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Marriage help at breaking point.

Community Member

When we got married it was really the best day of my life.
And for the first 3 days it was pure heaven. Affection , love , speaking softly and kindly.
But on the morning of day 3 she began with her sarcasm and attitude.
I cannot for the life of me figure it out.
Its like a switch flicks.
Sarcasm , Criticism , Judgement and Jealousy. Its been constant since then for 20 years.

It was then hot and cold for the first few years.
Arguments would usually end in with her extreme and erratic yelling and screaming to the point I would have to leave.
Red faced bloood boiling up in my face anger.
Or I would just beg to get along. .. .I would always admit it was all my fault … even if she was 100% wrong.
Sometimes I was scared of her self harming of harming me.
Several times I was tempted to call the police as she could not calm down.
Her soloution to discussing issues with me , was tototally ignore me, then get dressed up and go out partying with friends leaving me alone at home. That happened many times.Only once or twice after a big argument she actually apologised … but it was a strange apology. She was in tears in my arms saying to me 'I'm so sorry I'm like this … I don't want to be like this I just cant help it…"
This only happened twice I think. I have reminded her of these comments she made long ago... but she has since denied it.
She has inherited the angry gene from here dad. Her uncle has it too. Uncontrollable anger. For the smallest thing she can explode and cannot be calmed down.
More often even the smallest thing would piss her off she would go into shut down mode. That could be anywhere from a few hours to over a week. AS per usual I have to apologise and make things better.
I must say to her at least 5 times per week…. 'stop getting angry'. .. Which can also makes things worse as it makes her more angry.
She will get angry when driving. She will sometimes speed up to cut people off if they upset her.

I don’t know if its split personality ? Or manic depressive ? Or if there is a name for it ?
But she only does it to me. And sometimes to the kids.
She has a very very short temper … It can ignite and explode at anytime.
I feel most calm when the kids and I are alone I can just be myself with them.
The kids and I can spend the whole day together . We get along very well.
As soon as she is there she becomes a disruptor.
Complaining, lecturing, sarcasm.
If there is another person with us during any activity … she will refrain from disrupting.

19 Replies 19

hi Quirly thanks for your reply

Any advice I would give her about seeing someone for her headaches is ignored

She keeps its insisting its 'hormonal' and nothing can be done about it.

BUt yes definitely leading up to her period it gets worse . She will just start losing it and i'm thinking what the hell have I done... until I realise she has her period.

I never met anyone so stubborn to be honest.

Hard to say when she gets angry. She had a massive blow up this morning , 1st big one in a while.

More than the angriness its the sarcasm that does my head in.

I wish she could just do something to make herself happier.

Whenever she is sick with a cold or the flu , she will talk to me like I'm some dog.

I'll say don't speak to me like that and she'll say but I'm sick.

People can be dying of Cancer yet still have manners

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor


I hope you don’t mind me saying but your wife sounds like an absolute nightmare to live with!!! The fact that she can control her anger around others, and that she has apologized “for being like this” in very rare moments of weakness, tell me that she has control over her behavior. You may think that she doesn’t, but she does. However, she has learnt very early on that this is the best way for her to impose her will on others and get her own way. And for 20 or so years, it’s worked a charm for her. What really needed to have happened is for you to have called her in her behavior each and every time and that you won’t entertain her behaviour while ever she is behaving like that. I saw the same thing with my dad and my mother, his desire for a quiet life combined with her irrational behavior just made her triggers become even smaller and smaller until the slightest thing would set her off. Unfortunately this means that you are going to have a devil of a time getting your wife to take you seriously, because she will just double down until you give in. However, I think you need to play hard ball and tell her that you have had enough and won’t tolerate this behavior for a second longer and that she needs individual counseling. Not couples counseling, because this is her issue, not something that you both need to work through, but something that she needs to address. I think it’s more of a domestic violence mindset rather than an anger control issue personally, certainly the belittling and demeaning behavior supports that. She only feels comfortable doing this with people close to her.

hi Juliet thanks for your reply
You are right I should have called her out more. I'm just really passive and wish not to argue. She knows no boundary with her arguments and If I push say 10% she pushes 90% at which point I stop.
She totally lost it before and I've been scard she will hurt me or herself.
More than the anger its the sarcasm that really bugs me
The sarcasm is just continuous
Hard to believe sometimes she can be really nice. Often we have been through months / years where things are really great , and I'm so happy.
We even said to each other not that long ago that all we want to do is hang out together.
I'm just sick of being in the anxious state of 'what am I going to do wrong next'. I'm scared of her. She will ask my to buy some things form the supermarket and I'll immediately be in panick mode.
I'm wondering did I buy the wrong brand or bread or too many potatoes or whatever.
Its like I can just feel her watching me for a mistake or a action she can comment on.
She questions a lot of what I do as well. Always saying 'why did you do it like that' Or 'What took so long tell me everything that happened.

She doe not confide in anyone. She only has one realy friend. And that friend talks non stop so my wife just sits ans listens.
I can try playing hard ball and telling her I wont tolerate it anymore. My guess is she will be happy to ignore each other for a few months like she has done before. And always leaving it to me to make up otherwsie nothing happens.
I'm running on empty now.
I have actually been to 3 different types of counselling throughout our marriage. Some were for my own personal trauma but the marriage thing always came up.
Thinking back now I had suggested at one point like 15 years ago when tings were really bad but she refused.

Hi Betternow
Thanks for your message sorry for the late reply

We are intimate but only when she wants. I have to beg for intimacy sometimes , or maybe once a month she will ask.
Intimacy is usually on her tersm. Or I might get what I want with limits.
Its some kind of power game as per usual.
I cant remember the last time we said we love each other , maybe every few months.
I find her very attractive and I always tell her. But even then I get attitude for that sometimes.
I cant love anyone who is constanly putting me down.

Its been good being able to wrtie in these forums its really made me think back now and I have seen this pattern that’s been there since day once when we met each other.
Basically I liked her a lot more than she liked me so I just said yes to everything to get the girl and have put up with this behaviuor and its backfired on me.
Right now I honestly feel like I am done. I cant do another conversation and I cant forgive again. I'm pretty much empty.
We have barely spoken in the last week or 2. I have slept a few nights on the couch. She will do whatever she can to avoid having 'the conversation' we need to have.
As per usual we will just drift along for a few months she will pretend like nothing is wrong and hopefully we we slide back into something normal.

Her father does the same thing to her mother. The man has never cooked in his life yet he stands of my mother in laws shoulder in the kitchen telling her what she is doing wrong.
So similar to my wife.
Its like they both need the one person to hang their issues on.

My mental health has been up and down since we met but I just keep on pushing.
I did decide around 10 years ago when we were at our lowest point, that I would never leave my kids.
We have 2 boys aged 11 and 13 and they need me.
Plus If I am not here I can just imagine her venting on them.

The next conversation I am going to suggest the counselling. I really believ she needs her own. She is so stubborn I'm pretty sure she would never go.

Thanks again lets see what happens.

Community Member

Hi RonnyK,

the more I read of your post the more you were describing my first marriage.

The attacks on you, the sarcasm towards you, the putting you down in front of others. Always blaming you for things that go wrong. I'll take a guess and suggest she also has the memory of an elephant and brings things up months or years later and reminds you how stupid you were back then.

If that rings true message back.

Community Member

hi ITnErd6

Thanks for your reply

Writing in this forum has really made me reflect on our relationship

She has been like this since the day we met and I have allowed it

I have been the brunt of all of her own issues for the last 25 years

I'm fed up now .. .and I have been very distant. Her response is to be even more rude and sarcastic.

This could drag on for weeks before she will say something because she is so stubborn and unforgiving

For the 1st time I feel like there is no turning back

I don't want to be with someone like this anymore

Could be a case of us living in separate rooms as I would never leave my kids alone with her

Lets see what happens

Community Member

Hi Ronny K,

reflection is good in any relationship. In my first marriage I got to a point when my son was about 3 that I knew I had to leave but I wan't really aware of why. We would not talk for days or weeks too. I didn't have the insight back then to see the issues we had. So I walked out. And it hurts emotionally and financially.

But in the months we spent apart I learnt about myself a bit. She changed herself a bit, lost some weight and lured me back. A few times she even chastised her sister for treating her husband like she treated me. We were happy for a few more years but as time went on I saw more of her mannerisms and she wore me down again, started blaming me again. But it was subtle. Instead of doing things the right way I found myself attracted to someone else. This made the second break up far worse than the first.

But as I found something with this new lady there was no going back. There was no opportunity for her to tempt me.

I understand you think living in separate bedrooms may work and it may for you. I tried that briefly but when she wanted something I would have a night time visit in my bed and I ended up feeling used.

In hindsight I should have tried getting work further from home, almost fly in fly out. I wonder if the distance would have helped. Could the distance have rekindled the relationship. Maybe.

I couldn't imagine doing that with my new wife though, were so close.

Your boys are getting older so they will cope with change pretty well. Kids are so resilient.

Remember to look after yourself. Go for a walk by yourself, have a coffee or a beer with a mate. You know I'd even suggest... send her away for a girls weekend. When did she last do that ?

Then organise one for yourself ?

And keep posting on here 🙂

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi RonnyK,

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but you weren’t to know that going along and keeping the peace would create a monster. It’s also only something that I learned by observing. Sarcasm is such a hideous and destructive thing, you can never have a happy relationship with a person when that is a feature, as all it does is ridicule and belittle a person. I don’t know if there’s any hope with your wife, some people that are like this can see reason but it can be difficult trying to find the thing that gets through to them. Sometimes leaving is the wake-up call that someone needs to realize that they can’t behave like this. But then you say that you can get on for prolonged periods without these episodes. During these times is she warm and kind? Do you kind her to be kind to others? I’m just trying to figure out if there’s something you or a psychologist can tap into there.

HI Juliet thankyou for your message
Merry Xmas
I don't know if there is any hope either. She clearly has some issues and she has no intention of dealing with her issues or in admitting she has them.
We have gotten along for really long periods with issues. Months , sometimes years at a time. But I think the issue has always been hiding in the corner. And I always am nervous in the back of my mind I wonder when it will happen next.
This time is different though. I feel like I am really of her crap.

I am actually scared to leave as I do would worry she may self harm or do something regrettable

I went for a boys BBQ at a mates yesterday. I mentioned that a mate of my cooked this dish. Her first reply was you should learn to cook more'.
Today I bought us a new television. We agreed on the model and that I would be buying it. When I walked in the door with the TV her 1st comment was ' I cant believe you actually went and bought it !'
Honestly I am lost for words.
She does the "2nd guessing" thing with me for everything it seems.
I'll go to the fridge to have lunch and then she will say why did you eat that when you could have eaten this instead ... what the hell is this controlling behaviour ??
I really don't get it.
She just makes everything painful when its with me.
When its with her sister , her nieces or her friend she becomes totally 'go with the flow'.
With me its always 'disruption'.

Its not acceptable. If she can control her behaviour around others then she can control it around me.
We were at Christmas lunch the other day at someone's in my family.
My relatives will always tell me 'you have such a beautiful wife' and ' you are so lucky'.
That's based on them seeing the 'public or fake wife'. Because when we get home she becomes the real wife.
I really have no hope. I'm just thinking of the problems that separation will cause.
I do not want to leave my kids. And I certainly do not want her to raise them alone. And I don't want to split all the assets after what I have been through to get us here.

Her father is the same to her mother. This constant control. Her mum will get up to do something and he will say ' no' you cannot .

My wife has told me several times that her mum wanted to leave her father because of his relentless controlling behaviour. My wife is the same person.

Thankyou again I appreciate all comments its been a really great help !!

Community Member

hi ITnErd6

Thanks so much for your message

My wife is so stubborn and head strong

SHe already has an opinion on everything. Will not confide in anyone.

She only has one really friend , and that friend does nothing but talk about herself so my wife does not speak.

Any other friends she has are people she has met through me. She cant be bothered socialising, and we rarely have visitors.

A girls weekend would be really hard as she has no one.

She has been away with here mother a few years ago and always away with my cousin. I was so happy when she was away. SO were the kids I think. I know they missed her but we were all relived of this constant pressure we have from her.

I really don't think she is a good person. Deep down there is some huge mental issues and the nice traits are slowly disappearing.

I'm basically over it. But I'm willing to try work it out. I don't think I can be hurt anymore. My heart is already broken she is just stomping on the broken bits.

After a few weeks of silence between us I suggested a discussion but she avoided it.

She cannot even have a simple conversation . Any hint of fault or criticism will lead to a tantrum.

I really wonder sometimes who she actually is.

Never expressing herself , no hobbies , hardly any friends , constantly complaining.

I would hate to think what it would be like going through a divorce with such a person , then dealing with kid sharing . It would be a massive nightmare I'm sure !!

Thanks again god bless and stay well !