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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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my wife backanswers for every simple question. I do take this

Customer Question

my wife backanswers for every simple question. I do take this for some time before it crosses my limit and I explode back. Due to my angry response my wife complains that i do not respect her and have huge ego issues. I do expect a simple courtesy, even if its not romantic, but a simple politeness in speech. I can be patient but i cannot keep losing my self respect too long.
this has been going in a vicious circle without end. is there a way to resolve this amiably?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your wife might be angry or resentful. It is difficult to tell if this is just directed at you or to the world in general, but either way, it is hard to have good communication and mutual respect if your wife responds to everything you say with resentment.

There may be a deeper issue going on in your relationship that needs addressed. If your wife is willing, try suggesting that you both attend therapy to help resolve what is going on and to improve your communication. If it helps her accept therapy, you may want to say something neutral to her like "We both seem to have issues in our relationship. Let's talk to someone about it". That way, she does not feel you are blaming her and becomes angry and resistant about it.

In the meanwhile, try these ideas to deal with her anger:

Show that you are listening to what she is saying- make eye contact, face her when she is talking, etc. By doing that you seem engaged and she may see you are hearing her.

Admit your feelings about the situation as well- let her know that whatever she is saying upsets you too or that you are feeling down about it. It takes away her ability to impact you emotionally and may take the power out of what she is saying.

Acknowledge her feelings- things like "I hear that you are upset" or "Your tone says you are angry, do you want to talk about it".

Ask her opinion on how to develop mutual respect between you- And listen to her answer. Tell her you really want her opinion about what you both can do together to make the other person feel good. Make a list and keep it around. And point it out often. You may have to be the first one to use it, but hopefully she will catch on.

Here are some resources to help:

Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship: How to Break the Cycle of Arguments, Put-Downs, and Stony Silences by W. Robert Nay

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond by XXXXX XXXXX

When Anger Hurts Your Relationship: 10 Simple Solutions for Couples Who Fight by Matthew McKay Ph.D.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

You may also find this resource helpful:

http://marriage.about.com/od/conflictandanger/Deal_With_Conflict.htm

Kate



May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate,


Sincere thanks for your advice. We have had discussions when we had calmed down. However I've lost faith in her answers and it might be showing on my face. I will take your advice and listen earnestly and acknowledge her feelings more distinctly. I seldom listen when I'm angry. Many a time my eyes have welled up in emotion but hardly any visible emotional response from her. the insensitivity is intolerable.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome!

I am sorry that you are being hurt by your wife in this way. Whatever is causing her to react to you like this most likely has a lot more to do with something other than you and your marriage. People do not typically act in such a way unless there is a good reason. And if she was just upset at you, she could easily work to resolve it.

It may help you to take a time out when there is a disagreement or she is being angry with you. Let her know in a gentle way that you need some time to calm down. Then get out for a bit. She is going to need to accept that what she is doing is hurting you deeply and that sometimes there will be consequences.

This may help you:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewire-your-brain-love/201008/four-ways-respond-during-argument

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm

And if she will not go to therapy with you, consider going on your own. You need the support right now and time to talk about what you would like to do about the situation.

Kate

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