Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Do you hate your wife/life?"


Meir, that was an interesting question. "Do you hate your wife/life?" Obviously, the answer is an emphatic NO.

My understanding about love and hate when it comes to my wife (who is my partner in life) is that love or hate is determined based on the CHARACTER of the person you are loving or hating. When I dated my wife (albeit briefly per the shidduch model as opposed to to the secular dating model), my four-part criteria for marriage was 1) whether she is a good person, 2) whether she has a good heart, 3) whether she has good or selfish intentions, and 4) whether she would be a good mother / wife.

My wife is a loving, caring woman who while she obviously has her flaws (as I certainly do too,) is a good person with a good heart and a good character. Her intentions are for the most part good. She is an excellent mother, and she tries her hardest to be a good wife. Where I take issue with her is her organization skills and her openness to dealing with my criticisms, even when they are constructive (which they usually are first and it upsets me that I feel that she responds better to anger and fights rather than loving suggestions.) I have strong expectations for how a family should run (clean house, things in order) and while I believe in a relatively high maintenance household, she does not share that high maintenance attitude and is more lax and chill about things which frustrates me and is the root of most of our problems. We are the "odd couple," me being Felix and her being Oscar, and most of our fights come from this point.

The problems arise from the fact that I try to be understanding about her mentality and I give her a lot of slack but that doesn't change my expectations or my willingness to live in a dirty, unorganized, or messy home. I won't and I cannot live in a messy home and I know that many people are comfortable or happy in this environment, but not me. I absolutely will NOT live in a home like this and I will make problems and even pick a fight if and when this escalates past my level of acceptible discomfort. My wife tries her hardest to keep everything clean and to have everything done, but I suspect that she doesn't yet have the organization skills to maintain the house in this condition. I also suspect that she wastes time daily on facebook and on other websites when she should be running the household and taking care of things that will move our family forward rather than cause us to slide backwards. So yes, this is a big weakness on her part, but then again, look at me now -- I am writing this when I should be working and so I will have to stay extra hours to make up for the time I am wasting now writing this blog entry.

So in short, yes, I love my wife. As for my life, I value the fact that I have a caring wife who is a good person and who I love dearly. I also cherish the fact that I have a cute and loving child who she is raising into a wonderful little boy, and that we have a second on the way. I am relieved and happy that I have a job that pays our bills and contributes to paying down debt (albeit slowly), and that we have our health and are living a semi-comfortable lifestyle.

What I do not like is the fact that I often feel physically dirty after being in our house, and that my clothes and other parts of my life are not in order. I hate the fact that I am 40 pounds overweight, and I hate the fact that my busy disorganized life does not give me the time or the money to pursue any of my interests. I hate the fact that my wife and I are over $160,000 in school loan debt, and I hate the fact that my job barely pays my bills and that it minimally pays down my debt and that there is barely anything left over for the comforts in life. I hate the fact that I always feel poor, and I hate the fact that EVERYTHING is getting more expensive and that our cost of living only increases and this bugs me to no end, especially because I am trying my hardest to conserve. I also hate the fact that I worked so hard for a law degree and that I have not been given the chance to use it, yet I still have to make my blood payments towards those loans every month. Most of all, I hate the fact that it will take at least 4-5 years to get out of this mess at a minimum, and then we will be left with only $100,000 in federal loans which we can pay the minimum at 3.125% for the next 20 years (even though our payments keep increasing and will continue to increase until we pay it off based on our current payment plan.)

So you see, I love my life, and I hate my life. The most important thing is that I [for the most part] wake up every morning, I go to shul and pray, I spend some time with my wife and my son before I go to work, I work hard, and in the evenings I try to rest (even though this almost never happens.) I am taking steps to remedy the "no technical science degree" issue by taking classes online which will get me into a degree program which will take me a few years to complete. At the minimum, I am happy this plan is in motion. Lastly, my wife and I are working together to build an orderly house, and we each are working on bettering ourselves both physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. I wish there would be a quick fix for our problems, but they all take time, care, and effort which we are giving them.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you don't hate your wife, then you shouldn't be writing angry posts about her, period.

As for the rest, I don't know what to say other than that I and many other visitors to this blog (I am sure) are rooting for you and hope that your life takes an upswing very quickly. I know it's very hard, but try to keep your spirits up. Otherwise, life becomes really impossible.

shoshi said...

"The problems arise from the fact that I try to be understanding about her mentality and I give her a lot of slack but that doesn't change my expectations or my willingness to live in a dirty, unorganized, or messy home. I won't and I cannot live in a messy home..."

So why don't you clean up?

my proposal: send your wife to a nice place for a week or ten days (well-deserved holyday). You stay home with the children and keep the house as clean as you dream...

This exercice will make you (and your wife) a lot happier.

Zoe Strickman said...

Anonymous:
>If you don't hate your wife, then you shouldn't be writing angry posts about her, period.

I disagree. Sometimes there are problems that arise where I simply don't know the answer and my resource of friends, family, and advisors cannot help me, so I turn to the blog world for answers. I have received many helpful suggestions this way.

This blog is anonymous. Yes, my wife knows the blog address and can go on here whenever she wants to (maybe that would even be a good thing). But the benefit of expressing my thoughts on the blog is that I can get some objective advice without hurting my wife's reputation.

Zoe Strickman said...

Shoshi: Apparently you have a husband that complains but doesn't clean up.

I sent my wife to Israel (she's been wanting to go since before we got married) for almost a month, and the WHOLE TIME, the house was SPOTLESS. The day she came home, the mess returned with her, even with my objections, comments, and fights.

Ahuva said...

And your son was with you while you were in Israel? It's a lot easier to keep a house clean when it isn't occupied by three (soon to be four) people 24 hours a day.

The one thing that really confuses me is-- didn't you discuss things like mess tolerance while you were dating? One of the first things out of my mouth (okay, within the first 3-4 dates) is that I consider a cleaning lady to be a shalom bayis issue unless the man I'm seeing doesn't mind a very messy house.

"I often feel physically dirty "
That's not a normal reaction to a disorganized home. I assume we're not talking about a home where the toilets haven't been cleaned in a year and cockroaches are scurrying around. Have you ever thought about making a physical list of what needs to be done for you to feel comfortable, calmly discussing it with her, and then finding some sort of compromise between the house-as-it-currently-is and the spotless house you dream of?

It sounds like you two are well on your way to having a full house with 6-9 kids. It is just going to get harder for her to keep things clean; you two need to find a compromise that works-- and the sooner the better!

Zoe Strickman said...

Ahuva, I was just responding to Shoshi that I took her suggestion some time ago and cleaned up the "un-cleanable" house in a day after sending my wife on a trip. Obviously I understand that having a little one messing up all the time makes keeping the place more difficult.

> ...mess tolerance while you were dating?
Yes, we discussed this and I was very emphatic that I need a clean home. She agreed to it. More recently, the whole reason I am trying to get her to have a job is to get her out of the house so that she can feel productive AND so we can have extra cash to pay for a cleaning lady so that my wife can be more lax on her home duties as she has on many occasions mentioned that she would rather work rather than having to do the daily chores (which she usually does not do anyway unless there's a fight that day.)

> "I often feel physically dirty "
Meaning, when I touch a doorknob and there is stuff that gets on my hands that smells and that doesn't wash off, even with soap... Or when I put my arms on our table to eat my morning cereal and then I smell like rotten food (which also doesn't easily come off with soap), etc.

Smirking Cat said...

Some of your comments made it sound like you may expect her to clean the house, and that it's not a joint effort by both of you. I'm not clear if that is your stance or not.

I am a very particular, neat person, and I can't stand the house to be messy either. I can compromise on a lot of things, but not that. A home should be relaxing and peaceful, not a chaos mess of crap.

As for writing angry posts: puh-lease. A blog is a personal diary of sorts, where intense emotions are in fact supposed to be released. Writing about someone, wife or otherwise, when you are frustrated or angry is a way to vent, not a sign you hate someone. How you handle it with her is key, not whether you blogged about it or not.

Anonymous said...

I have been married for almost 2 years now. I am also disabled so I rely on public transportation.
I married my wife two years ago in June. I move to where she lived and found out the public transportation was not very good due to the Big 3 motor companies. At the same time I was and still am going through a custody battle with an ex-girlfriend . I will admit that when I first moved to her state that I was very frustrated do to that I could not go places on my own because I cannot drive. I did try to explain to my wife that thing would be a little bit more difficult to me and what to expect. She thought I was exaggerating at first and did not believe until she saw for herself. I when out for job interviews, but they were not near a bus line. Every time my wheelchair would be almost dead by the time I got back from the interview. I also found out they were not very fond of salting, plowing or taking care of snow off of the sidewalks in that area.
During the course of my custody battle my wife has take what my ex-girlfriend has said about her. She has put off us starting a family because of the stress she is feeling. Her anger has grown quite a bit . She has torn of sink knobs in a fit of rage, put holes in the wall by slamming small shelves and doors against the wall. She has thrown stuff around. She has even hit me in the face a couple of times and tossed me around in a few arguments. What bothers me the most is she says she does not remember even hitting me. We moved south do to my arthritis and to fix our marriage. She said that being even farther away from my ex-girlfriend would help with her stress.
We moved about 2 months ago. We have had one major fight where she hit me and does not remember. I do admit that I said stuff I should have not and did apologies about it. She has changed job once due to the job not orientating her and trying to may her a fall guy for their mistakes. We also had to move from an apartment to a house because the apartment lied about their accessibility.

My wife was hitting the alarm as she does normally this morning and I was trying to make sure she gets up and leaves on time because her work really wanted her in at 6:45 this morning and it is her first week there. She immediately started getting nasty with me. She starts throwing comment at me. I just sent my application in for the handicapped bus service in the mail 3 days ago and she telling me that I am lazy and not working, that I should applying for jobs when I does have a way to get to any interview until I get approved for the handicap service(I had to go to the doctors here in this state in order to get my application filled out by the doctor first before sending it off).

My wife apologies about yelling, but not what she said. I did say lazy because of her accusing me to be lazy and I called her stupid when I told her I need to be able to get to a job before I start applying. She has said some colorful words to me from start to finish of the argument, but I do not want to stat them here.
My wife seems to get hot head very quick and is on defense mode right away (Stay away from her is she has not had her breakfast she get very nasty). I have tried to give her information on stress and anger management . We have gone to the love and respect seminar before we moved to this state. We met with a church counselor before we moved for her anger issue. We are in marriage counseling, but we have just gone to one session so far. The counselor has pointed out the she feel the need to be right all the time.
The more my wife get hot head the more I do not want to be with her. I am trying to stick to this marriage and see it through because marriage is suppose to be forever and God want us to stand and be supportive to our family. I am just having a really hard time loving someone who get mean when they are mad or upset, also the fact that she never believe me when I try to tell her stuff. She needs to hear it from someone else or see it for herself usually before believing me. I do not know how to deal with this.

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Anonymous said...

Maybe you both should work and then clean together. So what if she goes on facebook. You can't chain her to the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

you're a piece of crap. lose weight you fat fucker. stop blaming your wife for your problems. stop being so anal about the tidiness of your house. you are the worst of mankind. don't post blogs about how much you hate your wife you asshole. she sounds like a great woman. just because you are an anal asshole about the neatness of your house doesn't make her a bad wife. get over it. think about the more important things. is she a good mom? is she a kind person? is she good in bed? probably. I bet you're not b/c you are so uptight and self-righteous. douche bag.