Unfortunately, my wife either does not share this view of how to foster a relationship, or simply does not care. She is constantly looking for ways to belittle me, emotionally tear me down, or simply criticize every little thing I say or do.
Just a short while ago, I thought I heard Karen calling my name and asking for help with something. I immediately set aside what I was doing (reviewing a hospital bill and determining the best way to contact them on Monday to resolve an issue with a third party insurer) and went to go give assistance.
Karen was cleaning the kitchen, and asking Delaney to assist her in reconfiguring the kitchen table so that the extender was folded away under the table, and the width of the table would be at its narrow setting. I jumped in to lend a hand.
Afterwards, I took it upon myself (with no one having asked, and they shouldn't have too either) to sweep the floors and begin mopping. It has been a while since the floors were both swept and mopped. Several spots, where the kids have dropped soda or candy, had sticky places where I needed to get down on my hands and knees to scrub or scrape. As I was mopping, Karen took the opportunity to use the situation to tear me down. For what reason, I have absolutley no idea.
Instead of a simple, thank you, or even any mention to show appreciation that I was cleaning the floors, her only action was to show her contempt for me and to make me feel a fool for even bothering to jump in and be doing any part of the cleaning.
Karen: Do you know how to mop? Have you ever mopped a floor before? You're going to need water to rinse the mop, and the sink is full. So don't even bother.
Me: I can either rinse it in the shower, or get a bucket of hot water. And... Yes, I know how to mop a floor, and I have mopped a floor many times.
Karen: I mean, have you ever mopped a floor outside of when you were in the Army?
Me: (feeling very insulted at her comments) Yes, I've mopped many floors over my lifetime.
Karen: Hmmm. I don't know. In the 15 years we've lived here, I on't think I can remember you ever mopping a floor.
Me: Then your memory is a little off, I've mopped this floor many times over the years we have lived here.
She then decided to spend the next 5 minutes watching me, and criticizing how I was mopping, where I was mopping. Telling me to not break "her" mop, when the head popped off.
Why does she constantly have to be such a BITCH?
I honestly cannot think of a single time in recent years where my wife has taken an opportunity to try to lift me up, or praise me for anything. It is always about finding ways to tear me down, or to make me feel unwanted or insignificant to her.
Some days, I honestly don't know how much longer I can take it, or why I stay in this marriage.
I love her so much, but I hate being emotionally neglected and abused all the time.
Even in the moments when she tries to show any kind of tenderness or love, it is only a short while later before the next verbal smack hits me right in the face. It's like living with an abusive lover that beats you, then tries to smooth things over with a hug or kiss, or some trinket so that you won't come to your senses and flee the abusive relationship.
And that's just the emotional and verbal assault part of it. I don't even want to go into the whole issue of intimacy and her gatekeeping.
It's to the point that I have no feeling of self worth anymore. I have no drive or incentive to try to be anything more than who, or what, I am at the very moment. Why should I? The only person that I truly care about how she sees me in this world, treats me like I'm a mongrel mutt feeding off her dropped scraps under the kitchen table.