Story by a member of the wivesrepublic.
It is a difficult situation.
I have been feeling frustrated and at a loss for a while now. My husband and I have only been married a little over 18months. I was drawn to my husband because he seemed such a chilled out, patient & positive person. We hung out a lot and I never got the vibe that he had a temper., and it felt awesome to be entering into my first proper relationship.
But then things started to change. At first, he had no issues with the fact that I express my love through affection, that I like to kiss and cuddle, that I desire some sort of sex-life… But then he started to tell me that he doesn’t express love through affection, that he doesn’t like cuddling or ‘making out’… He thinks it’s fine to have a quick peck on the lips maybe every other day, either when he’s leaving for work or coming back to work. We haven’t had sex since November, he says he just doesn’t have a sex drive. He tells me it’s his age (I’m in my late 20s and he’s approaching 40). He only tells me he loves me if I say it first. He never tells me I look beautiful or attractive, never pays me any compliments. It makes me feel unwanted, uncherished, and unloved. I have told him all this, but he is so stubborn, he just sad every time that he isn’t an emotional, affectionate person, and that instead he shows me he loves me by mowing the lawn, buying gifts sometimes and looking after our vehicles. I do everything else around the house.
My marriage is just not what I had pictured. I don’t feel I have unusually high expectations, and I don’t feel I came into this with rose-tinted spectacles. I know that marriage is hard and that it takes effort and a lot of hard work, but it just feels like I care more than he does, that I try to cater to his needs more than he tries to cater to mine, and it just doesn’t feel like he’s putting his full effort into our marriage.
He has been becoming increasingly ill-tempered too. He snaps at the smallest thing. He’ll go from 1 to 100 in the blink of an eye, and we end up in screaming matches over stupid stuff. I just get so frustrated because he asks me a question and I tell him my answer, then he asks me again and I say “I just told you.” Then he goes red in the face and looks at me with such vehement and aggressive anger in his eyes, it literally frightens me, and he starts yelling about whatever we are talking about, and eventually when he goes quiet I let him calm for a couple of minutes then will calmly repeat my answer, and he’ll say Why didn’t I just say that in the first place, and I’ll say I did he just wasn’t listening (always a mistake!), and he blows up again, insisting I never said it, and he flies off the handle, again, over such a stupid little thing.
We have had blow-up arguments almost every day for what feels like forever. We can be having a great start to the day, I’m in a good mood and he seems to be too, then suddenly he’ll start another argument and BAM, my day is ruined and I’m sad and annoyed for the rest of it.
I have tried to tell him how his anger and short temper makes me feel, but he literally never apologizes for anything he does wrong (says there’s no need to!!), and he does not acknowledge how his behavior has affected me.
I tried to talk to him about his temper issues, asking him what brought it on as he used to be such a calm person. He says it’s because I don’t listen. Of course, I refute that, because I am always eager to listen to him, lest he actually reveal anything about what is going on in his head!
He gets frustrated though because I don’t always do things the way he would, and apparently his way is always the ‘right’ way. So I’ve had to change how I do almost everything around the home. It’s a lot to remember, and if I happen to go back to how I do something, and he catches me, he starts shouting, “How many times have I told you…” And tells me how he wants it done. I have tried explaining that my way works too, and is perfectly acceptable, and why can’t we compromise, but his answer is always just that he is older and therefore, stuck in his ways, I have to bend to his way instead of the other way around. One of my best friends overheard one such conversation, and later told me that was totally inappropriate, and that just because he feels stuck in his ways, doesn’t mean he can’t learn to compromise and adapt as well.
The negativity starts from the moment he wakes up in the morning.
Most times, the rants include insults, negativity and criticism.
In such instances, the other spouse tends to
- defend themselves
- we want to fight back
- engage in arguments too
- insult those who insult us
- hate and despise the person
Some husbands let things roll off their backs, while others respond to upset by ranting. A process that generally makes everyone around them miserable. If your husband rants, you may feel at the mercy of his moods. Instead of allowing his emotional distress and poor response to lead you to experience your own upset, learn to ignore his periods of ranting and keep yourself, and potentially your children sane.
STEPS TO HELP THE SITUATION
- There is nothing more convicting for a husband who is mistreating his wife than to see her living out godliness, love, and goodness – and extending God’s grace to him when he knows he doesn’t deserve it. We don’t have to preach, lecture, nag, or try to verbally force our husbands to God.
- Tell him how you feel about the ranting before he begins to do so. If your husband has a pattern of ranting, discuss the issue with him when he is not in the midst of one of his tantrums. Without attacking him, tell him that you understand that he gets upset, but when he goes off the hook he has a negative impact on everyone in the family. By telling him this when he is level-headed enough to hear it, you may be able to influence his future behavior.
- Ask your spouse to take a breather. If you notice your husband starting to get upset, suggest that perhaps he should head out for a walk, go to the driving range and hit some golf balls or head outside and do some yard work. By doing this, you can increase the likelihood that he calms down naturally without going into ranting.
- Escape the situation temporarily. Instead of staying in the same house as your spouse while he goes through his period of upset, get away for a bit. Head out to the mall, taking the kids with you, or venture out to lunch with some girlfriends while you leave him at home to get over it.
- Discuss the issue post rant. If your husband’s rants are commonly caused by the same things, try tackling these subjects. For example, if your husband tends to rant about the behavior of the neighbors, talk about the issue with him after he has cooled down. With your support, he may be better able to see that his ranting is counter-productive.
- Help your spouse devise coping methods. Your husband may rant because he doesn’t know of a better way to deal with his upset. If you believe that this may be the case, help him overcome this problem by sitting down with him and creating a list of things that he could do instead of carrying on.
- Do not repay evil for evil, insult for insult. Always act calm
- The refusal to fight is a good thing, because a person who is in a combative state of mind will try to draw you in, to help them justify their own bellicose behavior.
Above all, choose your fights. Do not engage in every argument, learn to practice the verb IGNORE.