Comparing his first wife to me

My husband came in to check on me because I wasn’t feeling well. I thought that was so sweet and I told him so. At first we started talking about nothing really, but then the conversation shifted over to our daughter as it does from time to time. Since our daughter was born, I have tried putting her on a normal sleep schedule but after the first three years, I gave up. In this country, it is not the norm for children to go to bed very early. There is a huge night life and to help you understand a little bit about how things are here, the best way to describe it is that you don’t start getting sleepy until midnight. I have had difficulty with this since I moved here and still to this day, you won’t find me in bed before that time. My husband on the other hand, usually goes to bed around two.

Over the years, I have tried putting my daughter to bed around ten and would even lay down with her. Unfortunately, she would stay up until at least one-thirty. I have even tried getting her up early in the morning but that only caused her to be very cranky throughout the day. I was the only one who had to put up with it and that would reflect on my mood as well. All this had been very frustrating to say that least. Now, I put my daughter to bed at midnight even though she will not go to sleep until one-thirty. My husband and I have talked repeatedly about this problem and he knows there is nothing more we can do about her sleep schedule, that is, until she starts school in September. We are hoping that once she is on a daily schedule that in turn, will help with her sleep schedule. Now if I lived back in the states, this would not be a problem. Sure she might have a little difficulty sleeping but she would also have many activities that would help to tire her out. Not like here, where activities for children are very limited.

As the conversation went on about our daughter, it then shifted to my husband’s first wife. I have no idea why he brought her up or even why he felt the need to compare his first marriage to ours (his second). He said that him and his first wife were on different schedules which caused problems in their marriage because she would go to bed at four in the morning. She didn’t work, had no children and would stay up watching TV until that time. I told him that our situation is different because there is a reason behind it. We have a child who does not go to bed at a decent hour and gets up late. This cannot be helped and he knows that. Why is this such a major issue now when we have been dealing with this over the last four and a half years, not to mention we have repeatedly talked about it and have not come up with any solutions? Furthermore, it is not my fault that he had problems with his first wife due to not being able to put her on the straight and narrow.

This conversation got me quite upset. It was not due to the subject matter that we had repeatedly discussed throughout the years. It was the fact that he compared me to his first wife and even more than that, it was the cold tone in his voice, the same cold way he was towards me after I found out about his affair. At one point, he even tried asking me what my true intentions were for starting this conversation, as if I had expected it to lead to this point. He was as cold as ice and I felt blame shifting coming on just like back in the dark days.

I left the room as his aggressive tone was too much for me to handle and the memories of his attitude came back in full color. A few minutes later, he approached me and said he wanted to talk. He was still being cold and even though he saw me upset and crying, he just sat there as if nothing was wrong.

He started in by bringing up the fact that I never learned the language of this country during the time I’ve been here. I know enough of the language to get around but I’m not fluent. I don’t work out of the home, so the only contact I have with people here is when I go out shopping. Here at home, me and him communicate in English. Once again, he knows all this, so why is this such a major concern for him eight years after the fact?

He then went on to ask what the reason was for me coming to this country to live, as if he didn’t already know the answer to that either. I told him for the billionth time that I came here because of him – something he has always known. He told me that knowing that, didn’t make him feel good. His response made no sense to me at all.

During the conversation, he was blaming me for everything. There had to be something more here but he was not going to tell me what was really bothering him. I later realized that he really has nothing to complain about when it comes to me, so he had to do some hefty “reaching” in order to come up with things that I could be blamed for. However, bringing up his first wife and comparing me to her tells me that he intentionally set out to hurt me.

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