Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Let me out of the cage

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Question
Hi,

Don't know if I'm doing the right thing here or not but have reached the point where I need some independent input from someone and having read your profile I thought you may be able to help.

I am a 43yr old husband, step dad and more recently father to my daughter of just over 3 months. I got married in September last year to my wife who I am very much in love with and totally devoted to. She is very much my world and so to are my step son and my daughter.

So why am I on here? Well to not elaborate to much I keep on feeling caged up by wife. She doesn't mean to and I'm sure it has something to do with past experiences but I just don't seem to be able to get a break or help her to understand that I sometimes need to be the man she fell in love with and have some time for me. I have to sneak around to get things done that I would like to or book time off and not mention till the very last minute that I have taken it. More recently I am due to help some friends out over a weekend which will mean that I am away from home for 3 days which has resulted in the biggest row ever. Any DIY or project I undertake is timed to the last second - I go over and there is a big row again.

On the flip side I do my bit, help prepare a meal, look after baby by getting up and feeding, changing etc. Do laundry when I can and help clean up - all this on top of a full time job. My wife does her bit too I know that - she is stuck with baby all day while doing her part time cleaning job with her friend. Looking after the house and the rest of us - it's no easy task and she does it without complaint. Even my step son does his bit - it takes some asking but we get there :)

So why when I do my bit and be a proper husband, step dad and dad do I not get to be let of the lead just a little. If I was continually doing it and never doing my bit in the relationship I could understand but I feel that is not the case here. I have tried talking but I just get what feels like beaten down into submission making me feel miserable and resentful. At worst it brings out pent up frustration in the form of stupid accusations though never violence against her.

I really need to find some way to help her understand that she is killing my soul. She has done so much for me and still does with no agenda and is totally selfless and I am so grateful to her and love her so very much - I guess this is why it hurts more that she doesn't get that I need to also breathe.

It's so difficult so I hope you can offer me some advice.

Answer
Martin,
I am not so sure that it’s a problem with your wife, but more with how you perceive her. I would sit down with her and explain exactly how you are feeling, as I am sure she has no idea of how deep it is affecting you. You also mention that your wife has issues; but that may not be the case.  What you need and how your wife sees your needs are somewhat “off track” this said, she must also feel something is not right if you argue about such things as you mentioned in your letter. One thing you both must realise is that you are not a “mind reader”, either is she.  This will be, I think the cause of the basic lack of communication; and that only need you both to “talk” to each other. Finally, I would perhaps show her this reply, and indeed your letter, it could help her understand the whole situation you now I find yourself in.
Best of luck,
Graham

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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Graham Smith B.PHIL

Expertise

I can help with any question on marriage, based on my 32 years of marriage. I also have two children, and one granddaughter,and one step grandaughter.

Experience

32years of marriage.

Education/Credentials
I have a bachelor of Philosophy from the Liverpool university (UK)

Awards and Honors
bachelor of Philosophy

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