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Newlywed husband needs help.

Ok, my wife and I are newlyweds and we are having some issues. We have both lied to each other, and for stupid reasons. There has been no cheating. Knowing that we both have issues and are trying to work on them, here is my issue. My wife reads a message board about divorce, marriage, in-laws, custody, etc... To give you an idea what it's like, she calls it her "drama board". In the probably 60 stories she has told me from the board, there has been 1 positive story she told me. It has been all negative relationships with crazy in-laws or crappy cheating husbands. I've told her I dislike the site because it is extremely negative. I personally feel that if we are trying to fix our struggling marriage, reading story after story and spending probably 1.5-2 hours a day reading it, all that negatively hurt us.

Lately I've been told I'm "gas lighting" (had to look that up) or passive aggressive. I had burped and blew it on her (yes it's gross, but we goof off a lot) and she told me it was gross and gave me a light shoulder slap. I said it's no different than her crop dusting me. Said it with a smile and CLEARLY joking. She walked off saying I was gas lighting.

So, here is my question(s). Knowing we both have issues, am I being unreasonable in asking her to cut back the reading on the site? I don't think I am, but I also know looking from the outside in, you guys might have a different opinion. And am I gas lighting? I thought I was just joking with my wife?

And no, it isn't this site she reads, lol.

Re: Newlywed husband needs help.

  • Have you considered why your wife spends time on that board? I'll admit that I lurk on a board (not this one) that has similar topics to the one your wife reads. For me, I went searching for advice on a certain topic and found a gold mine of stories. Some are useful and have helped me understand my situation, and some are purely for the entertainment-factor and to help me realize that my situation isn't that bad.

    You may want to consider why your wife felt the need to seek out the board and then work on that problem, instead of controlling what she reads on the internet.

    That being said, I also have found that my personal drama-factor did increase during the time I read the board heavily. I noticed it and learned to 1. spend less time on the board and 2. learn to distinguish my reality from the reality of others. There does need to be compromise between you and your wife, so I don't think it would be out of line to request that she spend less time there. But I think that the issue of her spending time on the board is only the tip of the iceberg.
    short+sassy
  • Ok, my wife and I are newlyweds and we are having some issues. We have both lied to each other, and for stupid reasons. There has been no cheating. Knowing that we both have issues and are trying to work on them, here is my issue. My wife reads a message board about divorce, marriage, in-laws, custody, etc... To give you an idea what it's like, she calls it her "drama board". In the probably 60 stories she has told me from the board, there has been 1 positive story she told me. It has been all negative relationships with crazy in-laws or crappy cheating husbands. I've told her I dislike the site because it is extremely negative. I personally feel that if we are trying to fix our struggling marriage, reading story after story and spending probably 1.5-2 hours a day reading it, all that negatively hurt us. Lately I've been told I'm "gas lighting" (had to look that up) or passive aggressive. I had burped and blew it on her (yes it's gross, but we goof off a lot) and she told me it was gross and gave me a light shoulder slap. I said it's no different than her crop dusting me. Said it with a smile and CLEARLY joking. She walked off saying I was gas lighting. So, here is my question(s). Knowing we both have issues, am I being unreasonable in asking her to cut back the reading on the site? I don't think I am, but I also know looking from the outside in, you guys might have a different opinion. And am I gas lighting? I thought I was just joking with my wife? And no, it isn't this site she reads, lol.

    How I learned the term "gaslight" --- this is an ole expression that comes from the movie Gaslight (based on a book called Angel Street).

    The lead character's husband tried to drive his wife crazy; he'd do things like shut the lights off after she left the room; when she came back in, everyrhing was dark, etc. She started to think she lost her mind.

    I can't get a reading on this. Something is bothering her and only she can tell you what it is.

    You and she got married, despite the fact the lying was an issue nobody addressed and fixed, long before the wedding? Bad news.

    As you can see, the problem did not go away once the officiant pronounced you husband and wife.

    I strongly suggest marriage counseling; I don't know if you will start to trust her again and vice versa.

    She also needs to stay off that board. Don't believe everything ya read. Most likely lots of it is made up nonsense.

  • And no, it isn't this site she reads, lol.
    Obviously not, since this one is dead these days! Is it, perhaps, one of the spin-offs? :)

    I think I'm going to agree with Tarpon on the marriage counseling. I do believe that these sound like issues you could fix on your own if you were both very open and honest with yourselves and each other, but it would be much easier with neutral third-party help. And unless you're both here discussing it, we internet strangers don't count as neutral third parties, because we're only hearing one side of anything.

    Go to counseling. It's not something to be ashamed of, and you can learn a lot about yourself from it.

    As for the issues at hand...

    The lying needs to stop. To me, lying about anything is the biggest relationship red flag there is. Stop and think about why you lied. Whatever the reason (unless it was to avoid spoiling a pleasant surprise), there is an issue there. I used to lie to my husband about what time I went to bed at night. I eventually realized that I wasn't lying because staying up late was wrong, I was lying because I wanted to avoid an argument. The real issues were that a) our different sleep schedules were impacting our shared plans, and b) we didn't know how to discuss such trivial issues without arguing.

    I'm not going to go all in and tell her to stay off the board entirely, because that will probably cause resentment. Back when this place was a lot more active, I spent way too much time reading the drama, and that was one of the things we fought (and I found myself lying) about. I think a more sustainable approach would be to help her draw the line between her life and theirs. This could mean engaging her more. If she randomly accuses you of gaslighting because she read about it on her forum, talk to her about it. Tell her that this wasn't your intent, and ask what you should do differently if that's how she's feeling. If you provide a safe and open environment for her to discuss these things, it's less likely that they'll get in the way.

    As for why she'd spend so much time there? We humans love watching the drama! If it's not the forum, it will be something else. Before there was the internet, there were soap operas. And they are still hugely popular (hello, Grey's Anatomy!). Cutting out one drama source is not going to address the underlying ideas.
    image
  • @TarponMonoxide gave the perfect explanation of where the term "gas lighting" comes from.  For what it's worth, your wife seems to be using the term incorrectly.  What you did was gross and annoyed her, but there was nothing about it that would have made her think she was going crazy.

    BTW, The movie "Gas Light" is awesome.  Angela Lansbury has her first role in it and is all of 19-years-old. 

    I think you all should watch it together.  Turn something that is a bit negative into a funny, positive inside joke.

    As an example, I told my H a few years ago that he was "gas lighting me".  We weren't fighting, I was just joking, but I assumed he would understand the reference.  He didn't, so I explained it to him.  He was tickled to have learned something new.  The next time Gas Light was on tv, we taped it and watched it together.   Although it is not something we say to each other often, if the right occasion comes up, we'll tease the other that "you are gas lighting me".

    As for her forum, I agree that it shouldn't be something you should ask her to give up cold turkey.  Obviously she enjoys it.  She has probably made "internet friends" on it.  Like some other PPs mentioned, it can be fun to have a source of drama to follow.  But it's worth a discussion with her that you feel the frequency of the "marriage negativity forum" is starting to spill over into your marriage.  Focus on working together to cut down then eliminate the lying, small lies though they might be and work on ways to strengthen your marriage.  Find out what it is she likes about the forum, especially if it might be an outlet for something she is unhappy about in your all's marriage.

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