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am i too sensitive?

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  • #115280
    slider
    Participant

    hello everyone. i am a 40-year old man. i would like some advice. i have been married for 9 years. initially, before we got married, my wife was my best friend, someone i could confide in. i could tell her anything. she was someone who accepted me the way i was. i have always been shy, quiet. people always mistook me for a gay man. when i was very young i was often mistaken for a girl. today, when i speak on the phone, people think they are talking to a woman. today, i do not talk to my wife. we have no intimacy whatsoever. the last time we were intimate was in january. i cannot get myself to open up to her. i have shut myself down completely. she is very explosive and critical. and these things shut me up. and i can’t get myself to open up. she is fed up. she gave me an ultimatum. i am to tell her if i want to remain with her or separate. i don’t know what to do actually. we have a 4-year old daughter. she is the only thing that has been keeping us together, i’m sure. i am confused. i once told her i wanted out but she was against it. so i stayed. but things haven’t changed between us. i don’t want to play the blame game. i am too tired. i know my faults. i know things would be different if i could stand up to her. but i always give in. it is difficult for me to express my feelings. most of the time i do not even know how i feel. i become sad at the slightest criticism. and when i am right, i become angry inside. and when i am able to muster up all my courage to stand up for myself, i feel good only for a while because she must always be right. when i am wrong, she criticizes me. when i am right, she starts to say that i am always right, that she is always the bad person. so i do not even feel like fighting because, one way or another, i always lose. and conflict affects me greatly, i do not feel like fighting over everything.

    #115284
    anita
    Participant

    Dear slider:

    I know of a retired army colonel (a neighbor) who survived an almost deadly attack by a buffalo like animal in Vietnam, who has been giving orders to men for many years, who is quiet and submissive to his wife going on fifty years. No matter how manly, strong, what military accomplishments a man has, when it comes to the woman in a man’s life, my goodness, men are sensitive. So to your question (title of your thread); no, you are not too sensitive.

    Criticism, especially what you describe as “very explosive and critical” is well.. very scary. I had a mother like that, very explosive and critical and I am still healing from it. The damage to me has been severe. Grown ups are most often still very sensitive to criticism. This is why so many people are people-pleasers, doing anything it takes to not be criticized.

    Clearly, your wife will achieve nothing good in the relationship her way. It simply doesn’t work. If I was you, I wouldn’t try to … be less sensitive, to desensitize myself. I don’t think it is possible. She needs to stop the abuse or you must separate from the source of abuse.

    No wonder the intimacy stopped- how can you possibly desire closeness with danger.

    I don’t know her complaints. I am sure she feels very justified and yes, I am sure you are imperfect. Problem is that she is busy pointing the finger of blame at you while her finger should be pointed at herself.

    Here is the ultimatum I suggest you give her, a co-ultimatum, maybe: unless she controls the expressions of her anger, unless she stops the abuse, you cannot and therefore will not attend to any effort to fix the relationship with her and separation is next.

    Really, there is no other way to progress.

    anita

    #115286
    slider
    Participant

    thanks anita,
    i too have a friend whose wife used to actually beat him. he is today with someone else and they get along very very well. my wife and i are going to have a talk today when she gets back from work. i am dreading the moment already, and i am taking sips of alcohol. i will probably drink when the time comes to talk to her because i really have no courage to speak my mind. it is something that is very hard for me. especially when i know i will hurt the other person. i want to separate, but then i keep thinking who will take care of her, how will she live. i worry a lot about her well-being. i don’t know if that means i love her. she complains that i only love her like a father, that i take care of her. but not as a husband. but i also do not see her as a wife. i see her as a bully. i told her once that i am afraid of her. i am a very weak person, i get depressed at any sign of criticism. i have been this way all my life. as far back as i can remember, i have been socially anxious. i remember peeing in my pants in class because i was too afraid to ask the teacher if i could go to the restroom. i have really suffered from this condition. things seemed to ease up later. i got married. everything seemed to be fine. but now it all seems to come back. when i have to defend myself and speak up, i can’t. i become mute. it kills me. she becomes angrier. i become more silent still. i kills me that i am like this. i end up hating myself.

    #115288
    anita
    Participant

    Dear slider:

    Too bad your wife, who knows your history, has no mercy for you. Does read like a bully.

    If I was you, I would pack my things and leave first chance you get when she is not home. Stay somewhere safe, away from her. What is the point of having another “talk” when a talk means exposing yourself to another bullying session.

    It doesn’t matter what her complaints are: as long as she bullies you, she is in the definite wrong and it is your job to protect yourself… not to take care of the bully, but to protect the one being bullied.

    If I was you, I would not do the talk today- a losing proposition for you. Tell her you are not feeling well and pack your things and leave when she is gone and you predict her to be gone long enough for you to move out.

    Once you move out, talk to her in the presence of a lawyer or a psychotherapist.

    anita

    #115291
    slider
    Participant

    the last time i decided to move out, she told me she would give me hell and that she would make it hard for me to see my daughter. she said the same thing again yesterday, so i feel like i am not being given the right to choose. it’s like choose hell or hell.

    #115293
    BenzRabbit
    Participant

    Dear Slider:

    You are a “HSP” (Highly Sensitive Person) and there is nothing wrong with being one – please read the book ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ by Dr. Elaine Aron.

    Re your marriage situation, please Do Not consume alcohol when dealing with the situation – alcohol fogs the mind and you will make wrong decisions or statements which will make the situation worse!

    Both, you and your wife, seem to be nice people that have shut down in their own ways out of frustration with each other!!

    Every marriage goes thru a tough period at some point and it is very difficult to find a good partner again. I would suggest trying to save the marriage by going to a marriage counselor – who knows, it could be that talking things out in the presence of an unbiased professional could begin the healing for both of you. If not, you would have at least tried to save the marriage.

    God bless and good luck!

    #115297
    slider
    Participant

    thanks benzrabbit (wut kinda name is dat, by the way? lol!!!). i am writing a long letter to her to tell her my truth. how i really feel. cuz i can’t face her. i know she will tell me i am less than a man for not facing her, but she knows i have trouble talking about my feelings. i’ve told her so time and time again. i am actually a bit high on alcohol right now, because even to write to her i am wanting for courage. it sucks.
    thanks for the tip. i am going to buy the book. i have known about highly sensitive people for a long time, but i never thought it applied to me. i took the test and actually unchecked the questions i was not so sure of and i still passed. i hate loud noise. i remember one day i was with my wife in the car and she was playing loud music, i said if she could turn it down because it bothered me and she said i was so gay. sometimes i wish i were gay, maybe my life would be easier. i actually admire gay people because they have the courage to go against the world and be themselves. maybe i need that. to be myself. only thing is i do not really know who i am. but then u suggested that i might be a highly sensitive person. it might fit. i have to investigate more in-depth to be sure. i don’t want a label or excuse, but i need to know why i am like this. my wife says it is all in my head. my doctor says it is all in my head. these are people i am supposed to trust. i feel they down play my situation.

    #115341
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Marriage ruins everything.

    #115344
    slider
    Participant

    i proposed to her to see a couples therapist. i also said i don’t want to be holding her back. that if she wants to be with someone else, fine. i love her but, if she wants to be free, fine. actually, she has a greater sex drive than myself. i am a man, and i want a connection before i have sex. that connection is lacking. she does not understand how i can go without for so long. i guess not all men are the same. they say men give love to have sex, and women give sex to have love. she once told me i fall in love with anyone who treats me well. she nailed it then. i guess she forgot. i want to start being honest, if we are to have a relationship at all. i want to stop lying to myself and to her. i am 40 now going on 41. i don’t want to spend the other half of my life like this. i love her, but love is not enough in a marriage. i know that now. i remember before i was married a coworker was talking with his wife on the phone, he was an elderly, he was like, ‘ok,, ok, ok’. when he ended, he banged the phone and told me, ‘never get married’. i laughed then but i keep remembering him now. he was such a nice guy. like me.

    #115370
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    ” men give love to have sex, and women give sex to have love ” – exactly what it is unfortunately people are too confused with the whole ‘marriage institution’ to the point where real love and passion is forgotten .. sex and fancy life is what most of the people are blind by. If two people truly love and care about each other they don’t need to get married in front of totally stranger and spending fortune for ceremony … My 1st day as a wife – waking up in the morning and seeing my freshly married mistake – sitting next to my bed and counting money …. wtf? It was NOT something I would wish to any woman in the world.

    Trust your guns 100% no matter what and even if something goes wrong – that’s life , let him/her go and stay friends – because remember – once the shared a life together … Once you wanted him/her to be happy with you. Divorces can be quite nasty in any way.. because people forget, and that’s why I am stuck. I know that my wont be the easy one. .

    And the phone guy: he will have it all back one day / hopefully not at the same time – imagine the pain ;p

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