Background: 46, 3 kids, married 16 years, red pilled 18 months, DL 4-6, 5x5 SL: Bench 160 OHP 90, BS 275, DL 305. Readings – Pretty much everything recommended, the sidebar, and some other things. Most recent: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
TLDR: I picked a fight with my wife, it got very ugly, but I think she’s looking for something from me. How do I stop feeling like a victim and be the oak?
A few days ago I picked a fight with my wife. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to fight with her for a while. The subject was a social media post about a birthday present she bought for another guy (AG). I’ve long suspected that something more than pure “friendship” existed between AG and her. This situation is what drove me to Red Pill in the first place and has been the subject of several fights between us in the past. I didn’t bring this up immediately upon learning of it because she was going through an unrelated personal trauma and the timing was bad. But it had been eating away at me and I wanted to make sure we talked about it. From my perspective and experience, she didn’t tell me about the birthday present because she knew I would be mad or at least it would have made for an uncomfortable conversation. So her logic is to hide it from me. I suspect she has been hiding A LOT from me over the past few years. This is the reason I find it a red flag. It’s the tip of a much larger iceberg.
Our “talk” turned into a pretty big fight reminiscent of the ones we had in the days before my Red Pill awareness. We haven’t really fought at all since I became Red Pilled although I never was able to entirely let go of the anger around the situation.
Some observations: We are terrible at fighting each other. I bring up the past and say hurtful things. She goes into full histrionics and uses her tears and abject victimhood as a way of manipulating me. She knows if she slapped me or swore at me or threw something at me that I would think it was funny. When she makes me feel like the bad guy, I’m much more likely to cave in.
What have I done right? – 1) I think I’m willing to recognize her manipulation and not fall for it completely. I never DEERed, I haven’t acted scared or uncertain around her. 2) I’ve continued with my schedule including gym and time with friends. 3) We had this ridiculous episode where we were both in the house and texting each other about the fight. My texting game has improved 1000% since becoming Red Pilled. She would send scrolling texts to me that smacked of hurt, manipulation, maximalist interpretations of what I said etc. I think I did a good job staying out of her game and keeping it somewhat light. She was trying to corner me into DEERing and I avoided it. 4) She and I often sit on the sofa and drink coffee in the morning before our day starts. The day after the fight she came and sat next to me on the sofa as usual. We didn’t speak, but I maintained focus and breathing and tried to use a generally calm body language. I held her hand for a little while. Not great, but not bad.
What have I done wrong? – 1) Victim mentality. When I think about the fight, I keep thinking about how I was “right”. This is small, shitty, victim thinking. The universe gives no fucks about “right”. The fight was lost because I lost my cool. 2) The episode on the sofa (above) was, I think, good. But it can’t end there, obviously. She wants more from me and I don’t know how to get myself in the proper mindset to give it.
My questions – The bottom line is that I’m stuck in a cycle of victimhood. I’m focused on the ways that I was “wronged” and how I was “right” to say some of the hurtful things that I did. As if gravity cares about right or wrong when you fall off of a building. I think she’s looking for something more from me, but I’m not in the proper mindset to give it. I’m not mad, but I’m also not setting my mind toward a vision for us or how we can move forward together – or apart. So when we’re silent together, that presence isn’t underlain with anything profound or inspiring to her. How do I get in the proper mindset to move forward? What I’m looking for is perspective or perhaps something from the sidebar or other readings that this reminds you of.