Me, my wife, and my baby are staying at my in-laws in upstate NY. Normally we live in the city. I was still going in to work until last Friday (job is shutting down for a week and I’m taking vacation). Since my in-laws are >70 my wife asked if I would hop right in the shower when I get home. When I got home Friday I went right upstairs and into the shower. I come down and my wife, baby and in-laws are in the living room/kitchen area. In an accusatory tone my wife says, “where are have you been?” I look at her, STFU and take my daughter from her. She looks at me red-faced and repeats, “where have you been?” only this time with an upward inflection like she’s trying to be nice. I look at her and say you wanted me to shower when I got home, so I did. She gets mad at me, gets up and walks out of the room and calls me a piece of shit…in front of her parents and our baby. I don’t respond. I go upstairs and she follows me up. She throws/slams our baby’s chair on the floor and says, “You know, I don’t have to put with your shit.” I said nothing.
I said nothing for two reasons. One, I was absolutely floored. I literally said nothing and she lost it. The second reason I didn’t say anything is because of the STFU mantra.
This is the second time this week I’ve come home and my wife has come at me like a fucking cop. I forget what she said earlier last week, but I answered her question and then said, “it’s good to see you, too.” She gave me a look like I was out of line. It was a mistake to be sarcastic, but I was annoyed and didn’t know how to handle it. We didn’t talk for the rest of Friday night, but I socialized with her parents like it was all good.
The following morning, I wait until our daughter is napping and the in-laws are busy. I sit down next to my wife on the couch and tell I want to talk about last night. I repeat the way the situation unfolded and I repeat what I heard her say. I then tell, in a calm voice, that if she speaks that way to me again I’m leaving. She didn’t seem to care. I asked if she was sure. I was ready to leave and stay at my family’s house. She started talking about why she was mad. She brought up how I used to flip out in the past and curse at her, even how I’ve said “fuck you” to her before. I didn’t deny it, but I didn’t apologize. I just brought the conversation back to the fact that I don’t lose my shit and curse anymore. And since I’ve joined MRP, I haven’t. She listed other reasons she’s been angry with me, like I don’t talk to her that much anymore and I don’t talk about my job with her. She’s right. I’ve seen/read a lot about how stoicism = alphaness, so I stopped complaining. I don’t talk about work, because it’s fucking work and it generally makes want to bitch.
I tried to use negative inquiry, fogging, and the broken record technique to bring it back to what she said the night before. I told her that when she comes home she looks for things that are wrong, she grills me like the cops, and she doesn’t act like she’s happy to see me. She apologized and told she would try and be more pleasant at the end of the day. She straddled me after that and we talked about having sex. She ended up “not feeling well” later that night so sex didn’t happen.
So, is this a small victory? Did I manage to maintain Frame?