Difficult wife… I am staying for the children…

by Rod Smith

“My wife is a very difficult person who wants everything her way or she punishes the family in harsh and secretive ways. She gives the impression that she is selfless and giving but in reality it is all about her. I am a very faithful man but I do understand why men have affairs. There is no warmth in our home (from her) so you can only imagine how cold our bedroom is! I stay for my children’s sake and also because I committed to be married “until death us do part.” I can honestly say I have tried to salvage this marriage and all I get back are the vibes of disapproval from an angry woman. She says she doesn’t want to be married but she also doesn’t want to get divorced. (Letter paraphrased)

I hope both of you consider what this marriage is teaching the children about love and life. Stand up to your wife and expose her passive-aggressive ways! You sound like one who is victimized and intimidated by his wife and his circumstances. I challenge you to want much more from your marriage than you are apparently getting. What is it about you that you are willing to settle for so little?

23 Comments to “Difficult wife… I am staying for the children…”

  1. I would hope he is teaching his children something about committment, and doing the right thing even when you are treated badly by others. Love is more than just a feeling, isn’t it? I live with a woman similar to this fellow and know first-hand how it feels. Fact is, there is probably very little he can offer in the way of substantial sanctions that won’t also hurt his children. So he could confront his wife and bless her out, but unless he is able and willing to back his words up, they mean nothing. A body can want and demand all they want, but they need the means to get it.

    Take another swing, here.


  2. … let’s talk sometime, D. I would enjoy that……. Rod

  3. I’m in a similar situation, but without chidren or a strong belief in “until do we part.” Still, everything is about her, and under control by her, and I accepted it so long I expected to just keep on going this way. There is no warmth in her, no outward sign of love or affection. Oddly enough, we do have sex, but it is very one-sided. Is it love when someone occasionally has sex with you when they don’t care about or enjoy sex themselves? Perhaps. It is strange to feel passion all by yourself. On the other side, is it love when someone tells you that the things you say are stupid? Who asks you a questions, and before you can answer, says, “Oh, you don’t know?” every time. Hell, I’m not an encyclopedia; it does take a few seconds, even a minute or two to retrieve things I haven’t thought of in years. So, basically, I’m stupid, and pretend to know things that I don’t really know, or I think I’m better than her. And if I get mad, I’m the bad guy. When she’s mad, she’s that way for days, or longer. Often I can’t tell if she is mad, as she is withdrawn most of the time, and often gets into moods where everything I saw is supposed to mean something else, usually something critical of her. It’s bizarre at times. Usually she watches TV for hours every night, dozing and waking, watching or just spaced out, because she often doesn’t know what’s on the screen. Then she decides to clean, or move things around, and I don’t do anything while she does everything. Wierd. I feel like I live with an enigma.

  4. I was in a similar situation…I was that girl. And I can tell you, from my experience only, that I did not start out that way or have any intention to become that or get one ounce of enjoyment out of feeling that way. In retrospect, I see that I was so lonely. I had begged my husband for what I wanted, which was just some time with him. I was ALWAYS the last thing on his list of priorities and he would have been suprised how little I needed from him. I’m not needy or high maintenance. I like my life and have many things to do that I love doing. I just wanted to feel loved by my husband. After we got married he took for granted that I was just there and he didn’t have to work at anything anymore. Maybe you could try to think back at something like that that she may have needed from you and didn’t receive. My anger started with lonliness, and then progressed to being so very hurt, and then mad because it hurt less. And then came the walls to keep my husband out of world – then he couldn’t hurt me so bad.
    Anyways, call it food for thought.

  5. BS”D
    Thank you G-d that you gave Beth the courage and the knowledge of what to write here and that you Beth! I’m also in a similar situation and now that I read what Beth wrote – THANK YOU!!!!!! I’m trying so hard to please my wife in all kinds of ways (married only 7 months) and your email says what she doesn’t know how to say in words, but I now realize she’s been saying in other ways for at least a few months.

    Thank you.

  6. I was in a similar situation, I was the child. My father never stood up to my mother and the things she did and said became more hurtful. I grew up thinking that love was “tough” and that since I loved my parents and was treated like dirt I deserved to be treated like dirt. My mother never really wanted out of the relationship, she wanted to control everything. Nothing was good enough. If I brought home A grades, they weren’t good enough. My father never stood up for me. I never had any time to grow independently or emotionally. I grew up scared and controlled and only as an adult have learned that not all love means hurting. It’s emotional abuse. And now I’m unlearning all those things I was taught by manipulative punishments and in order to live my own life might never see my family for a very long time if ever. I don’t want it, but that is what are limits have been pushed to.

  7. Tmulc your situation sounds like she might be suffering from bipolarism. look it up dude..

  8. My wife is ultra controlling and I often think about how my sons will perceive the way she is towards me. I worry about it a lot – about how she tries to emasculate me, take all responsibility away, ostracize my family. Then I realize that I am in control of my own happiness. I try to focus on every minute that I have with them and make the best of it. I tell myself that I will do whatever it takes to let them know that I love them and that I will enjoy every minute with them. I will laugh as much as I can with them and will discipline them when I need to – despite her efforts to undermine that. I will never leave them. If she needs to take me to court for custody, I’ll let her waste her energy. With all that, no matter how she is towards me for the next 5, 10, 15 years, at LEAST my sons will know I cared enough to be there for them-no matter what.

  9. This is a bad situation. My wife is controlling, miserable, depressed, even shrinks can’t find a solution for her bitterness. My mother recently visited from my country and told me, in front of her, that I should leave my wife, after spending just 2 days with her. Not to make the same mistake my brother made with a similar bitter woman that ultimately slept with his best friend and is now making that other guys life miserable as well. Women like these have weak, high-maintenance attitudes that in my case they didn’t have while dating. If it weren’t for my kids I would have walked out long time ago. I hate the communication fights she always has becuase “I don’t undertsand her”. When I sit down with her and communicate she plays the guessing game as if I was some kind of mind reader or “I should know by now” what she means. These games never existed when we dated for 6 years. She was never this way, bitter, those 6 years either. It almost seems that marriage papers give some women that spark of “I got you and you can’t do anything about it” attitude or I’ll end up with all your money, etc. VERY unfair !!! I have had older friends tell me that theirs nothing I can do with a bitter woman but put up with it and hope one day she comes around. Meantime I’m sad all the time and have girls at work flirt with me like crazy, even though they are aware I’m “happily married”. At home I clean, pay bills, cook, laundry, dress kids for school & pick them up, I do the grocery shopping, fill out every medical documention, etc. EVERYTHING. This was the main reason my Mom told me to get rid of her. She brings very little to the table and very little sex as well. I spend time with the kids, take them to recreate themselves, watch cartoons EVERYTHING. There were occasions that I would dedicate days for her. Make her breakfast, go out buy her cute things that same morning, take her to lunch and dinner that same day and still was not enough, she ended up arguing about how I don’t “undertsand her”, yet never explains to me what it is I don’t understand. After a few of these Sundays I deciated to her I stopped doing it since she never appreciated anything I did. Most of her “friends” back away and don’t call anymore. I can go on, I hate my situation.


  10. Hi Joe, I’ve just read your post here. You know, I’m just 20 y.o. so I don’t even think I can give you advice on this matter. But I have my mom suffering from the same situation. My parents have always argued even before getting married but they’re so proud that never give in, they don’t know that loving sometimes means to let go. Maybe the way mom got into depression is not the same as your wife did, but they entually ended up to the same point, where they say “You don’t understand me.” You know, dad has constantly said to mom that all he did was for her – referring to material things.
    Let me quote something you wrote
    “There were occasions that I would dedicate days for her. Make her breakfast, go out buy her cute things that same morning, take her to lunch and dinner that same day and still was not enough…After a few of these Sundays I deciated to her I stopped doing it since she never appreciated anything I did”
    you know, don’t get me wrong, but the one who needs to feel appreciated is your very wife. all you tried to do are all good things, though women, your wife in the case wants your complete attention, wants to know that she’s the only woman you’ll always like and love, that she’s the only one for you. Try to be cute to her, not buy cute things to her. i’m not saying you dont have to, but there are just more important things. let her know that she’s beautiful and you love her and that she’s the only one in the whole world.. that’s what she needs..
    I dont know if you already tried to do so, but if you did and then stopped please press in, you’ll definitely break through the wall of depression.
    Hope i got the point

    Hope everything will sort out between you and your wife

  11. I’m not implying that you never appreciate her, but by doing so, she’ll maybe go past all the things that are oppressing her and dont let her live peacefully

  12. I just have to say something. I was with a woman like this for 22 years. We dated for 5 and were married for 17. I never pressured her for sex or anything like that I just wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. She was just as desribed in the earlier posts and even said some of the same things beth mentioned to me. It took me awhile to unravel this after it fell apart but I finally figured it out. First whatever made her unhappy came into the relationship with her.. She cleverly disguised it as things I was not doing in the relationship. Yet no matter what I did she was still unhappy, she would just find some other perceived shortcoming to focus on. Eventually I stopped trying to satisfy her and began to withdraw from her. When ever I accomplished something I had worked hard on she shot it down and minimized what I had accomplished. I thought well she doesn’t make a big deal about these things so I didn’t make a big deal when she did anything. Now I was the one who was insensitve. There was always a double standard. If I tried to talk about something we needed to reslove, I was overreacting or jumping to conclusions and I ended up apologizing for bringing it up. When she clearly screwed up She would get defensive and not apologize for anything. In fact she has NEVER apologized for ANYTHING. After awhile communication suffered I just stopped paying attention to her. If she felt slighted in any way her response was to go for the throat. IF there were things that were very sensitive issues for me, they became targets of opportunity for her to attack me where I was weak. My friends began to see changes in me and asked if I was happy in my marriage. I lied to cover for her and it continued. She would always say I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’m no good at this so I ended up assuming alot of the load while she did nothing but complain about what I wasn’t doing. My career, finances health and spirit began to suffer. Eventually she had an affair and I caught her. She claimed I made her do it and she deserved to be happy and that I could not take this from her. I replied I have never been able to make you do anything, this was your choice. She told me to go screw myself. There are alot more horrible things she said than what is written here but when she thought she had destroyed me she triumphantly declared ” I think you are just about through now!” I could have killed her where she stood because it hit me that this is what she really wanted. She was only happy when I was miserable. So I was left to pick up the pieces of my life which was no easy task and still after the divorce was final she still continued on as before. I broke all contact off even thought we have three kids. Now she uses them as weapons. She should be happy now but continues to behave in the fashion at EVERY opportunity. The kicker is she lost big in the divorce and she thought she was entitled to much more than she got. All I have to say to that is she made her own choices. To sum it up if you are with someone like this you should probably plan to get out . I believed it would get better and it finally did……. When I got out. It won’t be easy by any means but your life WILL get better. If you don’t believe it that’s fine, at the time I didn’t either. But it did, I sleep better, smile more, laugh more, my future looks brighter. The best part is I started to date again and now I can avoid the pitfalls early. You CANNOT make an unhappy person HAPPY!!!! Don’t try, you will only sinkt to their level of unhappiness and then they will leave you and blame you for all the problems in the relationship. These people are vampires and when they suck you dry they will move on to the next victim. AND they will find one because they play the victim so well you’ll be portrayed as the bad guy and somebody will try to rescue them from you not realizing they are the next victim. Don’t worry about the kids, If all the see is the tension between you they willl learn this and the cycle WILL continue. JUST SAY NO!!!! I hope this helped!

    • Oh good God Rob you jave just taken all that was in my heart and put it to words. I have been married coming to 11 years and I have two lovely daughters. My eldest is 8 and I know she feels terrible when my wife and I are not getting on well.

      Today was mothers day and so we all went to a lovely restaurant and we had a really fabulous dinner with our domestic helper in tow. When we were done we walked over to McCafe for milkshake that my eldest wanted and two ice creams and a coffee for me. We sat there whilst mom left us and rushed into Mango because it was on SALE. It took us about half an hour to get through things, anyone who has had a three year old and ice cream will know this. So we got up still with no sight of Mom so we walked 50 m to the CD store next door. And just then my phone range and she goes ape shit telling me that I don’t care and that I only think of myself and on and on. It gets to the point I am yelling in the street on my phone and finally I hang up because after the first three times she hangs up on me and tells me to head home with the kids and maid without her I really have lost it about now.

      She rakes up the past on how I had an affair with my sister in law coming to 4 years ago. And I just refuse to go down that avenue with her anymore.

      I admit I did have the affair and was caught but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. My career was good, I was home all the time we each had our respective duties and we just used to meet and walk and talk alot. I was lonely.

      This is my wife’s daily routine, wake up at 10 am, the maid has sent the kids to school, I have run the dog, some days wash both cars, had breakfast with the kids and bathed changed and gone to work. She goes into her business that she runs at 12 pm and ends her day at 10 pm because there always is that one more customer to attend to (she is a hairstylist).

      I am done with work by 6.30 pm and usually head home if not I am at the gym which is across the pool from my house (we are talking 100m) all in the same compound.

      I really felt miserable, I had not had dinner and conversation in years and I had not been to a movie (an adult one) in the longest time. I wasn’t even on the prowl at the bars because she doesn’t even like me having a happy hour drink before coming home. My sister in law was bored, young and knew exactly what my wifes character was. Well it didn’t hurt to have someone to go to the museum with, or catch the play or yoga or evening run on the beach. And dinner with, mind you no one knew for years as both of us were always home before 830 pm.

      Well long story short, we were found out, my work, health, career and bank account sufferred. I have since given her everything I own, my three houses, money to start and grow her business and mind you by Singapore standards I am considered preety OK. I am now jobless for the last one and half years, reeling from the daily abuse and just living off my past investments and still paying for the bulk of expenses in the house and a little beyond. She wonders how I still can keep up I guess. Having lost a $200k salary and teaching part time, being contractor to certain organisations and running my own small consultancy.

      She is on about $180k and I guess she is pissed off that I still can hold my own even after how my career got destroyed because I couldn’t take the abuse at home. By the way she was a $20k a year shampoo girl when I met her.

      I have no more friends and I am so miserable. I love my daughters so much and every day my domestic looks at me in disbelief as I continue to take the abuse.

      Maybe someday I will just drop dead, it seems such a peaceful alternative.

  13. I am amazed at the above. It is all so familiar.

    I was with a woman for 25 years, who I now see thoroughly abused me for most of that time. We have three kids. She constantly put me down, said I looked bad etc. It was even as petty as I was not, she said, sitting up straight, or I snored (which I dont) or walked strangely….

    She sometimes went for days without speaking. If i asked why she snapped that it was my fault and if I had to ask why it was worse than she thought. She called me useless in front of my kids, she threw stuff around the house, and she threatened me with a knife.

    Her other thing was to constantly accuse me of having affairs, which I was not. It went on and on and on.

    All this time I was the one working. She did not work, we had home help, and she did not need to do anything. She told me ten years ago that she did not love me and since then she did not kiss me on the lips. Even when having sex. She turned away from me. The sex was just occasional, and on her terms. She often screamed at me, almost always when no one else was around. She completely intimidated me all of the time.

    I have found a few internet articles about this syndrome. It is well recognized that men are subject to abuse as much as women are. But they dont tell, because they are embarrassed as I was. It was comforting to know others had been there.

    Last year, my wife (again) told me that we needed to separate. I agreed with her. Previously, because of the kids, she reduced me to a begging wreck, asking not to break up. But this time it was different. I had the confidence to go and it is unbelievable what has happened.

    I have since met someone else, who tells me how good I am, that I am fantastic, that I don’t snore, or slouch or…… all these put downs that I was subjected to. For the first time in my life I am truly happy with someone who is absolutely amazed at what I put up with.

    My wife was a bully. Although I stayed for my kids, I now realise that it was a bad thing. They think that throwing stuff around, and shouting, and criticising are all normal. They excuse their mother’s behaviour to me, and it is a real worry. I should have stood up for myself at the time to let them see that it is not acceptable.

    My advice? If you see that you are in a rut, you must stop it happening. The worst case is that you leave, but if you have kids it is difficult. However, I wish so much that years ago I calmly told her: if you don’t stop treating me like this I will be gone. And I shall go to court for the kids if necessary.

    My mental health is now good; I am truly happy. It is vital to take control of your destiny and recognise the signs.

    I am amazed that there are so few help sites for abused men; there are some books out there that you should look at. See http://www.thatbitchbook.com/reader_stories.html

    Good luck.

  14. I am in similar , situation i was married for 5 , before we got marry my wife was so nice to me she bought me everything and anything i wants , as soon as we get marry everything changes. I really taught she was a wife material but unfortunately it does not seems to me like she is . i clean the house , do the laundry , buy her roses , take very good care of our 4 kids after i come home from work , and when she have to work on weekends . she have a dont care mind , i usually be the one always sees what is rong within the marriage , she always want to be in control , and when i put my feet down , she usually say that i want to controal her , i am so thired of this marriage , its is crumbeling my health , the only reason i still in this mariage is because of my children . i dont want to walk out on her , because i know i will suffer financially . she will definately take me to court for child support , like she did before we got marry . i look past that , marry her only for the sake of our children . my mother dont know about this at all , if she did know about the child support situation she would have stop the marriage . please if anyone have any suggestion on how i should dealth with this situation please send me some respond at bent9921065@yahoo.com . thanks and god bless.

  15. I stayed in my unfulfilling marriage for 20 years for the sake of my children and I know I made the right decision. Let me encourage you to keep your focus on your children since you will reap the reward for your sacrifice and perseverance in seeing them grow into beautiful people.

    I have just written a book which you may find very helpful which is called “How To Be A Good Parent In a Bad Marriage – and find true fulfilment in loving your child”. I wouldn’t expect you to commit to purchasing the book without knowing what to expect, so you can read a couple of articles that I’ve written at ezinearticles.com http://bit.ly/cy3oaT

    If you want to contact me for any further advice or support you can find me here http://thehappyparent.wordpress.com or email me thehappyparent@gmail.com

  16. 1. it just take a “Bart Simpson” to blow Homers top, one bite on the cake is all it takes to spoil it. one mark on a plain white wall to spoil it

    2. before one suffer in this abyss of being with a difficult person, all the signs are there, just have to be alert , before the wake up call

    3. dont let anyone take away your joy, aliveness, oneself included

  17. I just want first say WOW! My wife is very similar to most of the husbands and ex-husbands here. I just wanted to add that my wife is an attractive lady that looks like she wouldn’t hurt a bug so when I even attempt to tell someone what I am going through, the first thing they want to do is tell me what I am doing wrong. It’s so frustrating! This is the first time I expressed myself in years because I couldn’t find anyone that could relate or understand. By the way, Ive been married for 12 years and have two school age children. I sleep in the basement by choice because I started to realize that she was using sex as a tool to get me to ignore her terrible ways. There are moments when I think we have a chance and before you know it, she is back to her old ways. She rarely cooks or clean. I used to think it was me but she doesn’t even cook for our children and she is a great cook. I told her if she wasn’t happy that she could leave but the children are staying with me. Needless to say she is still around doing the same things. Our relationship appears to be better but that’s only because I refuse to allow her to steal my peace and joy! I’m trying to do right by God and stick this thing out but I see my self taking a lot of personal business trips without her once the kids are grown. I feel better just knowing I’m not crazy and there are men in similar situations. Stay strong…men!

  18. count me in, I expect this to pile up, this is modest
    a world record wound not surprise me for the replies on this

    Mine, keep tabs, keep counting on anything to argue about
    anything to show that she is better, but is not

    even if im good to her she still has something to say about it, leading to an arguement

    its seems that everything bout her is superficial which i now realized

    its so damn hard to be with a difficult person, Any Way You Look At It, that is hard + difficult

    yep Ted youre right stay strong

  19. Stay away from people who give nothing.

    Sorry im very harsh with that, but in reality, stay away from people who give only crap

    Look for quality relationships

  20. The posts here are so familiar it hurts. I have 12-year-old son and am staying in a non-marriage for his sake. She had an affair with a guy who has a history of abuse and I have stayed in the marriage just to prevent this guy from becoming my son’s father.My wife rarely does anything untoward in front of him, but the moment he leaves to go to school anything is possible.

    She is a perpetual victim. The other day, someone came to collect a bill she had left unpaid for five years. She had recently taken an expensive vacation and he got wind of it and demanded to be paid. She ws furious and demanded that I tell him to go away–even though she has a large bank account! She spent the next week telling everyone that I refused to defend her.

    Unlike with many of you, she has many needy friends who bolster her constantly. There is no behavior that they won’t help her justify. She spends 8 hours a day on the internet and the telephone talking to people with relationship problems all over North America,complaining and moaning about the slightest problem.The other day she told one of her followers that since she failed to answer a text message instantly, but instead took two hours, she was not fit to be one of her friends.

    If she makes a promise, she forgets it. If she can find a way to interpret anything I’ve said as a promise, she holds me to it as though I have really made a promise–then calls her friends to blacken my reputation.

    She will sit quietly all day and wait for the pharmacy to close, then try to blast me for not noticing the empty pill container she left somewhere.

    The other day she told me that she wanted to divorce me, but still have me live at home and pay the bills–that way I woudn’t cramp her style with available men. I told her to go ahead–and we’d sell the house as well and split custody. That scared her pretty badly, but the sense of entitlement is monstrous. She thought I might go for it!

    I have a calendar at home counting down the days to my son’s 18th birthday. I pray I can hold out until then.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their (horror) stories.

  21. I am living with a wife whom I hate most in my life. This is just thinking what may happen to my 2 kids if i devorce. I wish I devorce, the problem is, the law supports the kids have to be with the mother untill they are able to consciously choose with whom to live. Unfortunately she is such a lady that could not even manage her self. Hence I am burning for the sake of my kids.

    I pray to God to give me the power to maintain my patience untill the kids consciosly manage them self.

  22. I do not want to add another story to all of the above. But I wish someone would give me any suggestion as to how to handle such troublesome wife. I do not want to be strong to ride it out any longer. I do not want a divorce either. In both the cases, the kids will end up suffering emotionally. It is not their fault. Such wives do not go for counseling either, I guess. I would really appreciate some advice of dealing with such wife. Please, talking to her does not work. So avoid that…already tried it over hundred times over a course of 14 years. Thanks.

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