My Wife Hates My Family

by Stephen
(Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

I write this with a heavy heart. We have been married for 11 years now and I must say my wife has never liked my family. She finds fault in every little thing they say and takes it very personally.

Over the years, she complained to me that my family belittles her, downplays her contribution in our family, and never said nice things to her, and absolutely not a positive thing she can say.

To be honest, my family members have their flaws, but they love my wife very much. A lot of the unhappy episodes were in my view, caused by miscommunication or misunderstanding. For the first 10 years, she told me she managed to "let go" of those silly comments my family makes.

My wife is very sensitive in nature. She is a workaholic and often stays up late to monitor the share market. She is impulsive and likes to get things done quickly and effectively, and leaves very little time for relaxation. She tends to take on the world's problem and in 2006, she had a big fight with her own mother about a will she was doing. It took her 1 year to get over it, and in the interim, she had a lot of outbursts and screaming etc.

She picks on the tiniest of things and twists it and always take the worst and most negative interpretation of what was said. She remembers events to the most trivial details, and would often try to link things together, even though the events happen in different times.

She hates my parents and my two sisters to the point that she is thinking of revenge everyday, and wants them to die a terrible death. She responded very badly when my sister attempted to buy my son a gift. She flew into a rage.

In March 2011, my world turned around. When she found out my mother was coming for a stay lasting for 3 months, she was never the same again. She had daily episodes of outbursts, with phone smashing, yelling, abuse, dragging me out of bed at 1am in the morning and scolding me and being abusive, very often accompanied by uncontrollable rage, chest tightness, and this would last for 2 - 3 hours, and continue on again in the morning. She often rings up my sister to abuse her, called her very nasty names and wishing the worst on her.

She said she is constantly thinking of revenge, wants to rock the whole family until each of us is "drowned", and wants to sever ties with everyone. She is threatening divorce every day and taking away our son and my possessions.

However, at a lot of times, she seems completely normal and can have the most logical and sensible discussions about things. However, the mere mention of my family would trigger a nuclear war.

She is extremely unhappy, and at times, when she was at her senses, she said she felt stupid herself. But when she gets angry, her arguments are so logical and yet so hurtful and full of venom.

Her brother and mother had told me she is quite extreme in her thinking, and can draw blood out of a stone for the most innocent comments.

She has smashed a few phones so far, a pot, belted me with a cup, and to be honest, I have never seen anyone so hateful and full of rage.

The weird thing is her own family had also "offended" her in the past, and yet, she never exhibit the same level of rage and anger as she is showing now. I'd like to think she has some kind of mental illness so that all of these are excusable. But could it be that she is just an evil person or is she really ill?

I took her to see a psychologist in early 2011 but was told she had no depression. But I don't know.

Given that she has blown up and yelled and screamed at my family for so many months now, her anger is not dying down but it seems to get worse. I am quite troubled by her evil thoughts.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Stephen, and thanks for telling your story here. I can certainly see why you're concerned about your wife's behavior, particularly since it seems to be getting worse. I will try to help.

First of all, I encourage you to set aside thoughts of whether she is "evil" or not. That will get you nowhere. Your only valid focus needs to be on yourself, and taking the best steps for your own well being and peace of mind.

I think you will find the following page on relationships to be very helpful:

how to deal with abusive relationships

If your wife is willing, it would be good if the two of you could work through the exercises in this book: Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples. It is practical and powerful, and if you both do all of the steps, you will benefit greatly.

Follow the guidelines in the above referenced pages, Stephen, to help you make the right decision for yourself in terms of how to manage your relationship with your wife. You cannot fix her or get her to do anything different. The best thing you can do for her is to be healthy and strong within yourself, and from there you will make the best decisions regarding your marriage.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Oct 15, 2015
Hang On...
by: Anonymous

This comment is also directed at the anonymous poster from March 15th. If your family has caused your wife to go nuts over unjustifiable and outlandish reasons, then you need to talk to your family and give them a chance to apologize. You need to always put your wife first. Granted your wife has justifiable reasons for acting the way she is. If your family gets away with doing bad things and doesn't apologize for it, then they need to be cut out until they start respecting your marriage. Your marriage is your life and your future, and with your family upsetting your wife and your future, they have no respect for you.

Oct 01, 2015
Starts With You
by: Anonymous

Wow, I'm sorry that both of you have to go through this. I must ask, what is it specifically that your family members have done to offend her?

The reason why I ask is nobody throws and break things if they are angry over nothing. There needs to be some credit for her here.

You shouldn't have to go through this either, but to help yourself, if you really want to fix this, figure out whatever is bothering her and just take care of it.

They are YOUR family, and when they are irritating your wife, it will affect your marriage. Find out where the problem started with your family, nip it in the bud, and maybe your marriage can flourish instead of the both of you suffering. Maybe they are crossing boundaries? Being passive aggressive? These things can be hurtful.

Putting each other first no matter what is the most important thing about marriage. It's only the two of you who signed up to share a future. It's going to be really hard. Good luck!

Mar 15, 2015
Then What?
by: Anonymous

Understand her side, then what? Say goodbye to the family who you grew up with? To do that for a woman who'd most likely leave you in a fit of rage for something else, it seems pretty radical. Believe me, if it's not your family it'll be something else, or at least that's the way it sounds to me. Seems like she is generally unhappy with herself and her decisions and is taking her resentment out on you. It is terrible and selfish for anyone to force not just someone, but the love of their life supposedly, to make that choice.

Feb 03, 2015
Everyone Has A Place
by: Anonymous

Sounds to me like your family may be provoking your wife and then you are taking their side. Maybe if you talk to your wife and see why she feels the way she does, then you will understand. Everyone has a place. And your wife should come first.

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