I had an argument with my wife the other day…not really an argument but a fight. Again. An argument to me is a debate whereas a fight results when one or the other sides has decided that a debate will not work. They have decided that their side is the truth. The fight ensues when the other side cannot accept the other’s side…at all. To me, fighting is extremely stressful and I would usually prefer to concede (even if I don’t agree) or walk away. I have found, based on my past experiences, that letting her (my ex) win only increased her self-perception that she was always right. Today, with my current wife I stay and fight and will only stop if she decides that debate (where we air our differences AND agree to disagree) is the way to go.
The cause of the last fight was what I would call:
A. COMPLETELY unnecessary
B. COMPLETELY off-base
C. COMPLETELY fabricated
The most frustrating thing about this fight is that it keeps recurring, without warning and is based solely on HER vision of the truth. My wife is Pathologically Jealous. This means that she has in her mind fabricated a scenario where someone is trying to take me away from her and I, simply because I am a man (and weak to the sexual wiles of woman in general)….WILL ultimately succumb.
My wife is not jealous in general…only when it comes to one woman. Our next door neighbor.
Our neighbor moved in around three years ago with her boyfriend/husband. She is an attractive Italian-background early 30s teacher. My only real contact with the couple has been that I cut their front lawn while cutting my own (townhouse lots…takes me maybe three minutes) and I built a dividing fence in the back yard and her husband helped me.
About a year later the husband moved out. The story was that she wanted to settle down and have a family and he did not.
I continued to cut her lawn and if she was outside I said hello…if there was ensuing conversation I would talk but there was nothing out of the ordinary.
One day she walked by our house while my wife and I were having a drink on the porch. The neighbor said, “Thanks for doing my lawn, I left you something inside the garage…it was open” I checked after and she had left a 12 pack of beer. My wife asked me at the time if I didn’t “find that a bit odd” ?
I did not.
Over the next few years my wife has become a bit “kooky” in regards to this. Every time she sees the next door lights on…she assumes that the neighbor has been outside talking to me. If I go out in the back yard I am at times questioned if I saw or talked to the neighbor. On one occasion my wife was adamant that I was conversing with the neighbor via email…how did she know? A psychic told her.
It has gotten so bad that I deliberately avoid the neighbor, just to prevent the ensuing questioning and ultimate cold shoulder from my wife. This bothers me as a person because I am a social person and friendly with ALL of my neighbors. Singling one out for reasons that are not my own seems ridiculous.
I have tried to ensure her on many occasions that there is nothing between me and the neighbor and never has been. There is not. I am very careful about my conduct around “other” women..always have been. I don’t flirt or make unnecessary words that might make any given woman believe that I have an unusual interest in her….and am especially careful when it comes to neighbors.
My wife might be right…the neighbor might have a “thing” for me but I HIGHLY doubt it. It makes no sense and furthermore I don’t care. I know that everyone likes attention but sometimes attention comes at a price…a price that I simply cannot afford.
The other day my wife decided to ask me one of her semi-routine (loaded) questions which she has already decided the answer to (AKA: The Truth) and it is up to me to defend myself against it. The problem is any rebuttal I make is taken as the man trying to weasel his way out of a situation where he KNOWS he was wrong. The same man might also be somewhat animated in his response if the Truth was not true in the first place.
I find this whole routine EXTREMELY frustrating. The last time it happened I really exploded. I told my wife that if it continued and she did not seek some “help” for her issues, with or without me, that there was a good possibility that we would not be together in the future. I further told her that I was starting to lose “trust” in her. Not lack of trust in that she is doing something deliberate against me…like cheating but for the first time in my life I feel that I can be myself with her…and unwarranted attacks like this make me wonder if I should be myself with her.
It has not happened again since, but it is winter and there is less chance of “bumping into” the neighbor. My fear is that with the nice weather and people out and about raking and gardening this ridiculous scenario will once more manifest itself in my wife’s head and again we will fight….a fight in which even if I win…I lose.
Has this situation happened to anyone? How did you handle it? What was the overall outcome?