I am. I am ok now.
That was quite a terrible scream your wife just let out. Sounded like she was giving a very painful birth. Probably terrified the neighbors.
Yeah. It was a terrifying scream. A release of complete rage. My ears are still ringing.
We are fucked up.
I know. This is partially because you are fucked up. But what happened?
We were driving home from LA. A nice evening in the city. We had a few drinks, bought some books and other things, ate a good dinner. While driving on the freeway my wife suddenly remembered that in two days (Sunday) it is her aunt’s wedding. I was shocked. My reaction was overly surprised. Immediately I knew that I would have to go to the wedding and was upset because I was being told about it two days before. I really, really, really value having my Sundays free of all obligations so I was upset. (Here comes my wife. Hang on.)
Strange. She just came into my room to give me a kombucha. Her makeup was running down her face. “What are you doing I said?” “What? I just wanted to give you a kombucha,” she replied. “That is weird,” I said and we both giggled. She then told me that she was truly and sincerely sorry for everything that happened.
Sorry for what?
Well I did get upset that I had the wedding sprung on me at the last second. But I got even more angry when my wife told me that I should of known, I should of remembered. I was at a dinner with her parents two weeks ago and something was said by her mother about the wedding but it was very brief and did not mention a date or anything. We were drinking and I was paying little attention to what was being said. Because of this my wife told me that I knew about the wedding. That I was there when we all talked about it. “Talk about it? What are you talking about? I recall your mom briefly mentioning something but it was hardly talking about anything,” I said. I told my wife that I did not know about the wedding and she continued to tell me that I did know and that I should of remembered and that basically it was not her fault for forgetting to remind me or let me know the exact date of her aunt’s wedding.
Hmm. She feels like you should of known based on what her mom said about the wedding a few weeks back?
Yes. And she also tells me that she talked to me about the invitation that she got via email a year ago and I should of remembered that as well. That I should of come to her and asked her when the wedding was. That I should have known. I became enraged in the car. I screamed out, “I had no idea the wedding was in two days!! Why are you telling me that I knew when I am telling you I did not know!!!” I almost punched the window. I called her crazy for telling me that we had various conversations about the upcoming wedding that I know for a fact we did not have. I am the kind of person that if you tell me about the date of an upcoming obligation I will not forget. I do not forget obligations. My wife kept arguing with me, I kept arguing with her and our car almost exploded because of all the anger and tension.
Never call a woman crazy.
I know. I was furious. Lost my grip a bit.
In my mind the fact is that my wife forget to tell me about the wedding. She just forgot. She is a very forgetful person. Things like this happen all the time with her. The fact that she was trying to put me in the wrong (“I should of known. I should of heard what her mom was saying”) really upset me. I was never formally invited to the wedding. I was never asked if I wanted to go. I just overheard my wife’s mother briefly mention something about the wedding and now I am supposed to know exactly when it is? Seems nuts to me.
Yeah, it does seem unfair. Your wife should of just been able to apologize that she had forgotten about the wedding and leave it at that. Granted your initial reaction to being told about the wedding was harsh and her response was probably just a defense.
Defense against what?
She did not like how you reacted. She felt somehow threatened and became defensive. “What? You should of known. It’s not my fault,” was a defensive maneuver. I think she also knew she was in the wrong but could not admit it. She became defensive and focused on what you were doing wrong so she did not have to look at herself. But you played in to her defensiveness. You should of left it alone.
I should have. I know. I messed up by fighting back. It was a no win situation. I don’t know why I did it. I was angry. I felt like I was being accused of something I did not do. I felt manipulated. Messed with. But my reaction was not good. It is terrible that I got like that. I hate it. So unhealthy.
Yes, but let it go. You messed up but I can see how you felt trapped in a corner. You could of just breathed and let it go though.
Yes. I should have. It just happens so much. I often do just shut up. I let my wife win. I do not react to her defensiveness. But I guess sometimes I blow it, especially after a few cocktails. Sometimes I mess up.
You were tired. You were up really early. You had a few drinks. You were in a car, which gives you anxiety as is. It has been a rough week. The conditions were just not right for you to keep your cool. You blew up. It happens.
So strange how just an hour before we were having such a nice time. These things come out of nowhere like earthquakes. It is very discouraging. Makes me want to isolate. Makes me not want to spend time with her. I am concerned about us.
I know things are not good. You both love each other very much but you guys are not getting on so well anymore. You have sex maybe once a month and it seems you guys are just very gradually growing apart.
Makes me very sad because we were both once so in love.
Yeah. It happens. Couples spend time fighting, don’t really deeply connect, stop having sex, just get into their individual routines and gradually the love fades. You experienced this once before in your last marriage.
Yeah. It is happening all over agin. Very discouraging. I thought this relationship would be so different. But I am acting almost the same way as I did back then.
Wherever you go there you are.
So you think this is my own doing?
Probably. You are a mess. I mean you are a good guy and sometimes you are good but you are deeply unhappy inside. What do you expect?
I guess I expect more love and understanding.
Everyone only has so much of that to give. Your wife had a lot of that at one time but I think you have burned her out.
So I am the one that has fucked up things?
She plays her part. She is very reactive and defensive. She does like to push your buttons. She could give you more of her attention. She is very forgetful. She could certainly make much more of an effort. She has withdrawn and become neglectful with regards to really working on the marriage. I will give you this. But she really, really loves you. You are the one who is afraid of love. You are always unhappy and angry. Always down about something. When she tries to come on to you you turn her away. You give her a hard time about stuff. You are always on her back about something you think she is doing wrong. Day in and day out, this wears away at a person.
I get it. I know I am difficult. But she does things that piss me off. Always on her iPhone. Disorganized. Poor communicator. Forgetful. Procrastinator. It happens all the time and I just point it out. Am I not aloud to say anything?
Say something but you do it all the time!
Because she does these things all the time.
But she does not need you nagging her. It is just who she is. She is working on it but you are not helping her by always being on her back. You are just showing her that you do not accept her as she is! By the way all those things you labeled your wife as, sounds more like you are describing things that you do not like about yourself.
Yes. I live with you. I know.
I am not a poor communicator.
Almost punched the window does not sound like good communication skills to me.
Look. All I am saying is that you are difficult. You are unhappy. She is not innocent by any means. Sure she could be a lot more understanding and loving but that is asking a lot. She does the best she can. She is 14 years younger than you and still learning. You are the one who is continually being difficult towards her. All those things you do not like about her are just projections coming from within yourself. They are things you do not like about you. You get angry when you see her behaving in these ways because you want her to take care of things and fix things and be on her iPhone less because you can’t do these things for yourself! Its not fair.
Yeah. This makes sense. Jeeze. I am fucked up.
So what are you going to do now?
I dont know. I am still pissed. Even though you say I am the difficult one. I still feel like I was treated unfair. I just want to go to bed. I will probably let it go by sometime tomorrow night.
You will stay upset for that long?
But she has already apologized. Let it go.
Not that easy.
The reason why you are always so frustrated with your wife is because you are frustrated with yourself.
Yeah, well, this is probably true. Don’t ever marry a frustrated man. A man who feels like he has failed in life.
You have not failed.
I feel that way. What am I supposed to do about this?
You have to learn how to not be so frustrated with yourself.
How do I do this? I haven’t got a clue.
Maybe you should go get some sleep. We can talk more about this some other time.
Ok. Sounds good.
Thanks for your help tonight. I feel better.