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Wife turns very dramatic at the drop of a hat. Advice?

Reddit View
April 9, 2017
7 upvotes

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.


Post Information
Title Wife turns very dramatic at the drop of a hat. Advice?
Author testing-testing-
Upvotes 7
Comments 12
Date 09 April 2017 01:02 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/206304
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/64aj3q/wife_turns_very_dramatic_at_the_drop_of_a_hat/
Similar Posts
Comments

[–]The_LitzRed Beret13 points14 points  (3 children) | Copy

I am going to be blunt with you. She is just humouring you and your dream of being a writer.

Untill you actually sell a script or get published it is all just BS in her mind. In her mind, you working on your book equals playing video games.

I am not saying she is right and you are wrong, far from it, I think it is cool to write a screenplay or a book. You are persuing a passion. It is just that she wants attention and wants to pull you from your frame. And it is easy for her, because you are sitting down the road in a coffee shop, with your phone next to you. If you were 50km away riding a mountain bike down a trail she wouldn't even bother trying to contact you.

You will have to work on being DGAF about her demands, and certainly, by answering her texts she pulled you from your work.

Her being pregnant is going to be a greater test for you going forward. Now would be a good time to switch off your phone when you are busy.

[–]redwall920 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Now would be a good time to switch off your phone when you are busy.

This. But for God's sake, please don't tell her you are doing this. Take it from me ... that conversation slip-up doesn't go over well. And that one slip-up gets brought up from time to time still. Just leave it in the car on silent if you must. Write. Do your work. But don't tell her "I'm turning my phone off when I go work." Eventually, when the IDGAF meter gets a bit higher, you'll be able to bring it with you and set it on the table on silent and just not be bothered to answer. But for now, just leave it in the car. Makes it a ton easier to IDGAF.

[–]The_LitzRed Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

She does sound like a drama queen, OP will have to really get his stuff together because she is going to shit test him like crazy because of her 'condition', so not answering her texts will be an epic battle of wills.

[–]redwall921 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I wholeheartedly agree. However, I believe that the main battle will take place inside the OP's own melon. Can he not answer a text? Can he get his task done (writing, work, or whatever) while his phone is buzzing in anger from her? That's what I found to be most problematic for me. So I turned my phone off and set it on the other side of my office. Got so much more done.

Sure .. I was always hoping for a text. Some nice, sweet, loving text. Anything really.. But that was just me looking to the wife for validation. And I found that my stomach churned when the phone buzzed, because I knew it was never going to be a good text with our relationship in the state it was/is in. I am finally to a point now where I can have my phone beside me on my desk, see a text, and simply not answer and have it not affect my day that much - no matter how cruel, angry, or whatever the text is. It's all mental inside my own damn head.

If you feel the need, set an alarm for every 2-3 hours and check for messages on the phone. I will say that the second day I turned my phone off the wife was in a minor fender bender with all the kids in the van. She wasn't happy that I didn't respond. I didn't even see the texts until about 3 hours later. So .. logistics do play a part. But she's strong enough to handle things on her own. You may not think she is, but she is.

As with so many other threads on this forum ... just figure out what you want to do and do it. Do you want to text with her while you are at work? Give the current state of the relationship, be honest with yourself, what sort of texts are you expecting? Boobs?

Come up with a plan to get your work done, and do it.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy

and curses me out. I reiterate my point

She disrespects you, and you invite her to keep arguing with and trashing you. You're rewarding her for treating you this way, so of course she continues to do it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I would ignore. Better yet, turn off your phone when you're writing.

[–]screechhaterRed Beret5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

Research shows a high level of advice to add some comfort and chill the fuck out Especially if Rambo has been your mode.

Read, lift, smile . Add comfort. Also,realize first trimester is truly tough on the SO

[–]BobbyPeru3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

You're not enforcing any boundary since you replied to her text.

You gave her a boundary to not text you before 3. If you just didn't respond to her text and maintained strong upbeat frame when you got home (not validating her BS) , you could have avoided this mess.

Instead you allowed her to break a boundary, and then you threw fuel on the fire. You need to work on your leadership and take responsibility.

It's all in the sidebar readings.

[–]freshona6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

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.

STFU. You said you'll write until 3pm. Then you decided to write to HER during that time.

Spot the fail?

[–]innominating2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Don't answer her texts. Or, better yet, leave the phone at home.

If you make the mistake you did, call her on her tantrum when you get home. Use a bit of amused mastery and ask if she got her feelings hurt because you didn't dedicate your entire day to her.

Hold frame. If she keeps acting out, you leave the house, and leave your phone. Come back two hours later, immediately take a shower and go about your day.

[–]drty_prRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

A boundary is only effective if you have a way to enforce it. It's all a matter of frame. Have you set a boundary on not disturbing you while you're writing? Or is the boundary that she isn't to break plans? I fail to see this.

The bigger problem is that you care too much. She knows that her antics are ridiculous in her hind brain. If you threat these minor transgressions as nothing more than the nothing they are, she always comes around. Not with a verbal apology, but one subcommunicated through body language. Not that you should care about an apology anyway. Funny thing is that once she realizes you're not going to humor such shit behavior, it usually disappears.

Less carez man.

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Huh.

Your first post. So no idea how long you have been at this.

So.....I've already put more effort into this reply then you have into MRP



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