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I Can't Please My Wife

Question:

I need help with my wife. I love her to death, but no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to please her. If I work too much she gets angry. If I work too little she gets angry. If I make our children clean up after themselves it makes her mad. If I attempt to discipline one of the kids she gets mad at me. For years all I have ever asked from her is to help keep the house clean and presentable, cook for the kids, and be there for me when I need her. It seems that she puts more effort into her job than she does our home and family. We have a teenage daughter that is a handful, but if I discipline her, then I’m the bad guy. If I discipline my children by grounding them or yelling at them, then I’m the bad guy, yet my wife lets them get away with things to the point where she loses control, and winds up striking them. Is this normal? I have three jobs, and I try to make time for my children and my wife, but when I’m home, all my wife does is want to leave me with the children and go shopping or go to work. She never wants to be intimate anymore. If I touch her, she just moves away, or always has an excuse why my touch bothers her. Is this normal? I love her and my family, but I do not want to be in this kind of relationship much longer. What should I do? Where do I turn for help? I do not want to see ten years of marriage go into the toilet.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
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Answer:

I’m seeing negative behaviors in both you and your wife! I suggest seeing a family therapist, especially if your wife is taking her anger out on the children. It sounds as though you and your wife have slipped away into your own worlds. I’m getting the sense that you have been placing unfair demands on your wife. It sounds as if you have been treating her like the stereotypical housewife of the 1950s. If she too has a job, then the two of you are going to have to start sharing household responsibilities. I understand holding three jobs is not an easy task, but you are going to have to start showing more concern for your wife instead of expecting her to keep the house clean, cook for the kids, and be there for you when you need her. It is not uncommon for a spouse to throw himself/herself into their work when things are not going well at home. Oftentimes actions speak louder than words… Talk to her. Let her know how unhappy you are. I suspect that she is unhappy as well. Suggest that the two of you see a therapist. There is no excuse for her striking your children out of anger. She too has issues that need work. I’m guessing that she probably does not want to just throw away ten years of marriage either. At least try to work things out before the two of you make any final decisions. Sincerely, – Anne

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Comments
  • Travis

    Did "Anne" even read this article, because it seems to me that she got to the part where the desperate husband wanted his cruel distant wife to help out a little and she began spouting feminist rhetoric.

  • Joe

    I think I better go back and read the disclaimer to get a better understanding of what your qualifications are because that was really a crappy and biased answer that undoubtably came from a "career" woman who is more caught up in her own self-promotion and much less on the needs of her family. So many families have problems today because women of today have never learned how to be good mothers and wives. Kids live on McDonalds and are constantly playing video games or watching tv and husbands get little respect and love. What has changed in the last 50 years? Women have. Women no longer focus on their families the way they did in the past. Women get caught up in their fantasy worlds that they can take on the world and still be super moms. What happens? They get stressed out and take their stress out on their husbands and kids. Who suffers? Everyone.

  • isaiah

    This guy was trying to get advice to help a marriage while his wife is being distant and unattentive and the author points to him as though he were being unfair? Doesn't make sense. He's taking the first step.

    In regards to the cleaning, he wants his wife "to help" around the house, not do it all. He wanted more discipline in the house, doesn't sound so bad to me.

  • Colin

    Thank God for that. Anne's response is insulting and infuriating. This is the third response of hers I have seen where she ignores a clear request for help and instead recommends some form of family therapy, and manages to make the guy feel like a chauvinist in the process.

    Thank God someone else said something about this too because it was making my blood boil. I hope the person asking the question asked someone else also because he deserves more help and better advice than he was given.

  • JAVIER

    I SEE THE REVIEWS OF OTHER GUYS AND I AGREE WITH THEM .. I UNDERSTAND THAT TODAY´S WOMEN HAVE MANY RIGHTS AS MEN,BUT IN THE LAST YEARS SEEMS THAT THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO RESPECT AND LOVE THEIR MEN AND EVEN WHEN THERE IS ANY PROBLEM THEY RAISE THE FEMINIST FLAG. I REALLY DON´T SEE ANY GOOD AT ALL

    AND ANNE YOU SHOULD BE MORE HUMAN AND PROVIDE HELP FOR THOSE WHO NEED A PIECE OF ADVICE, NOT LIKE YOU DID AT THIS TIME

  • Wisdom

    Anne, this is a horrible response. You clearly did not listen or read the article. This man's wife is selfish and should learn to give more to her family and less to her own personal dreams.

  • jonah

    anne is right the person who wrote the artile said that the wife is causing all the problems it is certain that the dude is blaming his wife when he needs to take leadership and a mutual control over his family and it starts by making the wife happy, there has to be a compermise on both ends and the guy most certailly has some problems because he did not metion any of his faluts im personaly the same way i blame everything on the wife but the real problems is both of us and i dont like to admit it but i cant just shut up and listen that makes a great deferance. sorry about the grammer

  • Evangelion

    While I do agree that Anne seems to be raising a feminist flag i might remind everyone that personal attacks are not necessary. Perhaps the better course of action for us to take is offer some suggestions on how the situation might be resolved instead of attacking an individual who is trying to respond with their best opinion. My suggestion in regards to the wife situation would be to simply sit down and address the situation. Just remember to keep your cool and be open. Present your side but also be sure to hear her side of the case. And work to reach a decision that is in the best interest of everyone. If you want someone to pray for you or talk to you please feel free to e-mail me.

  • BumBu Durrani

    Brother i know what ur going thru,
    I agree with all the other coments that anne's being a feminist here , all women act that way these days , In light of Islam , In the end days , Women would be forced to help their men in jobs , thats what we see today , iam not saying women cant do jobs , but its different , they can be good teachers good doctors , but not all the other stuff which men do... and especially when a job means sacrificing time with ur family. Islam gives more rights to women than any other religion (infact it enshrined the concepts of Women's rights) but there is a saying of the Propher (pbuh) that if there was anyone else he'd command women to bow down to besides Allah it wud be their husbands (dont take that literally) understand the wisdom here... Women need to understand that they have a far more greater role to play as a mother and a wife than as a working women in the society :) ...

  • Individual

    The advice to "go see a therapist" is worthless if the wife refuses to go. And my hunch is the guy has already tried that avenue before going to Anne. The guy has reached out to his wife and when that failed he reached out to you, Anne. Your response is as if it came from some government bureaucrat. That is, it's incompetent, worthless and without merit. Get off your duff Anne, this guy is suffering while trying to hold his marriage together. He needs compassion not E.E.O.C. pablum.

  • Anonymous-1

    Wow , Yes you may need some family counseling but no your wife is being ludicrus and so is anne yea its not 1950. But you could cleary point out that the wife is having magor mental issues if she wont be intamate and shys away from a mans touch screams and yells and hits the children .. Phyco comes to mind no chovinist

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