Background: Throughout my 10-year marriage, my wife and I have done a lot of talking and arguing, arguing and talking. Rarely has it done any good. For the past few months, I've mostly avoided arguments by simply shutting the fuck up when they start. This has not always been easy, because my wife often says things that are objectively false, or completely ridiculous, or both, but I've done my best. Tried to focus on improving myself, etc.
"You Don't Care"
My wife's latest recurring theme is that I obviously don't care about her. A couple of days ago she sent me a snippy email about something I did that she claimed demonstrated to our peer group that I'm not special to her. I ignored this email.
She followed up with another email, apologizing for the previous one and saying that she's trying not to think about "our situation" and avoids bringing up her emotions because I'm obviously not interested in how things make her feel.
I didn't respond by email, but later that day, when we were alone together, I asked her, "What did you mean when you said 'our situation' you're trying not to think about?"
She thought for a minute and said, "Our situation is that you care more about getting what you want than you do about my feelings or this marriage."
Time to STFU?
As she said this, I knew that the conventional MRP wisdom would be to STFU or agree and amplify, fog, etc. But this time, I decided to communicate with her honestly. Total blue pill, right? Maybe.
I focused on being absolutely calm and at peace, then told her, "Before I say anything else, let me say this: I am not telling you to do anything; I am not asking you to do anything; I am not attempting to manipulate you into anything. I am simply stating what I believe."
"Honey, a marriage without sex is not a marriage. You have been withholding sex from me for most of our marriage."
"I do not withhold sex!"
"Having sex 3-4 times a month is not enough, and I think you know that. I honestly don't know where the women of your generation got this idea that denying sex to your husbands is okay. It's not okay. It's not biblical. If you asked your priest, he would not tell you it's okay. If you asked your mother, she would not tell you it's okay. The only belief system I know of that encourages wives to deny their husbands sex is this modern incarnation of feminism. But the goal of feminism is not happy marriages. If you want a happy marriage, withholding sex is a big mistake."
She was furious. "That just proves my point. All you care about is getting what you want. What about my needs? What about my feelings? Is sex all that matters to you?"
I stayed calm. "Sex is not the only thing that matters to me, but it is the only thing we do exclusively with each other. It is crucial to a happy marriage. So if you want to have a happier marriage, that's the first step."
"How is that going to make me happy?!?"
She just told me to get lost, that she'd never been so disappointed in anyone, and that I just proved her point yet again, that I'm selfish and only care about what I want. Off she stormed, wiping her eyes.
I Guess I Fucked Up
I went back to work. When I came home that evening, I was happy and friendly and flirty with her, goofy with the kids, etc. Got the kids to sleep and she went downstairs. I watched the World Series for a bit, then drifted off to sleep.
Some undetermined time later, I awakened to my wife jabbing her finger into my shoulder. "So, if you go to sleep before I do, is that withholding sex? Am I withholding sex now?" I'm not sure how angry she was, because it was dark and I was 95% asleep. I just said, "No," and rolled over.
Or Did I?
This morning, I got up early like always and went for my morning walk, then came home and showered. It was still dark when I quietly began getting dressed. My wife was still asleep, or so I thought.
"Hey, come over here," she said. I crawled in bed beside her. "No, come stand over here beside the bed."
??? So I did. My wife then gave me a wonderful blowjob. Seriously, it was awesome. My legs were shaking after I came in her mouth. I crawled into bed with her then, kissed her and told her how amazing that was and how much I loved her. I offered to return the favor and she said I could do that tonight.
Then she said, "I did that because I wanted to, not because I had to."
I smiled. "I know, sweetheart."
WTF Just Happened?
Right now I have a smile on my face and a pleasant tingle in my balls. I plan to shower my sweet wife with affection (and chores!) tonight after work.
Did I fuck up by not shutting up? I dunno. I doubt this is a watershed moment and there is still a long way to go. And generally speaking, I intend to STFU when I have the urge to argue.
But both of us are happier today than we were yesterday. And that's something.
Thoughts from the wise among us?