes sense as most women could always find a wealthier man if that was the only thing they cared about.

My GF works in the same field as me and is extremely financially savvy so she usually understands why I'm less than enthusiastic about spending money right now. I can't imagine how our relationship would work if that wasn't the case.
 

thekunk07

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no dog yet. but yes, it would be for padding and i think she's mostly just not feeling appreciated for what she does. we also had all my grandparents and her father die this year, so there's a lot of added stress floating around. we spoke at length this morning and i think we are understanding one another. her failure to accept any criticism and her seeing any criticism at all as a no vote on my loving her has been a problem since we're 21. she grew up with her mom the alpha dog and her dad a subservient. we are both very strong willed which doesn't make life easy.
Originally Posted by redcaimen
From what I understand you have 3 small children at home. Thats a lot of work. If you cant stay afloat on a single salary thats one thing, but if the extra income is just to pad your lifestyle I would recomend you dont push her. If she is a good mother and a good companion then count your blessings. Rarely will extra money fundamentally improve a relationship. You have kids. You are no longer allowed to take chances with your marriage. Plus didnt you just stick her with a dog she didnt want?
 

bbaquiran

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You need to go give her a hug.

Like right now.
 

Agnacious

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Originally Posted by bbaquiran
You need to go give her a hug.

Like right now.


Or stop criticizing her and show some appreciation.

Like right now.
 

thekunk07

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no, i agree. i do a million little things to show appreciation but it goes out the window if i "attack" her over anything. women are tough.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by thekunk07
no, i agree. i do a million little things to show appreciation but it goes out the window if i "attack" her over anything. women are tough.

Perhaps change your mode of attack? If she's not yet adapted to how you approach things then she's not likely to adapt.
 

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