Sharing your life with a spouse that is constantly picking on you over the most trivial things leads you to a relationship ripe for disaster. Yet, this equation is not uncommon in marriages. So many households witness this struggle daily – the husband wants peace but the quarrelsome wife has only war to offer.
The story begins the same way, in most cases – two people come together in a relationship, and it’s all smooth sailing during the dating and courtship days. Your partner may display some signs of being a control freak now and again, but you dismiss the red flags and move on.
As you embark on the journey of marriage, things begin to take a turn for the worse. The loving, affectionate partner you were in a relationship with is now replaced by a contentious woman you feel you don’t even know. Trivial fights and constant arguments become the norm, and disharmony seeps in. As a natural defence, most men tend to close up and become distant when faced with constant criticism and nagging, which only triggers the fury of a quarrelsome wife even more. And a vicious circle is set into motion.
This can be an extremely unhappy place to be in, and naturally, anyone is this situation would be desperate for a solution. But, before we explore ways to deal with a quarrelsome wife, let’s decode the tell-tale signs that indicate that you’re married to one.
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What does a Quarrelsome Woman Mean?
All wives pick on their husband to some extent, all husbands have their unique ways of annoying their wives. So, how then you make a distinction between routine bickering and chronic nagging?
This confession of a quarrelsome wife may put things in perspective: The woman recounts an incident when she, along with her husband and kids, was headed for a family lunch. The husband took a different route to the restaurant than the one she had in mind. Just the thought that he had taken a route that in her mind was longer, and thus, an unnecessary waste of time, triggered her anger and she sat in the car fuming. She describes how suddenly the vibe in the car changed and everyone knew she was in one of her moods but couldn’t tell what they had done to cause it.
If this situation sounds relatable and you find yourself tip-toeing around your spouse more often than not, it’s a clear indicator of a moody wife whose wrath can be triggered by the slightest departure from her idea of how things ought to be done.
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Here are some other signs of a quarrelsome wife to look out for:
1. She keeps asking until you comply
If she wants you to do something, she won’t just request once or twice instead she’ll relentlessly tell you to get to it until you comply. It’s definitely a sign of a nagging wife.
2. She wants to assert control
A request to do the dishes or take out the trash isn’t just about the task at hand but driven by her compelling need to control things. If you not heeding to her request leaves her unsettled, it’s a behavioural issue that triggers nagging.
3. It’s all your fault
All her sentence begin with ‘you were supposed to’, ‘you didn’t’, why didn’t you’, it’s the sign of a quarrelsome wife looking for ways to shift the blame on you and get your defences up.
4. You can’t be your own person
You want to have a cheeseburger with extra fries or a cold beer on a hot Sunday afternoon. Perhaps, you want to go out with your friends for drinks. But you know you won’t hear the end of it from your wife, so you just brush these small desires under the carpet for sake of harmony at home.
5. You feel disrespected
Whenever any of her demands or expectations are not met, your wife acts out and throws a hissy fit, irrespective of where or with whom you are. This is a sign of a disrespectful wife who has internalised nagging so much that she cannot see the error of her ways.
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How to Deal with a Quarrelsome Wife?
The constant quarrels and nagging can, without a shadow of a doubt, be detrimental to a relationship. Research says that nagging can decrease positive communication in a relationship by 12 per cent and fuel negative interactions by 20 per cent, which ultimately leads to a sense of being trapped in the relationship and a building desire to break free – in other words, you’re at a greater risk of divorce due to a quarrelsome wife.
Besides, putting up with a quarrelsome wife (or husband, for that matter) can adversely impact your health due to constantly high anxiety and stress level, and thus, reduce life expectancy by 10 years.
But shouldn’t the onus of course correction lie with your spouse since it is their behaviour that’s triggering the problems in your marriage? Well, in an ideal world, yes. But sadly, every so often, a quarrelsome wife may either not be able to acknowledge the pitfalls of her behaviour patterns or find herself unable to break free of them.
We once received a relationship query from a young woman whose husband strayed and fell in love with another girl all because she could not stop being the quintessential nagging wife. In such cases, a husband may have to take it upon himself to salvage a marriage.
So, what can you do to mend the bridges and stop your wife from being so critical of you at all times? Here are 10 effective ways to transform your relationship with a quarrelsome wife:
1. Be patient
We know it’s easier said than done, but it is one of the most effective ways of dealing with an angry wife. Muster up every ounce of patience in your being and let the storm of her fury pass while you stand stoic as a mountain. By not reciprocating her rage with yours, you are creating an atmosphere where she can settle down and evaluate her actions. Besides, if you don’t lose your cool, she may eventually start feeling bad about her outbursts and tone it down.
2. But don’t be indifferent
There is a difference between patience and indifference. Indifference can be construed as a sign that you’re taking your partner for granted. And you don’t want to err on that side because it will only deepen the hurt that your moody wife may be feeling in that moment and aggravated her anger even more.
3. Surprise her
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture of romance. Even doing the little things that she expects you to without being asked or told can be surprisingly pleasant enough to keep her in good spirits for a while.
4. Talk to each other
Talking to your quarrelsome wife when she is in one of her moods can seem like trying to get through to a wall, we get it. But you’ve got to try. It is better to wait until she has calmed down and have an open, honest conversation about the need to embrace differences for a happy, successful relationship. After all, communication is the key to making a marriage work.
5. Don’t Lose Interest
Nagging is undoubtedly one of the bad habits that ruin a relationship but hang in there and try to focus on the positives that made you fall in love with this person and marry them. Expression of interest from a significant other can prove to be a natural antidote for resentment in relationships, which is often an underlying trigger for anger and quarrels.
6. Don’t let it affect your self-esteem
Constantly being picked on and made to feel that nothing you do can be good enough for your partner can be a big dampener that can send your self-esteem spiralling down the drain. The key is to remember that a lot of this anger or resentment may not be about you at all. Your partner may be struggling with something they don’t know how to deal with.
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7. Take care of yourself
Even if, the tendencies of your quarrelsome wife are being triggered by your relationship, you still must do everything you can to protect your personality. Incorporate meditation, yoga or exercise in your routine, or find a hobby that brings you joy to counter the negativity with something uplifting and positive. However, make sure that you pursue these activities at the cost of time and attention to your spouse and marriage.
8. Let your needs be known
One of the ways to handle being married to a controlling woman is to let your needs be known in no uncertain terms. It could be anything from wanting some alone time after a long, hard day at work or your need for physical intimacy to feel connected to your spouse, talk to her, tell her what it’d take for you to be happy in the marriage.
9. Focus on her needs too
It’s not just your needs and happiness that matter. She’s an equal partner in the relationship and her happiness is of equal importance to building a harmonious relationship. So, talk to her about what she wants or expects from you and this relationship, and it might just lead you to the cause of resentment fuelling her fury.
10. Seek help
If all else fails, consider couples therapy and counselling before deciding to check out of the marriage.
Staying with a quarrelsome wife can be an emotionally draining situation, but with perseverance and patience, you can make a difference.