Need to vent about my marriage

STFU dude.

She needs her own private counseling. She will never be able to explore why she has these outbursts if she thinks you might hear about it some day in a session or otherwise. She needs a therapist to help her explore where it’s coming from, and to figure out how to stop it. If the reason ever comes out to you, it needs to come from her not from mutual couples counseling.

Yes, I did. I didn’t see anything about the cook attacking, just some unjustified and unproductive snarking. Nor did I see any support for the cook, just the OP and the boys getting into a pissing contest. What’s the point in praising the meal to the high heavens if you then promote an environment so hostile that no-one eats?

No-one exactly shone with a blinding light here, but I have some sympathy for someone who tried to put together a nice meal, got a pointless and unproductive dinner table fight in response, and took it out on the nearest adult rather than the kids. Send the kids off to finish their homework and let everyone else eat in peace.

Then you need to read the OP again. He praised her profusely for serving a great meal, boxing the ears of the kids who didn’t appreciate it. For his troubles he got accused of not being supportive enough.

Aren’t you the guy who starts thread after thread relating to your lack of success in relationships?

Solution: eat the kids.

You are a genius, Green Bean!

I’m not sure what to say that could help. I hope things get better for you and your family.

My wife and I used to have several such incidents where she would ignore the kids behavior and go after me.

Yes, bottom line, for her, its easier to go after YOU than the kids. Heck your easy because she knows she can always control you with sex. Plus she wants YOU to be the meanie of the family to the kids. My wife basically wanted me to be a timid husband like her father had been. Her mother had him totally under her thumb because he just wasn’t very assertive and wouldn’t tell her “no”. Ever. Not until he decided to divorce her.

What I did was I stood my ground and wouldn’t allow her to push me around. She was also realizing she had no control of the kids and needed me to back her up. My wife needed to #1. stop blaming me for problems with the kids and #2 grow a backbone and discipline the kids herself. Also I got her mother to back me so she slowly changed her ways and now we work together much better as a team on parenting issues.

Sounds to me that “praising the meal to the high heavens” ***is ***a way of “support for the cook,” no?

A modest proposal.

Wow. Wrong in every possible way.

Had a long talk, she has apologized profusely. She says she did not mean to attack me at all, she was trying to express that the boys were lacking a grateful attitude and she has no idea why it came out that way. She said just chalk it up to a “dumb comment”. She knows this is an ongoing issue and we are working on it. Thanks for letting me vent!

I did explore this a bit and heard something interesting. She expressed how when she was a kid, she remembered that when her Grandparents would visit, no matter how crazy the kids were or how little was prepared, her Grandpa would always make a point of thanking her mother for the meal.

I think this kind of stuff gets in the way of our relationship quite often. She has these idealized memories of her childhood and she has expectations that we are going to duplicate her memories. So when things are a little off, she goes back to those memories and tries to find what is missing perhaps? The whole thing is weird because it happened near the beginning of the meal. Do I thank her after each bite? Still not sure about that.

But I think the real key is dropping the expectations of everything matching up with her best memories of her childhood family.

Whatever weirdo things happened in the past, you can’t go wrong with expressing gratitude in the present, frequently and vigorously.

Just 2 days ago I thought my marriage was done. Then I offered my wife some very effective advice on a work-related issue that she was struggling with, and now she thinks I hung the moon.

Patch it up with the wife. Stop being stubborn and listen to her. If you don’t have her then who else do you have?

Huh? Stop being stubborn? We did patch things up. I have no idea what you’re responding to.

Did you forget that I did actually thank her? Sequence of events: She serves me food, I THANKED her, kids complain, I deal with kids and praise the food, she attacks me for not thanking her.

Anyway, we are moving on, just keeping an eye on the pattern of behavior. (and I apologized for reacting harshly also – it was an emotional moment, and of course I could have handled it in a cooler, calmer fashion)

Frankly, I’d have been more angry at her for criticizing my parenting skills in front of my kids. If anything can make a child less respectful toward their parents, it’s that.

Chicken enchiladas? Yuck! I’m with the kids on this one. The meal was no good, and no amount of you telling them it is good is going to change it. How dare you marry a woman who doesn’t know how to property prepare food for children. I’m embarrassed for you just reading this. As for the kids, if she tries to feed them anything less than gooey pizza, you should consider putting them up for adoption to further shield.

Seriously, you two need to go to couples therapy.

Nah. That’s for weaklings and losers. Go solve your problem, don’t hide from it. Couples therapy.

Could consider sending the kids to live with relatives. Hopefully ones that serve better food. But I doubt that would solve the OP’s problem long-term.

Find a better one. She might need to go to therapy by herself to address her own issues. But she might need medication too. To get upset to the point of being irrational isn’t normal behavior. Especially if she has admitted she doesn’t know why she gets that way.

I have a friend who’s wife behaves as you mentioned, and she is taking some type of anti-anxiety medication for it. Before that she would get very irritable for no real reason and lash out at him becoming agitated that would sometimes last for hours or days. One of the problems he said that therapy was able to help her overcome, was to make her realize that when she got that way, the “thing” bothering her wasn’t the reason for her behavior and feelings, it was a brain chemistry thing.