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End the Silent Treatment In your Marriage

Edited by ravendave, Alma

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I struggle with giving my wife the silent treatment?

I feel like my wife is constantly on me about being more of a go-getter and initiating this and that and I already work a stressful job as a teacher and do help her clean up at home and do tons of cleaning up around the house, but it feels like it is not enough. I know that she gets stressed out and maybe that's all it is sometimes but when she comes at me and talks to me like I am a complete idiot, and says I can't believe I have to tell a grown man how to do something, I just feel totally worthless. I really do work to have a good relationship with her. I guess it could be seen as controlling, but I don't know how to deal with her ripping me to shreds. She has torn me down in front of her family on more than one occasion and I just don't feel good enough and am really tired of it. I am a good husband and love my daughter and want to spend time with her but I feel like I am always under the gun trying to please her. I am always doing things for her. I really do love her but just feel like I am never enough. I don't really have any hobbies of my own and I am running from morning til night between my work and then several nights a week at home too. It isn't right in that I do realize after I calm down some that it is painful for her because she wants to talk. But it is so hurtful in our discussions or arguments and it doesn't get resolved. Even after shutting down, I used to when we were talking try to work it out. She came to me first to talk but most times it still never gets worked out. I see all these articles that those that give the silent treatment are narcissistic abusers and I don't think that is fair. It is a way of getting control but I am not happy not talking. I am hurting the whole time. I would like to get it worked out but it doesn't work out well when we do talk. I apologize and say I shouldn't have not talked and I am sorry. She is just hurt and mad that I haven't talked because it usually is a few days. We fought Monday and it's Thursday and I just apologized for not talking this morning before work and I haven't gone home yet. So I do realize that's too long. I haven't slept well all week either. And I hate the situation. I want to have things worked out. She just comes at me when we argue and things don't get worked out most of the time. It just really is a hard situation. She loves me but we have a really hard time with communication in general. She wants it to work and I do too. I don't know the solution. Fighting is hard for me in general but when I feel like we fight and I am going to feel eviscerated and then nothing is solved I just retreat when I am attacked. Trying to get away from the attack which doesn't solve anything, but talking most times doesn't either. So I don't know what the answer is. I hope you have some suggestions or a good suggestion. I think this situation is different than what is covered in the article because I am saying that this isn't healthy but the article doesn't really talk about people like me who feel overwhelmed and demeaned by their spouse and it is such a hurtful thing that I just shut down. It doesn't give me any satisfaction to not talk. My stomach is in knots and I have headaches and don't sleep well. It just feels like talking doesn't get anywhere either. I still am held up to have to meet expectations that are too much for me. It isn't too much to have my own hobbies and not feel like I am running all the time but that's still not enough for my wife. I do have a hard time standing up for myself sometimes and my wife does have a strong personality so while she may be wanting to just work something out, she comes at it so strongly and insults me to where I feel like nothing that it is hard to really come back. I would like to just think and work through it and just come back to her later but I really am devastated by the argument and her words and I don't know how to come back or I have thought when I have come back later when we talk that she usually does initiate she is even stronger because we haven't talked. So she is even more hurtful. I have let her know that it is extremely painful and I feel like I am nothing by the way that she insults me. I have read things that say she is crying out for attention by complaining and even in saying hurtful things, but why is it if I give her the silent treatment but she is ripping into me and it is so painful it shuts me down I am wrong but she is right in how she treated me that led to me shutting down in the first place? She wasn't right and not talking isn't right or getting to the issue. So both is wrong, but I am tired of being slammed when I am trying. It doesn't make me want to even try at all. So there is the damage of her words making me feel like nothing and the damage of me not talking which probably does the same to her but I have nothing left after she has really insulted me. I don't know the answer to this. Not talking hurts her. I understand that. It hurts me too, but I don't know how to talk to her and it be any better either. I have tried: I have tried to go for counseling with her because I know we need help with communication. We have gone to two counselors and she won't go to any more because she just says they are a waste of time but more particularly money. I have tried to only wait a day or two instead of going several days not talking. Really force myself to talk even if I am not trying to talk about the problem. Just saying I am sorry if nothing else and she says that she really doesn't want to hear I'm sorry. She says there really is no point in talking about it because it doesn't get better. I think it was caused by: The biggest thing is probably my reaction to her words. She is probably trying to share something that is hurtful to her and she is angry or frustrated and instead of saying she is angry or frustrated about a certain thing, she comes at me and says something I don't do well or right in a strong, harsh manner with a scowl on her face in a really belittling way like saying Monday that she couldn't believe that she would have to tell a grown man not to shake dandruff flakes off on the counter around food. I said there is no food around it. I know that it sounds really silly maybe from the description but it wasn't about what she said, it was how she said it and with her face twisted up and her head turned to the side with a look of total disgust. That is becoming pretty regular. She just talks to me like a child but like a child she is disgusted with. I feel like she really doesn't need me to do much but go to work to bring money and pay the bills. She has basically taken over paying all the bills. Some I have agreed to but she basically decides everything we do with our money, the schedule. I don't like it and that's where I know I know I need to say something and I do about different money things, like I don't think we should pay this or that or at a different time but she basically runs it all. Again not out of choice. I think it is a lot that she doesn't think I can do it, and so she does it. I don't care if she does the bills, but it still needs to be what we both agree on. She doesn't spend wildly so it isn't a problem there, but I digress. There are many issues which are really important that I don't think I can talk with her about. I am sure that leads to built up frustration in addition to being made to feel like I don't do many things well and she is doing about everything. Like I have no motivation, but I am really just tired of fighting with her and it never gets anywhere.

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End the Silent Treatment In your Marriage

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