My Wife Says She Outranks Me

Ms. Vicki
Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My wife keeps saying she outranks me, and I'm not even a Marine anymore. My wife will say, "You have to do exactly as I say because I outrank you." Everything is a rank issue with her, and I'm on the bottom because I was an E-5 and she's a lieutenant.

The past year has been very hard for her and I have tried to be supportive, but she keeps kicking me in the butt. For example, when she comes home (late) she immediately starts telling me everything that I didn't do: You didn't do the dishes. You didn't do the laundry. You didn't mop the floors. And where's my dinner?

When I take the time to do all of these things, then she kicks the crap out of me because she says I didn't do them well enough. Really?

I work too, Ms. Vicki. I make more money than my wife does. I work for a hotel, and I just got accepted in the management training program. I get to work all of the overtime I want.

More and more, I find myself just staying at work. The hotel has a full room for staff, and I will stay there rather than face the wrath of my wife.

My wife is waiting on her follow-on assignment. She's hoping to be stationed on Okinawa. As you would guess, she didn't discuss this with me.

I asked my wife why she didn't try to stay at Quantico or somewhere on the East Coast at least until I complete the management training program. That way, I could transfer to different locations without a problem, but she acts like she never considered me in her plans. Do you have any advice for a former Marine?

Sincerely, Marine With a Problem

Dear Marine,

I wrote you back and asked you for more information. You said you met your wife online, and you clarified that she is emotionally abusive and not physically abusive.

I had to ask because men can be abused, too. Moreover, they are more likely to suffer in silence because of embarrassment.

Now, emotional abuse is not OK. You told me your wife calls you names like "punk" and "sissy boy." This is not OK. She is emasculating you to the point that you would rather stay at work in a spare hotel room than come home and spend time with her.

She may be an officer, but she is a heartless schmuck! I know this doesn't sound right coming from a licensed mental health profession, but it doesn't seem like your wife is "wrapped too tight," if you know what I mean.

Something is not right. What wife pulls rank on her husband? Who pulls rank on a person who isn't even in the military? I don't understand her motive, other than to let you know that she's on top and you are beneath her. Her rank has gone to her head.

Here's what I see: Wives will continue to follow a jerk for his entire career and look back with regret because they didn't establish a career. They become more dependent on him, and when his career is over, they divorce and she has nothing.

You can't follow this pattern. I don't think you should move to Okinawa. Stay where you are, and continue with the management training program. Suggest couples or marriage therapy to your wife, and hopefully she will agree and attend some sessions with you. She also really needs individual counseling.

You need individual counseling too. Let me tell you why: It's because you chose to marry a schmuck when I know the signs were very apparent that she was bad news. You married her anyway. This is a bad sign because you will divorce your wife and be in another relationship with a woman who disrespects you.

You have to figure out why you are attracted to a woman like this. I could go on and on, but I will stop here. Keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.

Sincerely, Ms. Vicki

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