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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in relationship/family counseling
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My wife is always at end of her wits, ready to jump and insult

Customer Question

My wife is always at end of her wits, ready to jump and insult and yell at me. Typically even a small issue such as late bill payment becomes a matter of grave importance and proof of my stupidity, and volley of insults follow. If even by mistake I tell her logically any of her mistake a volcano erupts and she immediately threatens divorce and tells me to take care of kids by myself. She is also a perfectionist whose perfection is now becoming painful. Eventually I have to say sorry and convince her that she was right and I was wrong.
I have no problem with feedback for improvement. However, she does not give feedback, she literally insults, threatens and yells. I can't however point to this as that would explode into a divorce threat. Even if I point a tiny mistake in her, she starts saying we are unable to understand each other and should separate.
Her constant threats of divorce, explosive anger on trivial issues and insulting approach is getting on me. It is only because we have a daughter together that I am putting up with it. She is a very good mother.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Alicia. Thanks for asking your question - I'm happy to help you today.
I can understand how frustrating this is for you, because it seems like you feel as though you have to walk on eggshells and that your own needs and wants aren't really being heard or met. And I also hear that you feel like you have to just go along with her requests or demands no matter what (essentially).
I obviously am only hearing your side of the story and as I can't observe the dynamic between the two of you it's hard for me to give totally objective advice. I don't think your wife's behavior is fair to you, and it's possible that this is who she is and the controlling behavior is a function of her personality. I don't see how you can continue the relationship as it is, with having to walk around so carefully and always swallow your opinions and apologize for every little perceived wrong.
You first have to decide how to proceed -- whether it's healthy for daughter to witness this interaction between you two. Even if the disagreements happen in private, there's no way she won't pick up on some of these things, and you don't want to give her the idea that this is how relationships should be. If you want to stay with your wife because of your personal convictions and because you inherently feel that it's what is best for your daughter, then I suggest that you consult a marriage counselor for in-person therapy. You need a safe place where you can talk about your concerns and feelings without feeling trampled upon by your wife. If counseling isn't an option or you don't think she would be willing to go, then I suggest you have a talk with her about this during a calm moment. Try to explain how you feel and how her behaviors make you feel -- avoid focusing on blame or trying to get her to see her part in all of this, because I don't think she's at that point yet. Let her know that you are feeling tired and run down, and give her some suggestion as to how you'd like things to change -- maybe, and this is a small maybe, she's not aware of how she's coming across -- maybe she thinks she's being helpful in some way. If you don't tell her how you feel, then she doesn't have the chance to change. But I would strongly advise counseling -- you can search this website for a qualified counselor in your area (click on the "practitioners" menu:)
Best wishes.

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