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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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Hi Ralph,

 

Thank you for requesting me. What is your question?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm on vacation with my wife and daughter and I'm getting irritable with my wife from time to time despite my efforts to treat her like a queen. For example, yesterday my daughter was afraid of getting pinched by a crab in the ocean. Today she said she wanted to go back to the ocean,and my wife said she'd be better off going to the pool because of the crabs. I got angry at her and loudly said, "She wants to go to the ocean!" By the way, my daughter enjoyed the ocean a lot today. That's just an example in which I happened to be right--there are probably other examples in which I may not have been justified in getting angry, but I did.   I appreceiate your previous answer to my question--I'm focussing on the queen thing and doing things around the house, because I don't feel ready to write the letter you described.

Thanks,

Ralph
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm so used to treating her angrily that I'm not very good at treating her like a queen

Hi Ralph,

 

I'm glad to hear that you are actually putting into practice what I advised you to do. Good for you...many people are just too lazy to try to change. I also appreciate your honesty. Let me assure you, learning to treat your wife better will be a life long process. =) There are no easy shortcuts to loving well. It is ok to get irritated with your wife...you are only human. The key is to filter your communication! Let me stress this again...FILTER YOUR COMMUNICATION! Think about it...would you elevate your voice like that at a stranger you met on the street or your boss?? I'm guessing...probably not. When we are in long-term relationships, we tend to become complacent and treat those closest to us worse than we treat strangers. Think about that...how wrong is that! You reacted with anger towards your wife because you felt disrespected. You wanted to take your daughter to the ocean and she was questioning your authority. Even though you may not have been thinking about that at the moment, that is what was going on. I am trying to read between the lines...it is not what she said but the message that was behind it. Here is what you need to do: When your wife speaks to you disrespectfully, XXXXX XXXXX to recognize it and try to say something loving to her. Fight her disrespect and harsh tone with loving kindness. For example, you might have said, "I know she is scared of the crabs honey, but I really would like to take her down to the ocean again. I think it will be ok. I will look out for and protect her...don't worry about it" I'm guessing this statement would have led to a much more productive conversation and who knows...maybe she would have agreed with you Ralph. Please do not expect this process to be easy...it wont be. You will have to bite your tongue more than you can imagine...BUT that is what a WISE man does. Keep up the good work...and give it your best shot all the time. Your wife and child are worth your effort...remember that! If you keep it up, she will begin to melt and come back to you. You need to seriously consider the letter though. It will mean more to her than you could possibly imagine. We men...we just don't get it...BUT she WILL get it! When things get hard...you have to fight through it! Fight for your family! Fight the temptation to revert to old ways...you know it doesn't work. =) Good luck!

 

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