I have been married for 5 years now. We have a 2 yr old boy and another
one due Sept. of this year. I am looking forward to the second child
but I really did not want to have another until next year meaning start
to have one. But, my wife wants another because of her age which I can
understand. She is 36 and does not seem to think that she can have a
good chance of getting pregnant if she waits.
The main thing about this whole thing is that
I feel that I have no control over my life or the household. I get
tired of her telling me what I should and should not be doing. For
example, I know this is stupid for saying this but she gets mad if
I shave my mustache off or grow a beard. If I need something for my
computer she say "do you really need it?" Maybe I don't need it now,
but I will. But when she needs something I don't say anything.
The thing that got me upset this time is that
I am changing my job because the job I am now is starting to go under
and the place I found wanted me. It is more money and full benefits
which I am not getting at the job for which I am in. The thing that
got me mad is that she is now telling me this is bad timing to be
doing this because of the baby coming. I'm sorry, but I think that
making this job change now will help us instead of hurt us. Then when
the company tells me that I am hired she starts to tell me to tell
them that I can start until after the baby is born. She also tells
me to tell them I can only work the hours that she thinks will be
helpful. I did not feel comfortable asking them the questions.
This is what I am up against. Maybe it is me
and I am being too selfish. Am I wrong for what I feel about this?
Thanks for your help in this matter.
ANSWER: Overaccomodation has caught up with you! Are you "going
with the flow" only to resent it later? Was this your father's role
in your parents' marriage? Or are you trying not to be the overbearing
man that he was? Our parents' marriage provides us with our first
blueprint for our own marriage relationship. Sometimes we emulate
or overcompensate for our parents by reproducing these patterns in
full or in reverse with our own spouses...only to feel the pain of
this pattern repeated in some way.
Intimacy is based on a feeling of fairness and consideration.
You are disappointed in your wife's lack of appreciation for your
role as economic provider, but feel you have no right to request or
expect her consideration of your needs as a legitimate member of the
The purpose of family is to nurture the growth and
development of all of its members. This includes you! Find your voice
with your wife. Let her know you will consider her feelings, but do
not allow her to dictate your actions or behavior. It is her job to
say what she would like, and it is yours to let her know your needs
and boundaries regarding your work environment. Marriage is a "quid
quo pro", a legal term implying that "give and take" must be experienced
equally by both partners, if resentment is not to obliterate tenderness
in a marriage.
If you do not express your feelings in the relationship,
your affection for your wife will begin to deteriorate. Are you really
doing her (or yourself) any favors by accommodating her choices while
continually ignoring your own? Your responsibility as primary economic
provider and a husband requires that you clearly and respectfully
communicate your needs, too. The health of your relationship is the
foundation for your children's sense of security.
By taking care of yourself, you will be challenging
your wife to consider the impact of her desires on your life. This
is the conflict you have been avoiding. Why? Do you fear her anger
or overreact to her disappointment? You may need to feel an autonomy
from her approval in order to express yourself. It is OK for her to
be disappointed that you shave your mustache or beard, just as you
might feel if she cut her hair differently. Differentiation is a necessary
phase of marriage, and follows the romanticism of the first few years
which center on "likenesses" rather than "differences". But the endurance
of your relationship requires that your marriage mature in order to
make room for the uniquely different people that you are!
Do not be afraid to clarify your needs, even if they
do not always please. In a good relationship you should expect to
tolerate disappointment in your partner up to 30% of the time. However
the other 70% can be quite satisfying. Avoiding any disappointment
in a marriage can be a signal that you are looking to your partner
for unrealistic approval at any cost. This kind of expectation puts
unrealistic pressure on a marriage. Approval is not the answer. Love,
respect and appreciation are borne out of accepting and tolerating
differences. And finding compromises that really work!
Give your wife the opportunity to love you by compromising
to your needs equally. Do not put the burden for defining yourself
on her shoulders. Instead define what is important to you and require
that your needs be included in your family negotiations. By doing
so, you will regain your self-respect and your wife will have the
possibility for a partnership instead of a soon- to- be- loveless
And remember, you and your wife are the co-leaders
of the family. It is your job as well as hers, to steer your marriage
in a healthy direction!
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