Feels like our marriage is dead-ish; don’t wanna spend time at home

Palantir pokéball
Mar 2 119 Comments

We’re 26M/F, married for two years, known each other for eight. I’ve been working in tech since graduating, whereas she goes to school part-time (no work auth).

My wife and I have been recently arguing about stupid things. What started this chain of events is that one night I didn’t get home from work until 730pm (I usually get home by 7 and let her know when I leave the office so she can have dinner ready). This time, when I let her know that I was stepping out of the office, apparently she had already finished cooking everything, and when I got home she was absolutely pissed that the dishes she spent two hours prepping for and cooking were now cold. I had a tough day at work as well and broke down in tears for the first time in years, and we didn’t say anything to each other for the rest of the night.

For the next few days, she complained that she had trouble sleeping and that she was getting depressed and received no love from me. Overall, our time together at home became awkward, and that somehow increased my “resentment” towards the situation or even her, because I’d really appreciate the after-hours to unwind and chill.

As I switched to a new team recently, I have lots of new tech I’d like to get my hands on. Given that we aren’t going well with each other anyways, today I let her know I was going to spend my afternoon at the office, and guess what - she got furious again, complaining that I don’t spend any time with her, and that I don’t care about her at all and simply treats her as a servant/roommate.

Honestly, with her recent negativity, I’d rather work 80 hour weeks than staying at home and dealing with this. She’s now out “walking around” after doing the same complaints to me with our apartment door open, while I’m fixed to my chair thinking how the fuck I got outta this situation or whether we’re actually over. I’m starting to regret our marriage...

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TOP 119 Comments
  • MathWorks cJ8oNw
    You think the marriage is dead because of a few arguments in the past week? Did you never argue while dating or earlier in the marriage?
    Mar 2 9
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      And yeah, I think I'll need to dig out the root cause of the recent arguments. Thank you for the comments!
      Mar 2
    • Indeed / Other CDwY37
      You are not listening to her. She needs more attention from you and you are saying you don’t need to change. No wonder she thought you put career above her. Because that’s exactly what your action shows.
      Mar 2
    • Amazon / Eng
      jinkching

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jinkchingmore
      At the end of the day, what comes along is your family and friends, not work or colleagues. I understand that learning new technologies and innovation keeps you interested, but at the same time family is equally important and once you have a kid, priorities in life is going to take a U turn. I've been there I've done that (postponed my parental leave to deliver a critical project and did not spend much time with my new born), but later I realized, company really doesn't care about your passion or the extra hours you put in. Listen to her, lock yourself down for an hour and put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself if what your doing is right and even worth it.
      Mar 2
    • Microsoft i heart
      I don't know you guys. But just by listening to you speak I have a hypothesis. I don't know the exact right the word for it. But it is something in the line of insecurity, self worth etc. You are absolutely not wrong to be focused on your career. And you are the only earner in the home. These are facts and you see them as facts. And you expect her see the facts as the way they are. So far nothing wrong. What's missing is understanding her "feelings". Interestingly feelings after not always illogical. It is very possible that she is struggling with her self worth. Lack of attention/not enough time etc are just ways to scream for help. I really went out in a limb here. But if my hypothesis is right - dilution is actually not very hard - as long as you decide to help her. For example, instead of pointing out that you are there bread winner, you focus on convincing her that earning the bread for the family is not the only or even not the most important contribution to a marriage. Find ways that can give her a purpose (not profit, hobby etc.) Sounds very simple, but very powerful.
      Mar 3
    • Amazon / Eng KHCr70
      @I heart

      This sounds spot on. My wife had exactly the same reaction. Big inferiority complex, and always complained that I dont care about her and that I'm looking down on her in situations that are completely normal
      Mar 3
  • Microsoft what is up
    Married guy here: You should take a break from work, take her on a long vacation.
    Mar 2 5
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      yeah I love that idea - we hadn’t gone on a long vacation for months. thinking of Hawaii!
      Mar 2
    • Microsoft what is up
      Jobs and opportunities will return. Wife won't.
      Mar 2
    • Capital One / Product MrProduct
      Another married guy here: what "What us up" is suggesting is the best way to stop the bleeding asap and reset. Trust me. Spend time with your wife. Leave work at work. And when you come back she'll be much happier. Spend the money for a vacation that will make her happy. Take time to show her she's still priority #1. That's all a woman really wants: Affection and Attention. Also, when back at work, plan your week to include 1 fun activity the two of you can do. Try something different each week. Taking the time to plan it and schedule it in advance will give her something to look forward to and show her you're fully invested despite the long work hours on other days of the week. You know what to do. We've given you the advice. Now go be her gladiator.
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      That's really great advice. I was thinking about what had gone wrong recently cuz my WLB was much worse earlier in our marriage, and I think it may have to do with the monthly (or even more often) business trips I used to take her to, and they gave something for her to look forward to in her rather unexciting life... Now that my team no longer involves travel, I'll need to make up for that in other ways.

      Overall I'm a pretty boring person when it comes to weekends, but I'll start planning things out for us consciously.
      Mar 2
    • OP, based on my experience, I think your marriage is dead and vacation will only extend its life for a little. But give it a shot.

      P.S. and don't forget to fuck her a few times a week.
      Mar 5
  • Airbnb fb bro
    None of these arguments are substantive. She’s probably bored at home and needs more to focus her energy on.
    Mar 2 10
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      hS3g1: How so though? I thought working out can help with stress and depression, no?
      Mar 2
    • New hS3g1
      if you tell her she needs to exercise, she's going to think you think she's fat
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      D'oh 🤦‍♂️
      No wonder when I recommended her to go working out, she started asking, multiple times, whether I no longer found her attractive.......
      Mar 2
    • New hS3g1
      do something more casual but active... like hiking? or take a walk after dinner. just some nice quality time, no distractions (obviously depends on weather where you are)
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      That sounds like a great idea. Thank you!
      Mar 2
  • Microsoft / Product BlueSmith
    The issue with your marriage is summarized in this post. Lot of "I"s. What about her feelings?
    Mar 2 1
  • Amazon
    seaurchin

    Amazon

    PRE
    500 Startups
    seaurchinmore
    Married guy here. Marriage never gets "more fun." Both parties should understand that and find joy or meaning in their life elsewhere.
    Mar 2 3
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      It's a bit trickier for her since we don't know many people at our new city, and she doesn't really have a hobby or anything... Is there something I can do to help her find her "joy and meanings"?
      Mar 2
    • Uber tkNoodle
      married guy here and I disagree. marriage has only gotten better and we've been married 20+ years. the companionship is better, sex is better, feelings are stronger. people have said it already, but be intentional about spending time with her. not in front of a screen, but talking. take walks in the evenings, day trips on the weekend. be present when you're with her and try hard to understand her perspective. there's a book about 'love languages'. pick it up and read. the great thing about all of this is that it seems OP is making a genuine effort to work on the marriage which is awesome
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Man, we haven’t really “talked” talked or taken a walk together for months... I’ll definitely spend more time with her and read that book as well - another comment also recommended the same book. Thank you!
      Mar 2
  • I would:

    1. Decide for the next 12 months to try to make it work. She wants more time together? Fine! Maybe get a less stressful job. Change your priorities. Lean in and commit 100%. Make sacrifices and be selfless.

    2. After 12 months, evaluate if things are better and if you are happier. If not, get a divorce. You’ll be reentering the dating pool in your late 20s, right before your peak market value. Life will go on. Except, you’ll probably be paying alimony / child support and that’s gonna suck.
    Mar 2 11
    • ^ he gets it.
      Mar 2
    • Cynimist just curious... why did you hijack OPs thread to talk about your own sex life?
      Mar 2
    • Amazon Cynimist
      Not on OPs thread, on your thread. I disagreed with your comment strongly and sought to bring some supporting evidence to the table.
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Haha I’m totally fine with the discussions here - only slightly concerned that it has female SMV spiking above zero as early as 14...
      Mar 2
    • Adobe xAMADEUSx
      Terrible advice! Working on a marriage isn’t like evaluating options in a shitty job. If things are better in a year, try harder, do more, see a counselor. “Moving on” to the next gig isn’t the mindset for a marriage. DO WORK SON!
      Mar 13
  • Lockheed Martin / Other
    Schz3

    Lockheed Martin Other

    PRE
    industrialoptic
    Schz3more
    There was a reason the two of you got married . You two can work to remember what that was or watch the marriage end. I have some thoughts on that but please answer my questions at the end.

    Keep in mind she probably gets a HUGE fraction if not nearly all of her social interactions with you. There is nothing you can do about that but it puts a lot of pressure on your relationship.

    How long did you date before you were married? How long did you cohabitate? Was it ever an LDR for significant period?
    Mar 2 3
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      We initially dated for one year and then took some time off due to distance, and got together again, dated and living together for 9 months, then got married two years ago.
      Mar 2
    • Lockheed Martin / Other
      Schz3

      Lockheed Martin Other

      PRE
      industrialoptic
      Schz3more
      OK. Well the first initial glow/excitement/infatuation was probably mostly faded by the time you married and you did give it a try at living together before jumping in. Those were what I wanted to know.

      This has been touched on but not spelled out: how much other does she have in her life? Hobbies, friendships and school outside of the marriage? Even if the intention is for her to be a homemaker expecting to get nearly all her social support from one relationship is unrealistic in most cases. If you are her *everything* instead of her *biggest thing* then the only thing she is living for is your approval and you coming home, etc. When her anticipations change it is hard for her, *especially* if she is deriving her identity from external things (all you and her relationship with you) instead from within and her own life over all.
      Mar 3
    • Lockheed Martin / Other
      Schz3

      Lockheed Martin Other

      PRE
      industrialoptic
      Schz3more
      Couples counseling is a thing, to talk about but there is some self work perhaps for her to do. What does she do and love to do outside her interactions with you?
      Mar 3
  • Google / Eng yogi bear
    that is the problem of having a wife not working. she is trapped home and disconnected from outside, if you guys don't have kid it could also be boring as fuck for her
    Mar 2 0
  • LinkedIn ynCh06
    That's women sir. We all face it. We both work but she still gets angry when I return past 6 because she returns aroud 4 and want me to be home early as well.
    Mar 2 1
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      That kinda sucks... how do you usually deal with the situation? Work shorter hours, or becoming a morning person?
      Mar 2
  • Bloomberg EVALSlayer
    - She needs to get a job for your perceptions of time and reality to converge.

    - You need to communicate your feelings and present your vision for how to fix things (be less negative, be more flexible, etc.)

    - Being half an hour late is a joke.

    - Avoiding each other is passive aggressive behavior. You want peace, she wants attention.

    - You only need to be worried if she is not reachable/teachable and/or you cannot see each other’s point.

    - Educate yourselves in emotional intelligence.
    Mar 2 2
    • Amazon thereyago
      Agreed. She’s probably bored out of her mind.
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Thank you for the comment. I'll start communicating to her my intention to make things better and read some books on EQ.
      Mar 2
  • Adobe xAMADEUSx
    Wake up and get your priorities and shit straight! You made commitments to one another and now you’re losing your shit because you never learned how to communicate? Be apologetic, choose peace over choosing to be right. Worry about listening over being heard man!I’m sure you’re both great people but it sounds like you’re both being selfish right now. Just wait until the kiddos come. This is tea time compared the atomic bombs kids will throw into your sensitive marriage. Be good to her and remember the way you treated her when you were dating. This frustrates me! Marriage is the hardest “startup” journey in life with the biggest “payouts” I have ever received.
    Mar 4 1
    • SAP / Biz Dev
      DaedalusSF

      SAP Biz Dev

      BIO
      I climb the stairs every morning. The elevator is for Democrats!
      DaedalusSFmore
      You’re awesome
      Mar 5
  • Facebook / Eng grrrr8
    My wife and I had a similar period like this in our late 20s. Same situation, i was working a lot and she was going to school. Small things like coming home late would trigger massive fights. Saw a counselor a couple times and that really helped.

    Today we're happy, raising a child now, and rarely fight about anything.
    Mar 2 3
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Wow that's great to hear! What in our opinion did the counseling help the most with the marriage? I was considering that as well but am hesitant because of the stigma surrounding it...
      Mar 2
    • Facebook / Eng grrrr8
      Just helped with talking things out with an objective 3rd person present to call either of us out on our bs, and made sure the conversation was constructive.

      For us there were a lot of things. Some of it came down to my wife feeling inadequate as she was still in school, while myself and all her other friends had already started careers, were having kids, traveling the world, etc. She felt like she was being left behind.

      I paid more attention to her needs. Included her more in work stuff. Encouraged and helped her with school stuff. Once she graduated and got a good job, she was 100x happier.
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Sounds like my wife is going through something like what you wife experienced back in school - inadequate, feeling left out, etc. I can't wait for my wife to get a good job, but before that I'll just make sure to connect with her more. Thank you!
      Mar 2
  • New ktFx31
    I urge you to get couples counseling as this dynamic can quickly spiral out of control and you’re already overwhelmed with work.
    Mar 2 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      It sounds like I have some action items to try out for the moment so I'll leave it on the table for now; if things don't improve in the next several weeks, I'll definitely try out counseling. Thank you!
      Mar 2
    • New ktFx31
      Sure! Couples counseling had saved my relationship a few times. A good counselor can offer an outside perspective when you’re deadlocked.. and give some tools to acknowledge differences. because people are so different in their perception it’s actually a big accomplishment to even live together
      Mar 2
  • eBay abababbb
    I mean she’s right..who wants to have a workaholic partner that spends saturdays in the office? But maybe you don’t like her anymore fine but don’t expect most of the girls to be excited when u decide to spend weekends in the office
    Mar 2 1
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Yeah that's totally fair... but then I think it's like a downward spiral, where a small friction between us made me want to avoid her, and that made me doing more work, worsening the situation even further.

      I'll spend more time with her in the coming weeks and see if things improve. Thanks for the comment!
      Mar 2
  • Amazon thereyago
    Divorce before children are involved. Having gotten divorced before I had children and again after (different spouses), I can attest that it’s a lot easier and with less complication without children which probably goes without saying.
    Mar 2 1
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
      Mar 2
  • New zrxG18
    1. Don’t label her jalapeño & toxic if both of you were not cope with the situation properly.

    2. Attention+ care+ consideration+ surprise with internationality+ expression+ experience sth together = emotional satisfaction and security
    Mar 3 0
  • Amazon babymakes5
    It isn’t dead-ish at all. You need to remind each other that you love one another and have been doing dumb things that get each other annoyed, which spirals into larger arguments.

    I recommend 3 things:
    1. Be more forgiving of one another.
    2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you duck up, apologize and really try not to repeat it.
    3. Figure out each other’s love language and work hard to satisfy those needs. Communicate with each other and work towards a solution.

    Finally, grow up. Living with someone, even someone you adore, is difficult. Treat it like a high severity engineering problem: come up with a root cause and address it.

    If you treat your coworkers with as little charity as you do your wife then you may have problems at work as well.

    PM me if you need to talk.
    Mar 2 3
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Thank you for the comment! I'll apologize to her tonight and talk through the problem. I'm usually a very sympathetic person at work and at home, but my one weakness is that I hate apologizing, and this time it definitely made things much worse...

      As I mentioned elsewhere, I'll consciously plan out weekends and weeknights for us to connect and be more forgiving. Really appreciate the suggestions!
      Mar 2
    • Amazon babymakes5
      You’re welcome.

      My wife hated that too when we got married. She hated being wrong and admitting it even more. Then she screwed up royally, and I reacted very compassionately; I told her that it was ok to admit it because it could be forgiven. Now the phrase she used then is an inside when one of us messes up royally. It naturally defuses the situation.

      For the first 3-5 years we were married we averaged a fight every 3-6 months. Now it’s every 9-18, and it’s not because we are accepting a bad outcome but we are better at voicing our issues before they become big problems. And when we do fight, we fight in private and fight fair.
      Mar 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      That’s great to hear! Hope we can reach the “every 9-18 mo.” stage some day :)
      Mar 2
  • Bloomberg EVALSlayer
    Also, give this a try: Timothy Keller: "The Meaning of Marriage" | Talks at Google https://youtu.be/C9THu0PZwwk via @YouTube
    The speaker is Christian but IMO does a good job suppressing his Christian instincts and sharing a vision that is independent of religion.
    Mar 2 2
    • Palantir pokéball
      OP
      Thanks, I’ll give it a listen!
      Mar 2
    • Lockheed Martin / Other
      Schz3

      Lockheed Martin Other

      PRE
      industrialoptic
      Schz3more
      Yeah, Tim Keller is good
      Mar 3
  • Microsoft
    fresh68

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Taco Bell, Campbell Soup, Jack in the Box
    fresh68more
    Need mo bananas 🍌
    Mar 2 1
    • Sadly, didn’t work for Jeff’s marriage.
      Mar 5
  • Cisco / Eng Gladiator
    One thing I can tell you that your wife still cares and loves you. Women will stop arguing or fighting if she totally gives up on you.
    You have to constantly keep dating your partner, keep the flame going and growing. Buy her flowers occasionally, go to movies , dates or anything she enjoys at least once a week. Compliment her when she cooks for you or dresses up to look good for you. Some of these small gestures will cost you nothing and you will see the change soon. She will love you and appreciate you even more and you will see rewards for your efforts.
    Happy to talk more, DM me if you want to talk. Give your wife and life a chance, work is important but great partner, friends and health is more important. You will not enjoy your success if you have no one to share it with and if you are not healthy to enjoy your success.
    Wish you the best !!
    Surprise your wife with flowers and a card or hand written note today or tomorrow. If you see the magic work, thank me later🙂
    Mar 2 1
    • Axtria DesiLaunda
      This. Arguing is a thing when a woman has expectations from you which are not being fulfilled. Silent treatment is a real thing when a women is giving up on you.
      Mar 2