I'm feeling down and its my fault.
I'm a 54 year old husband who has been married 15 years. It is my first marriage. My wife is very upset with me. It is my fault. I feel terrible, and I can't change my behavior/attitude. Instead, I try to change my behavior/attitude. That is, when I am conscious/aware of the need to change my behavior/attitude, I do a reasonably good job of behaving as I should. I can keep it up for about a month or 2, but then a have a lapse which results in me inadvertantly hurting my wife's feelings.
We have adequate incomes. There is no physical abuse of any sort. There is no problem with drugs, alcohol, or infidelity. This marriage should work.
In the last blow-up, my wife had gone out of her way to arrange a very small birthday party for me. Just me, her, and my father who lives with us. She bought a cake and a card. We were sitting at the dining room table. My wife was talking about some inocuous subject which we had previously discussed and I basically got tired of listening to it, and told her that we had already discussed this. This made her very very upset. She tore up her birthday card and left for a few hours that evening.
She has barely talked to me since. Last night she opened up a bit and let out some of her other complaints, which we just have such a difficult time addressing on a consistent basis.
It doesn't sound like much of an incident, but it is to her and therefore it is to me. I just can't seem to always think in advance about how what I do or say will affect her and modify my behavior accordingly.
I have done similar things throughout our marriage. She has really had enough of the emotional roller coaster. I feel like someone kicked me in the stomach. More precisely, I feel like I kicked myself in the stomach. Sleep has been hard to come by the last few nights.
I told her how, in my opinion, what is happening is that I try to change but am ulitmately unable to change. That is why we have periods where things go smoothly, but then I eventually have a lapse and some blowup occurs.
I don't know if she will file for a divorce this time. I know I don't want a divorce. Instead, I want to keep trying. I just wish there was a way I could change to become the person she wants me to be.
We have been to marriage counseling, but it has not been successful. In my opinion, my wife was not really interested in counseling. She gave up afer a couple of sessions. At this point she will not go with me to counseling. When I went to counseling by myself, the counselor didn't think she could do much without my wife also attending. Additionally, it was quite a bit of money.
All I know what to do is to keep trying to be consciously aware of my shortcomings and adjust accordingly, which will do nothing more than continue the roller coaster ride as discussed above.