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sonicshaman

Leave my smothering/controlling wife?

74 posts in this topic

Clearly I can’t ask anyone to make life decisions for me, but I would appreciate hearing some of your perspectives on this situation before I make a decision that will affect the rest of my life.

My wife is 6 years older than me. I'm American, and she is not which makes having deep conversation almost impossible. She is 43 and I am 37. We’ve been married for almost 6 years now. Everything began well but she about 3 years ago she became very argumentative, controlling, and smothering. For the last 3 years I’ve basically been miserable a lot more than not. As I'm a NICE GUY, I'm sure I'm to blame for some of this.

To abbreviate the post, I will make a list of “PROS” and “CONS” of her actions to try and make it more clear if something is really wrong here. It sure feels like it, but she attempts to make me feel as if it’s all in my mind (which some of it could be).

PROS

1. She cooks and cleans religiously everyday.

2. She has the gift of gab and is a hustler which leads to business opportunities for us (as we work together).

3. She is from the Far East, which allows me to travel there and experience things that many people wish they could experience.

4. People back home seem to think that she is very pretty and that we are the picture image of the perfect couple so obviously I feel respected.

CONS

1. We are LITERALLY together 23-24 hour every single day. She gives me a hard time when I want to spend any amount of time away from her. She’s constantly smothering me saying these like “don’t die before me” and "I cant live without you”.

2. She argues and complains all the time, even when there is no logical or rational reason to even begin an argument. (She’s even learned to start arguments with me while I’m agreeing with her.)

3. She comes down on me hard for the smallest of imperfections (like missing a turn) constantly but if I criticize her, she goes off the deep end from 0 -100% immediately.

4. She’s usually either extremely smothering, or trying to bust my balls over some small detail most of the time. I get by from keeping her laughing as much as possible. Seems I only get a break when she’s working on the computer, but even then she wants me to solve all her problems (including googling topics) and make everything work for her.

5. When I go to another room to work on my art or to just get away, she constantly interrupts me which makes it impossible to concentrate.

6. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around her all the time. I try to just not say anything, but she will continuously ask me my opinion or just keep talking nonsense until I can't take it anymore and answer her, then she will argue with me.

7. She turns the most easy, non threatening discussions into high pressure situations.

8. She's wants kids but I'm not sure that i do. My answer to the question of wanting kids was "I don't want them right now". Her response was, "But this is my only chance before I'm too old. So she basically forced me into infertility treatment for fear of her wrath. Now I've been stuck in the Far East 5-6 months out of the last two years missing opportunities to further my career for this costly infertility treatment that I don't even really want. And I have to pretend I'm all on board.

9. The months I've been trapped have been spent at her parent's house. They are both mentally unstable. Her father is a domestic abuser and the mom is a habitual liar and manipulator. They fight all the time which she obviously has learned from them.

***Now we are 1 week away from the final stage of the infertility treatment (Reinserting the fertilized egg) and she's begun to question if I really want this. If I say no, she'll hate me forever so I feel like God's just gonna have this one out.

I know that she means well and truly does love me, but she's basically destroyed my joy and ambitious that were all important to me. I find myself craving my old life but I know that trying to leave her would be absolute hell.

It's depressing not having a clear way to access what I should do at this point.

I KNOW THAT NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT, BUT PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR COMMENTS TO HELP ME SEE THIS FROM THE OUTSIDE...PLEASE COMMENT...

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  1. This does not sound like a healthy relationship at all.
  2. The smothering. Have you broached her about this? I'm assuming you either have or did not try because of how she'd react based on all the other points you laid out.
  3. It sounds like the makings of a emotionally manipulative relationship with the way she deals with issues. 
  4. It doesn't help that she's raised in a household of mentally unstable people. She must be habituated into thinking this is normal.
  5. If you don't want kids, then GTFO NOW! Having children is a major undertaking and responsibility, not something just to do because everyone is or because only one party really wants to. 

As for the alternatives, yes it sounds like you'll be going through hell to leave her. However, are you not already there? You are essentially living for her instead of creating a life to live together. It'll only get worse when a child is in the picture and being how manipulative she sounds, she'll use the child as a weapon against you. Bringing a child into the world to be used as a weapon is even worse. Cut this vicious cycle where she is at and make her the last generation of mentally unstable individuals. You have a life to live and a life to rebuild. Best of luck.

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Maybe next time don't marry an ENTP. :p

Anyway... I think a lot of the argumentativeness is probably due to you two being together 24 hours a day.
Sounds like you're probably more visibly/verbally irritated than you realize as well, so this would lead to her being argumentative/defensive in return.
Getting out more (alone) would probably help a lot, even if you have to sit her down and be firm about it. It's not like you have much to lose by trying this, I mean, you're already writing out posts about divorcing her.

I don't think "don't die before me" is out of place for one spouse to say to another, but what do I know.
"I can't live without you," is a bit scary, though.

I think the major issue here is the kids bit. Everything else is probably mostly a byproduct of circumstances, if it only started 3 years ago... Meaning it can be dealt with and resolved, ideally. The having kids bit, not so much... You need to figure out if that's something you want, something you're willing to accept, or something you're not willing to accept. And then you need to figure out if having a kid with her  is something you want, something you're willing to accept, or something you're not willing to accept.

If the kid thing is now or never, figure that out first, since it'll effect you the most... If you can put it off, great, try to fix your relationship with her first and then see how you feel about the kid bit after that.

Also, I'd think long and hard about whether returning to your old life is practical, or easy, or possible... It's impossible to truly go back, and sometimes it's difficult to pretend. It might not make you happy anymore... You might end up going back to your old life, and find it unsatisfying after a few months. You might even regret ending your marriage. Proceed with caution... Like I said, it's impossible to truly go back.

Just my assorted thoughts on all of it. Good luck, man.

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Is there any reason that three years ago should could have possibly become insecure in your relationship?

I dont want to assume youve already tried to ask her for some physical space, so if you havent, maybe that would be a good option? 

Consider that the hormones from the treatments maybe pushing her over the edge. Hormones are a bitch, and many times women on birth control or on hormonal substances cannot control emotions and or seem very logical at times.

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Oh dear.

I'm not really going to comment on her behaviour because I don't think it's really within your power to change her. She is who she is and operates how she operates. 

The one whose behaviour you can really change is yours and I will be blunt - Take some goddamn personal responsibility for the state of your life. Your decisions have led you to this desperate, sad position and only your decisions will get you out. You need to refuse to be bullied or emotionally manipulated into signing your life away in misery. Stand  up to her. Be firm and be clear about what you need and what your intentions are, regardless of the blow back. It might sound cliche, but communication is key. It will be the only way for you to figure out if your issues are capable of being resolved.

It sounds like until recently you were happy to let her take the lead in your relationship but her leadership is now taking you places you're not sure you want to go. But if you don't stand up and speak out for yourself, you will also drag an innocent baby into this mess, and that will be on you. Because you do have the power to prevent what is happening; don't doubt that. Yes, it would be difficult given her nature, but sometimes you have to endure some pain to avoid bigger, longer lasting pain.

I mean, look what being silent/pliable has gotten you. Take another tack.

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Put your pros and cons on respective sides of the scale. One side is largely heavier in text... I didn't even read the whole post. 

Life is too short to be mediocre and miserable. I seen no "pro" mention of dearly loving her either. 

Edited by nazed

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1 hour ago, Underachiever said:

Maybe next time don't marry an ENTP. :p

I was going to say ESFJ

 

I would try to find out why things have gotten to the way they are. Sometimes it's outside factors that tend to drive certain actions and you only see the backlash but not the cause (that is what happened between me my soon to be Ex).

As for the kid, I would avoid being pressured into doing it and tell her how you feel. I felt the same way you did but I kept quiet, it made trying to fix my relationship with my Ex way harder than it would have been if we did not have any children when we tried.

As to what you can do, I am with SMB, stand up to her and let her know what you want/need and share your POV on the various matters. I also agree with Monte and say try counseling, it may not for everyone but it might help in your case, at the very least you can say you tried all options.

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3 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

Clearly I can’t ask anyone to make life decisions for me, but I would appreciate hearing some of your perspectives on this situation before I make a decision that will affect the rest of my life.

My wife is 6 years older than me. I'm American, and she is not which makes having deep conversation almost impossible. She is 43 and I am 37. We’ve been married for almost 6 years now. Everything began well but she about 3 years ago she became very argumentative, controlling, and smothering. For the last 3 years I’ve basically been miserable a lot more than not. As I'm a NICE GUY, I'm sure I'm to blame for some of this.

To abbreviate the post, I will make a list of “PROS” and “CONS” of her actions to try and make it more clear if something is really wrong here. It sure feels like it, but she attempts to make me feel as if it’s all in my mind (which some of it could be).

PROS

1. She cooks and cleans religiously everyday.

2. She has the gift of gab and is a hustler which leads to business opportunities for us (as we work together).

I stopped reading at the bolded, but will come back and read rest later. I wanted to say before I forgot...

If you decide to leave her, you two will probably no longer be working together.

Since the end result includes not working together after breaking up, is there any way that you can avoid breaking up and just try not working together, first?

 

In short: How do you feel about quitting working together?

Edited by Cak

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3 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

Everything began well but she about 3 years ago she became very argumentative, controlling, and smothering. For the last 3 years I’ve basically been miserable a lot more than not. As I'm a NICE GUY, I'm sure I'm to blame for some of this.

Self awareness is the first step to the solution! You have it most likely right here.

You might want to educate yourself a bit. Ignore the catchy title as the content is pretty spot on and very helpful while  respectful at the same time.

 

1 hour ago, Monte314 said:

Marriage counseling? 

Absolutely not!   As if that would have ever helped in cases like this.

Chances are that this would just add more emasculation against him on their marriage scale.

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Wait, you're about to try and have a baby with a woman you want to divorce. 

 

Holy guacamole. What are you thinking?

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For everyone on his ass about marriage counseling, "manning up", etc. 

  1. Flip the genders around.
  2. Would you give the same advice, such as "woman up", this is her fault for not standing her ground, and to continue staying in the relationship despite an overbearing and controlling husband?

 

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She sounds codependent.  Look to codependent children in abusive formative environments since the children are made responsible for their crazy parents, at a young age.

That said, look to what you've written in your opening post.  The lack of respect for and the utility perception of, your partner, point to serious issues on your side as well.

Split, especially prior to having children. The two of you would make shitty parents.  

 

 

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14 minutes ago, TheGhostAgent said:

For everyone on his ass about marriage counseling, "manning up", etc. 

  1. Flip the genders around.
  2. Would you give the same advice, such as "woman up", this is her fault for not standing her ground, and to continue staying in the relationship despite an overbearing and controlling husband?

 

As for number 2, those are three different things.

"Woman up"? Definitely. The catchword in reference to women is more like "empower yourself".

"Is it her fault for not standing her ground?" Fault isn't so much what I was getting at as much as responsibility, which operates not only in relation to the past but more importantly to the future. Fault is about what has gone before. Taking responsibility means making decisions to affect your present and future.

"Stay in the relationship"? Really not my call and I'm always wary of accepting at face value testimony from one side of a two-person relationship. People often, in describing these dynamics, tend to paint one sided pictures and the more one-sided it is the less I will consider it to represent the true picture. We haven't heard much about the OPs own faults or contributions to the breakdown of the relationship so I'm not about to just jump on the 'burn the spouse' bandwagon.

Maybe the relationship is salvageable. That's up to them.

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The baby is your out.  Say no.

start by practicing saying no over little things, she cooks, no thanks, I'll serve myself, no I'll make dinner, no I'll put my own laundry away, no I don't want water..

get in the habit of saying no.

 
 
...... added to this post 1 minute later:
 

Plus, your cons list is epic whereas your pros list is a post it.

you got this

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5 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

Clearly I can’t ask anyone to make life decisions for me, but I would appreciate hearing some of your perspectives on this situation before I make a decision that will affect the rest of my life.

My wife is 6 years older than me. I'm American, and she is not which makes having deep conversation almost impossible. She is 43 and I am 37. We’ve been married for almost 6 years now. Everything began well but she about 3 years ago she became very argumentative, controlling, and smothering. For the last 3 years I’ve basically been miserable a lot more than not. As I'm a NICE GUY, I'm sure I'm to blame for some of this.

To abbreviate the post, I will make a list of “PROS” and “CONS” of her actions to try and make it more clear if something is really wrong here. It sure feels like it, but she attempts to make me feel as if it’s all in my mind (which some of it could be).

PROS

1. She cooks and cleans religiously everyday.

2. She has the gift of gab and is a hustler which leads to business opportunities for us (as we work together).

3. She is from the Far East, which allows me to travel there and experience things that many people wish they could experience.

4. People back home seem to think that she is very pretty and that we are the picture image of the perfect couple so obviously I feel respected.

CONS

1. We are LITERALLY together 23-24 hour every single day. She gives me a hard time when I want to spend any amount of time away from her. She’s constantly smothering me saying these like “don’t die before me” and "I cant live without you”.

2. She argues and complains all the time, even when there is no logical or rational reason to even begin an argument. (She’s even learned to start arguments with me while I’m agreeing with her.)

3. She comes down on me hard for the smallest of imperfections (like missing a turn) constantly but if I criticize her, she goes off the deep end from 0 -100% immediately.

4. She’s usually either extremely smothering, or trying to bust my balls over some small detail most of the time. I get by from keeping her laughing as much as possible. Seems I only get a break when she’s working on the computer, but even then she wants me to solve all her problems (including googling topics) and make everything work for her.

5. When I go to another room to work on my art or to just get away, she constantly interrupts me which makes it impossible to concentrate.

6. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around her all the time. I try to just not say anything, but she will continuously ask me my opinion or just keep talking nonsense until I can't take it anymore and answer her, then she will argue with me.

7. She turns the most easy, non threatening discussions into high pressure situations.

8. She's wants kids but I'm not sure that i do. My answer to the question of wanting kids was "I don't want them right now". Her response was, "But this is my only chance before I'm too old. So she basically forced me into infertility treatment for fear of her wrath. Now I've been stuck in the Far East 5-6 months out of the last two years missing opportunities to further my career for this costly infertility treatment that I don't even really want. And I have to pretend I'm all on board.

9. The months I've been trapped have been spent at her parent's house. They are both mentally unstable. Her father is a domestic abuser and the mom is a habitual liar and manipulator. They fight all the time which she obviously has learned from them.

***Now we are 1 week away from the final stage of the infertility treatment (Reinserting the fertilized egg) and she's begun to question if I really want this. If I say no, she'll hate me forever so I feel like God's just gonna have this one out.

I know that she means well and truly does love me, but she's basically destroyed my joy and ambitious that were all important to me. I find myself craving my old life but I know that trying to leave her would be absolute hell.

It's depressing not having a clear way to access what I should do at this point.

I KNOW THAT NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT, BUT PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR COMMENTS TO HELP ME SEE THIS FROM THE OUTSIDE...PLEASE COMMENT...

I hate making judgment on one-sided stories, but if what you're telling us is correct, then there is no one to blame, but you. I mean why don't you set boundaries? You spend 24 hours together? Really? That's boring no matter how much you love each other. 

I suggest that you start setting clear boundaries. She will not like it at first. Your life will become a turmoil for a while. Stand your ground. The storm will pass and then you will have a normal life.

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I'd assume that to contemplate a divorce, one would need to consider the following process:

Problem -> [Communicate] -> Solution

If this is an impossible feat in the relationship, then it's probably safe to say that it's the best decision for the individual wishing to leave.

This would be to assume there are no kids involved.

and of course making assumptions would not be the best option in this situation (hence to importance of communication).

 

tl;dr Communicate your concerns first. Contemplate leaving later.

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 While I will agree no one can make your decision for you I will give you a bit of advice based on personal experience. I am just now coming out of a 19 year marriage with a very controlling individual that had love addiction and no matter what I did it wasn't enough. And so now we work out the minor details which are many and live with  The fallout of an entire life together with children and I can tell you it is extremely messy. We only get one time around in this body on this planet and if someone cannot allow you to be your authentic self and coexist with you then you are wasting your time and theirs by staying in a controlling situation. We all have a certain  amount of potential and things we are supposed to accomplish and the person that we picked to be our life partner should be someone that supports that goal and doesn't hinder us from doing the work that we're here to do. I don't regret staying as long as I did because I didn't want children and I enjoy that role very much but I do wish I had learned the markers of a controlling relationship long before I did because it was at the expense of missing opportunities in my life.

I am using voice to text so please forgive any grammatical errors thank youI am using voice to text so please forgive any grammatical errors thank you

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Been there, done that... finally gave up and walked away. She was 5 years my senior and couldn't decide if she wanted me to be her father or one of the kids. But apparently partner wasn't one of the options either. Having kids just complicated things.  Marriage counseling didn't work because she couldn't admit she had any faults. Everyone else was always to blame. No reason to fix someone that is too perfect to be broken, right? Well... I couldn't save her, I couldn't save us... I could only choose to save myself.

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5 hours ago, Cak said:

I stopped reading at the bolded, but will come back and read rest later. I wanted to say before I forgot...

If you decide to leave her, you two will probably no longer be working together.

Since the end result includes not working together after breaking up, is there any way that you can avoid breaking up and just try not working together, first?

 

In short: How do you feel about quitting working together?

We are self employed as entertainers together. We generate our own gigs and also teach lessons as over the internet. It wouldn't be like we would still be seeing each other at an office everyday or anything like that.

 
 
...... added to this post 45 minutes later:
 
7 hours ago, TheGhostAgent said:
  1. This does not sound like a healthy relationship at all.
  2. The smothering. Have you broached her about this? I'm assuming you either have or did not try because of how she'd react based on all the other points you laid out.
  3. It sounds like the makings of a emotionally manipulative relationship with the way she deals with issues. 
  4. It doesn't help that she's raised in a household of mentally unstable people. She must be habituated into thinking this is normal.
  5. If you don't want kids, then GTFO NOW! Having children is a major undertaking and responsibility, not something just to do because everyone is or because only one party really wants to. 

As for the alternatives, yes it sounds like you'll be going through hell to leave her. However, are you not already there? You are essentially living for her instead of creating a life to live together. It'll only get worse when a child is in the picture and being how manipulative she sounds, she'll use the child as a weapon against you. Bringing a child into the world to be used as a weapon is even worse. Cut this vicious cycle where she is at and make her the last generation of mentally unstable individuals. You have a life to live and a life to rebuild. Best of luck.

See this is not the classic case of a man "beat down" by a woman, at least not on the surface. Like Andy Dufresne in that movie "Shawshank Redemption", I'm actually fighting the good fight daily. I usually "fight" her off during these episodes. However after that, just she goes on throughout the day as if nothing ever happened. I may appear to do that, but on the inside I'm left completely unbalanced. The resentment of having to argue continually over nonsense eats away at me for the rest of the day.

 
 
 

 

Edited by Async
Remove part that was a response to a deleted post

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Run!!

Or when you get back to the U.S. tell Trump she's an illegal and have her deported.

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She doesn't sound that bad at all. She loves you, you don't feel the same. You've taken her for granted and don't want to even be in a relationship with her. What's more, she wants to start a family, and you don't want one -key word- WITH her, even being her husband.

Stop wasting her time. She deserves better than you.

Edited by scroses

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12 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

8. She's wants kids but I'm not sure that i do. My answer to the question of wanting kids was "I don't want them right now". Her response was, "But this is my only chance before I'm too old. So she basically forced me into infertility treatment for fear of her wrath. Now I've been stuck in the Far East 5-6 months out of the last two years missing opportunities to further my career for this costly infertility treatment that I don't even really want. And I have to pretend I'm all on board.

The time for this discussion was 7 years ago. Since that obviously didn't happen, get out now. Do not bring a child into this mess.

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20 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

As I'm a NICE GUY, I'm sure I'm to blame for some of this.

Excellent first step. Have you looked in detail at how you might have a part in some of this?

20 hours ago, sonicshaman said:

she constantly interrupts me I let someone constantly interrupt me.

I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around her all the time. I choose to not address problems directly.

until I can't take it anymore and answer her I choose to not address problems directly until my emotions override that.

And I have to pretend I'm all on board. I blame someone else for my dishonesty.

she's basically destroyed my joy and ambitious I give someone else control over how I feel. I don't understand that I am the person responsible for my feelings.

HELP ME SEE THIS FROM THE OUTSIDE...PLEASE COMMENT...

"FROM THE OUTSIDE":

In other words, she comes from a background that taught her problem behaviors, but you may have, too. Contrary to what you feel, you are not trapped by someone else, you have trapped yourself. This is an awareness that usually dawns gradually. You may not feel the above represents you.

Consider:

 

Counseling. (Can be done on one's own, too, as in books like Boundaries and reading up on things like adult attachment theory.)

Marriage counseling.

Communication.

Then see. 

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