My first real post - I did post in the meet/great as well. Where to start… I guess I’ll let this thread go where it needs to go though I’ll start with the here and now with a specific question and seeking advise, then elaborate.
How do I deal with my wife when she is hysterically screaming - in a rage - in my face? Needless to say, I don’t handle being screamed at well and I have sinned in anger and what I have said back to her. Not a very loving environment.
This is supposed to be a Catholic marriage. 22 years now. I am the lifelong Catholic; she converted when we married. I am practicing Catholic (with some downtime) and she is not and she hasn’t for years. We are ‘older’ me mid fifties, she is looking at sixty in the rear view mirror (7 year spread in age). Maybe the marriage was doomed to fail. I hadn’t found the nice Catholic girl my mother wished I had married when I was young. I met my wife in my early 30’s and she was my first sexual partner out of wedlock. She was interested in Catholicism and she wasn’t particularly religious at the time, though from a fundamentalist (Southern) bible based religious background. I think now she converted to Catholicism as a novelty. She never really ‘got into it’. But we’ve existed for years with me practicing and her dabbling at it as far as Mass attendance etc. She used age as an after the fact excuse to not want children, though I didn’t push the subject either. Intimacy in the marriage went the way of the dinosaur a long time ago.
Over the years, she’s admittedly had hard knocks of life. Injury. She stopped working years back, partly due to her skills and moving for my professional job. Now - she stays at home and licks her wounds and has become an angry depressed person. She has no friends. She is estranged from her sisters (parents deceased). She resent me staying close to my mother and brothers, as if it takes time I should give to her. She’s come up with a list of physical ailments that she’s declared herself “disabled” - though she’s not disabled in the legal sense. Were I not here, she’d be able to take care of herself. But given her issues, she’s put it on me to basically do everything that she says she can’t -namely most of the household chores, laundry, etc due to her allergies. And her fatigue.
I work full time in a demanding professional job - my career. We live on my income. Saving for retirement now on my income. I have no time to myself outside of work because of her insistence that I basically am her chambermaid, maid, errand runner… She uses guilt to manipulate me.
Back to the original question - she is full of anger and frustration over her condition in life. I get that. But since I’m the only human being she interacts with on a daily basis, she takes it all out on me. And not little anger bursts with hugs and kisses later. Raw anger and rage - screaming sessions well into the night. And I’ve become resentful of her demands that I devote every spare minute to cleaning and taking care of her long needs list - I mean she won’t even drive out to a store to run her own errands. When I voice my frustration or get angry and lose my temper, she throws my religion in my face and points out what a hypocrite I am going to Church and “warming a pew” as she says. She thinks being Catholic means I should be like Jesus, especially when it comes to her. My duty in life - according to her - is to take care of her. I think it’s her perversion of the marriage vow - especially a sacramental Catholic marriage vow.
We’ve talked about divorce. One practical conclusion - we can’t afford it. I talked to the parish Priest - some good advise from him about making time for myself, my own prayer life (which I am working on) and the possibility that separation is an option if things didn’t improve. Which they haven’t. But the kicker - she says it’s all my fault - that I have changed over the years and she’s the same person she always was. She wants the good sweet man back that she married. She won’t admit she’s changed and things she does are fanning the flames.
So, yes, there are issues. So to kick it off, the question: how do I deal with a wife screaming in my face without sinning? I am not very good at it.