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Old 5th April 2017, 12:12 PM   #1
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is this normal?


i need to check if this is normal in marriage as I have a very poor frame of reference, (that being my mum and dads which i wont get into right now).

I've been with my wife since 2000 and married since 2011. We have different personalities \ interests but make time to let each other indulge them. However for the past few years at least once a day she finds something to criticize me on. Usually when i get home from work she finds something wrong that I've either done, not done, said i was going to do but haven't yet or simply gotten wrong. And it's driving me nuts. I know communication is the key but when I tried to raise this with her last time she got incredibly defensive and hurt by it. Now it just feels like I'm some sort of criticism punch bag she can throw a left hook at when it suits her. I don't want to have a go back for fear of the effect it may have if our child hears it (this is a hang up from when I would hear my dad rowing with my mum), as this is boiling up and I worry I may explode as it all comes pouring out.

She also talks differently to me than she does to others. Even when she answers the phone her voice is bright and full of sunshine as it was when we first started dating. When she talks to me there's a drop in tone and effort. Almost the verbal equivalent of filling in a tax return (!). Our sex life (once frequent and enjoyable) is in the toilet (now once in months and felt hurried) and there's very little intimacy. What really gotten to me though is that i will say 'i love you' out of the blue for no reason and give her a hug. Yet I seriously cant remember the last time she said this out of ending an ordinary conversation on the phone.

Am I just looking for problems where non exist as this is normal in marriage or is there something wrong there? I work a regular job, cover the important \ big bills and pitch in looking after our kid, so I'm not slouching off or being lethargic. Yet she accuses me of not listening to her when I have a lot on my mind? I have considered leaving her on numerous occasions but now we have a child I have dismissed that notion.

Last edited by sadbob; 5th April 2017 at 12:16 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 9th April 2017, 05:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,409
Re: is this normal?

Hi Bob. Sorry you are going through problems. I think you have got to keep loving her through all this as your marriage is important. Granted she might be getting a little manipulative but I don't think shouting back is the answer. Yes one needs to listen to wives but if they are manipulating I think we must resist that. It is easy to see our spouses through own strengths and think they are falling short but the reverse can be true that she might be seeing you through her own strengths where you also will be falling short.

The answer is to accept each as they are and not make an argument out of everything. I believe one can resist manipulation in a loving way as you would not be doing her a favour allowing her manipulation to take root if that is what is happening.

I think it can be a wive's tendency to manipulate whereas a husband might tend to control. Both need to resist these tendencies. I have never said to my wife you manipulate me but where she does fall into that I have become aware of it and don't allow myself to be manipulated. We love out of freewill.

Personally I think a husband must make a special effort to love his wife and she should make a special effort to respect. It does help if wives make themselves lovable and husbands have something to respect but whatever we still need to do it regardless so that we have a happy marriage.

Last edited by Raymond; 9th April 2017 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 10th April 2017, 05:11 AM   #3
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Re: is this normal?

hi raymond

thanks for the advice. i had a good think about things since my original post and had decided to make more of an effort to 'actively listen' to her even if im not really interested in what shes saying. Yesterday after a long day in the park (im in London Uk so it hit 25' C) we all got home, hot, tired and irritable. Yet I put that aside in my head, sorted us all out and after dinner made a point of sitting on the sofa with her and massaging her feet, (mine hurt like hell but im too ticklish down there). As she was telling me about an old friend she'd come across after 20 odd years (ala Facebook) I couldnt help but think 'my god this is really dull, all I really want to do is read my Tom Clancy novel!'. But I put that aside, listened carefully, asked a couple of questions and all was good. We didnt have any little criticisms or put down. It really rounded the day off nicely.

I suppose what the say is try, 'if you give a little you get a little'!
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Old 10th April 2017, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: is this normal?

I think you did very well to make the effort Bob. For listening and massaging her feet. Wives do want to be listened to and share. It will pay dividends. It doesn't mean you have to listen to everything just for the sake of it but when you know she wants to share and you have opportunity it is a very good thing to learn. One gets better at it with practice. You will get time to read your Clancy novel and do things you want to but the timing is important and this time you used the opportunity well. Keep up the good work.
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Old 10th April 2017, 05:42 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Re: is this normal?

Just came across this on the internet. Thought it was relevant to discussion.

I canít speak for every wife on the planet, but my friends, clients and colleagues usually tell me that the one thing they wished their husband understood is that when they tell their husband a story about a situation, relationship, problem, etc. all they want is the husband to listen and show empathy. They are not looking for him to give her suggestions or solve her problem. She doesnít need help. She just needs to be heard.

Jennifer Best Certified Family Life Educator
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Old 13th April 2017, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: is this normal?

It may be that her love language is quality time. Maybe get the book called 'The Five love languages' by Gary Chapman. You can find out each of your love languages and work on meeting them. Also some good marriage counseling may help you to learn how to communicate better.
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