When I was going through this I knew my wife had turned the corner when she caught herself midway through one of her tirades. If she isn't recognizing her poor behavior until she can see your reaction then there is no growth...she is simply adjusting her behavior in an effort to "MANAGE" you and recovery.
If your WW was midway through a tirade, wouldn’t she have already seen a reaction from you?
But yes, the time it takes her to recognize she’s acting like a child is concerning for me, but the time is also shortening. A couple of months ago it was taking her days/weeks, now it’s happening less frequently and it only took her a few hours.
That seems like progress in a literal sense.
I also understand that much of the advice here is often binary in opposing directions: it’s either I’m a fool for allowing her to keep hurting me or I’m an asshole for having such high expectations for her this early. It forces me to argue against the middle constantly.
The fact that you're wife doesn't recognize her mother as being an enemy of your marriage and trying to force feed you a healthy serving this early, just expecting you to a be ok without a second thought there is very little progress on her part. I think you should mention that to her.
There’s a lot to unpack there.
I don’t think my MIL is an enemy to our marriage; I think she is a weak, foolish old woman suffering from early dementia. My wife was the enemy to our marriage.
I no longer consider any of my WW’s family as my own, but I also think that’s more a reflection of my foolishness to ever consider them family—I’d imagine most married individuals never consider their in-laws as highly as I did.
That noted, I agree with you. I found her reaction very selfish and insensitive—a mirror back to her desire to have the dinner with the affair-adjacent friend.
She struggles with taking on blame and looks to blame others for her mistakes—so rationally, she knows the current issues with my relationship with her parents are her fault, but there’s a part of her that seeks to blameshift that off of her.
In this instance—and we discussed it last night—her justification was that because I sent a friendly text to her parents last month, it wasn’t fair that I was still upset with them.
So two things: one, I let her read the friendly text and it was not contradictory to my current feelings; and two, even if it was, it wouldn’t matter. She recognizes her position didn’t make sense and that this is all 100% a consequence of her actions. She is ingrained to have the perspective of a spoiled child—things aren’t "fair" and she pouts about them.
So yes, it’s frustrating that she was ever even slightly mad at me for any of this; and yes it’s frustrating that she bottled that invalid anger inside and then unleashed it at me passive aggressively during an intimate moment—but it’s also seemingly progress that she can process all of this and recognize it for what it is.
Again, a few months ago she was fighting with me for weeks over even more absurd situations. I have to be honest with what I’m seeing. I went through four months of seemingly daily blowups over nonsense. I then go three weeks without one and need to have the clarity to look at that as progress.
I also see, as I noted, her time dug in on a crazy position is way shorter—in this instance, I didn’t even have an opportunity to explain how fucked up everything she did and said was before she came to me and apologized for it. If this happened last month, it would have been many more hours of her being obstinate in conversations.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 1:59 PM, Saturday, August 6th]