My wife and I normally have a great marriage. We complement each other well and we have a lot of fun together. We have the same values and goals in life. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the woman I married.
But sometimes she drives me crazy! When we have a conflict about something, or sometimes before there is even a conflict, she will convince herself of something that is totally not based in reality in order to get her way. Basically, she goes into perfect denial mode. Whatever she wants to become true, she makes true and then argues from that perspective.
Here’s what happened last night:
(before I get into this, you should know that sex is usually not something we fight over. We have a very healthy and active sex life.)
All night last night I was saying it had been a while since we made love and I was really looking forward to spending some alone-time in the bedroom with her. She agreed and seemed anxious to hop into the sack with me too. Some of the specific things I said throughout the night were, “well we better go do it a.s.a.p.” after she told me her period was starting soon. And “well, I guess we we had better go practice if we’re going to make a baby one of these days.”
So 10:00pm rolls around and she starts pulling out all these curtains she bought and showing me. When I expressed concern that it was late, and we still needed to “snuggle”, she said, “Don’t worry, hun, we can stay up late after this. I just want you to see the stuff I bought.” So I held up different curtains to the wall for about a half-hour and was perfectly happy to do so.
Then we go up to bed. She lights a candle. I dim the other lights down low. She slides into bed. I put my arm around her and giver her a little nuzzle. Then it happens… CLICK… I can see it happen in her eyes. Reality has shifted. Suddenly she says, “Now I should tell you I’m way too tired to do a lot with you tonight.” I was rather surprised, to say the least. But I actually handled it well, considering… I said, “Well, can we at least cuddle and take each others’ clothes off?” Her reply: “No, I know what you’ll do–you always try to tempt me to do more. I don’t have any energy for that.” At this point her body went stiff as a board.
So of course I said, “Well what has been going on all night? We’ve both been saying we wanted to do this all night long.” Here comes the denial… her reply, “Oh, I never thought you meant SEX. At no time did I get the idea you wanted to have SEX. I just thought you meant cuddling.”
How am I supposed to respond to this? I went through all the conversations we had had that night with her and she kept saying, “You never specifically said SEX.”
Eventually, she admitted to me that in order to avoid “disappointing” me, she convinced HERSELF that there had been a miscommunication even though there had been none. What makes this impossible to handle is that she is SUCCESSFUL at convincing herself of an alternate reality. It took an hour and a half of hurt feelings and discussion before she admitted this.
And its not like its just one thing at a time. Her realities are constantly shifting throughout the conflict to suit whatever points she wants to make. I spend most of my time in the conflict talking about things that NEVER happened. For example, at one point during the discussion, she said, “Well I just wanted to ease into it gradually. If you hadn’t given all these demands and expectations, we would be cuddling naked right now and probably moving on to do more.” (of course, I never gave any demands or expectations, I put my arm around her and nuzzled her neck. And then when I suggested we cuddle naked, she refused.)
How am I supposed to respond to this??? I’m constantly arguing about what did and did not happen, and every time I shoot down one of her false accusations, she just does a reality shift and claims some other bizarre thing with no basis in reality.
OK, now I should say I am not a complete idiot when it comes to women. I realize that for her it is not about what actually HAPPENED it is about what she is feeling. The problem is that the way she chooses to communicate her feelings is by twisting past events to justify those feelings and then tell me that she feels this way because <insert stuff that never happened here>. What am I supposed to say to that?