I am almost ready to though in the towel…

Here is my story… I will try to summarize this in just a couple of lines, but there is a lot to the story. I will not to give all the details, but I give some of the story.

I have been married to my wife for 3 years and we have no children.

Over the three years it has got harder and harder to talk to my wife manly because it is her way or no way.

I know communication is part of it and Marriage Encounter may be making things worse, in fact my catholic consoler said we should stop going to community. We should also stay away from Retrouvaille.

My wife as per the consoler may have some type of personality problems.

I have been very, very patient in this marriage, but I was lost and this is why I started consoling for myself. I recently went to a priest for confession (for the first time I went to a priest that knows of my wife and I, and I have not been to this priest before for confession). I don’t have a great confessional life I make it several times I a year. I confessed my anger and that I am withdrawing for family, friends, and work. He asked details about the anger and I gave him some details. He asked why I waited so long for help, I told him I got married for life and that is the reason I did not get help. He told me good people get divorced and annulments; I told him I am not looking for that, the priest then gave me a response I am confortable with. This priest and a pastor of 2 parishes, has been calling be every other week to let me know he is praying for me (and I am thankful for that). The consoler never directly mentioned I should leave but I should talk to a lawyer to get my ducks in order, just in case.

One of our issues is my wife is controls everything in my life: I am only allowed to see my parents a few times a year; she also could cares very little for her own parents and siblings, and our friends our now becoming estranged. Every time she sees my family I hear for days what horrible people they are. When have I share the reasonswith this priest and consoler (among other people) they either shake their head or almost laugh because if these are the only things to complain about life is pretty good.

I was told by the consoler and priest I need to make time for my family, just because I am marriage they are still my family. A few weeks ago my wife dropped me off at work and she taking care of things in the area of my work that day (we only had on car that day). I so happend my parents called and invited me for lunch that day and I accepted, I did not invited my wife because I did not want to hear her complaints later or have my wife control the entire lunch conversation (when she is there she does 90% plus of the conversation). We did she my parents on father’s day, my parents mentions so they where happy to see me because that have not in so long(my wife ask me when we got home when they had lunch with me, I shared)

My wife has now not talked to me since, she is made because I did not tell her and because she was close by.

I refuse to apologize about this for a few reasons: one is because in our marriage I say I am sorry and apologize for things often, she almost never if ever does for anything. I have been deeply hurt many times, and I probably forgive to easily. I think that could be one of the problems that have got me\us to this point. Second in this case it goes against the advice of the catholic consoler and priest…

I do not have the money or the time to talk to the consoler until next week and that is why I am posting.

I am almost ready to though in the towel… there are so many more issues then the issue I have mentioned. When I try to work with my wife on anything thing she gets very immature. She is emotionally abusive to me, when I talk to her if I push any subject I care about she gets to the verge of physically abusive so I let her win and I walk away.

Any ideas?

Did you notice any of these “signs” while you were dating…??

I could never say there were no signs when we were dating but nothing like what I am dealing with.

We never spent the night in the same house or live together so when we were together things I think were not there.

The problem with asking us is that phrases like “many more issues”, “she gets very immature”, “emotionally abusive”, " when I push any subject I care about" and “the verge of physically abusive” can mean a lot of things. “I let her win and walk away”, for instance, can be a version of stonewalling. You are using phrases like “always” and “never” and making personal comments, she’s using withdrawal to punish you, don’t get me wrong. You aren’t describing a rough but healthy situation, one of those little bumps that happen. This is precisely why a live counsellor beats free advice from the likes of us.

IOW, unless you or someone else is in immanent danger if you don’t leave now, this is a job better left to a real counsellor.

A marriage, like a barn, is much more work to build and to maintain than it is to tear down. Once either is down, it is harder to rebuild than when you were building from scratch in the first place. For right now, then, until you get the help you need, try the maxim of good medicine: “First, do no harm.”

Something that might help you is the work of John Gottman. NPR did a story on it (npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4823861), but you can read more in books such as Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last or The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert.

I tell you what: This is stuff they don’t teach you when you do Engaged Encounter. That seemed to teach “if you talk about it, that is good.” No. Before you “talk it out”, you need to know how to present all the stuff you dredge up, how to handle the fall-out when it comes up, how to recognize and handle emotional flooding, and so on.

I know a couple with issues such as you are describing that has made a lot of progress. It wasn’t a matter so much of convincing the more domineering person that they were wrong (hard to do) as it was a matter of convincing them that what they were doing was not having the desired result. You might not convince your wife that she’s wrong, but she might figure out that there are more efficient and peaceful ways to achieve the ends she is looking for, and that some of the real estate she has “won” is not worth the price of keeping it.

If you keep getting the message from counsellors and priests that you are on a sinking ship, listen to that.

You are describing an abusive relationship. Your wife very well may have some mental health issues, but that does not excuse her from trying to control your marriage. You should see that lawyer and then sit her down and tell her that unless she is willing to go to counseling and make a real effort to change her attitude, you will be moving on. Hopefully, that will get her attention and shake her up enough to get help. Has she been pysically abusive? That may be coming next.

Rather than throw in the towel why not just take control?

You know I had a girlfriend like your wife once:eek: And after things crumbled I had PTSD:( Bottom line, I feel ya man.

That said, I realized after the fact that my own behavior had really fed into hers and encouraged it. Hopefully you won’t make my mistake and resent her. In truth it’s a two way thing, always is… Her domination feeds your withdrawal. Your withdrawal feeds her need for domination. It’s vicious.

What you have got to remember and consider is that HER DOMINATION IS A SYMPTOM, a symptom of some need that isn’t getting met or something from her(your) past that is unresolved. In my case, the girl was insecure. She needed me THERE, and I “needed” my freedom, and would often go AWOL. She also sensed that I was still in love with an uninterested friend and that she was the “substitute”. Not saying that last one applies to you.

If you take away nothing more from this, remember two things.(1) Her domination is a symptom, and (2)divorce is not a solution. Separate if your life becomes in danger, but don’t divorce.

Ultimately you need to discover what the real issue is(whether from her own past or yours as a couple), and seek(with prayer) to resolve it. AND YOU WILL HAVE TO STAND UP TO HER. This will not make her happy initially, but it will do wonders in the long run. You have to be a man and take charge! God be with the two of you:)

I too feel the OP pain - although some things are not clear - but I had a husband just like he described his wife.

A very controlling husband -

I could not see my parents - he was jealous of them

I could not see my brother - he was jealous of him

I could not see my friends - he was jealous of them

I will never ever let a man or any human dominate me or keep me prisoner because he sees fit.

Out & divorce was my only option.

Got the annulment for the Church

Got my state divorce

& left him with nothing - & since he didn’t come to the court hearing for the divorce, my lawyer demanded that the “ex” would pay all court fees… :thumbsup:

And yes, the state did garnish his pay & yes he did pay up…

I wish the OP well.

Your whole story highlights why a professional is very important, both to find the ways that may solve the problems or to wave the red flags to let you know that what you are going through is not normal, has no solution, and can only do damage to you if you stay.

Marriages are not to be tossed away lightly. The damage of staying in a toxi relationship can be very serious and lasting. Keep good counsellors nearby.

The simple solution is to remind yourself that you made a vow. This sounds like one of those “sickness” things the priest asked you about. Love is a wonderful feeling, but its also a choice. Loving your spouse when it is hard will truly strengthen your relationship. Pray for strength, and the courage to admit fault in your part. Stop saying you’re sorry, and ask her for forgiveness. Once you’ve settled something, move on, and don’t look back on it.

Hey I just read a Dear Abby column about female on male domestic abuse, and I realized that I might have been a little harsh with you:o THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT YOUR WIFE IS DOING:nope:, but there IS an explanation for her behavior:sad_yes:. You have to figure out what that is. And like I said if she becomes physically violent, don’t feel bad or hesitate to move out. Sometimes sufferers of domestic violence blame themselves or protect the abuser. “Sticking it out” DOES NOT mean bringing harm to yourself! Marriages should not be broken lightly, but you do need to be safe. And you’re normal to feel the way you do about things:banghead:You should know that:)

Thanks for everyones input!

I do realize this could be one the the sicknesses you take in the vows, but in some way feel cheated. I know the vows I took, but I do not think she had any idea.

These 2 things happend today…

I mentioned some of the family problems involve family and my wife has not spoken to me in 2-3 days. Out of no where tonight she mentioned what _______ fill in the blank (bad people) my parents are for mentioning my sister name last weekend. I ask her why can you parents mention you brother, she told me “that is not the point.” We were with your parents and it is about us. She has not
or I talk to her brother in years, but her parents do often. She will see her brother 1-2 times a year but will speak not speak a word to him.
I will gladly talk to my parents and not have them mention my siblings, BUT she needs to do the same. Am I wrong?

Second thing today and this is the rational she uses. The house accross the street from us is having a construction project. She is mad because they parked across the street making it harder to get out of our driveway. I agree it would have made it harder but you have to park constructions vehicles somewhere and they were parked on the other side of the street. She went on for several minutes on how horible they are, I should have walk away but I let her talk. To bring you up to speed, her parents on one of only 3 visits to our house in 1.5 years parked in front of our house and the neighbors driveway. Our neighbor backed into my inlaws car, and the neighbor paid for all damages with question. I reminded my wife is and people have to park somewhere. My wife started to call me names.

I know I should stick to the my professinal, but I stressed tonight.

Said a prayer for you.

What were the grounds for the annulment and how long did the process take? I’m not very familiar with how it all works.

You are wrong but not in the way you might think, you are still letting her control things. By trying to strike a deal when her demands are unreasonable you are enabling her controlling behavior, you need to be firmer and tell her when she is just flat out making unreasonable demands.

It is not reasonable to expect your parents to never talk about your other siblings.

Save not mentioning abusers to their abuse victims, it is not normal to have people whose names cannot even be mentioned. I mean that even relatives who threw up on your wedding cake are not thrown out of the family to the point that their names may not be breathed. Expecting that parents will never bring up their own children’s names is over the top. Don’t offer to ask your parents that. It is ridiculous, and I don’t care what’s happening on her side of the family. If she doesn’t want to talk to him or about him, fine, but she doesn’t get to control every relationship in the family. If there is a particular valid reason that he has hurt her so much, she can respectfully make the request of your parents herself.

More to the point: Her family, her neighborhood, and–dare I say it?–even her marriage does not move in an orbit around her. You are not going to be the guy to convince her of this. If a professional ascertains that she cannot be trained to see this, I would dare say that her condition precludes holding up her end of a marriage. Let us hope that she has a more garden-variety learned self-centeredness that she can eventually see and let go of. It isn’t all that common, but stranger things have happened. Your vows mean you have to make a good faith effort to exhaust that possibility. If you succeed, I guarantee you will not feel cheated by what comes out of the other side. A fixed marriage is a big accomplishment; a failed one, even if endured well, mostly just hurts. If the marriage can’t work, the long-term injury to you will be less if you establish that beyond a reasonable doubt and then get out of a house that can never offer you peace. (And canon law does specify that you have a right to a home where you can hope to live in peace, even if you are validly married and you have to live apart to accomplish that.)

You won’t teach her yourself. She won’t teach you. Get help. In the meantime, let her stage her own dramas. Do not take what she says seriously. Do not think it needs rebuttal. She’s not in a court, and you don’t have to tell her she’s not convincing her only audience, which is you. You can just recognize her emotions or repeat the gist of what she’s saying without agreeing or disagreeing (because the best case is that she doesn’t really want your opinion when she’s upset, she just wants to vent and find her own way out of the anger via your validation of her angst): “I can see that has you very upset.” “You sound hurt by what my parents said.” “It is inconvenient, there is no question about that.” and so on. When she says, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” you can say “That’s something I’ll have to consider. Right now, I don’t know. Did you have something you were planning on doing?” or something else non-commital.

Don’t argue anything with her right now. If she’s combative, she is not the kind who will back down. The better your argument, the worse it will be for you. For right now, and no offense to your wife, repeat this to yourself, and stay out of the arena:
*Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. * Matt. 7:6
Or put another way:
You can’t teach a pig to sing. You just frustrate yourself and annoy the pig.

I don’t remember how long it took, this happened in 1987…but I do remember that I had to have all of my eggs in my basket before meeting these Priests & Bishops who sat behind this huge conference table and I was sitting in front of them by my self.

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