Because of a car, my wife called me toxic

What you need to know:

  • In this case, try to look at the big picture. Is it the first time you are asking to use your wife’s car? How about other stuff, do you usually share? Your wife could be expressing her frustration about something different and using the car as a scapegoat.

Last Sunday my car was stolen and although I got it back, it was not in good condition. So, I have been driving my wife’s car. However, she reminds me every day that I am adding mileage and wasting her fuel. I have told her I am still looking for money to fix my car but she does not care. Yesterday, on our way home, it was so hot but when I turned the AC on, she immediately started shivering saying she was cold. We had an argument and she ended up calling me a toxic person. When we reached home, she picked a few clothes and drove off. I do not even know where she slept. Can my wife be this angry with me over a car or is there something else going on? Please advise. Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Anger is a sign that there is a problem. It could also be that there is an element of stress. We easily get attracted to partners who are different from us and so it is possible that you can meet someone whose behaviours are different from yours. The difference is not a problem but when extreme, then you need support from each other to find ways of coping.

In this case, try to look at the big picture. Is it the first time you are asking to use your wife’s car? How about other stuff, do you usually share? Your wife could be expressing her frustration about something different and using the car as a scapegoat.

It is not possible to rule out nature and nurture, especially when it comes to behaviour and personality traits.

If this behaviour is new to you, then it could be that something about your relationship has changed and you have not noticed.

However, if this is her usual behaviour, then it can be stemming from growing up in an insecure environment or coming from a protective family. There can also be other underlying mental health issues that could be triggering the behaviour so the best thing is for both of you to meet a therapist for an unbiased assessment and help you find ways of meeting each other’s needs.

Depending on how long you have been married, it is important to note that marriage moves through stages. It could be that you and your wife are going through the effects of the stage you are in.

Sometimes, it feels as if things might not work but mutual understanding is what keeps you going until this phase is over. You each have your own strengths and weaknesses and these are the features that complement a marriage.

When it comes to sharing items in the home, each treats things differently and just in case one is obsessed with protecting theirs or is a perfectionist, they might overreact when there is need to share.

A professional marriage counsellor will be able to listen to both sides and help you make an informed decision.

Evelyn Khorono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

Readers advice

Seek professional help

Joanita Kule. This is not a job for a lay counsellor such as a pastor or marriage mentor; you need a licensed therapist to help you create strong boundaries in your marriage so that you can become the healthiest version of yourself. Ideally, the two of you should seek help together, but if your wife will not attend therapy with you, go alone. In time, she may decide to join you.

You are also accountable

Judge Mukasa. Take responsibility for your own role in your situation. It could be that being in a toxic marriage has led you to display unhealthy behaviours yourself. Hold yourself accountable for the things in your marriage that you can control. Owning your issues does not guarantee that your spouse will own theirs, but you will be better as an individual for making those changes.

Pray

Joel Matovu. Remember to spend time in daily prayer for comfort and strength. Growing your relationship with God will have positive effects on you and on your marriage, and it will make an impression on your spouse as well.

Boundaries are vital

Victoria Allen. Set boundaries for the things or actions you will accept and not accept from your wife. Make sure to tell her what is and is not acceptable when she speaks to you or about you. Let her know, in no uncertain terms, that you will not accept her belittling and demeaning you, your intelligence or your character.

Do not retaliate

Joyce Musoke. On the off chance that she crosses your limits and calls you rude names, you will need to create some kind of space between the two of you. Get up and leave and disclose to her that each time she says something harmful or mean to you, you will leave her and that situation.

She does not love you

Ivan Ssebunya. If a man gets a problem, nobody cares. Everyone wants to see a man winning. A man is not supposed to cry or lose. A man is not supposed to be broke or not have a car. Nobody will ever accept that a man is suffering. They will always call it pretending. Unfortunately, this is the same mentality your wife has and to me, this is not love.

Give her time

Angucia Amandua. That is how women behave when they know men are at their mercy. Most women were taught to be taken care of by men. So, she just feels over burdened by your dependency. Give her time as you work to get money and fix your car.

Its the upbringing

Purity Muchobella. That is who she is. Some people are wired that way. Such people seek comfort in possession of their property. Sometimes it is natural, other times it could be loneliness within. The earlier you embrace it, then you will have peace. She has no ill intentions and just needs time until you are able to fix your car. In the meantime, find ways of engaging in bonding activities.

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