Posted by: HK | 2003/02/25

Marriage Problems


Thank you for this wonderful service.

I desperately need help in my marriage, and if I were in South Africa I would go and see a doctor to help us, but unfortunately im expatting, so I have been in Africa for the last 3 years or so.

I met my wife when I was 17, I was in matric then, and we started off with a very serious relationship.
She spent 4 years after school studying, but we saw each other at least 5 times a week.

My wife comes from a very disrupted family as her father always use to swear and beat on the family, especially on her mother and her as she is the oldest of 5.

She has subsequently adopted almost the same manner of relationship as her mother and fathers use to have.
When she wakes up in the morning, she seems fine, the later it gets in the day, the easier it is for her to fight over anything, If anything is not according to her, she is pissed off and will start to fight and scream, saying all kinds of things.

I know and understand that I’m also in the wrong, but how much in the wrong I don’t know.
I have also noticed whenever we visit our family back in SA , or when she visits her mother (Which is staying in my house because her mother is divorcing her father) she gets just like her mother, whereby she has the screw you attitude towards me.

Before we got married (October 2001) I could easily handle the fighting, we will fight maybe 3 times a day, but the last 6 months I just cannot handle her constant fighting and screaming.

We don’t make love anymore, although she want to, and this she want to plan the exact time, so I have to be ready at the time given or else she will be upset.
She doesn’t like kissing, so basically I don’t initiate making love, and try to avoid it whenever she wants it.

The last time we made love, I really tried hard, but I didn’t do exactly as she wanted to and how she wanted stimulation, so she got upset, and slammed the head board close after getting her vibrator to stimulate her.

She gets upset when I don’t call her to tell her that I will be late, she considers 5:30 to be late, and she will go off at me, saying all kinds things which each and every time we fight she says, and this really upsets me, like she will start her own live, she does not need me.

I give her whatever freedom she wants, I even suggested her to go back to SA and stay with her mother, maybe when I go back to SA we can pick up where we left off.

I feel like she has no respect for my or my job, she has at so many occasions embarrassed me in front of various people at deferent work places in the past, she simply does not care who is around, she will be very rude towards me and on many accessions yelled at me.

I so long love in my live, I want children, and want to be happy, but I don’t want her with her current attitude to be the mother of my children, as I’m afraid she will treat her children the same as she treats me, or maybe threat them the same as her father treated her.

Should I go through the pain of leaving her and start over, I really love her, but I’m not in love any more; I don’t long to make love to her.
When we are apart I really miss her, maybe miss being around someone, but when we are together I want to slice my wrists of frustration.

I cannot explain how I feel or explain all the problems in one letter, but maybe you can help me or give me some advice, as I really am despirate.

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Our expert says:
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Dear HK,
We can respect the element of despair in your message. Much of what might be possible is constrained by the matter of available resources, wherever it is that you are currently located. The most obvious need is for mariage counselling. It can be more problematic where the counsellor may not share the cultural background of the couple, because mutual expectations can vary quite distinctly between cultures, and there would be more room for misunderstanding.
It does sound as if some or much of your wife's combativeness and aggression may derive from her background and upbringing. Without even thinking about it, we can too easily pattern our behaviour in a mariage on the behaviours we saw at home as we were growing up. You seem to be describing someone who expects you to meet her wishes, without having much sensitivity to your own wishes and needs. And her insensitivity to the need to support you and not embarass you, with regard to your job, is not only unfortunate for you, but contrary to her own best interests, too.
It is highly realistic to be concerned about the possible impact of her behaviour on any possible children, and it'd be wise to hold off on having children until the conflicts are resolved.
It may indeed be a good idea or her to return to SA and live with her mother --- if that is acceptable to both of them --- so that she can have time to think through the relationship before you return. Whenevr and wherever it is practical to engage in mariage counselling, this sounds really needed -- but is not practical or sucessful unless she agrees that there is a mutual problem which you both need to work on. If she refuses to work on the problems within the mariage, it is more obviously fair to consider ending the relationship and looking for one less painful.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Spooky | 2003/02/25

Get hold of a tape recorder. Record her moods. Fill both sides of the cassette so you get all of it for once. (You'll probably not be able to do it again once you've exposed it to her) Make a copy of the tape before you play it back to her. (Edit out the wasted sections if you need.)If that doesn't change her, then I don't know what will.
I did it once. It even came out more exaggerated than it really felt at the time. (I was surprised at how I had adapted and had become quite accustomed to the terrible "nagging" and "hen-pecking")
My wife was so embarrassed. She blushed. I have never seen her blush before. I felt sorry for her and left the room to let her listen to herself, all on her own. It had an amazing effect.
She apologised after. It shut her big mouth for good.
And HK, this is not an extract from "Ripley's Believe it or Not".

Good Luck

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