Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Follow-up to text message fight with wife.

Tonight after I got home, she wasn't speaking to me.  I had an appointment with a client, and so when she overheard that I will be going over to his house at 8:30pm, she texted me from the next room, "I need you to pick up medicine for my flight tomorrow!! I thought you had a phone appointment."

On my way over to the client, I picked up the medicine.  When I got home, I read Ahuva's response to my previous post and decided to apologize to her.  I said, "I'm sorry for the things I said.  They were hurtful, they were rude, and they were uncalled for."  She said that I was borderline mentally disturbed, and she called me a pig-something asshole, and then went off on how I am so rude to focus only on myself when all she's done for me is play "poor Zoe" these past few days.  Practically in tears, she screamed, "I am visiting my dying grandmother!  I am not going to Israel on a vacation.  Do you think I want to leave my kids for FIVE days?  I'm going to say goodbye you asshole!  And all you can think of is yourself... I can never forgive you for this..."  I said, "okay, don't forgive me then."  "I won't, I promise you," she said.

I really didn't defend myself at all tonight.  As I figured initially from the text messages, she completely misunderstood what I was saying, and when I elevated the conversation to be more direct, she got further insulted.  In the end, I don't think she has a clue as to what I was saying.  I do understand her, however, and I feel bad that she was hurt today.  However there is that part of me (most of me) which with every fiber of my being says that I am unhappy with the way she treats me as a husband and in a relationship; I am unhappy with the promises she has made and has broken so many times over, as I hold her to her word when she says she will do something; and I am unhappy with the unbalance that is between us -- me killing myself to support us and her living in comfort with the kids in daycare and her going out with her friends as if I am making six figures.  So many wives complain that their husbands just sit around and don't help out.  While my wife does do some cooking and cleaning, and she does take care of the kids, as for me and us, I feel like she does nothing to further our relationship or our future and she denies the dire financial situation we are in.

So now instead of relaxing, it is after 12am, and I have secured a client that I have been working on for months now.  I am very honored that she has decided to go with me; I will be writing her patent.  I came home tonight with a check and a signed contract.  I was smiling and very excited, but my wife was nowhere to be found.  When I peeped in the bedroom, she was asleep and not speaking to me, so I left the check on the table for her to see when she woke up.  She said nothing.

So what am I going to do now that it is after 12am?  Before she went to sleep, she shoved her laptop at me and said, "look at the text messages you wrote, and then you'll know why I am angry at you."  I printed up the text messages in the last message in the order in which the texts happened, and now I'm going to write her a letter explaining [not defending] myself.  I'll send it to her so she can read it once she arrives in Israel.


Ahuva said...

Zoe-- I hear where you are coming from. But, really, you are not handling things well.

You're not upset about her going to Israel-- but why are you letting it be the trigger that set you off?

You could have messed up worse with those text messages, but honestly there wasn't all that much worse you could have done short of threatening her with divorce or physical harm. That exchange should not have happened... and certainly should not have happened in that way.

Please PLEASE consider going to a marriage counselor. You two need to learn how to communicate effectively and appropriately. You need to learn how to address the issues and pressures on your marriage so that the stress doesn't build up to the point that you blow up at your wife over the fact that her family made this trip happen for her. Honestly-- it was natural for her to talk to her mother about how unhappy she was that she couldn't afford to go see her dying grandmother. It was just as natural for her mother to give her the money for a ticket. This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with her helping or not helping you start your business. It didn't take any time or effort-- or even thought-- for her to make a tearful phone call to her mother asking for emotional support. What she didn't bears absolutely no resemblance to the work you want her to do to help you start your business.

Of course she didn't see where you were coming from. I wouldn't have either, were I your wife.

The real issue is that you don't feel like she is contributing to your marriage and you don't know how to change the inequality you see in your relationship. The ONLY way to make that change is to either get divorced or get both of you into marriage counseling.

The longer you wait, the more damage is going to be done to your marriage and your children.

And she IS right that she needs-- and deserves-- a kind, supportive husband right now to help her deal with the death of her grandmother. I don't care how bad a wife you think she is. It is HARD to deal with the death of a close relative. You can not truthfully say that you are giving her everything she needs emotionally-- she needs a husband who will take her in his arms and tell her that it's okay to hurt and be sad, that it's okay to mourn and that the two of you are in this together.

Mordechai said...

Zoe you really need to either get into counselling as a couple asap, or think about divorce. This toxicity between you and your wife is really hard on your children, and your (both of you) first responsibility is to them.

Zoe Strickman said...

Yes, I'll look into counseling.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, in the future don't communicate strong feelings via SMS or TXT. It doesn't acuratly convey what your feelings are and what you realy want to say. Phone calls are not much better. The best way is face to face.