My spouse and I have been together for 12 years, married for seven. We have a toddler and another child coming.
I share thoughts and feelings, am reflective, willing to apologize, and seek her input regarding future planning, parenting, finances, etc.
She protects her personal affairs. She doesn’t ever believe her behaviour warrants an apology.
When we discuss important matters like finances, the way we interact with each other, etc., she shuts down or walks away.
I get frustrated with how we communicate and become confrontational – making my point before she leaves.
She hates to be interrupted, yet interrupts me and others constantly.
I’m open with her about my debt load, savings, etc. I create budget spreadsheets to share with her so that we can co-create budgets, agree and plan for our future.
She rarely looks at them, and keeps her finances to herself.
As a parent, I read books, blogs, and research parenting advice. I’m home with our son and look for ways to encourage him, deal with tantrums, feeding issues, manners, etc.
I share my approach and any new routines I’ve established so we can be consistent. Too often, she disagrees with my approach and does her own thing.
Recently, she said that each of us should stick to our own separate parenting ways.
I feel very disrespected by her and am finally standing up for myself. I recently admitted considering leaving the marriage, because of these issues.
I know this letter is one-sided. We were raised with different values and expectations. But I do expect that, as a married couple with a family, she’d try to see things from my perspective and work with me to parent our child(ren) and plan our future.
She won’t consider counselling.
I’m building walls around me to protect myself from constant frustration and disappointment, and am caring less and less about her opinion and contributions.
Frustrated and Disrespected.
What worked during the years before parenthood isn’t working now. Your differences may’ve been interesting during the dating years, but they’ve become a barrier between you.
Her side of the story undoubtedly also involves annoyances and frustrations.
Get to counselling yourself. With another child coming, the situation will either worsen, or you’ll both recognize that change MUST happen.
When she sees your willingness to learn how to deal with this growing gap, she may join you or go on her own, too.
Or not. Then you’ll both have a big decision to make.
My mother’s always called me stupid, brat, spoiled, mean, psychotic, etc., criticized my body, and blames me for all and arguments within our family, saying she doesn't want me in the house/family.
She’d randomly not talk to me for days. I always thought it was my fault.
Only when I spent some time away and talked to my older brother who endured similar treatment, I realized it's not my fault.
I get along great with all other relatives, and have many close friends. I’ve raised these issues but she either brushes me off or accuses me of starting a fight.
What can I do to fix this as I’m left feeling depressed and anxious by her actions? I’m currently dependant on her for money (half-way through my undergrad studies).
Canvas other family members for support for a student loan to live elsewhere. Also seek a part-time job.
Your dependence gives her the “power” she enjoys wielding. It’s emotionally destructive and interferes with your studies, which are your passport to full independence.
My co-worker has extremely annoying personal habits. She slurps her tea (loudly) and she drinks tea all day. She snorts rather than blows her nose, coughs without covering her mouth.
Since I sit beside her, it gets really annoying. I’ve talked to my boss about it, and we did get new desks with a divider in-between, so at least I'm not exposed to her germs when she coughs. But I can still hear her other habits.
Annoyed at Work
Wear ear plugs, and be private about it. Or move seats. Everyone has habits and a workplace could/should be cited for harassment if employees were ordered how to drink their tea, or blow their noses.
You could’ve befriended her and when there was a rapport, gently mentioned, even laughingly, that you can hear her tea drinking. That might’ve inspired her to sip quietly.
But that effort on your part would require co-worker kindness.
Tip of the day:
When growing differences erode a relationship, seek counselling, especially where children are involved.