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A Good Wife
May 26, 2006
12:30 pm
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sunnydays
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Today my husband told me that I may be his wife, but I'm not a "good wife" He says I argue or disagree with everything he says. We argue about everything. Yesterday, we argued over what caused the baby to have a cold. If I don't agree with his conclusion then I am argumentive. He told me that I should just agree with what he says for the sake of the relationship. He says since he doesn't tell me I can't leave the house or forbid me to talk to my family or friends, than the least I could do is agree with what he says since he is concerned about the health and well being of our family. In essence, I should filter everything he says with the fact that he is the leader of our family. He told me it was a waste of my time to go to counseling, to read articles about communication. The simplest thing to do would be to agree with him and stop contradicting everything he said. I am an independent woman, I was raised to think my own thoughts, and be responsible for my own feelings. And the other hand, I also was raised in an addictive family in which I became the caretaker of everyone. Which makes me an oxymoron: Think your own thoughts, but take care of me first. I am tired of doing that, and now when it seems that I am being forced to do that very thing again, I am rebeling with everything in my body. I am fighting to get my voice heard! And now matter how much I tell my husband that I am not responsible for what he feels and I am entitled to feel or think whatever I want as long as I don't force my beliefs on you, he rejects me. He's right I am not a good wife. I don't think I ever will be if it means I can't be me.

May 26, 2006
2:41 pm
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lightchaser
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sunnydays- You are so right to rebel! Who the heck needs a partner that is just an extension of themselves and doesn't think their own thoughts! I am so sick of it! My H was the same was and I know what you mean, every fiber of my being actually rebelled against it.
Keep on believing that your thoughts are valid. It sounds likeyou have lived without them, or in spite of them for so long. It sounds to me that you are are a good wife. the problem is, you don't have a good husband!

May 26, 2006
3:48 pm
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sunnydays
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lightchaser - thanks for another voice of reason... It's just sooooo frustrating to try and reason with him. No matter how much I vent or scream, it seems pointless. I am goint to re-read my boundaries or something just see what else I can do about living with someone who just doesn't get it.

May 26, 2006
5:48 pm
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smarterone
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sunnydays
Oh the men just love when we agree with them and after awhile i did just so i didnt hear his mouth. He was a big fearful man, when i did explode all hell between the two of us broke loose. now he is in prison for 5 years and i am divorcing him when i get the money cause he left me screwed. I do have my freedom but not really cause my brain is dead. Keep your pride going, and if he doesnt like it. Too bad, dont wait till its too late. Do whats right for you i didnt and i am in a jam now. Good luck

May 26, 2006
6:05 pm
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bonni
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sunnydays,
how long have you been married? i can't even imagine that conversation with my husband. we had a guest once who told me i had to agree with him because he was the guest. he WAS my husband's friend. have not spoken to him or heard from him since. it was the last conversation we had and the last my dh saw him.

you deserve to be happy and live your life. you are not an extension of anyone. you are a whole person. you know what you need to do.

bonni

May 26, 2006
6:15 pm
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sleepless in uk
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My husband would never actually use those words, but his whole being and everything he does and says and doesnt say has left me absoloutely clear that he feels exactly as your husband does Sunnydays.

It is so demeaning and humiliating...

and embarassing....so embarassing. For years I made excuses for him because I was embarassed... I walked on eggshells and agreed with him rather than provoke an argument but I am trying really hard to be my own person now....

now if only I could remember who she is!!!

But seriously I have stopped cowtowing to him and sometimes it is so damn hard I wonder if it is worth it. I have been so depressed for so long but i am starting to see a little light out there and I hope you do too....be your own person and dont let him grind you down

May 27, 2006
7:04 am
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sunnydays
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smarterone - you are so right about agreeing just not to hear their mouth... but sometimes I just don't agree with what he says, it's just flat out wrong... like when my daughter wanted to post different "rap artists" on her website. Now we have talked to her and talked to her about what was appropriate and inappropriate music, so she knows how we feel and what's allowed to be played in the house.. yet my brilliant husband decided since she liked that type of music he would start greeting her with "what's up b#$ch and h*@" like the what's played in those songs. I told him that was punitive and flat out wrong for a parent to call a child by that name. Yet he got mad at me since I did not agree with how he wanted to teach my daughter (I have children from a previous marriage) on how rap music is vulgar towards women. I agree that rap music leaves a large hole of decency towards women, but that's not a positive way to teach it. I am already not feeling much self-esteem, but I do not want him to destroy my daughter. I told him not to do it, and if he has said it to her, it wasn't around me. What do you do before its too late? I am trying to set the boundaries without leaving my house or him.

May 27, 2006
7:11 am
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sewunique
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So ask him; what makes a good husband?

What ever happened to equality, sharing and plain and simple respect?

May 27, 2006
7:11 am
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sunnydays
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Bonni - we've been married 6 years; and you're right I do know what to do, it's just going through it that makes it so hard.

sleeplessuk - I think the person you used to be is coming through 🙂 {{{sleepless}}}} I know what it's like to make excuses about someone elses behavior, its just not fair to us.. Like Bonnie said, we deserve to be happy and live our lives. We are not an extension of anyone. To be whole person, that's worth it!

May 27, 2006
7:22 am
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taj64
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Relationships are about sharing a life together and supporting one another and have a caring relationship. All relationships go through rough spots but your husband isn't treating you right. He should not belittle you like that because you deserve better. Id say he is not a good husband. There could be hope for him if he wanted to put the effort in it, but only he can do that. As a couple you cannot always agree on everything but it sounds like are you disagreeing on same really big issues that have to do with respect. Without respect, your self esteem will go even lower if you let it. If you think you are a good wife and a good mother, which I can see that you are, then that is all that matters. If he cannot see it, then he is blind as a bat.

May 27, 2006
7:30 am
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taj64
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Relationships are about sharing a life together and supporting one another and have a caring relationship. All relationships go through rough spots but your husband isn't treating you right. He should not belittle you like that because you deserve better. Id say he is not a good husband. There could be hope for him if he wanted to put the effort in it, but only he can do that. As a couple you cannot always agree on everything but it sounds like are you disagreeing on same really big issues that have to do with respect. Without respect, your self esteem will go even lower if you let it. If you think you are a good wife and a good mother, which I can see that you are, then that is all that matters. If he cannot see it, then he is blind as a bat.

May 27, 2006
7:36 am
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smarterone
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If he has issues with you, make a list of issues about him and post them where he can see it. Let him just come across it. If he doesnt like it, too bad, theres the front door. I know its easier said than done, but i have been thru two different marriages, and one was not the father of my child and he was a teenager and every little "lesson" he tried to teach him with his "words" messed my kid up.

May 27, 2006
8:31 am
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bonni
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bonni slaps head on forehead,
You know, its not the same, but some of what you are going through reminds me of why i despise the military's impact on my life. you see, they have been drumming into MY head for years now that i'm supposed to be an extension of my husband, to sit at home and raise his children and accept without question his coming and going (he's only in the National Guard - not full time), to be without a partner when it suits them. to support him with NO support in return. to do all the work and take none of the credit. to pretend that everything is ok so he doesn't get distracted and die, to agree with their actions though we all know they are wrong wrong wrong and just plain evil in many cases. i do know some very good men and women in the military, but they are outnumbered and bullied and hazed. in fact, i'm supposed to sit by silently when he goes to his next training where he WILL be hazed, demeaned and humiliated to MOLD him into a perfect soldier.

I know Sunnydays that its not the same, but to get away from it, i would have to leave a perfectly decent husband. this conditioning is harmful to our minds and

((((((Sunnydays))))), you have children. THEY are your first obligation. You've acknowledged what you need to do. Now, its time start working on a plan to make it happen, one step at a time. begin with the end in mind, work backwards and look for the support you need. here and even possibly a battered women's center. emotional abuse is as bad as or worse than physical. the marks last longer and aren't as obvious to others.

bonni

May 27, 2006
7:43 pm
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Hi, Sunny,

When I read this thread I hear so much frustration and anger, arguing and venting.

So much of the respect we want from our spouses we have to put into our own tone of voice, because it doesn't matter WHAT we are saying, what they hear is our lack of respect.

We may call it trying to "reason" with him, but all he hears is argument for the sake of arguing and criticism from us. I think I've come across like this too many times with my husband in the past and wish someone could have helped me recognize my approach was well-meaning, but never perceived the way I'd wanted.

No one wants to be talked to as though they are in need of instruction in how to behave, or how to parent, etc. No one really likes to be "told" what to do. I like being asked what to do and complimented on what I do right, and not cohearsed or manipulated or criticized or picked at the way some people are used to -- not directly but through backhanded insults and innuendo.

Just flat-out telling you what he wants from you -- a "yes" woman -- is really kind of honest!!

Also just so totally unreasonable it's funny.

So maybe just give him about 30 minutes of "Yes, Dear" some time and ask him how much honesty or respect he felt from it. Just getting respite from the yelling and screaming might help in getting you back to real conversations where you both are listening again.

I recently quit talking to a friend who was so frustrated in her own life/marriage that she was really sort of "preaching" alot of shoulds and oughts to ME. I was tired of being "instructed", and I said I didn't want to discuss this any more. She got very angry and abusive with me and her theme quickly became how inadequate I had become as a friend to her. Afterwards, my gut-level feeling was "Who are you to think you know all the rules about what makes up a good friend?"

Don't you think this is what your frustrated husband is trying to do, also? I mean, he is trying to write the good conduct code for wives. He is trying to control the situation by conjuring up some rules.

What about writing down all the things you ARE that you think make a good wife? You are probably both not that far away from each other in your thinking, but he 's probably not as able to express things as well as you.

My husband used to say when we argued we would "polarize", that is, we'd just go to the opposite pole of the argument -- I'd say black, he'd say white. I think a lot of couples tend to do this. Or, "we've had this same argument a thousand times"....I'm pretty sure I've canceled out every presidential vote he's ever cast. Stuff like that. You get so you sort of agree to disagree. He finds his center and spirituality in yoga and I in private prayer.

He's a jerk and I'm not....stuff like that....

May 28, 2006
11:21 am
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Notsure
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Why not try a test............agree with everything, no hassle, and defer to him completely for a given 7-10 days (but don't tell him). Will this make it easier for him or will he now be confused. No matter really as you are not hassling and beating yourself up.
Maintain a log of the things that upset you (or that would have or that you normally would have argued on) and do a self examination.

After you are clear on the issues have a meeting with him outlining what your issues, problems and conflicts normally would be. However now that you didn't respond at the time of the occurance you can deal more logicaclly and less emotionally.

Regards. Notsure

May 28, 2006
11:42 am
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sleepless in uk
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sunnydays thank you so much for the hug...you honestly cant know how much I needed that today

thank you

May 28, 2006
10:31 pm
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jastypes
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Ah yes, wouldn't life be easier (for him) if you agreed with everything he said. How ridiculous!!! And wouldn't your life be easier if he would just agree with everything you said? Your husband needs a reality check. Husbands and wives agree at times, and disagree at times. What makes a good wife? Certainly NOT agreeing with everything her husband says, does, wants, etc. You have gifts and talents and thoughts and feelings that deserve to be shared and expressed. I've been married (for better AND worse) for 20 years. I've been very, very, very close to divorce a couple of times. I've learned a lot. Agreeing with your spouse is useless if it doesn't come from the heart. You need to be able to express yourself and give voice to your feelings and opinions. A good husband is one who listens well and whose love for his wife often leads him to defer to her preferences. I suppose the best marriages (or the best times in one's marriage) occur when each partner really puts the other partner's needs in front of his or her own.

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