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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  PHD LPC
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How do I stop arguing with my wife. Shes constantly dismissing

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How do I stop arguing with my wife. She's constantly dismissing any kind of information I deliver, in favor of her own information. The most recent example is legal advice I purchased from a very experienced, highly rated lawyer in DC, whose specialty is directly connected to my needs. However, she insists that 'her sister who works at a law firm in town (she's no lawyer, she's just a kid)' has better, more accurate information. It's impossible to get her to see that logically, we need to default to the information the professional specialist provided, over a family member in their first year of employment. This is ONE example of the constant arguments we have.

The only advice I have received is 'go to therapy with her' or 'just say she's right.' I'm not comfortable with either. I would expect my wife to have some level of confidence in me. I'm tired of having to fight for my right to BE right. So I guess I understand the 'give up' advice. :P
HelloCustomer welcome to Just Answer.

I will give you a scary weapon that i use, it will not work right away but over one year it should already give results. The more those conflict happen, the faster the effect will appear.

First, this seem to happen with women not because they are less intelligent, but because they have a different logic than us that serve different purpose all as important. It's possible for a man to adapt to the woman, and to a woman to adapt to a man logic. Some are very balanced between the 2 and some are literally inversed (some men act like women). The method i will explain don't have to explain anything, it's just a neuronal "trust" strengthener that with time act like a Pavlov mechanism.

The solution i found (about 15 year ago) is to quantify the result of your arguments and to give a slight punitive touch so that it's well remembered. The technique require you to be honest and only perform it when you are 100% sure of something (not 99,9999%) and that it can be externally verified (so the lawyer example would not be 100% unless you can get your info from the firm her sister work for).

Here are the steps. You manage to agree to pay to the others !$ each time the other is right (more than $1 can cause more conflict than it solve). It's as simple as that. It worked with all my friends, now i am a reference and they never want to put money on the table with me because they know i will win, the argument stop right there and they don't even want to go on the internet to verify, they just believe. for some that have a very rigid mindset (like my mother), it's harder and don't come naturally, but the simple fact to put the money of the table close the argument.

You must remember that you have to be right 100% of the time when using money. If you have any doubt, just don't initiate the bet or don't accept one. Doing that will also show you the part of your knowledge you rely too much on and should not as you will at the start pay $1 even if you were 100% sure. Once you better know your own limit you will slowly figure the kind of logic women are better at and the whole thing should benefit both parties.

For some, you sometime have to note your win on paper so that you can use this on them latter. Using money should use as a good way to keep track of the count number but some have short memory. in that case you might go to $2 but that is untested and i can't promise that it would not cause larger conflict :). Doing that in public work better, the effect work on more folk at 1 time and the ego of the other is more hurt that way. That said remember the purpose is not to fully humiliate, just to give a small punitive touch (for some, ego wok better than money).
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hey Martin,

Thanks for the answer, but I think I'm looking for something a bit more psychologically-centric. I appreciate that this method could be a good way to make sure people only fight to prove their point if they're 110% certain of it, but I'm fairly certain that the concept would simply infuriate my wife. I'm trying to understand why she behaves this way, so I can figure out a way - appropriate to our personalities and relationship - to address it.

This is absolutely something she would NOT go for. And, actually suggesting it would initiate another argument about how no argument is ever settled with money and that it's insensitive of me. Sorry Martin, I want to 'Accept', but this isn't an answer that can help my situation. Thank you for taking the time though, I appreciate it.
Ok, she indeed would have to agree with the method i mentioned, she at least need to know there is a problem (some find that writing a letter about it so the other learn about it in your absence is more effective, don't use example, that make it worst) . I will forward the question to the relationship category. I wish you good luck.
As a psychologist I have encountered people who live with the same personality type as your wife.
Has she been this way since you first met her? Has it always had to be her way, her decision, her choice?
Is she just this way with you? or does she argue with everyone ? If give me that information I will be better able to assist you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She is a very opinionated person, with a strong personality. She has her viewpoints and lifestyle, and is very critical (to the point of dismissal) of people who don't measure up to her expectations. If she sees someone eating fast food, or shopping at Wal-Mart, she will speak her mind about how negatively she sees such things. When we met, years ago, this made me interested in her. around me, while we dated, she dropped that behavior a lot. Even though she was critical of everything, she wasn't of me.

I loved that. It made me feel special, and 'better' than most people. That lasted a long time. Eventually I asked her to move in with me, and she did. Almost immediately after, I lost that protected status. My lifestyle, which I was comfortable with - and with which I believed her to be comfortable with as well - suddenly wasn't good enough. She began criticising my diet, my hobbies, my friends, my social desires. Everything. I couldn't leave a sock on the floor without hearing about it. It was almost a 180degree flip from what I'd come to know and love.

We lived together for 3 months before I couldn't take it, and the constant arguments with her. I broke our relationship off, and she moved to another state.

About a year ago, we reconnected. I helped her through a rough time, and she helped me as well. After several months of talking on email, the phone and IM, I bought her a gift certificate for an Airline. This was so she could escape her bad situation, and go anywhere in the US that she wanted to. No strings attached. I just wanted her to be happy.

She chose to come here, and I was happy with that. We began spending time together again, and slipped back into a relationship. And it was a lot like it was in the beginning. Things were so good, after I'd been in a bad place for awhile, that I decided I wanted to marry her. We spoke about it, I bungled the proposal (she found out early), but she accepted. We had a great wedding.

But in the weeks and months since that, the behavior she exhibited when she moved in with me years ago, resurfaced. Drastically. Every time she said "Hey, can we talk?" it meant I'd unknowningly done something to upset her. She became critical of my lifestyle again. Critical of my friends (she's been in MANY arguments with them). "[name] knows best!" is a common sarcastic comment amongst my friends. That makes me uncomfortable too.

Essentially, when we 'date' things are fine. But as soon as we enter a more committed relationship, I suddenly become another drone she has to enlighten.

I didn't get married to have a mother figure constantly telling me to tie my shoes and tuck in my shirt. I did it to have a companion to walk through life with. I find myself struggling to keep my identity and sanity in the face of being told to change and being told frequently that my thoughts and perspectives are wrong. I'm a fairly intelligent person, and I haven't ever been made to feel like I don't know what I'm talking about as much as I have since marriage.

I try to tell her how disillusioned I'm becoming, but she complains that when I talk like that, I'm hurting her and I need to stop.

Yes, it's been that way since we met, but I was the exception.
Yes, it almost always has to be her way, her decision, her choice. When it's not, she can't accept it with grace.
She's this way with everyone, but /wasn't/ with me. Hence falling in love.

I hope that helps.
Thanks for the background information. Since she has been this way since you have known her with short respites of not being so opinionated and critical of others it will not be easy to live with her peacefully. You know that already. Her defense is to appear strong while in reality she is probably a person who has very low self-esteem and quite a few narcissist tendencies.
I would suggest marriage counseling although it may be very difficult to get her to go or accept what will be suggested. She will say she doesn't need it, there is nothing wrong with her. So, make the suggestion in terms of you, that you feel you need to work out some issues and would like her to be part of the process. Find a good marriage counselor who uses cognitive behavioral techniques that will teach both of you how to live in a good marriage. Whether she accepts the help is another thing. She knows you will back down when she says you are hurting her, her way of saying "shut up" I will do it my way! if she refuses to go to therapy you should go alone. You are going to need all the support you can get. You should not have to hear that everything you say or do is wrong. It's psychological and emotional abuse. You may have to rethink what you need in a life partner and make a decision that you will stay and be abused, or gain the courage to end the marriage. Once you start working with the therapist you will gain the knowledge and know how to make that decision. I wish you the best.
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Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience: PHD LPC
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