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What do I do when my wife says she hates me?

Discussion in 'Separation and Marriage Restoration' started by devonian, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    My wife says she hates me.

    She says she wants me to move out.

    She yells at me for almost everything I do, but claims she is not yelling.
    She is just "speaking with emotion." It is probably a combination of yelling, crying, and blaming.

    I do not compliment her often enough, but when I do, she dismisses them. I wasn't sincere enough, or I was just trying to make up for a fight, or it doesn't make up for all the times I didn't compliment her.

    I am not overly helpful around the house, but I do have a good income, and do what I can when I am home. (Put the kids to bed 3-4 times/wk; clean the dishes daily, but not every meal; Shovel snow; take out trash; mow the lawn; help with dinner 1-2 times/wk; bring kids to sporting events or other events 30-40% of the time.) But, it is seldom recognized. I am just doing my responsibility.

    When I ask her questions about what we shoud do about something, she gets angry because I am putting it all on her. When I don't ask questions, I am accused of not including her.

    I don't want to move out because I don't believe there has been any infidelity, either emotional or physical. I also don't want to move out for the sake of our children. But we have had 2 marriage counselors suggest that we should separate.

    I have tried and tried to do what she asks, but I always fail, or what she expects changes. It is probably a combination of me not being able to give her what she wants, and her not being able to accept what I do give. Either way, I do not think I can meet her expecations.


    But what is more loving, to separate/divorce because she is asking me to, even though God hates divorce ? or to refuse to separate/divorce, even though she seems to be having deteriorating mental and emotional health?
     
  2. BobW188

    BobW188 Growling Maverick

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    You and I know each other from another forum, and so we each know some of the stresses we've endured and inflicted on others not only in the old days but since.

    Do the changes you've made significantly alter your family dynamics? The spouses of people like us often find that, as we change, their own situation is adversely affected. (Or, at least, such is their perception.)

    The only counsel I can give you, based on what you've said above, is: turn it over.
     
  3. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    Thanks Bob for your comments.

    Yes, they have altered the family dynamics. I should have included that in my initial posting here. And, so that everyone is also aware, I am a recovered alcoholic. By recovered, I mean, although I can never drink alcohol, I don't think about drinking and I don't think about not drinking. I don't mourn the loss of the ability to drink socially, nor do I have a problem if others are drinking around me. Using alcohol to enjoy or escape life just isn't part of my life anymore. I now focus on letting God be the director of my life. Although I am far from perfect, but I do turn it over to God, daily.

    Part of the dynamics that have changed, as I see it, is that she seems resentful for my desire to help other alcoholics. She see's it as me willing to help others, but not her. Even though I do help her more. She also seems resentful of my recovery, and has occasionally asked who will help her. She is not an alcoholic, but wants nothing to do with Al-anon, and does not want any advice from me.

    As I said, I do turn it over daily, but I won't say it is easy. It is often very difficult, and the skills I have learned through the 12 steps have helped me cope. But my concern, in this posting, is not for my wellbeing, it is for hers. I see her full of resentments and fear, and at the verge of an emotional breakdown. I know that I cannot fix her issues, I just don't want to add to them.
     
  4. McScribe

    McScribe Me

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    Interesting that 2 marriage counselors said you should separate. Why was this? Why does your wife hate you? I realize that this must be painful and difficult to deal with. At the same time I think that these are questions that need answering. Is it the compliments alone--she hates you because you don't compliment her enough? Do you mean the compliments when you say them?
     
  5. BobW188

    BobW188 Growling Maverick

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    Hmm. You might also post this over on Alcohol Abuse. My wife did not have this reaction; but I've heard it's quite common. Just as there are those who, rightly or wrongly, perceive themselves as "golf widows" or "football widows" there are those who see themselves as "AA widows." (I haven't actually heard that term used, but you get the drift.)
    Have you brought it up in a closed meeting?
     
  6. Has your wife ever been to an alanon meeting? I honestly have reservations about the higher power aspect of it because I believe that there is only one true God, and all others are idols. But if one absolutely puts the one true God in His proper leading role, then the 12 steps are good for all people. My child's father was a severe alcoholic, and he went to aa once in awhile, but I went to alanon. I went to different meetings. They weren't all for me, but I found one particular meeting that was just awesome. I also noticed that alanon was a whole lot more fun than aa. The few times I went to aa I noticed that most of the people there were depressed. At alonon, most of the people were nurturing, and it was a good experience. I don't mean to disrespect people in aa, I am just wondering if she is basing her dislike of alanon on an aa experience? I also went to conventions that were for both aa and alanon. and those were great too. I still remember a speech from one of the aa leaders that was very insightful. Maybe she just feels excluded from such a big part of your life?
     
  7. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    She seems to hate me. She yelled it over and over again the other night. Loudly enough for the kids to hear. I have read some books about abusive relationships, and I think she fits the description very well. Except, she doesn't use physical violence as her primary method of abuse, it is mostly emotional. Yelling embarrasing things for the kids to hear. Telling me I am a worthless excuse for a human being. But she does also hit, kick, and throw things at me also. After particularly bad episodes, she seems to be remorseful, and kind again. But the calm period only lasts a while, and then I do something wrong, and a new episode erupts.

    It is not the compliments alone. It can be from almost anything. She used to complain that I didn't do the laundry, so she yelled at me. So I started doing the laundry, but I didn't do it the right way, so she yelled at me. I didn't do the dishes, so she yelled at me. So I started doing the dishes, but now I forget to put my bowl away in the morning, so I get yelled at for not putting my bowl away. I don't compliment her enough, so I try to compliment her by telling her I like what she is wearing. But she says I didn't tell her she looks pretty. I am only saying her clothes are pretty. The list can go on and on. She yells at me for something, I try to change, but I do it the wrong way. It seems like I cannot ever figure out what she wants.
     
  8. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    I don't think I go to enough meetings for her to complain about being an AA widow. I only go to one meeting a week, and it is on a night that she is often doing something herself. I also have breakfast with a friend for 10th step stuff, but it is when she is either just waking up, or is getting ready to meet with her friends. Although, she did complain when I went to 2 meetings a week.

    I posted this here instead of in the Alcohol Abuse section, mostly because I wanted spiritual advice on which is more loving. To avoid separation/divorce at all costs (her mental/emotional health), or if separation/divorce should be considered and balanced with her mental/emotional health.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  9. Ok I think I get why she doesn't want to go to alanon. She would have to deal with her own issues and not be able to place blame anywhere but on herself. It sounds like you are her scapegoat. Maybe while you were drinking, you were an easy scapegoat, but now, you are making it more difficult for her to make you the scapegoat. I hope you have some strong Christlike buddies that you can pray with. I think this is a spiritual battle, and quite simply your wife needs to repent. Hang in there.
     
  10. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for replying. I have not had a very good experience with children/spouses of alcoholics. (Most were not members of alanon.) The ones I have met have been understandably very bitter and skeptical, and their parents/spouse were not recovered or recovering, so I appreciate your positive input.

    I agree with you on the higher power part. I think everthing else can be supported by the Bible, but I also have reservations about that part. One thing I can say about it is that I think more people have found the one true God, because they were not forced to immediately accept that there was one true God in order to do the steps. They became open to seeking God, and the one true God found them. The other thing I can say is that I think it is often mis-quoted. Many people think is says choose a god of your own conception. Which means: Make up a god and believe in it. What it really says is: Choose your own conception of God. Which means there is a God, and our limited minds are choosing an imperfect mental picture of Him in order to start contact with Him.

    She has gone to a few alanon meetings. I think there is a combination of not finding a good meeting, thinking she should not have to go to meetings just because I have a problem, and feeling excluded from such a big part of my life.
     
  11. McScribe

    McScribe Me

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    I'm afraid I don't know your history at all, but sometimes you have to put your foot down, particularly if she is yelling these things at you when the kids can hear them. (how old are the kids btw?) It's certainly reasonable to express displeasure, but yelling and then saying afterwards that she's just expressing her feelings is not cool. Insults are not good. It doesn't matter what the concerns are, you should not be yelled at and insulted, particularly in front of your children.

    You mentioned the possibility of separation or divorce, and a couple of counselors. Has your wife mentioned in counseling any degree of desire for compromise with you?

    What I would like to stand in faith with you about is that you will have the wisdom and understanding to deal with this, to see her and where she stands clearly, and above all to be able to take a firm stand in your home if it is possible to do so without making things worse for you and the kids. I agree with what Romans said about the higher power thing in AA to some extent, though I suspect that that was done originally to help make it inclusive to people who might not all believe in christianity. Remember that YOUR faith in dealing with things is what counts--it sounds like you have enough spiritual clarity about that to not have a serious worry about the higher power thing.
     
  12. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    Thanks again for your comments. It looks like you replied to my other postings while I was replying to yours.

    That is exactly how I view it also. And I think can hang in, with God's help, but what I am really wondering is if it is the right thing to do for her.
     
  13. people dont yell and hate for nothing. rather than hoping her strong emotions will subside now that you have your life on track, have you thought of being brave enough to approach her lovingly about how she's really feeling?
    i'll bet anything there's a ton of fear, hurt and anger inside of her. if you were an alcoholic, it's vital to not minimize the impact this has on your spouse. it's like having to compete with another person for your husbands affection, and even then the addiction always wins out.
    your wife needs to be heard, she needs to be allowed to express her feelings and not told they are wrong or out of place. you've found your recovery, she most probably needs hers.
    When it comes down to it, the issues are probably not at all about the dishes, laundry etc...they may be more about her not being able to be secure in her relationship with you based on what she's experienced up until you quit drinking.
     
  14. I agree with you Hosannah, but according to the op she is not willing to deal with any of it, only lay it all on him. No matter what pain he caused, if she is not willing to deal with her feelings, but just abuse him, then she is at least as bad as he was as an alcoholic.
     
  15. she may not even know what it is that she needs to deal with. pain can be confusing, and be expressed as anger, especially when one has not had the opportunity to express that pain in a vulnerable way.
     
  16. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    I agree with a lot of what you say.

    But, even if I am a worthless human being, isn't she is still responsible for her own actions? Even if I am mean and hurtful, are yelling and hating appropriate christian responses?

    I agree that I should be as loving as I can be. But what if my attempts to be tender and loving are inadequate? What if I cannot do what she expects? After all, I am a sinful human just like everyone else. I will never be perfectly loving. I will never be perfectly tender. I can try as much as I want, but at some times I will fail. Am I responsible for her actions?

    Yes, I do think she does need her recovery. But many people recommend that the spouse of an alcoholic kick the alcoholic out of the house. Let them experience "a bottom", so they can recover. This reaction toward an alcoholic is considered appropriate to help the alcoholic. Some would even argue that this is a loving, but difficult, way to help them.

    My question is not even if I should kick her out of the house. My question is should I leave because she has asked me to move out for her emotional/mental health?
     
  17. that's just it, you are not a worthless human being,
    i think you're missing what i'm trying to convey. which is that her feelings are not necessarily about YOU, they are most likely built up within her based on what she has been through with you.
    if you are to come across as defensive and telling her how she should respond, she is still left in a powerless position, which is where the spouse of an alcoholic comes from, a feeling of powerlessness over the situation.
    you don't need to be perfect to seek to understand another person, that is what i'm suggesting, is that rather than trying to please her, seek to understand her.

    by asking you to leave, does she want to end your marriage? or does she just want some space to come to terms with her feelings about everything?
     
  18. sdmsanjose

    sdmsanjose Regular Member

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    If she wants you to move out, two counselors want you to separate and you want to do what is best for her then move out. Have you heard that song “You Don’t know What You Got Until You Loose it”? It does not have to be permanent.

    Separation is different than divorce. Sometimes separation can help both partners get a better view of the relationship and realize the worth of each other. There is no way for me to know but the fact that you have two counselors involved, well that is what they are experts in, right?

    I read once where respect and Love have to be present in a marriage or it will eventually break. From what you wrote there seem to be none or very little.

    I am sure that you have taken this to God in prayer and I assume that the two counselors are god seeking people. Have they told you to work on YOUR relationship with God and then let God be responsible for how your life and marriage works out?

    You can only change yourself and it is obvious that you cannot change your wife.

    Sometimes a crisis is the best opportunity to advance spiritually. Is it hard, does it hurt, can I endure it? Millions have said yes and have done it. You can too!
     
  19. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    Good advice, thank you. Easier said than done though.


    I think she would like to be the victim. To have me leave so she could tell her friends that I was the one with all the problems. I was the alcoholic. I left her. That she played no part in it. But does she want to end the marriage? I don't think she even knows that. I think she would prefer a permenant separation.
     
  20. devonian

    devonian Junior Member

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    Yes I have. The counselors were both from Christian Counseling centers. I assume they were God seeking people, but I did not question them on this.

    One of the key parts to my recovery is to let God be responsible for everything in my life. Good and Bad. I now try to turn over painful things to him and try not take credit for any good things. So, I do try to do this, and try not to change my wife. I try to let God be responsible for her. It makes my life a lot easier. But I still want to do what is right, and don't always know what to do.
     
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