Fixing general marital communication issues
July 21, 2012 9:00 AM Subscribe
I feel like my marriage is falling apart. It's not because we don't love each other, but I don't know what to do.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I are each in our thirties, and we've been married for close to ten years. We met in high school and got married immediately after graduating college. For the past couple of years, there have been communications issues, and they've recently (within the last couple of months) interfered with pretty much everything we do. Primarily I think that she feels that I don't contribute enough to the relationship (planning things to do, helping around the house). On the other hand, I feel that I do my fair share of all of it, but that all she can remember is the one time in the last two weeks that I went out with friends instead of making dinner or the one weekend in the past five that I forgot to vacuum or something like that.
Every discussion we have about anything typically devolves into anger, and my wife has never been able to talk about a disagreement until it's resolved. Her instinct has always been to disconnect when she gets to a certain point, which means we go to bed angry, and then we're upset the next day, and it takes a few days until things sort of return to normal. Even asking her how her day was somehow involves me making some assumption or other about something that insults her and it all spirals out of control. I haven't actually been able to relax, either at work or at home, at all for the past two weeks, because I know that an argument is waiting for me as soon as I walk in the door. Something as simple as trying to find my wallet this morning somehow meant I needed to be yelled at (no, I didn't ask her to help me look for it, and no, she wasn't waiting for me to find it to go to work). When I'm upset with her for treating me unfairly, she laughs when I try to express my feelings, derisively, as if I were seriously proposing the existence of fairies.
I've tried to talk to her about going to therapy, but she doesn't see this as a communications issue. She sees it as me being immature, or an asshole, or lazy. (We started dating when we were in our teens, and I was then a very lazy very immature teenager. I think a part of her thinks I still am, despite much evidence to the contrary.) She doesn't think WE need therapy, she thinks *I* need therapy. I've tried that, too, but it doesn't really go anywhere; I can't fairly speak for her at those sessions.
I need help here. We both desperately need things to improve. I love her deeply, but that doesn't seem to be enough to improve the current dynamic of our relationship.