I've had difficulties with my wife for a long time. She responds to any criticism with instant rage, name calling, personality disorder diagnosis, that sort of thing.
I thought it was time to get some advice because a really bad situation developed over the weekend.
It started on the saturday when i snapped at her because of her relentless nitpicking. When i say snapped I don't really get actually angry but i did raise my voice and i said something like, "Stop complaining about everything"
I've come to feel that practically everything she says is an instruction, a criticism, or a complaint.
Anyway she tends to escalate these things until i shut up about whatever it is that's going on. This instance followed the usual pattern. Shouting, name calling. I told her i couldn't tolerate her behaving like that anymore and told her that she wold have to learn how to have civilised conversations about things. I said I wasn't going to back down no matter how angry she got.
Well she got very angry, screeching her head off and throwing stuff in the kitchen. It sounds unsympathetic but i think I'd just had enough. I just kept telling her that she wasn't going to bully me into shutting up anymore.
So she started saying i was abusive and that i had various personality problems. At one point she said that she had been in contact with my ex an that she had said i would do "This". I asked her to clarify what "This" meant but she wouldn't. And then she told me it was a lie anyway.
I maintained the same position. That i wasn't going to be bullied. So she didn't say anything all of the next day. Neither did i though so i wouldn't say that was giving me the silent treatment. I was just really stressed to the point of feeling sick physically.
So the day after that i decided to try and talk to her again. But still on the same terms. I told her that it wasn't ok to perpetuate an argument for days, ramping up the anger and the viciousness of the words each time i refused to let it go.
I told her that i wanted to have a civilised conversation but she started raising her voice and quickly returned to name calling. She started saying i was a fair weather friend. Now my experience has been that she will, after a while of behaving like this, start to feel like it's 100% my fault and that i need to apologise for it.
I still stuck to the same view. I just kept going to her and saying that i wanted her to acknowledge her own bad behaviour and take responsibility for her actions. Well she went out and she didn't come back that night.
At some point during her shouting she had said that she wanted to go out and hurt herself. At the time i thought i was just another level she was prepared to go to because i wasn't letting it go. But then when i woke up in the morning and she still wasn't back i started to get worried. I texted her and said that I'd have to report her missing. Again, sounds awfully unsympathetic i know. Once i started to realise that she was doing it every time i took issue with anything she was doing it became difficult to empathise.
Anyway she didn't reply to my text so i had to report her missing to the police and go through the whole process of giving a description and bank details and all that stuff. I was pretty much convinced I'd driven her to suicide by that stage.
Then our son told me she had been in contact with him. But she still hadn't contacted me. So she was ok it turned out.
Anyway she came back yesterday evening and she couldn't understand why i wasn't just overjoyed to see her. I told her it wasn't the time to talk about it because it had been an exhausting few days. She kept pushing for things to be normal though. And then the jibes about how other people had messaged her to see if she was ok and i hadn't started. I just kept saying it wasn't the time to talk. My head was just too scrambled.
So we're another day on and i still feel sick and shaky. I've tried to explain to her before that you can't hurt people and then expect them to just let it all go and be glad that you've stopped shouting. I feel like the same thing will happen here. The thing is that I've really started to doubt myself now. She's always said I'm the one that causes these things to happen. I don't know if that's true or not. I used to think it definitely wasn't but now i really don't know.
I know it's pretty much impossible to have an opinion on a relationship problem when you only get one side of the story but i was hoping for some sort of insight i suppose. Or maybe a way to deal with this better. Thanks for listening.