A question about women


#1

AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

There I feel a bit better now…

I have been married to my wife for about 13 years. We love each other very much. However, there is something that is driving me crazy! My wife from the time I can remember seems to insist that she can read my mind and tell me what I am thinking. Time and again she puts words in my my mouth regarding how I am feeling emotionally. Take today. At least 5 times today she accused me of being angry at her when I was not, In looking back and reflecting, I never raised my voice or gave an angry look or anything. After awhile this gets to be mighty old, and then I do get angry, because I am tired of being told that I am upset at her when I am not. Then when I do get angry after having words stuffed in my mouth, it reinforces what her original thoughts were that I was upset at her in the first place.AHHHHHHH!!!

I am in a no win situation, no matter what I tell her she does not believe me when I tell her that I am not upset at her. It is like emotional blackmail. Tonight after we came home after a nice eveing out with our two small children, she insisted that I was very angry at her over a conversation that we had on the way home. We just disagreed with her on a topic. Being angry at her was the furthest thing from my mind. I finally told her that she was her own worst enemy, that she is the one that who brings the majority of emotional stess on herself. As a result I am in the dog house.

I am getting tired of this. Do any of you guys have the same problem, and what is the solution??? Ladies, any input from you would be greatly appreciated.


#2

I think that your wife is either looking for an argument or she wants your attention. Her accusing you of being angry at her is her telling you she wants your attention. Have you thought of hugging her or telling her that she could not be further from the truth about you being angry. Or if she is seeking an argument, she wants to be able to make up with you and again get your attention.

I found myself doing the same with my exhusband and I was not looking for an argument but instead his affection. Sometimes by starting an argument, I would get him to apologize for some unknown reason and then we made up and laughed about it. I was not sure on how to approach him, I had problems showing affection towards him and getting angry was a way of getting his attention. Sounds weird, but it happens.
Good luck to you and God bless you in your marriage. I will pray for both of you.


#3

Thank you for your reply. I do show her lots of affection. I hug her kiss her, tell her I love you multiple times a day. I buy her flowers, take her out. I am just tired of being emotionally blackmailed.

She must ask me at least once every day why do you love me? I tell her all the wonderful things about her, but many times she just rolls her eyes at me.

I do not know what to do. I just hate having someone tell me what I am thinking and how I am feeling, especially when they are wrong. I told her once that only myself and God know what I am thinking and the last time I checked that she was not God. I did not win any points there.

What am I to do??? I love her very, very much. I pray for her, byut this just seems to be getting worse.


#4

Well, I’m a woman and I warmly resent having thoughts put in my head and words in my mouth. I feel for you!

That’s because I grew up with a mother who did this ALL THE TIME. She was incapable of realising that other people did not think and act and feel as she did and was raised in a family where no one ever, ever tackled anything directly or said what they meant and meant what they said - that was unthinkable, and survival for her depended on “decoding” this stuff. You spoke your plain mind, she reinterpreted it to find hints and criticism and hidden agendas. If she said I did blot for reason X and I said I did not, it was a given that I was simply lying to get out of trouble.

She expected the entire world to scrutinise the way she dressed, kept house, pegged clothes on the line, turned her children out for school, etc. because she learned early in life that not meeting other people’s expectations (stated or not) meant you were viciously attacked. This mindset meant that she was forever avoiding making even the smallest decisions and seeing judgement where there was none. The woman down the road who simply didn’t have much to say was a snob and a cold fish. Someone who didn’t get stressed about things Mum worried about was superior and looked down on her for her incompetence. Someone who changed the subject in conversation was indicating they thought she was a sticky-beak … and so on and so on. Her insecurity meant she could not cope with any degree of uncertainty or shades of grey and so she took anything ambiguous or that she didn’t understand as a criticism or a judgement. You could not convince her that maybe people’s reactions were not what she thought they were, and even if they were, maybe it wasn’t about her personally. If there was a vacuum, she had to fill it with her own interpretation.

I also suspect that “taking responsibility” for things that were not her fault was a way of prompting other people to rush in with comfort and reassurance, thereby taking even the responsibility of deciding whether or not she was responsible from her shoulders. Sadly though, she seemed to feed on this rather than use the support to gain confidence, so it became a repetitive pattern.

And yes, for my mum too, disagreement = argument = attack on her personally. The idea of amicably agreeing to disagree was just not in her repertoire.

She truly did have a rotten upbringing and never managed to get over it.

Do you think there could be small elements of this in your wife’s reactions?

(BTW why is this a “question about women” rather than a question about relating to your wife? Isn’t that implying that her behaviour is a typical female behaviour and therefore kind-of like putting words into the mouth of all womankind? The two people I know who did this to me to the point of driving me to drink were my mother and a man friend! )


#5

I believe you said “for as long as I can remember”. THAT is the key that this is not about you; this is something from her past. YOUR job is to relax, pray, and forgive her behaviour for making you feel so misunderstood (The St. Francis prayer? Grant that I may seek to understand more than to be understood.)

I have dealt with this problem with friends and family. It irks me terribly. But I truly think it has to do with someone close to them in their earlier life who took up WAY too much emotional space, perhaps blamed them for their moods. It frequently comes up with people who were raised by alcoholics, addicts, and the mentally and emotionally ill.

I would do two things; 1.) Practice not engaging emotionally in her attempts to tell you the emotional weather report. Be neutral and gently amused. 2.) Write a note when you’re calm and explain in one or two sentences why this hurts you. Include in the description of your own hurt how concerned you are for her, that this robs her of knowing how truly happy and contented you are. Keep it positive even if you want to scream. Give her the letter the next time you want to scream. Suggest good counselling and go with her. ACA is the Adult Children of Alcoholics group. If I am right that that is the origin of this behaviour, offer to go with her or drive her to meetings and pick her up if she wants to go alone. Let her know that both of you deserve, as humans, to hold your own emotions. Mind reading denies you the chance to feel, much less express your separate feelings.


#6

Gospel, I truely think that your wife has some unresolved feelings or something from her past that is causing her to look for an argument with you. If you show all the love and affection and she still looks to argue with you something is wrong. You both are in my prayers. You should pray for her, that the Lord heal her from whatever it is that is tormenting her. Also, it might just be the way she grew up. She might of grown up in an environment where all her parents did was argue. Maybe she does not know how to show affection? Forgive her for her behavior and pray for her. Please know that not all women are like this. I had a husband that was simular to your wife and I could not deal with it, I also was not close to the Lord at that time so it ended in divorce. I see now that the Lord had something else in store for me and I can truely say that I am blessed. I did not see the hurt that past relationship was causing me. I see it now that I am remarried to a wonderful man and we are both close to GOD. Remember the family that prays together, stays together. God bless.


#7

Gospel,
perhaps you could suggest to her that each time she feels this way, it would be helpful if she could 1st hear from you before concluding your emotion based on her deduction?

i used to behave toward my boyfriend the way your wife does to you… he said the same things as you did – that he really wasnt mad at me for any reason at all! :o

I still found myself feeling this way pretty often :blush: … so i deviced a way of communicating it to him (& for me to remove my inner demons), without me accusing him, and without him getting agitated…

“How do you feel about this issue? I can’t help thinking that you’re angry with me over this…”

it may help if your wife is open to adopt this method of communicating her insecurity/misunderstanding to you?


#8

I agree with Auntie_A about being “neutral and gently amused”

Help your wife lighten up and worry less by delivering your explanation with a gentle nudge or an arm around her shoulder…

perhaps she wants you to ask her how SHE feels…
“how do you feel about this? are you angry with me?”


#9

I have been guilty of doing that to my husband in the past. For me, it stemmed from my own insecurities stemming from some things he had said/done in the past. Going to marital and individual counseling helped us to work through our problems. The bottom line is that she is going to have to do the work to make the change… but she’s going to have to recognize, for herself, what she’s doing before she can try to fix it. :slight_smile:


#10

Thank you all for you all for your replies.

I have tried to be funny, and light when she gets into these kinds of moods and actions, all it does is make her more angry. She does not have the same kind of sense of humor that I do. She often acuses me of not taking things serious enogh. I tend to look at humor as lifes shock absorbor. Sure there are times when you need to be serious, but there are lots of times when you don’t. I think that many people (including my sweet wife) take themselves way to seriously.

Tonight I had to endure another session of “I am such a bad Mother” and “I am such a bad wife etc…” Frankly I can’t stand it whn she starts into this kind of thinking. To me it is self destructive and does not accomplish anything. I want to say to her, if you feel that bad about what you are doing then change it! I know that fighting out of a depression is hard, but gee wiz, I think in my head (I would never say this to her) “Do something about it or stop the whining!!!”

Well, perhaps she heard my prayer…she is going to counseling tomorrow…I hope this will help her, but she has been to counseling before, and not much has come of it. Please pray for us…


#11

Gospel,
First of all know this…Women are weird as he**, reallty they all are. My wife trys the same thing from time to time. I for sure am not giving you any advice at all …but when my wife starts this nonsense she usually will not listen to reason…(but later comes around), She has her own car and says,“I am going”. She is usually back in an hour or so. I suppose someday she may not comeback,… I guess when that day comes I will have to go fishing, and hunting, and go to the bar and stuff…geeeeeez… life will be hard then!


#12

I used to say the same thing to my ex-husband because I was afraid of rejection. Since he didn’t communicate feelings unless he was angry (even tho’ he was also very affectionate) and since I had learned to recognize many facial expressions from an abusive childhood, I would pick a fight in order to get things out in the open before they “blew” like they had when I was younger. Sometimes when I thus accused him there really had been nothing wrong (I was looking for things to match childhood experiences), however all too often something was wrong. After he found someone else, he admitted to me that some of those times I had been right but at that time he wouldn’t admit it to himself. Maybe, (just maybe) it would be more helpful for both of you to see a counselor, together. It sure couldn’t hurt! I’ll certainly pray for you, two.


#13

Oh please, Mike - your wife is no more a representative for all of womanhood than Gospel’s! :stuck_out_tongue:

Good news that she is going to counselling - it sounds like it’s a deep-seated thing that may take her a long time to sort through. Prayers and sympathy! Life with my mother sent me round the bend and the man-friend that did the same things really did fracture the friendship and it took about four years before I could handle him again.


#14

To “Gospel” and “Mike Dye”:
Yeah yeah yeah…men are from mars women from venus, men more focussed, women more finely calibrated and better at multitasking…he’s too distant, she’s too talkative…blah blah blah, we know this…Forgive me, gentlemen.

Now that we have that out of our system let’s talk about marriage. You cannot be happily and successfully married without breaking through that initial planetary distance problem. I’ve met 80 and 90 year old men who were happily married for over 50 years all say the same thing: Take her moods seriously and politely; just don’t get wrapped up in all of the details. Love and respect.

Gospel: Your wife is going to counselling again and she’s been there before. Offer to go with her for a separate session. (She will still probably need her individual session for herself.) Read a book about her or about you or about marriage. Find a good spiritual director or counsellor. Look at your own upbringing and be honest and humble: Either it was a good upbringing and she wasn’t blessed with that so be generous, or it was a typical/normal/imperfect upbringing and you need to see how that might help create or magnify some of her insecurity. “Damaged goods” in a marriage can be a great path to heaven if we pray, love, and offer up our sorrows.

Mike Dye: When your wife is not angry, ask if you can hop in the car with her next time and go somewhere nice, or better, take a walk with her and you’ll promise to listen. Like a good old fashioned date? Women sometimes need to talk or "dump’ just to lift their mood. Practice listening without fixing. If you haven’t already heard this generality: men want to fix problems; women want to talk them out. Avoid jumping in on every issue. Let her get it out and define what she wants to be fixed. With me, when I feel I am being listened to, I feel capable of solving my own problems and I am very grateful to the listener for believing in me rather than overpowering me.
My dad was the moody one and my mom said that the best cure for his moods was to go for a drive in the country. She’d be quiet and then eventually he would start to talk and open up. Was it being in the country? Away from home? My mom being quiet? The grace of God? She said it worked every time.

God bless you.


#15

Gospel, I have a bit of the same thing as you: people accuse me of being angry when I’m not. I suppose this happens when we’re being logical and offering a serious pounding to an opposing opinion, or proving our points forcefully. Some people can take it, some can’t. For some people, the state of feelings is more important than the logical truth of things. Some people feel attacked or otherwise insecure, exposed, when we disagree with them. I’ve noticed this is somewhat more common with the ladies than with us guys. Sometimes they just want us to hug them and enjoy life instead of settling controversies or such.

Another thing is that we may not be as logical as we think and also that we may be more angry than we think we are, and women may be able to sense that.

I think she needs both logic and feelings here. She obviously needs feelings from you, but she also needs some reason to deal away with her doubts and insecurities.


#16

This really sounds like she has some very serious self esteem issues. “I’m such a bad mother, I’m such a bad wife”, coupled with feeling like you are always angry with her - that really sounds like she is just lacking confidence in herself and needs to work on her self esteem.

The key here is that SHE needs to work on it. This has nothing to do with you (aside from your understanding and support of the situation). But my opinion is that she find some good solid counseling to understand why she feels she is not worthy of anyone or anything. Otherwise it will do serious damage to your marriage.

I will keep you in my prayers.

~Liza


#17

To the OP, Gospel:

The behavior you are dealing with is not confined to women, I have a husband who is like that.

I can say something to him in a very neutral tone, but by the time the words hit his ears, it is a though I have yelled and picked a fight. The difference between him and your wife is that he then withdraws from me, rather than comment on my so-called “anger”.

In my husband’s case, he grew up in a chaotic home, and did not witness a normal give and take in his parents’ communication - the discussion, offering of alternatives, compromises - that are part of normal discussion. To my hubby, these seem like “conflict”. What I try to do now is to say whatever I need to say to him that he may perceive as being “angry”, I say it in as neutral a tone as possible, and then I follow it up with talk about such mundane cheery chit chat as “oh did you hear the Smiths had a new baby?” or I offer to do something for him, like “I am making myself a sandwich, do you want one?” so that it is clear I am in fact positively disposed towards him.

I suggest, as others have stated, that you use your sense of humor with your wife. If she says “you seem angry” you can give her a big bearhug, and snarl into her ear that you are indeed mad as a hornet, and kiss her into a state of giggles.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


#18

Gosh I can’t relate. My prayers are with you though. I also hope that counseling is helpful for her, that the therapist see’s the issue as your wife’s and doesn’t try and blame you. I am with the PP - go with her to one session, explain YOUR concerns and frustrations all the while explaining how much you love your wife.

May she get some esteem - and soon. Sorry for both of you, I feel bad for you receiving it and bad for her feeling it. God BLESS you both - update us when you can!


#19

Wow, this sounds like my husband. And yes, I do come right out and ask him if he’s angry, because he’s admitted that if he is, he’s not going to tell me. He’d rather not speak to me for two days while he deals with it on his own, leaving me to worry and fester. I don’t understand why we can’t just deal with the issues as they come, but he came from a household where problems were never, ever discussed and his parents never once disagreed in front of the children (also throw in a parent’s alcoholism, also never discussed or addressed, to give you a further idea of the dysfunction). Thus, he grew up with the idea that a married couple disagreeing was abnormal and displaying anger-related emotions was taboo.

During the first couple of years, we seriously could not get through issues unless I dragged them out of him. His default is to sulk in silence, even though I’ve told him over and over that it is one of the worst possible ways to hurt me. Not conducive to a marriage relationship. Fortunately things have improved greatly, but when he goes into one of his sulks, I can’t help but start asking “Are you mad? What did I do this time?”


#20

**well fignewton!:blush: **

This is very timely!
This afternoon:

I’m making a cup of java as dh comes in the door.
I turn to dh and perceive a less than pleasant countance.
I ask dh, "What’s the matter with you?"
Dh looks at me like I’ve lost my mind and says, "Why the hl are you always asking me that when I come home?!"**
I tell dh, "Because you walk in the door with that look and talk to me like that!"
Dh: "What look? I was just comming in the door! There was no look! What’s in that coffee woman?!"
Me: "See? That! That pickle up your bum attitude right there!"
Dh: "Woman, I’m actually in a decent mood given that I just came home from That Place That Must Not Be Named, but if you want to argue I’m game to vent all my cruddy work day if you are?!"
Me: "Oh. Okay. So you want chicken and salad for dinner"
Dh: “huh? Do we have any beer?”

So to sum up. Maybe you should tell your wife, lovingly of course, that when you’re mad at her you’ll be sure to say so real clear like and in the mean time you don’t need her to tell you what you feel or think?

Also, I think some women tend to perceive more emotion in body language than men are actually feeling. Women tend to cover nearly every emotion, so ANY emotion expressed by a man tends to be read with more feeling than he may actually have. Especially body language.

**wow I just read that and I’m not sure I understand it myself. oh well. hey you don’t have to understand her! Just love her anyhow right?:shrug: **


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