I have been married for just over five months now but we dated for more than three years before the marriage. The problem I am having (which was also around before we got married) is that my wife continuously gets mad at me for reasons (in her perspective) that have to do with my not being caring enough, not understanding her, not being willing to listen to her. She is ready to be upset anytime so much that I basically will not move another inch without thinking twice ’cause i find it very hard to predict what she expects. To add to the situation, when ever she is mad she is not willing to tell me what is bothering her (claims that if I really cared I would know on my own) and would not talk to me (even if i try) for more than a week. Sometimes I decide to say I am sorry even when I don’t feel it and know it is not my fault but she has this principle that it is not appropriate to say I am sorry just to calm down the situation.
You may be asking, why did I get married if this issue was there before we got married. Well I do love her very much and she is very special to me and back then I told myself that i could manage to support her in improving her tendency to have an extremely pessimistic perspective toward things.
Just to provide you with more info, I suspect that her childhood rape by her uncle and an attempted rape by her employer might have a role in the problem. As she has told me she hated men for a very long time and was totally not interested and unable to have sex until about six years back due to some flash backs she gets when having sex. I have noticed a number of incidents with me as well which we have talked about and she knows that we will work through it together.
I hope what is am trying to say is clear. Thank you for your help.
You must care deeply about your wife to keep trying. I have a guess that this has something to do with control. Having been attacked twice by people who were supposed to be trustworthy in her life, your wife may feel that the only way she can feel safe is by being in control of the situation when she is with a man. She did agree to marry you despite her fears which speaks positively about her feelings for you. But it appears that in some instances her anxieties get bigger than her love and trust for you.
It might be helpful if you let her know that you understand that what happened to her was traumatic. You may also sit down with her to discuss her feelings and express to her your commitment to help her get through it. It would be a shame indeed if the actions of two very bad men deprived you both of a loving and intimate relationship with each other. In a way, that would be letting the bad experiences win. I hope you can both be angry, together, at the situation instead of being angry at each other. It would be a very good idea for the two of you to go to couples counseling to get some help directing the anger and the need for control out of our marriage and where it belongs, as well as finding tools to help you both communicate better with each other. I wish you well. Dr. Marie
My wife gets mad and won’t talk to me.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 18, 2007.