supermarket love

In ALL, DATING & MATING by Stephanie Klein49 Comments

Upset, I once screamed to Phil, "We’re only ever happy in the grocery store!"  Because when we’re there, we can live our dreams, and our only limits are our imaginations.  Needs and wants can actually be met. Sometimes the "What do I want?" part is hard, but unlike life, you can leave, return things, or abandon them without remorse. Or you can toss it all into your cart, then skip down another aisle of wants.

It’s our greatest frustration, wanting to be heard, to know the other feels the way we do. He wants me to know how selfish I can be, how when I think first of myself, and not of "us" or of what he might like, it makes him feel like an idiot for thinking of me. I want him to know how scared I feel when he yells at me. I want him to know what it’s like to live with someone who expresses rage over not closing a bathroom door on the same level one might use if they’d discovered their spouse was cheating. But we have a hard time giving each other what we need, telling and actually hearing what it is the other is saying, taking it to heart and saying, "Even if you’re not right, even if you’re completely wrong, I’m going to give you what you need because it’s important to you." I think if we were both able to say this and mean it things would be easier.

They’re actually not even hard or strained right now. It’s why I’m able to get some height over it and figure out what I can do to be a better wife. Though the thing that kills me is, as much as he does (and he does plenty, and when I seem to act like I don’t realize all he does, he sends me lists of all he’s worked so hard to do) I don’t think he ever thinks, "what can I do to be a better husband for her?" He constantly strives to make my life easier, to worry about the things I hate having to think about. He argues with insurance people and interviews people, talks to the press for me. He handles things. I need and value all of that. And if he didn’t do those things, he tells me, "they wouldn’t get done." And I think, they wouldn’t get done your way. And I’d also throw up my hands, bitch about it the whole time, and hate it. But what I really want is for him not to yell or be sarcastic and to not have to strive so hard to make a point. I don’t want him to negotiate with me.And I don’t want any more lectures or lessons.

I need to know how best to react when he lashes out. To let him know it’s not okay, that it’s not setting a good example for our children. What can you do in that situation? Leave? Walk out on your family? I’m not doing that. Say,"I won’t speak to you when you talk to me like that?" Then spend days in silence? I don’t want to live like that.

So I asked if it would be okay if I read him this post when he walked into the bedroom. He says sure, unsure about what I’m going to read. I thought it could be a window into a conversation, that he’d see I was really thinking of things, that I wanted to know what he thought worked and what didn’t. But apparently my timing was off.

"I can’t believe you just blindsided me with this. How selfish can you be? I’ve been working all day, and the three hours I get where I don’t have to do anything and I can just watch some stupid TV, you come to me with this? Don’t lie to me and say you want to be a better wife. All you want to do is force me to think like you do. How selfish are you to even bring this up right now? There are so many untruths in what you just said."

"Okay, do you want to talk about it tomorrow then?"
"See what you just did?" he says more than he asks. "You just brushed it away. I just told you how I feel, and you just ignored it."
"No, I didn’t. I was respecting what you just said, listening to what you just said and doing something about it."
"No, you were sweeping my feelings under the rug. You have no idea how mean you are to me all the time."
"What?"
"Listen to how selfish you are!" He screams.

And I wish we were in a grocery store, where voices couldn’t be raised without scenes. Where everyone is happy. Where we can feed each other samples. Food fixes things, even when it can’t.

Comments

  1. I've been sitting here trying to figure out the best way to express how I got through to the "Phil" in my life. It took playing his game a little. Start the conversation on night by saying "Honey, sometime in the next week can we please talk. I don't want to bombard you but somethings have been on my mind." And if your Phil is like mine he may even make you wait… and that sucks for women who just like to get it out. But eventually the talk will happen and he can't have excuses. You were thoughtful, you weren't selfish. So after a few times of that he learned to listen.

    Just an idea. HUG! I am sorry you're feeling pooy.

  2. Oh my. I really hope you are going to couples counseling. Things like this do not just get better on their own. You cannot change each other and spending a lifetime beating ones head against a wall is not a life worth living.
    I hope you two can get past this, for the kids. But children would rather come from a broken family than live in one.

  3. I know you have presented us with a slice of a moment of one day in your life, and that by no way does it represent the whole of you and him and your marriage… but…

    … do you ever just laugh with your husband? Not that that will cure everything, but you don't talk about laughter and love. Just curious.

  4. Wow. You have no idea how relieved I feel to find out I'm not the only one who escapes to the grocery store. It's how I've gained so much weight in this particularly tumultuous relationship, in fact- after every fight, we seem to wind up at the grocery store, where we can pretend we're the perfect couple.

    Sorry you and Phil aren't getting along. I know you'll work it out. :-)

  5. I hear ya. I'm like you. I can't bear shouting. When someone shouts at me, I actually get a physical response. It makes me feel sick, and I just shut down and want to go and hide somewhere. I live with a shouter. Seriously, he will have a complete temper tantrum for the smallest of things. He knows it upsets me. The worst arguments are those had when we're driving, because we're stuck in such a small place, together, with no way out. I wonder how many years we've got to be together before a) I can teach the child inside me that I don't need to get scared, because he would never hurt me no matter how much he shouts or b) he learns to handle his emotions in a different way?

  6. My first thought after reading piece and seeing headline: What do you do when the supermarket doesn't provide an escape for either of you and you can't even fake being the "happy couple" there? I think a lot of couples have "supermarkets." Ours just happens to be manhattan subways where we stand close together, almost snuggling up to each other and holding hands, trying to shut out the drone of issues waiting for us back at home.

  7. I can totally sympathize with you. People handle different situations differently. My boyfriend is the screamer and like the other comments above, it scares me and I end up whimpering away. Lots of times it just makes me cry. I dont know what it is, an instant reaction.

    One time I suggested if he gets upset at something to just go yell in the bathroom untill he gets it all out of his system. At first it didnt go over well. But eventually he agreed to try it. And you know what, it worked. After a good scream and rant, he was much more willing to talk. And his bathroom screaming time has diminshed. He soon realized how silly he was in the bathroom screaming and I realized that I dont always need to be the passive one.

    A good relationship is compromise which means neither one gets their way but you manage to find an "our" way which works.

    Good luck!

  8. Counseling. Just give it a try, with or without him. I applaud your effort last night. I see how you managed the situation and I like it. The response on the other hand was to be expected up to this point. Really think hard about the couples or individual counseling. It took a few blow ups and I marched my Phil to therapy, I learned my lesson from marriage #1 and it doesn't need repeating. The fact that he agreed with out a ounce of fight showed me his immense love for me and my family and that spoke volumes over the harsh tones, yelling and other difficult behaviours. With much love and understanding.

  9. Not that you're looking for advice, but I think counseling might help but even more importantly, I think a clinical mental health eval to examine Phil's anger would be very beneficial. My husband was almost exactly as you describe Phil, very loving and good husband but would express anger and rage in a way that was completely disproportional to the situation. He went to a professional psych evaluation and tried a low dose of anti-depressants with great results. It didn't change his personality but took the edge off of his anger and as result his response to something that's frustrating is expressed without yelling/screaming and/or punching a wall. People say you need to learn to "control your emotions" which I don't buy – some people are predisposed to rage, anger, depression etc. and to ask them to control that would be like asking them to control asthma or diabetes by "handling it better" without drugs. It's just not possible. Good luck.

  10. I know this might sound high and mighty, but if my husband ever spoke to me that way, I'd let him have it. Maybe you're not giving yourself enough credit. You're a mom to two kids, a great wife who tries to make her husband happy, as well as a busy writer – and dsepite all that pressure and stress, you try to keep things open. Then when you try to have an honest talk, he lashes out. Even when our timing is bad – a reaction like his seems harsh and controlling.

    I think you need to set boundaries when he speaks to you that way. it's obvious that its hurtful to you, and he's crossing a boundary. Even if it means silence and anger for a few days, in the end you will have drawn a line in the sand and except respect and civility from the person who's supposed to be on your side.

  11. I know this might sound high and mighty, but if my husband ever spoke to me that way, I'd let him have it. Maybe you're not giving yourself enough credit. You're a mom to two kids, a great wife who tries to make her husband happy, as well as a busy writer – and dsepite all that pressure and stress, you try to keep things open. Then when you try to have an honest talk, he lashes out. Even when our timing is bad – a reaction like his seems harsh and controlling.

    I think you need to set boundaries when he speaks to you that way. it's obvious that its hurtful to you, and he's crossing a boundary. Even if it means silence and anger for a few days, in the end you will have drawn a line in the sand and except respect and civility from the person who's supposed to be on your side.

  12. Oh Stephanie – I hope that this is not a "day in the life" scenario and that it is several isolated incidents you are posting about.
    I'm not on the "divorce Phil" bandwagon b/c I think that regardless of how honestly you post, we are only treated to a slice of your life. The yelling though, bothers me immensely. I'm not sure where in the above converstaion you were being selfish; nor do I think that bathrooms doors left open are worth yelling about. It's a little scary.
    I think you had the right idea a few posts ago when you talked about couples counseling. It seems like it might be a good thing for you both. You had a tough transition year – moving to a new city where you have no family and obviously the birth of the beans. Either one of those experiences is stressful (and twins are tiwce as stressful. So combined with the move, and the pre-mature birht and let us not forget about the book – you've got a lot going on – as does Phil.
    So I hope that you learn to work through it together and quickly. The yelling though needs to stop – it's counterproductive and not good for your children. It's not good for you either.
    Good luck to both of you.

  13. I hope you two can find common ground. I was the withholder. I would store things up and brew about it and then take it out on him at some random point. He was critical mass. Everything was fine until some button was pushed and he went nuclear. We have had to be very deliberate and methodical and often uncomfortable in learning to reconcile. We had to set ground rules. No walking away. No raised voices. No name calling. No flipping the argument (I would approach him with something that was upsetting me and he would flip out and get all pissed off and try to make it my fault). We would treat our argument as if we were coworkers with opposing views in a group meeting at work. We had to be civil and respectful. We occassionally revert, but work to get back to the neutral space. We often use that most basic formula of "When you do X, it makes me feel Y." Try to tackle only one issue at a time. Now we try to touch base regularly and it is often with a simple "how are you doing?" Ultimately we are asking how the other person is emotionally. Are we in a good place? Is one person drained and needs the other person to pick up some slack for a day. Is something making us crazy? Finding a method for communicating can be hard, but when you and Phil find it you'll be amazed at the strength of your relationship.

  14. Yes, Kari, that does sound high and mighty.

    Look, I am not a SK defender or a Phil defender, for that matter.

    I like the idea of telling him to go into the bathroom and scream.

    I think that a lot of men hold in their emotions in the background and focus on doing stuff, whether its breadwinning, chores, making their wives happy, or refraining from saying how annoying whatever you just did to the point where they point. Healthy? Okay? No. But, even the most perfect wives among us can misread our husbands' emotions, just as they misread ours.

  15. After reading how you and Phil interact, I chalked it up to him just being an alpha male. But now I wonder if perhaps you two didn't have drastically different upbringings? What kind of home did he have growing up – is this just normal for him?
    Couples all have rough spots but I agree with you that children do not need to see yelling. It not only creates immediate environmental stress but deep psychological issues down the road. Your heart (and head) is in the right place thinking of this.

  16. I'm not going to jump in and say "OMG you need counseling" or anything like that. It sounds like a fairly common disagreement.

    I've been married 10 years. We argue, we fight, we're unfair to each other. We've done counseling and it helped immensely, but that doesn't stop the unfair moments, the moments when all you want from your spouse is quiet loving and support and they are unable to give you that because they need something, too. Sometimes we both need something from the other that isn't possible to give at that time.

    Give him room. Come back at another time and say "I really want to further discuss what you said the other day" and see what happens. He's a good man, you've said so yourself. But even good men have bad moments and as far as bad moments go, this is hardly a blip.

  17. You know, my husband doesn't have a 9-5 office job. And sometimes, though I'd never admit it aloud, I get angry at him for it. Take it out on him because something didn't get done and I don't feel like he's doing his share. This is absolute Bullsh*t of course because he puts in WAAAY more hours than I do. And he works all the time. He just has the luxury of being able to work where he wants to work. And deep down, I think I'm jealous. Even though I know I don't have the discipline to do it myself. Maybe Phil feels a little like this sometime…dunno…just thinking.

    I've also been accused of making everything 'about me'. And I can't see this. I just can't. No matter how diplomatic I try to be, sometimes we never get past him growling and doing the coutndown on his hand (5,4,3,2,etc) because he says I keep going on and on and on. It's not about 'me', it's about 'us'….but he always seems to find 'us' very dramatic…at least when it's coming from me. And I find that annoying, and hence the vicious cycle.

    And I hate that. How do you work things out if you don't talk about it. Alot. I don't know. What I do know is I talk waaay too much. And he doesn't talk near enough. There has to be a balance somewhere that makes everything right.

    If you find it let me know.

  18. You know, my husband doesn't have a 9-5 office job. And sometimes, though I'd never admit it aloud, I get angry at him for it. Take it out on him because something didn't get done and I don't feel like he's doing his share. This is absolute Bullsh*t of course because he puts in WAAAY more hours than I do. And he works all the time. He just has the luxury of being able to work where he wants to work. And deep down, I think I'm jealous. Even though I know I don't have the discipline to do it myself. Maybe Phil feels a little like this sometime…dunno…just thinking.

    I've also been accused of making everything 'about me'. And I can't see this. I just can't. No matter how diplomatic I try to be, sometimes we never get past him growling and doing the coutndown on his hand (5,4,3,2,etc) because he says I keep going on and on and on. It's not about 'me', it's about 'us'….but he always seems to find 'us' very dramatic…at least when it's coming from me. And I find that annoying, and hence the vicious cycle.

    And I hate that. How do you work things out if you don't talk about it. Alot. I don't know. What I do know is I talk waaay too much. And he doesn't talk near enough. There has to be a balance somewhere that makes everything right.

    If you find it let me know.

  19. Imago therapy. That is what we use. We were about to divorce, things were shit for a longgggg time. I was the yeller, he would walk away. Then, we tried counseling. Our therapist is great. Things are 1000 times better. We are new parents, and the counseling has made us not only better couple, but has helped us out as individuails. Yet, the part that helps the most: learngin that in marriage (and life in general) nothing and nobody is perfect. For the most part, at our age, we won't/can't change. Its not so much about change as compromise and communication. Really. If not for the two of you, then for the kids. Yet, I will say…its on-going. Not to be silly, but relationships really are like plants. They need constant watering, love, care, and sunlight. Ignore them, and they wilt and die.

  20. My husband has anger management issues too. He also has alot of communication problems. (I like to talk, talk, talk about things. He is on the other end of the spectrum.)

    Funny thing, when he shouted a name so deplorable to me and in front of my children, because I asked him if he wanted the vegetables left over in his chinese food! – I did the thing a therapist would never recommend: I refused to talk to him for three months. But it made a statement. And I was unwavering. My stance said "no way. unacceptable. i have had it with you and your outbursts for the foreseeable future. not being talked to or treated that way in this lifetime from anyone and especially not from you-my supposed partner in this life on earth"

    For him, this action – complete silence for three months – spoke louder than words. It made a forever impression. I finally broke the silence with a long heart felt email of all things explaining how I felt about his temper and his behavior. About how unacceptable it was and how I wouldn't tolerate it – (He needs things in writing to process over time – he reads and rereads these types of communicative gestures – and then eventually he gets it. Most of the time.)

    So that was a couple of years ago. So far so good.

    Like I said, most would disagree with this method – but then you don't live with my particular brand of husband.

  21. Normally I feel like I have nothing in common with you. But today, sadly, I feel a kinship with you that I did not think was possible.
    This ain't gonna get better. He has the spoiled child syndrome where throwing tantrums is the only way he can figure out to express himself. Phil will never change because he does not think he does anything wrong. He is a 40 year old man with a 40 year old job, a 40 year old mortgage and 40 year old responsibilties and a 3 year old mentality.
    10 years later, I am living the same life that I was living 2 years into the marriage, just like you are.

  22. Every time you post a story like this one I cringe.

    It's obvious that this doesn't represent the entirety of your marriage – just a moment in time – but whenever a "bad Phil" story goes up you seem to be surprised that people react so strongly, or that they react at all. I'm sorry, but today I am one of those people.

    I don't know you and I have no idea what your marriage is like on a day to day basis but there are so many red flags in what you choose to share: the anger, the condescension, the COMPLETELY different approaches to dealing with conflict not to mention the way that Phil always seems to need the last word and always seems to think that he is the ultimate authority on doing the "right" thing.

    These are not the components of a happy and healthy marriage.

    I'm going to preface this next comment with an acknowledgement that – yes – this is YOUR blog and I don't know you or Phil or anything about what your life together is really like. That being said…you seem to be really invested in the fairy tale immortalized in just about every chick flick ever made. You seem to manage your life around these elements of fantasy and to construct elaborate tableaus that allow you to act out the way your life would be if it was a movie.

    That can be fun every once in a while but I would ask you – are you actually happy in the moment?

    Either you and Phil will work it out or you won't. This is your life and you have some very personal choices to make. All I can say is this – it's hard to keep even the healthiest of marriages together when the going gets rough. If you've hit those rough patches this early on it's not going to get any easier.

  23. I like Cindy's solution. It shows you how stupid blowing up is. I realize blowing up can be justified, but not all the time.

  24. It seems that he always uses selfish to describe you. Is he confusing selfishness with just being aware of your own life, introspective, fully conscious of life and its impact? I think you really need him to explain his obsession with calling you selfish all. the. time.

  25. We have a no yelling rule in our house, period. None. It traumatizes the kids, it is abusive, horrible, and what you describe here makes my skin crawl. For Phil to say "You are selfish" instead of "I think you are acting selfishly" or even better, not even using the word selfish at all — I just can't even imagine. For your sake, for your kids sake, I hope he seeks therapy. You seem to be just fine. All the selfish acts in the world do not compare to the blistering tone this guy takes with you. He should shape up, or you should get the hell out of there.

  26. He lashes out at you in a rage and screams IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN?!?!? Apart from slapping you in front of them, I can't think of a worse thing to do in front of your kids. None of the good stuff he does can lessen how bad that is. In fact, behavior like that negates the good stuff. If my husband gives me great presents, but also happens to beat me, I'm not going to be all, "He's such a generous guy."

    That being said, doesn't posting this AND HIS REACTION TO IT just escalate the problem? In his shoes, I would have difficulty not seeing your posting that exchange as a direct attempt to get people to criticize him and/or take your side.

  27. i don't see how phil could think that you're acting "selfish" by trying to help your relationship by having a conversation that you feel would help your marriage/relationship?..oh, because he was watching t.v.? puh-leazze! he sounds mighty defensive a lot of the time..just by the words he chooses to use towards you. which is very unhealthy for a relationship.
    granted, we may not know the whole story..

  28. In 10 years, my husband has never spoken to me even remotely in the manner that you recount here. I would never stand for it, nor should you.

  29. And I agree with Carolina…the best thing to do is to not get emotional when he yells…that just feeds into it. Go somewhere else. Remove yourself from the situation. Eventhough your reaction is negative, it is still a reaction and something that will make the person acting out continue to act out. Just like a child having a tantrum.

  30. He shuts you up. He gets defensive so he shuts you up. He doesn't want to hear your side. That's unfair and disrespectful. And I know because I'm in the same kind of relationship.

    In the long run, it won't work.

  31. After I read these "angry Phil" posts, I'm simply exhausted. Being married to a screamer (as I once was) really saps one's energy.

  32. I completely understand what you are saying. My boyfriend of 4 years is a screamer; he learned it from his now divorced parents. He also knows just what to say and when to say it. I HATE screaming, yelling, and the like and while I used to cry my eyes out during a fight, I now try to suck it up, and calmly explain my point (sometimes it works… and sometimes it doesn't).

    Luckily the grocery store, or Whole Foods in Columbus Circle are my happy places, and not his… so I stroll and try to clear my head and get myself back to calm.

    In order to preserve your sanity you may want to go to your happy place alone… just for a little, and then revisit the scene of the crime. Take the beans with you and make it an outing, but definitely do something little for yourself.

  33. I come from a yelling family, the only time anything can ever get addressed is at the screaming. It's a hard thing to change. At any perceived attack, one may raise their voice. It's difficult to notice, and even more challenging to change.

    It's evident that behavior like that makes you uncomfortable… But the only thing more frustrating to a yeller is to speak calmly to them, to not scream back. This will create a tension like no other. You probably don't feel comfortable yelling. I don't know how to escape the cycle. A third party is a good idea.

  34. Yikes. Sounds like you're feeling a bit blind-sided and frustrated (and hurt) yourself, which I can totally appreciate. I'm sorry to hear it. Relationships can be so hard. I totally get where you're coming from and why you needed to talk about it. There's something to be said for timing and approach. I'm not sure how receptive I would've been to this post being read to me….I think I'd rather hear it as a personal question/concern from you – ie. "hey honey, can I check in with you on something i've been thinking about (which gives him the opportunity to suggest another time) – and then own your own role in things and say you'd like you both to work on things… and tell him how the anger makes you feel and ask what the anger is about for him." Otherwise, I might feel picked on. Still, if he's getting that angry about a bathroom door or you bringing this up, that's not yours. Nor is his trying to make your life easier, then feeling resentful that you don't do the same. I think he needs to think about why he does all that stuff, too. And calling you selfish does nothing to get him what he wants…he needs to be able to express that to you, too. Anyway, I'm rambling. Hope your day gets better and you two work through this

  35. For some reason I don't think Mrs. Klein posted this for us to comment on her marriage or what you would do. Marriage is marriage and every situation is different. Just respect that and move on.

  36. Is he the type that never apologizes/initiates a reconciliation? Just curious because this feels familiar. With my husband, I always have to be the one to go to him. It makes me feel manipulated. It also makes me never voice my annoyances to him because I'd rather just suck it up than risk turning it into an argument… which I will inevitably have to be the one to resolve and wind up apologizing for, winding up pissed at myself for not standing up for my own feelings. Then I think, am I just making this worse – if I never complain he might just think he's perfect. I feel like I'd rather be happy and over it and he'd just rather be right, even if it means 2 days of horrible lonely silence.

  37. I know you have presented us with a slice of a moment of one day in your life, and that by no way does it represent the whole of you and him and your marriage… but…

    … do you ever just laugh with your husband? Not that that will cure everything, but you don't talk about laughter and love. Just curious.

    I`m with you, Nana. My husband and I are married six years (togehter for eight)and we have two wonderful children. And we have very different tempers. He loves harmony, I`m the chaotic one. But sometimes we just have to look at each other to laugh our asses off. Like you said, not that it will cure everything, but it makes things so much easier. A good (and nearly the same) sense of humor, to share some interests and the capability to say sorry – this is very important for a good relationship in my opinion.

  38. Tina said: but do you want to spend the next fifty years living with this kind of tension?

    More importantly, do you want your children to grow up surrounded by this kind of tension and be exposed to hurtful screaming? You must set limits. Insist, without tears, that you won't stand for this kind of behavior, because as long as you accept it, it will continue. Get thee to a counsellor, either alone or together, but go.

  39. I think part of the problem here is that the word "selfish" seems to be thrown around so much as to have lost all meaning. It's easy to say "that's so selfish" without being specific, and then the other person has no idea how to fix what they're doing.

  40. I am not getting that Phil's rage happens all the time. Does it? The best way to remedy it is to take a time out from him and his screaming..when he has calmed down then sit and discuss it. It might be hard to do but you must let him know that you will not tolerate his rage. This is manageable. I don't think that you have to go to counseling for this. But you will only know for sure. Also, I have to say that maybe deep down there is a part of Phil that wishes this information not be shared with everyone. Maybe you might have to sensor a bit when it comes to writing about him and your marriage. Believe me I wouldn't want you to..but if that is a compromise on your end then it might be worth exploring.
    Also, as a side, i just skimmed an article in Entertainment weekly about what the Next SITC show will be..was wondering how the SUAD pilot is coming along. I think it is already going to be a winner. Love your writing..wish you had a better night. XOXO

  41. Uh oh. I hope you two are not going to have another crapass Valentines!

    Did you ever check out the books "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs" that I've recommended in the past?

    Have you started counseling? You posted that you were looking…

    FROM SK: Very hard to do this without a babysitter or nanny to watch the kids, so we could even go.

  42. So, interesting. Sounds a little manipulative to me. You're trying to talk about the relationship, and he's calling you selfish. That kind of behavior is called "crazy making." As in, it's abusive.

    On another note, the Gottman book above is VERY good. He's this guy that runs these marriage seminars, which I went to once with my ex (not that the seminar didn't work, but we were too far gone by the time we got there. Gottman calls it "mentally divorced"). One of the best things he does is teach you HOW to fight. One of his points is that it's impossible to communicate when you're flooded with emotion; so you have to take a break and not talk when you're insanely angry.

  43. Maybe you didn't pick the best moment to ask him and might need to pick a better time to bring up problems in the relationship. It is possible that he had had a busy day and was looking forward to relaxing and it wasn't the best time. The problem is the way he says these things is not so nice – in fact selfish, because at that time he puts himself first over how it makes you feel and assumes he knows your intentions without giving you the benefit of the doubt. If he yelled at me for not closing a door I would say something like – just listen to yourself now, I didn't close a door and you are yelling at the top of your lungs. But somehow I get the impression he would not admit to being in the wrong very easily. Maybe you do need to go to counselling. Not because the relationship is on the rocks but more so it provides an appropriate time to discuss the things that are bothering you and maybe you would both learn a lot.

  44. It seems very wrong for a marriage to be this troubled after so short a time. Yes, you have children together, but do you want to spend the next fifty years living with this kind of tension?

  45. I think Phil needs to be more selfish. If he wants to volunteer to be Mr. Taking One for the Team – he needs to do it sincerely. Otherwise, he's just angry because he works double so you can work half comfortably – or whatever his rationale is. Until he takes more for himself and feels like he has the same fair chance at selfishness as you do, then he'll hold it against you.

    Screaming about doors is actually screaming about everything up until the door. No one is actually mad about a door – they are mad about everything you do like that door and how all of those things make you more selfish/lazy/whatever. Perhaps it isn't counseling that you need – but instead, a healthy diagram of what each of you thinks you're entitled to and how much you think you need to do in a day to have those things. I think you'll see you both have different views.

    And it's why you aren't seeing eye-to-eye.

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