Anonymous asked

I asked my wife about her past and she got really upset with me to the point that she doesnt want to talk to me. I’ve tried asking her about her past a few times before so I suppose she thinks I am suspicious of her, but is it really wrong for me to want to know her more?

Best Answer
Insight Psychological Staff answered

I’m not sure what it is exactly that is making your wife upset. What exactly are you asking about her past? How are you asking about it? What have you shared yourself? Perhaps there are issues that she has not yet worked on, or perhaps she feels you may judge her for her past. I would need more information about what happened between the two of you in order to better assist you with this problem.

The fact that she is so upset with you that she is not talking to you is a concern, and is a concern that I can help you with. What are you doing to repair the silent treatment? An effective apology may be beneficial (acknowledge that you asking about the past has hurt her somehow and say you are sorry for this, let her know what you can do to make this better, or ask her what you can do to make this better). Then you may have to work at recreating a safe place for her. Be gentle and do not push her to share. It may help to let her know that you won’t push her and she can tell you when she is ready (or, be prepared for this, not tell you at all). In the meantime, do some little things to help repair the relationship (think of the relationship like a bank account, for every “withdraw” you make, it is important to make at least five “deposits”). So what are some things you can do to make deposits? Think about the things you did at the beginning of the relationship that let your partner know you loved her. You could voluntarily do some of her chores for her, take her out to a nice restaurant, call her at work to tell her a joke, compliment her… the list is endless, but very important. It often takes a lot of little things to help someone to get through their feelings of anger towards you. She needs to feel safe again and not pressured. She needs to believe that you love her unconditionally, despite her hesitation to disclose her past.

In order for a person to share sensitive areas about themselves, they have to feel two things. 1) That it is not necessary or expected from them. 2) That the other person will not judge or criticize them in any way. Essentially, the person has to choose to share 100% on their own. If someone else pressures them to share, it will just cause them to shut down. And people only share their sensitivities when they feel it will benefit them somehow.

In the meantime, how are you self-soothing? How are you managing your own anxiety when your wife does not want to talk to you? It’s important to maintain your own positive attitude towards the relationship. What’s your self-talk like? Are you telling yourself that the relationship is strong enough to handle discomfort? Can you trust yourself to be patient and calm while your wife sorts out her own emotions?

 

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