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Please help me to save my marriage

  • Posted by Moderator: Biju Mathew, News Editor
  • Published 14:55 October 8, 2012

I can't bear my wife's anger

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous asks: I request you to please help me sort out my problem.

I have been recently married to a girl with whom I have been in love. She is deeply in love with me and I love her too, but she keeps fuming about small mistakes.

I am unable to argue or explain my point to her because her anger crosses the limit by then.

I have been trying to stay calm but then, if I say a word that becomes a big issue.

My wife had been through a lot of stress for a long time in her life because of her family. She seeks love and care, which she claims I am unable to give.

I have been trying my best to put each and every patch in its place, but I feel I am always guilty.

She complains that I am unable to give her time and speak to her politely.

I work in shifts. I am stressed out most of the time. I can't bear my wife's anger.

I request you to help me sort out my problem. I want to give my wife all the happiness. But, when she complains I react to her complains with mild aggressiveness.

My wife feels that I have no love in me for her and that is because I don't show much of it.

I would like to remain anonymous and request you to help me. I desperately need your help in saving my relationship and I feel that the worst part is my act in it.

Carey Kirk (Program Coordinator for the Raymee Grief Center and a licensed counselor with The LightHouse Arabia, Dubai) replies While there is a lot I do not know about your situation, the fact that you are reaching out for help indicates that you genuinely care about your wife and that you are invested in finding a way to improve your relationship. Caring about your partner and having a desire to see things change for the better is a very important first step in any marital work.

What is clear to me is that both your wife and yourself are under a lot of stress from work, family, and each other and that you both are having a lot of difficulty communicating with each other. Your wife's anger may be caused by many things, the specifics of which I cannot properly identify without more information.

What I do know is that anger - in general - can occur when a person holds a set of expectations about a situation (realistic or not) that are not met, when they feel an important goal they have is being blocked, or when their feelings of sadness are too painful or difficult to express. Could it be that your wife held expectations about what your married life would look like and is finding the reality different to what she had imagined? Is she going through some personal problems that she doesn't know how to communicate to you?

I appreciate your willingness to explore the role you are playing in this problem, but I will caution you against taking all the blame in an effort to ease the situation. This stance will not stop the situation from occurring again and, no matter how much you love your wife, it will eventually cause you to feel resentment towards her. This build up of resentment will make it harder to communicate effectively with each other.

I suggest trying to approach your wife and - without blame - express to her how you are feeling about this problem.

  • Use I-Statements such as "I feel really concerned about our relationship because we seem to argue all the time." This will set a non-judgmental tone for the conversation.
  • Avoid using statements that begin with "I feel that" or "I think that" as these express a judgement or opinion and can make people defensive.
  • Have this conversation when you and your wife are feeling less stressed and when things are calm between you. This way, both of you will be able to think more clearly.

I am not sure what you mean when you say that you react to your wife with "mild aggressiveness".

In order to establish open communication, it is very important for both partners to remain as respectful as possible to each other when talking. I recommend making a ground rule that if either person begins to feel overwhelmed or act aggressive during a discussion, they will take a 5-10 minute break to calm themselves down and then return to the conversation.

Some of your wife’s anger and your frustration about the situation of your relationship may come from not having established your identity as a married couple. To do this, you need to ask each other questions such as:

  • What does being married mean to you? 
  • What roles will each person play in the relationship? 
  • Who makes decisions in the relationship (you, your wife, or both of you together)?

It may be that you and your wife have very different answers to these questions.

Establishing an identity as a couple also means learning how to fulfill each other’s needs. You mention that your wife claims she does not receive the love and care from you that she is seeking.  Do you know what she is looking for?  You stated that you don't show much of your love to your wife.

How would you show her your love if you did? We all have different ways in which we express and interpret love. Maybe you tell your wife that you love her but she feels that actions speak louder than words and feels most loved when you hug her, do something thoughtful for her, or give her your undivided attention. Alternatively, you may do things for her to express your love when all she really wants is to hear you say “I love you.” It is important for you and your wife to identify what makes you feel loved and communicate this to each other.

If you are unable to have this type of conversation (or any other) with your wife without it escalating into a fight, I recommend seeking marital counseling from a licensed counselor or psychologist who has experience working with couples.

Write with your concerns to inmind@gulfnews.com and selected questions will be answered by a panel of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists. Your contributions will be modified for length and appropriateness, and will be open to other Gulf News readers to comment and suggest solutions. Let us know if you would like GulfNews.com to withhold your name from your letter should it be published.

Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.

Comments (32)

  1. Added 14:56 October 22, 2012

    Haha...sorry my friend, really very sorry what you are going through. But you are not alone in this boat, there are so many other men like you including me. Everything will become our mistake All the fault is in us, not them? For their mistake we should forgive & forget having big heart We should be always polite to them while they take all their anger on us. ITS NEVER 50-50.....It took time but I have learnt this formula & today what I am showing my wife and behaving is the way she wants?? From my point of view, its one kind of love-less marriage I am living, but atleast she is happy.

    Alwin, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:15 October 22, 2012

    Hi Friends, This is exactly my problem exactly 100% same my case. My wife cant control anger, when starts quarreling she becomes violent and start throwing everything what is around her in me even knifes and hammer sometimes.She says I dont love her , but honestly i do her much much love. When calm she is the best wife i believe but anger makes her evil she lose what she is when anger. I m very very upset of this problems. Any body help me with good tips for anger management.Please help. I dont want to hurt her or even stay away for even single day.

    Happy, SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:03 October 9, 2012

    Hi, If you have a problem speaking to your wife or if she is the sort of person who does not want to listen to you,then you could simply write a letter expressing your concern & problems. Tell her how you feel, how much you love her and care for her. Just don't end up writing letters to each other to express your feelings. You must always talk about it. As you mentioned earlier, she has been through a lot of stress because of her family, so she expects you to be with her always, talk to her and spend time with her. This is because she loves you and she feels good being around you. But when you don't respond the same way,it troubles her. Its a good thing you still love her and want to save this relationship as most of the couples nowadays don't think the same. You can tell her how much it hurts you when she gets angry over small things and how much it hurts to see her get angry. Whenever she has a problem, ask her to share it with you without getting angry. And don't stop yourself from expressing your love to your wife. She is your wife afterall. Give her a hug,tell her how much you missed her during the day, etc..Such things will make her feel she's important to you. Give her a call whenever your free at work and have a small chat. Things will be fine..just hang on..shes not going anywhere..:)

    Rej, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 17:01 October 9, 2012

    I think we should listen view point of other side (his wife) also before giving any suggestion. So dear please ask you wife to comment on this issue too, so we will get clear picture.

    Riz, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:35 October 9, 2012

    I want to suggest this to all maried couples that please while you are at home , keep your phone, tablet, laptops and T.V. remote out of your reach as much as possible. As a wife I really feel ignored and get frustrate when hubby use his phone etc ... during conversations. InshAllah all your problems will solve soon :)

    S.P, AUH, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:30 October 9, 2012

    Maybe your wife is The Hulk. No wait. Thats my wife!

    Mubashir Anwar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:29 October 9, 2012

    You and your wife are not in the same page. You are on both STRESS. Is your wife behavior the same before you tie the knot? If not, then the problem must be in you. You mentioned that you react to her complaints with mild aggressiveness, then this must be the triggering factor of her angry behavior. Let her voice out the complaints and do all the chatting while you zipped your mouth and listen to her. Do not answer her back even just a mild aggressiveness. When the anger subside and she's in the good mood then confront her with love and affection. There is a missing link between your marriage life; the effective communication as husband and wife. You said you really love here but you don't show much of it, then how do you do it? Women loves being apprehended for their accomplishment. When you got home notice something that your wife did it for you and your home; and you must learn to value and appreciate it. You are stressed at work? then do not bring at home. When you are at home you are the husband and she is the wife. The four corners of your home must be the sanctuary of love as a couple. You guys really need a break.

    Anonymo, AUH, Pakistan

  8. Added 15:09 October 9, 2012

    sorry to hear about your trouble, brother. i guess the statement in the answer ' when a person holds a set of expectations about a situation (realistic or not) that are not met, when they feel an important goal they have is being blocked,' is the key. sit down and discuss the expectations each of you have and try to find a way to accommodate these expectations in your relationship. most importantly as everyone has said here you need to spend time with each other. relationships do not become good or bad on their own. we have a very big hand in making them whatever they are. so spend time and talk to each other on a daily basis. your relationship is not a weekend or 'when you get time' kind of thing. its THE thing so treat it like that. may Allah make things easy for you guys and for anyone else going through trouble.aameen

    sanober, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 14:51 October 9, 2012

    Hello Brother, First of all, leave this stress all the man having same problem. don't worry . Here all the comments written speak with your wife. They forget problem is speak only. if husband speaking wife does't want to (hear) listen. it is natural god made like that only. But I proud ladies are caring so much. work , family, children, home work, cook, etc., so we have to respect her. I give you good idea whenever she is speaking don't argue her or don't speak just you keep quit. weekly ones bring or take her to shop buy gold , dress , or any gift etc., YOUR PROBLEM WILL FINISH. I promise you the same day night you will BE having contact with her. Then next day speak with her whatever you want. you know one thing argue is good for family life.

    sjhm, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:25 October 9, 2012

    It is important to realise who is at fault first. Initially the first spouse would not react but as time passes and the irritating behaviour of the other spouse keeps repeating then the first may loose control or patience and start arguing. This happens a lot. Many people claim they are sensitive to and understand other peoples' emotions and feelings but they fail at their own homes. Giving the spouse confidence & Real Confidence, alone or in front of others may help reduce several issues that linger in a married life. Someone suggested to ignore wife, sit , she will come on track. That's a sad approach, sorry to disappoint you. It will only distance you from her sensitive feelings and more sadly if you are at fault. Communiction is the key. But there are spouses who do not have even patience to listen or talk. Things go over their heads. So patience and understanding are the basic keys for communication. Secondly, expectations like mountains (unreal and excessive) also disturb the balance even if there is a decent and loving relationship between the spouses. However, mutual respect, love and sacrifices (possible within one's limits) are not unreal expectations.

    kn, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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