This situation is obviously a tough one, and I am VERY thankful that a therapist has read my posts and responded to them. This is the reason I keep this blog at the peril of getting other upset for my disclosure of private things, but I try to keep enough of a distance so that those reading the blogs can know me well, but I try to change the facts enough so that if they are standing next to me, they would never recognize me. That being said...
I had another interaction with my wife this morning. It was naturally me trying to be nice to her and then us getting into a fight because I got insulted. This is becoming a tiring experience. In the end, she cried and I backed off, and I got my answer. I'll back up a bit.
Last night I came home and she didn't greet me or anything. Thinking that I wasn't going to give in, I couldn't help but to go see my sleeping son who was in the room past our bedroom where she was nursing. I passed by her bedroom, and without saying anything, I smiled and waved hello. I then went into my office to work on an assignment that was due 8am the following morning.
She came in with the newborn baby and held her in front of her face and said, "stop being angry at mommy." It was so cute I had to smile. I told my wife I loved her (and I meant it), and that was it. The ice was broken.
She then went to bed, yet the kids kept waking her up. I took care of the older one spending quite a bit of time with him to help him fall back asleep while she took care of the little one. I had the speaker-remote-device for the baby monitor in my office (my wife left it there from earlier in the day) so I could hear what was going on. At one point some time later, after a number of times the newborn woke up, I could tell she was getting really frustrated and so I stopped my work and calmed her for a few minutes. Then I gave her to my wife to feed. I continued going back and forth between my homework and calming our older son (who will be two in a few months), and at one point, my wife took him into her bed which was the end of my ability to help because we're still in Niddah from the birth and I can't be climbing all over my wife's bed to soothe our son. So I let my wife take care of it.
Shortly afterwards, I could tell she was getting sharply angrier and was changing her tone towards the children, but I knew my wife wouldn't yell at or hurt our children so I didn't say anything. Then the monitor was shut off and all I heard was static; I thought nothing of that - she shuts it off every evening. I continued my work until 3am when I submitted it by e-mail, and went to bed. Everyone was asleep.
This morning, I woke up, and the first thing I said to my wife when she woke up some time later was, "wow, I saw you had a difficult night" trying to be soothing to her. She snapped at me and blamed me for not being around these past few days (she is right -- every day last week I was late at work doing a surprise assignment that I could have lost my job if I didn't complete), and then because I didn't have time at nights to work on my homework, I had two assignments and an exam due on Sunday for one class, and a large assignment due this morning 8am for the other class; I completed everything over the weekend on Sunday and didn't spend a moment with my wife who was huffy puffy about it hence the problems in the previous blog entries. Last night, I worked on the one remaining assignment which I finished at 3am.
She then went on to say that she felt that I shouldn't have done the assignment and instead I should have helped her with the children, and I should have taken the reduction of the grade in turn for not handing in the assignment (note that if I don't get above a certain grade (B+ I think), my work requires me to refund them the tuition they paid for me to take the course, a condition of my employment). I told her that I understood how she felt and that I *did* help out with the children last night, and then I went through my recollection of the night before (which between us was why I was up until 3am and not 12am). She then contradicted me saying that my facts are incorrect by three hours and she was challenging the details of when and how I watched our son which angered me because that wasn't the point. The point was that I was helping out and that I'm doing my very best to help out and I thought she was handling it fine or else I would have intervened. I got insulted and instead of starting a fight, I left the room.
Making coffee and still visibly upset, my wife entered the kitchen saying "we're not fighting; I'm not having a fight with you so you don't need to be angry" but I was angry. I told her that I thought she was distorting the facts and that it was wrong of her to argue the details of when and how I helped thus negating and making it appear as if I didn't help at all when in truth I felt I helped a lot. She continued to call me a liar and to say my facts were incorrect and that I didn't help the way I said I did which I know not to be true. She then broke down crying about how difficult it has been and that I don't know what she's been going through and how it hurt her so deeply to actually get angry at the children last night and to speak to them harshly as she did. I knew that this was the part where I was supposed to get all nice and kind, but I didn't want to encourage a habit forming of my wife crying to get my kind side, so I just reiterated that I understood that she had a difficult night.
She then said that I can't work in a law firm where I work many hours each week while she's home with the family and that lifestyle won't work for her. She also said that she doesn't want me continuing with the electrical engineering degree if that means that I will be in the office doing homework each night for the next few years. She just wants me to come home on time and help her take care of the kids, and she is putting her foot down that if this past week is the way things will be, then she won't have it.
Still keeping a friendly face, I explained to her that this past week was the perfect storm of events, and that I'll think about what she has said.
...all this being said, her mother is flying in now as we speak to take her to her home state for a week. She's leaving in the morning. I do believe I have an answer to this problem; I'll write it in the next posting.