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massive aggument with wife...what to do?

(87 Posts)
lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:03:07

My wife an I had a massive argument earler in the week, over money and holidays. The argument got a bit heated and I ended up venting my frustration by saying a few true but spiteful things, which I apologised for and I do genuinely feel so bad for.-(even though their was a lot of truth.)

Since then, she wont generate any conversation with me. Just one word answers. We generally speak throughout the day through text or calls, but nothing. she wont reply to my texts. when we did speak, she told me she wanted to just run away!

I love my wife deeply, and it makes me feel sick to the stomach to live with bad feeling..

I'd like other peoples points of view, on the best way of getting this back on track. I feel whatever i do, it doesnt seem to help.

should i just leave her alone to get over it? or try some other approach?

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Oct-12 16:00:18

I agree with those who think this would be different the other way round.

Sounds to me like she is burying her head in the sand wrt to money and getting huffy/silent to keep it that way.

I do think you were a bit mean re the libido comment (although I guess I can see it coming out in the heat of the moment). I would also have swiped you round the head with the flowers grin

Communication in a calm, neutral, sober environment would be my suggestion, with no 'blame' attached to actions but a candid discussion about money & how to keep the relationship on an even keel.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 16:00:22

"is the yes or no down to you then? "

Having been married to a horrendous spendthrift myself once, I'm afraid 'no we can't afford it' is something you have to say quite often because, left to their own devices, they have no ability to self-regulate

Charbon Thu 04-Oct-12 16:13:08

You said you need to talk to her, when actually you might do better by listening more than talking. Communication is more than words isn't it? We cannot know the tone of voice you used, your body language or whether you actually listened to what she was saying - and not saying.

What we can presume is that she might be very hurt and angry at this exchange. She might therefore need some time to reflect on what you said. Reflecting and retreating from a situation because the anger and hurt is going to get in the way of proper communication isn't necessarily sulking, although at some point you will both need to come back to the discussion and it is potentially quite a controlling thing to do, to refuse to engage with a partner for an extended period.

An apology is generally worthless if you don't retract what you said. So I'd query whether you are apologising for the way you said it or the words used, rather than the allegations themselves.

If you genuinely believe that your partner needs alcohol in order to have sex with you, that must be quite hurtful but if true, you'll need to find out why. That can be very difficult to compromise on, whereas attitudes to finance and education are more capable of meeting half-way.

lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:34:43

I generally do keep a tab / manage our cash flow,mainly because when she's been in charge it has all been spent in the first two weeks of the month. Its nothing controlling, its just because I can manage it better.

I've mentioned the sex/ alcohol thing before and she says alcohol makes her relaxed and puts her in the mood. -it was something which just came out in anger.

Queenofsiburbia Thu 04-Oct-12 16:41:17

Marital arguments are tricky because, speaking from my own pov, when angry / upset you suddenly feel abit claustrophobic and trapped whereas when things are good you feel secure and part of something important.

I think that can make it more likely to say even more hurtful things (because that feeling of being trapped adds to the frustration) and of course everyone has flaws and no-one is perfect so there are times when anger makes you point out someone's flaws quite nastily, whereas in other situs u might make a subtle suggestion - or just ignore if it's just a small de Beers acceptable flaw!!

It may be worth trying to say that to your wife, I.e that lots if people say nasty things when angry and really regret saying them and the way they were said. But that you will try to make sure never to be spiteful when angry in future - it isn't a nice trait after all & isn't exactly helpful.

Its something I have to work on too.I have said some shocking things to my DH and he has never yet held them against me. OTOH, he behaves generally much more selfishly and inconsiderately which I can find very hurtful. I think people in most marriages have room for improvement.

I do think that another poster has a point about your libido comment. It's not necessarily that she doesn't want sex it might just be that she wants better sex. Or she may just feel really unsexy for whatever reason, low body confidence etc.
Sorry if that's a little harsh on you but I guess I'm saying that's not necessarily just her, it could be something you're responsible for too.
Perhaps saying/ asking that may make her feel better understood rather than having a heap of unfair blame dumped on her shoulders.

Good luck! I think genuine contrition for the fact that someone is upset and for being nasty to them will eventually go a long way (you cant nit talk forever!!!) Just don't underestimate your own lack of perfection when remembering hers next time u get in a row.!

Helltotheno Thu 04-Oct-12 16:42:08

Its nothing controlling, its just because I can manage it better.

You're absolutely right... there's no way I'd let a partner blow all the household money, someone has to be the responsible one. Does she work? All the moreso if she doesn't.

On the other issue, sorry to say this, but if she needs to be drunk before sex, she doesn't want sex or doesn't want it with you anyway.

MouMouCow Thu 04-Oct-12 16:44:13

If the DW is behaving like a child then why shouldn't OP respond to her in that way. Not very mature behaviour from her...
On top of the communication issue, being desired only when the other one is wasted is a punch to the ego...
I'm sorry but the wife doens't get much sympathy from me.

Timetoask Thu 04-Oct-12 16:53:02

Your wife sounds childish, sorry. If you cannot afford something then don't buy it. I agree with you about children not being taken out of school for holidays.
You have apologised for what yousaid, you bought her flowers, you probably need to talk things a little more.

Charbon Thu 04-Oct-12 17:13:13

No the only behaviour that works in an adult exchange is to communicate like an adult, regardless of whether the other person is operating from, in your opinion, a childlish state. Having two adults interact like children will never resolve a grown-up problem.

It might be that your wife is sparing your feelings by saying that drink is used as a relaxant and mood enhancer. It's important for you both that she is honest, without being unkind. Your communication needs to be much the same; honest but not unkind.

Sassybeast Thu 04-Oct-12 17:35:15

My Ex used to use the 'I'm much better with money than you little woman who fritters it all away' crap. He was an abusive arse though and I'm not sure if you are or not - am reserving judgement.

However, a couple of years down the line, I am still not in debt, bankrupt or frittering anything away, have a brand new car and have just paid for a holiday. so perhaps you need to look a little more closely at WHY you feel the need to control her financially ?

maleview70 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:50:10

You are making the classic mistake of pandering to her bad behaviour. Stop doing it and stop apologising as it sounds like you have done nothing wrong. She will come round when she realises her childish behaviour is not having any effect.

mcmooncup Thu 04-Oct-12 17:58:22

What does she want to buy?

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 19:48:43

'Red flag' I'd say if need alcohol to have sex with someone because you know that sober you would not want to. You are right to bring the issue up, but wrong to do it in an argument situation.
Does she work or are you sole provider?

Offred Thu 04-Oct-12 19:55:00

Yes I agree not to treat your wife like a child if you think she is behaving like one. I wonder if her not talking and sulking is a retaliatory reaction to feeling as though you are treating her like an inferior rather than an equal. I think you need to find a better way of co-operating as well as communicating. Ultimately if she is unable to prioritise her family over herself with money I think that'd be a deal breaker for me. Taking control forcibly is an imperfect fix.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 04-Oct-12 20:13:43

I cannot abide sulking, I find it very manipulative

I would wait for her to start speaking to you, just be civil and ignore the sulking. Then when she's decides to deal with things properly have a good chat to try and clear up some of the issues

Doshusallie Thu 04-Oct-12 20:19:44

queenofsiberia the first sentence of your post is unbelieveably accurate. Extremely observant and resonated massively with me.

Sulking is really childish behaviour.

How many holidays do you have per year?

Megmog2005 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:50:07

Never posted on MN before, but sulking is childish and she is not a child. Let her get on with it and stand your ground. Would you sulk if you wanted something you couldn't afford?

AllPastYears Thu 04-Oct-12 21:12:08

"Sulk"... hmmm

DH says I or the kids are sulking when he has said or done something to upset one of us and we don't really want to engage with him for a while. Of course, when he tells us we're "sulking" that really makes us want to be his best friend. hmm

So I'm not necessarily convinced by the description of OP's wife as "sulking". I think it's a patronising word.

olgaga Thu 04-Oct-12 21:25:24

I'm interested in how you budget. Do you both sit down together and discuss what you have coming in, look at receipts, look at what the money is being spent on and what expenditure you have coming up?

Do you understand what she spends money on? Is she extravagant, spending a lot of money on herself? On what you feel is unnecessary stuff? If so what, and how do you discuss it?

I doubt there is any justification for raising your dissatisfaction with you sex life during an argument about money - but you probably know that which is why you apologised.

Unfortunately, an apology can't "unsay" stuff like that. People are referring to her behaviour as "sulking" but maybe she's just had enough of constantly having to watch her expenditure even if she's not extravagant and just getting the bare minimum in. If there isn't enough money to meet normal expenditure, that's a lot of pressure when you have children.

mertin Thu 04-Oct-12 21:28:36

When I've had an argument with someone, where spiteful things had been said, I need a bit of space to think for a few days. I wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally or resolve it immediately.

Secondly, I identify with her a bit. I feel exhausted and miserable at times - working, kids, daily drudge. I dream of a holiday abroad. She might just have been dreaming out loud so to speak - holiday, time off, relax type of thing. I know deep down it's not going to happen, but my dh will at least discuss it with me - yes it would be nice, don't know how we could pay etc. But he'd entertain the idea (just to humour me) before allowing me to work out between us that no, it's not going to happen. If he said straight out - no are you ridiculous, we'd be bankrupt - i'd be upset. Call me childish - but I'd at least like it to be discussed.

Sex only when drunk - yes I can identify with that. It's called exhaustion and being depressed.

How to get back on track - give her some space. Apologise for spiteful things said. Text no more than once a day (otherwise she might feel hounded). Then maybe entertain the idea of how you could both save up for a nice holiday - even if it's a tenner a week and it takes two years.

Just my view. What do i know.

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 22:43:01

Was there a bit where he tried flowers but it didn't work ? It can come across as very condescending to a woman when it is thought that a bunch of roses will smooth things over, never works as an apology. Better out of the blue during good times for no other reason than romance and appreciation

avenueone Thu 04-Oct-12 22:58:23

It sounds like there is a lot to talk about money and sex being two of them.

If money is an ongoing issue, it sounds boring but why not sit down together do a spread sheet and see if a holiday is affordable and some point ever in the future.... that may be more sensitive than `no we can't afford it' flat out.

Sex wise...I can get the same and it is usually just because I am that exhausted with life when the alcohol lifts the fatigue I can manage it - you have taken that personally and quite rightly so has she when you have remarked on it -

If you want to make it better which it is great that you do....you will have to address the fact you have said these things - maybe when you go back over that you can say you were insensitive but had been thinking she had gone off you but now think you have been unfair and not considering her feelings..

I think that it is for me - you have your ideas of how things are and stated them without giving her chance to say how she was feeling - if she needs a holiday and the sex is a bit off - she sounds exhausted....and needs some love and care not being told off like a child, like someone else said.

Feckbox Thu 04-Oct-12 23:06:38

Your wife sounds unreasonable and childish

AllPastYears Fri 05-Oct-12 08:38:55

"When I've had an argument with someone, where spiteful things had been said, I need a bit of space to think for a few days. I wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally or resolve it immediately."

This. I find it really hard to forget unpleasant arguments, and especially nasty comments. Maybe OP's wife is the same.

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