The end of the story is that today, my wife confronted me after countless conversations on this topic that she feels that she is giving 100% and that I am being overly critical by telling her when something bothers me.
The most recent mini fight in which she flew off a handle was the salt. I picked it up while preparing lunch in the morning before I ran off to my document review project, and it was slimy from the night before when she cooked the kids matzoh brei, a dish the kids LOVE.
I didn't think much about it, except that we have been married for four years and this has never happened, but I've asked her a few times to wash off the dish soap after she uses it (and the honey for that matter) so that the dish soap isn't all slimy when I pick it up to wash out the blender after using it each morning. I just don't like sticky stuff. I certainly wasn't angry. I just didn't want a new habit being formed, and so I told her about it conversationally since she was standing next to me when the salt bottle slipped out of my hand. She started yelling that I'm too critical, and that I don't think she's a good wife, and that I always have to criticize her about everything she does wrong. I thought she was nuts because I certainly do not criticize her about everything -- moments before that, when I opened the fridge, the soy milk flew out and spilled on the floor because she stuffed it into the fridge on top of a pot of leftovers rather than putting it in its place which is on the refrigerator door. This annoyed me because it has happened before and I've mentioned it to her to be more careful about it and it happened again. However, with a quick swipe of a paper towel, the problem went away so I didn't say anything.
To skip ahead a bit, we've been fighting these past few days, and recently, she's been trying to be mean to me to hurt my feelings which hurt my feelings because I've never done anything to her to intentionally hurt her, ever, and here she's actively trying to hurt me.
Today she wanted me to take an extra hour off of work so that I can accompany her to the passport agency. Yes, it's her newest necessity to visit her Safta in Israel who is ill. No biggie. Anyway, in the car, she started screaming at me that she is going to cause me the pain that I've been causing her, and that "you'll see what it feels like to have someone criticize you when you're already giving 100%." As an example, she brought up the salt. I told her that I wasn't criticizing her, and that most of the things that bother me, I let them slide and I don't say anything because I don't want to start a fight. But when something is important, I say it. I told her that when I say something, it's not that I am criticizing her. There's a huge difference between telling someone that it would mean a lot to you if their behavior in a certain circumstance would be different, and telling someone that they are flawed because they neglected to do the behavior you asked them to do. In short, I told her that I didn't want her to leave the salt shaker oily and I wanted her to clean it up after herself. I wasn't saying she was a bad person or a sucky housewife because she left the salt shaker oily. Obviously this is not the case.
She then started persisting why did I even marry her if she is such a terrible person, and if she does so many of these things that upset me? I told her that had I known she did all these things, I may have considered them as factors in weighing whether I wanted to marry her, but its a little bit too late now, and one doesn't divorce his wife because she doesn't clean up after herself. I told her that we're married now and those are things I will have to live with if I cannot convince her to change them. She then went back into the "why do you want to change who I am?" conversation, when really I felt and still feel that asking someone to change a behavior (e.g., clean up after yourself) is not the same thing as changing who the person is.
We got to the post office, and it was closed. She neglected to check the hours it was open. I didn't dare say a word. [I had to work an hour extra today because of it, but I'm pretending that it was open and we accomplished our purpose in having me go along with her.]