Wife makes all decisions


#1

Hi,

My wife and I have been married for 6 years but throughout our marriage she has made most of the decisions. Even if I say no to something she just does it anyways time and time again no matter the financial situation, no matter anything that I say. My daughter who is 6 is going to get a palate expander at the orthodontist tomorrow and I really want a second opinion because I really have a long list of negatives compared to the positives for the well being of our daughter. I could go on and on. I tried to talk to my wife about this but she gets mad and ignores me, shuts off the conversation and does what she wants. This happens with so many things concerning us and our children, My wife and I have had many issues and overall arent getting along well to begin with. I believe her mom also has a factor in this because she consults her mom (and her mom consults her)for everything and usually goes with what her mom or what others think. I am lost on what I should do?


#2

Perhaps some couselling is in order so that your concerns can be aired and for you two to work on establishing a healthy pattern of communication. Would she be open to such a suggestion? If she relies so much on her mother and seems to value you opinion so lowly, I think engaging a professional to help may be the only way that she'll hear you out.

Hypothetically, what do you think would happen if you went ahead and got a second opinion for your daughter?


#3

Honestly I did come across a little hard on this subject, No disrespect to orhodontists but I really believe alot of it is cosmetic and not necessary along with many other reasons such as my daughter still hasnt lost all her baby teeth yet. I think another opinion may help because I can ask questions in front of my wife and we can figure this out together. We went for counseling for a while, I thought it helped, I wanted to go back but she refused. I offered for us to go to retrouvaille sept 30 but she outright refused.


#4

It's very difficult when one partner refuses to discuss things and won't attend counselling. If you push these issues, it could go either way - it may wake her up to the issues, or it may drive a wedge. This is where counsellors play a key role in mediating and making sure things don't blow up (as much as is possible). Since she won't go, you're faced with this difficult take yourself. Perhaps you should go to counselling on your own to get some guidance through this, and hopefully she may soften and decide to come with you.

It seems like you might have some trouble being assertive? Or is it just that you're scared of what she'll say or do? Perhaps you should find subtle ways to increase your assertiveness in your home. Not on big issues at first, but on smaller issues that aren't likely to cause fights. Over time, you may be able to become more assertive in the relationship through a subtle process of chosing minor things to be assertive in.


#5

I really appreciate the advice and you hit it on the head with the assertiveness. I just dont understand what that means. Do I say things with more confidence, louder pitch to my voice....I do lack confidence at times.

One of the main things I can do now is not push and kind of let God take over. Its hard to do but it may be the only way to reconciliation. I do try here and there as with the retrouvaille thing but after so many confrontations with her all I can do for the most part is leave it in Gods hands alomost like Jesus did on the cross "forgive them Father for they know no what they do." There is a good book on this called "forgiveness" I forget the authors.


#6

[quote="LittleFlower378, post:5, topic:252334"]
I really appreciate the advice and you hit it on the head with the assertiveness. I just dont understand what that means. Do I say things with more confidence, louder pitch to my voice....I do lack confidence at times.

[/quote]

Yes, more confidence. Not a louder voice, just a firmer statement about what you will do. Like I said, I'd start with small things. eg Rather than ask her if you can spend some time reading a book, tell her you are going to read a book for a while. Rather than ask what she'd like for dinner, tell her that you feel like steak so you're going to cook steak tonight. By all means continue to be considerate of her thoughts and feelings, but just subtly change your language to be more definite. If you can introduce some more assertiveness in minor things like what's for dinner, how you spend your free time, etc, you may find that you are able to be more assertive in bigger issues.

But not louder...trying to be louder than the other person is a form of bullying and will only lead to confrontation. Assertiveness is simply about making sure you're not being dominated and are standing up for yourself a bit.

If being more assertive is met with resistance, you may need to back off again and like you say, leave it in God's hands.


#7

My friend, you may be married, but the marriage is one-sided at this point because your wife is calling all the shots.

In a relationship, the best case scenario is when the will of the husband and wife is equally balanced (with the husband's being stronger). That means he wins some of the time and she wins also. Your wife has a stronger will than you and because of this, she is winning all of the issues in the marriage. Whether it's big or small, she will win every issue because it's a matter of the will.

You appear to be caring and giving--all good attributes. But, in order to have more of a say in your marriage, you need to step it up a bit. You might be so used to accommodating your wife that it's difficult to change at this point. But if you don't change, the marriage will remain unbalanced and your wife will always get her way in the marriage.

While change is difficult, so is living in a marriage that is so one sided. I would suggest counseling but the one real change would have to come from you. While nobody wants to rock the boat, your marriage and your self worth are at stake. When you get really tired of living like this, think about just taking one step forward--like putting your foot down on an issue so that you can start having a say and taking your place as head of your household.

I don't mean to be blunt but I understand what you're going through and the only way things are going to change is if you change. You can pray to God and the Holy Spirit but by faith, you need to start moving forward to reclaim your household. When you start doing that one thing, it'll be easier to take the next step and so on. Then you will begin to have the kind of marriage God wants to bless you both with.

God Bless


#8

Thank you Cryptic and Underacloud. You two couldnt be more right, really it is just hitting me now. Our relationship does need to be more balanced. For instance, today since I am on vacaation I wanted to go see my daughters gymnastics after I went to the dentist but my wife this morning said "you better cut the grass," She constantly always thinks I am lazy and always wants me to do chores, but alot of the time I am tired or want to spend time with her or the kids, etc. etc. Of course I want to do chores too but not every single time on her time, but when I feel it is the right time. I rarely ever tell her to do anything. I will use your advice underacloud and try better and I like the fact Cryptic you said that it starts with me because it does. I really thought my daughter could have waited for this procedure but my wife is taking her anyways today, my heart is kind of torn over this.


#9

[quote="LittleFlower378, post:8, topic:252334"]
Thank you Cryptic and Underacloud. You two couldnt be more right, really it is just hitting me now. Our relationship does need to be more balanced. For instance, today since I am on vacaation I wanted to go see my daughters gymnastics after I went to the dentist but my wife this morning said "you better cut the grass," She constantly always thinks I am lazy and always wants me to do chores, but alot of the time I am tired or want to spend time with her or the kids, etc. etc. Of course I want to do chores too but not every single time on her time, but when I feel it is the right time. I rarely ever tell her to do anything. I will use your advice underacloud and try better and I like the fact Cryptic you said that it starts with me because it does. I really thought my daughter could have waited for this procedure but my wife is taking her anyways today, my heart is kind of torn over this.

[/quote]

I think you have valid points. You need to trust that. Go with her to the dentist, don't give another option. Do your chores, because they need to be done, but balance when you do them...Go to the gymnastics because that is for your daughter and she will appreciate it. Trust yourself.


#10

[quote="LittleFlower378, post:8, topic:252334"]
Our relationship does need to be more balanced. For instance, today since I am on vacation I wanted to go see my daughters gymnastics after I went to the dentist but my wife this morning said "you better cut the grass," She constantly always thinks I am lazy and always wants me to do chores, but a lot of the time I am tired or want to spend time with her or the kids, etc. etc. Of course I want to do chores too but not every single time on her time, but when I feel it is the right time. I rarely ever tell her to do anything.

[/quote]

Sounds like a teenager complaining about his mother.

You need to stop cooperating in this. She is your wife, you are her husband.


#11

I am a more passive person myself. It took me awhile to learn to be more lovingly assertive. Early in my marriage, DW used to get into a “nagging” mode too. Here are a couple of things I found to be successful. YMMV

When my wife wants me to do somethig right now, I instituted an “if it bothers you so much, you do it” policy. If DW asks, “Are you going to mow the lawn anytime soon?” My reply would be something like a very lovingly, “Honey, if it bothers you so much, why don’t you mow the lawn?” At this point she can either mow it herself or wait for me to mow it on my own time.

It works tit-for-tat as well. I have been known to jump in and wash the dishes - without “nagging” her - because “it bother me enough to do it.” This evolved into our rule for changing a stinky diaper - the first one who smells it, changes it.

Going somewhere with DW and the kids is always non-negotiable. I am their parent too. If they are going to the doctor, dentist, soccer practice, gymnastics or any other activity and I am home from work, I am there - the husbandly chores can wait. After doing this for several years, my wife has become more and more appreciative of me. This is mostly for making her friends jealous because their husbands are not involved in their children’s lives at all.

Lucielle Ball was once attributed to saying, “Cleaning the house while you have kids is like shoveling the walk while it’s snowing.” Once again, the chores can wait!

Another thing I found which helps is, DW used to ask, “I’m going to take the kids to the store after lunch, could you take out the trash while I’m gone?”

My response, “Of course, honey.”

Taking out the trash turns into: taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, bleeding the brakes, overhauling the engine, building an addition to the house - OK I’m exaggerating here. :smiley: But as the number of tasks slowly builds, I would see the time which I had planned to do things I wanted being frittered away.

I would ask her, “Honey, I would love to do all of those things for the love of my life, but I am so forgetful. Could you please write them down for me?”

As she requests more and more, I would tell her, “Add it to my list.” The process of her sitting down, getting her thoughts together and writing them down took too much effort and the list usually stoped after a couple of tasks.

However, if the list had become too large I would wait until she was getting ready to leave and say, “You know honey, I don’t think I will be able to finish all of this before you get back. How about I take out the trash and do the dishes? We can leave mowing the lawn, bleeding the breaks, overhauling the engine, and building an addition for another day.” Trash: 5 minutes. Dishes: 15 minutes. Time for me: 70 minutes.

After 9 years of marriage, my wife has caught on to what I am doing and why. When she gets into a “could you do a hundred things while I’m gone” mode, I don’t even ask her to create a list, I just say, “add it to my list” with a smile, she gets the hint and we both have a laugh.


#12

I really appreciate everyones help. I may try that tgauchsin. I love that song by Toby Kieth "my list." I will try to implement these things into our marriage. As a matter of fact I started today and to much of my surprise it has worked out well. God Bless you all!


#13

[quote="LittleFlower378, post:1, topic:252334"]
Hi,

My wife and I have been married for 6 years but throughout our marriage she has made most of the decisions. Even if I say no to something she just does it anyways time and time again no matter the financial situation, no matter anything that I say. My daughter who is 6 is going to get a palate expander at the orthodontist tomorrow and I really want a second opinion because I really have a long list of negatives compared to the positives for the well being of our daughter. I could go on and on. I tried to talk to my wife about this but she gets mad and ignores me, shuts off the conversation and does what she wants. This happens with so many things concerning us and our children, My wife and I have had many issues and overall arent getting along well to begin with. I believe her mom also has a factor in this because she consults her mom (and her mom consults her)for everything and usually goes with what her mom or what others think. I am lost on what I should do?

[/quote]

Welcome to the "progressive" age of independent individualism, also known as selfishness. It's designed to ruin sacrificial love between man and woman. As long as the media keeps heaping praises on people for being open-minded and enlightened, many will refuse to see the degree of their own bigoted and selfish acts.


#14

[quote="LittleFlower378, post:1, topic:252334"]
Hi,

My wife and I have been married for 6 years but throughout our marriage she has made most of the decisions. Even if I say no to something she just does it anyways time and time again no matter the financial situation, no matter anything that I say. My daughter who is 6 is going to get a palate expander at the orthodontist tomorrow and I really want a second opinion because I really have a long list of negatives compared to the positives for the well being of our daughter. I could go on and on. I tried to talk to my wife about this but she gets mad and ignores me, shuts off the conversation and does what she wants. This happens with so many things concerning us and our children, My wife and I have had many issues and overall arent getting along well to begin with. I believe her mom also has a factor in this because she consults her mom (and her mom consults her)for everything and usually goes with what her mom or what others think. I am lost on what I should do?

[/quote]

Isn't the husband supposed to be the head of the family?


#15

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:14, topic:252334"]
Isn't the husband supposed to be the head of the family?

[/quote]

Right!

@OP: Is she (significantly) older than you? As someone already mentioned, it sounds like a teenager complaining about his mother.


#16

Try to "neutralize" your mother-in-law, as well.
Domineering women make me sick!
Some of them are nothing but control freaks! :(


#17

No she is 4 years younger than me and I am 32. Dont get me wrong, she is a great person and a great mother. She does mean well and try her best for our children.I love her more than than words can describe. But still we lack making decisions together and have many other issues that still havent been resolved. Yes I think neutralizing my mother in law will help which is something I talked about with my wife recently but it will not be easy since this has been going on for so long.


#18

Then put your foot down. Find a way to communicate with your wife that works. Usually with controlling types only a commanding approach will work. I don't mean yell at your wife just stand your ground.


#19

Communication doesn't mean you have to dominate or be weak... it means you share your feelings and listen to others'.

For example - your agenda today... you *assume *she "thinks you're lazy and always wants you to do chores"... when really, she just wants you to cut the grass.

Communicate. "Yes, you're right! I do need to cut the grass! But I'd also like to go watch the gymnastics class and spend time with you! How 'bout I cut it when we get home later tonight?"... then DO IT. Show you're not lazy and prove your point.

This suggested response doesn't sound aggressive or domineering... it sounds like a great compromise to meet everyone's needs and wants!
This is what marriage is about. ;)


#20

Tell her your "misery index" is too high right now to cut the grass...it's all the rage.:thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.