I’ve come to terms with why my wife is so vicious and negative. In part, I’m not an easy person with whom to live by her standards. She also has a history of being verbally and I think physically abused by at least one of her older sisters. She had an unhappy relationship with her often absent or distant father. That being said, she’s an accomplished person, has received a Ph.D. in the sciences and is really smart.
Unfortunately, she’s an awful person who delights in arguing about everything. I don’t. I’ve never liked arguing and she has no problem even doing it in front of our 9 year-old son, explaining to him that arguing is “healthy.” I believe it’s negative, destructive and incredibly unhealthy. Conversations with disagreements are fine, but arguing and being mean – no. I try to teach him privately that this is not OK and that if he watches, I try to be pleasant and resolve the situation quickly as being mean and using harsh tones, loud voice and unpleasant works are never an appropriate way to resolve problems.
We disagree on so many things, from his education – he needs special education help last year and my wife refused to allow him to have it, stating that it would stigmatize him, even though the teachers, school counselor, school psychologist and I all agreed. Finally, after having him go through some assessments, she has agreed, but takes every opportunity to express her distrust and speak ill of people at the school. I admit, I didn’t like his teacher last year and she has even pushed me into saying unpleasant things, I tend to be more forgiving and understanding.
I’m exasperated by her constant put-downs that make me feel like I’m not good enough for anything. (I’m in a career rut.) Anytime I come up with an idea of a pursuit in which I’m interested, I’m basically told I don’t have the personality or skills for that kind of career and that I’m much better off doing customer service work. I HATE CUSTOMER SERVICE JOBS. I think I’m more skilled in a number of other areas, but listening to her constantly tell me I’m not good enough for anything better makes me feel awful about myself, as if no one believes I’m better than having a cashier position at some discount store or grocery market. (I’ve worked in the non-profit sector, accounting and even in community organizing/political consulting.)
She is very negative towards our son, telling him frequently about our financial issues, making him worried all the time that we don’t have enough money or may someday live on the street. We’re not wealthy, but we’re not really in danger of living on the street. I fear this is putting far too much pressure on our son. I don’t share her ideas that kids should be aware of any financial struggles. To me, that’s undue burden on a child.
I hate that when I’m working on something, such as a job application, she always wants to know what I’m doing, wants to know details of the job, wants to know why I’m interested in it. I have come to realize it’s not some form of “coaching” to get me ready for an interview, it’s just another way she can psyche me out of being confident.
I love my wife for many reasons, but right now I’m just angry. I’m angry I can’t seem to have the time to do things I need to do to get my career rebooted because I’m always driving her to work, taking care of our special needs son, doing the various things that need to be done (washing dishes, laundry, evening meals, packing our son’s lunch, doing homework with him, pursuing all the testing he needs to have for his disability). I feel like I have 3 hours a day to myself, and by the time I’m settled at home, it takes me time to get focused, which isn’t always easy.
I’m stressed 95 percent of the time about money and my wife just makes it a thousand times more stressful, especially when she turns every single disagreement into the fact that I’m out of work. She demands that I get a low paying cashier job, but we’d spend all that income on childcare. I can’t win.
Honestly, I was just hoping I’d die of a heart attack this year. Being around her negativity makes me wish I were dead on top of already not liking that I feel like such a loser in general.