I can be a really awesome wife. Supportive, understanding, gentle, caring – you name it. It’s just that my experience shows that the harder I try, the less my efforts are noticed or appreciated. He thinks that’s the way I should be, that’s what is naturally expected of me and I should carry on playing the role of a perfect wife 24/7. And on my good-wife days he suddenly turns into a very flawed husband – mean, bossy and arrogant. And I become second class.
There are also periods of time when I seriously suck. Not even as a wife, as a person in general. I make zero efforts to curtail my temper, I let my emotions take over and control what I say: I’m annoyed with everyone and everything and I make sure that everyone and everything “get” it. I probably exaggerated just now: I’m not that bad, just human. So I say or do something under the influence of the moment and then feel terribly sorry. But all of a sudden he treats me differently: he actually treats me better when I am worse. He has more patience and forgiveness in him as if to compensate for my temporary inability to be sensible and fair.
So we frequently trade parts: when I give up trying – he tries double hard; when I "invest" into improving our relationship – he alienates himself and increases the distance. How do we get off this seesaw and return to a fair union where both are trying and both are appreciative of the other’s efforts and sacrifices?