How to forget your spouse's past complaints?

My wife gets super controlling when she's stressed and it looks a lot like this.

I think a lot of what's going on with you has a lot more to do with your own sense of power and control than your feelings toward her per se.

She has taken months to strip you of your feelings of power and there has been little you could do to stop her without feeling like you are rubbing her the wrong way if you don't do exactly as she wants ... so you just stopped being an active participant in large swaths of your life because it was easier. You surrendered your agency in favor of her whim.

In a fundamental way she has broken your trust because she kept demanding you surrender more and more, not understanding that the control she wants is over her own person and life, not over you and your life.

You trusted her to be accepting of your love and of your contributions to the relationship and the household. Instead she denied you by withholding approval. At least she didn't withhold sex altogether, as sometimes happens in this type of scenario.

Now, you don't want to share intimacy with her because you have been told that what you have to offer is somehow not worthy.

I would say to focus on ... not just feeling ... knowing you are worthy, removed from the marriage. Build up your sense of self and your sense of competence outside of the bedroom and outside of the household.

What changed 2 years ago to make her change so much? Did you move? New job? Loss? Marital infidelity/near-infidelity?

I'm in a similar boat and really struggling to feel competent and capable in the relationship even though a lot of the dynamics that set up the feeling have been put behind us as far as I know. It's a bit like overcoming learned helplessness.

I wish I had more to offer, but I do know that the more I do for myself and among friends outside the relationship, the more I seem to find my groove in the relationship too.

/r/Marriage Thread