Wife and I had a big nuclear event about 12 days ago. It has been building for a long time.
Thursday before Easter she was ranting and being disrespectful. I reached a limit and declared I was totally done with the situation, lets proceed with the divorce. She says OK, but wants me to go on a pre planned family vacation after Easter weekend. I said that I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her any more. She begs, "for the sake of the kids". I grabbed a copy of "First Kill All the Marriage Counsellors" and told her the only way I'd go is if she read it cover to cover and implemented the respect aspect for the trip.
She complains and shit tests. I stand my ground. She reads a few chapters and declares it to be misogynistic crap, etc. I tell her to keep reading or I'm not going. A day and more shit tests pass(ed), etc. More complaining. I keep telling her to keep reading or I'm not going. And she reluctantly does, even bookmarking pages and taking notes by the end.
Meanwhile I'm in full on divorce mode. I'm calling properties for rent, drafting up an asset division list and a timetable for sharing the kids. No more fucking around, lets do this. All the while maintaining calm in the home so the children enjoy a "normal" Easter. Thankfully they were oblivious to the whole thing.
On Easter Sunday night she completed the book, apologized and said she doesn't want a divorce. I wasn't ready to go there. I agreed to a 6 month truce on the divorce issue.
I moved back into the bedroom. We've had good sex several times. She hasn't once turned me down.
Several times she has shit tested about things that are wrong with the book. I either STFU and let her hamster or I give her an example from our relationship or someone we know that demonstrates how the book is right. No DEERing, I'm giving her a lesson on how to be a good wife and what I need to see to be happy.
One time she says that the book is written for narcissistic men who want to control their wives. I tell her that the author is a woman, the book is written for women, the book was on the NY Times best seller list, men don't read relationship books and that narcissistic men don't stay in troubled relationships. That shut her up !
Meanwhile we had a very good family vacation last week. She was very respectful and went beyond what I asked and implemented several of the behaviours outlined in the book. I can't remember the last time I heard so many "thank yous" and little displays of appreciation for doing things. And she clearly asks me how I'd like to see her do things.
Last night she started up on a few of her favourite shit test topics about finances, retirement planning, etc. I addressed everything she brought up factually and directly and kept her from going emotional on the topic. At one point she broke down and stated that she just wants to feel more appreciation from me. I didn't see that coming. I comforted her and stated that was something that I could do for her - comfort test passed.
She said she felt close to me when we went to bed together. She just called me on her lunch break and told me how much she liked our discussion last night and how close she felt to me. She used to do this regularly when our relationship was young.
I have a lot to learn and we aren't out of the woods yet, but at least I now have her attention.
For a long time I tried to figure out how to prod my wife into improving. How could I give her a lesson without trying to tell her what to do. Stuff like that would have no credibility coming from me. It turns out that "First Kill All the Marriage Counsellors" is a very good way to do this. There is no doubt that the nuclear event was a big part of this, but having her read FKALtMCs gave her a blueprint for what things needed to look like going forward.
Here is an RP review of the book: https://www.reddit.com/r/marriedredpill/comments/3sk7y7/book_review_first_kill_all_the_marriage/
I recommend it be added to the sidebar reading material.
Edit: I think it is misfortunate that the author, Laura Doyle has a similar previous book entitled "The Surrendered Wife". The title of that book was an off put for my wife. Laura apparently has a new version of the book entitled "The Empowered Wife". I haven't read it.