To give the cultural context, I am from South India and married for 15+ years.
Ever since the beginning of our marriage, I keep saying the following items repeatedly to her ( let's call her Mohini).
- Tell me what you like and don't like, I will also share the same. We will agree between us and try to honor that agreement as much as possible.
Me: Hi Mohini, I need to for 10-15 mins about our quarrels, Tell me when we can speak? (usually she delays and come to discuss with serious face, and once she comes..)
Mohini: Tell me
Me: Why are you always fighting with me? I don't want fights and need to stay peaceful inside home, we should not fight because already we had ton of fights which is more than enough for 2 entire lifetime.
Mohini: Fights are common in marriages
Me: ( get upset and trying to maintain tone), Don't think like that, it means you like fights. Try to target fight free marriage, so that it will be limited to minimum, if you target 100% then only reach 80%, you are targeting 40% and you will get only 20%.
Mohini: Let's see how it goes. what else? Cooking is going on, I need to go soon.
Me: (angry and lose tone little bit)..You are avoiding this discussion which is much more important than anything else. What the hell you are cooking, How are you able to sleep with all these problems?
Mohini: (raises her voice) - Yes. I like fights.What are you going to do now?
Me: (confused), ushhhhh...what the hell you are speaking, you are not listening when I am speaking politely, you are always keep pushing me towards bad behavior/yelling and after that, telling me you are bad.
Mohini: Are you behaving correctly? ( lost control and throwing stories like you did this ... that).
Me: (lost voice and shouting angrily) You are pulling me to the garbage again and again. I called you to sort out but you are pulling me somewhere else... go to hell ...
We are back to square one once more.
- We will fix our budget and try to follow as much as possible.
- She refuses sex frequently (even touching her hands). Once she withheld sex for 2.5 years straight. I told her not to use sex as weapon against me but to instead use it to make me happy. Good sex will solve at least 50% of issues in marriage. I never ever forced her for sex, not even once.
- Don't give too much freedom to kids as it will spoil their future.
- Don't complain about my parents, which is killing our peace, and try to see my parents as your parents. - She usually blames my mother for something but does not care at all if her mother does exactly the same thing. Sample:
Me: Hey Mohini, you are always complaining about my mom, dad, brother and his wife, it is hurting me, I feel like I was locked in-between you and them.
Mohini: To whom else I can tell this?
Me: To me only, but it doesn't mean you can complain daily. Try to adjust or if you don't like tell them straightly so that they will realize.
Mohini: I will not tell them. As a husband you have to listen this.
Me: What the hell is this husband role? I am not a drum which people can hit from both the sides.
Mohini: To whom else I can tell this?
Me: (angrily) What you are trying to say now?
Mohini: You have to listen all these.
Me: (loudly) I am not a mediator here, I can listen but not daily, not for years. If you don't like , tell them immediately to the face or Can I speak to them?.
Mohini: No, don't speak to them, then they will come and argue. I cannot fight with them. I just want to share so that you will know about them, they are not good people as look outside.
Me: ( started shouting) But I never complain to about them to you. What if I am complaining daily about them to you?
Mohini: They(her parents, sister, relatives) are doing good only. As a husband you have to listen.
Me: nonsense.... go to hell ( shouting )
We are back to square one once again.
- Don't bring others ( our parents, kids, relatives etc) in between us.
- Start speaking with me within hours or same day after any argument or fight. -- She usually extends this period to 3-4 days at least.
- After the silent period is over, discuss the issue with me so that we can avoid fight on the same issue next time. -- She usually never speaks about it, even I bring it up she avoids or listen without interest.
- I am trying so hard to bring peace at our home, cooperate to my ideas or come up with your own ideas to solve these issues. -- She never come up with her own and does not cooperate with my ideas.
- In India, we marry only once in life (99.9% of people), so aligning with each other is very important else your life will be wasted.
- I value peace inside home very much. I strongly believe that if one has money, fame, everything but no peace inside home, then one's life is worthless. So I am trying hard to avoid conflicts, resolve conflicts and maintaining peace.
- I was top of my class and now work in IT. From my childhood people used to always say 'You know everything', but my wife has almost no education (she went to school only for 6 years). So I strongly believe that I am eligible to teach my wife.
- On the other hand, I used to listen carefully to advice. I believe that advice comes from someone's hard earned experience.
- I strongly believe advising my wife is taking care of her. I cannot be idle when she is in trouble or when she misses good things.
- I used to wish to live a 'more romantic, lovable' married life than others.
Real Goal: Still, I love her so much and want to live with her until my end. Whatever I am doing above are to achieve that goal, but in reality this marriage hurts me everyday without fail.
Either she disagrees by arguing/fighting with me or agrees and mostly doesn't do as agreed.
I am desperate of saying same thing again and again, at the same time I want to learn the ways of communication to make her understand my views.
As per my belief, my intentions are good, I am advising her to do good and avoid bad, but why doesn't she listen?
How can I communicate in a way she listens and acts accordingly?
I edited the question by adding sample communications to explain how we are communicating now.