Often I'll set a boundary with my wife and she'll be (nominally) okay with it. Then when I go to enforce that boundary, she basically flips out on me and completely withdraws for what seems like a way overblown length of time, relative to the "crime" she (I think?) considers me to have committed. (The crime is always just one of actually enforcing boundaries I explicitly laid out and she said she was okay with, so I always feel in the right.)
For example, today, after eating breakfast and fixing an armoire we just bought, I said I would go write until 3pm, then spend time with her and our dog and go out on the town later in the evening with her, with an explicit plan to go to a restaurant and show. (I'm finishing a screenplay which I've been working on for a few years and hope to sell and/or use as an "in" into the film industry as an additional source of income for us.) She said okay, and went to yoga. Then at 1:15, I'm writing in a coffee shop, and she texts me to come meet her and I say I'm writing. She turns it to a 10 (she always does), and curses me out. I reiterate my point, and she tells me to not bother coming home, etc. -- goes on a big dramatic series of texts which I don't engage with. When I come home at 3 she won't talk to me, packs a lunch, and heads out the door. I worked on household projects all afternoon. She came back at 5 and still hasn't spoken to me.
She has a real temper, and this kind of thing happens 1-3 times a week, with cool-off periods lasting from 4 hours to a day. It doesn't bother me too much, personally. I'm even-headed and silent treatment time is more time to focus on my own projects, or to fix something around the house. But this pattern hasn't improved as I've improved myself and I'm pretty sure by this point that I'm doing something wrong in these situations. I thought that by just setting reasonable boundaries, and by focusing on improving myself and our station in life while trying to keep the romance and excitement up in our relationship, that she would eventually come around to understanding that I focus on myself first as a way to improve my family, and be okay with it so long as I was obviously working hard in everything I do and towards a goal we can both enjoy the fruits of.
Part of it I'm sure is that she doesn't see writing as a legitimate activity; but I do and know I can be successful at it given what I know of the industry (worked in film for 2 years, am currently an engineer who makes very good money but I don't enjoy the work very much). I don't intend to be a writer full-time, but I love it and can definitely see myself making an extra 40-50k a year off it within the next 3-5 years if I just work at it consistently.
Also, she is 6 weeks pregnant now. This pattern has been consistent throughout our relationship, though. It's gotten maybe a little more intense since she's been pregnant but it's basically the same old story.
Anyway what should I do? How should I go about setting these boundaries differently, if at all? How should I respond to silent treatment differently, if at all? How should I behave once she's cooled off and come back to talking?
Thanks a lot.