Wife's Father Died And Now She Is Angry
Hi. My wife's father died about 10 months ago. My wife was very close to him and is now depressed over his death. It was sudden and unexpected.
Since his death, she does not want anything to do with my family, who she was close too, nor does she want our kids to have much contact with them. She has said that her father was a great grandfather and that my father doesn't deserve to be one because he doesn't do as much as her father did, and that if it were up to her the kids wouldn't see him at all.
In terms of my family, her response is that since the death of her father, her small family is no more, and if the kids can't have her family why should they have mine. To say she is angry and depressed is an understatement. It has gotten so bad that she has threatened to leave me if I take the kids to my parents' house.
Please advise, how do I handle this.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Jason, and thanks for telling your story here. Unresolved grief, as apparently your wife is experiencing, can lead to tremendous anger and depression. It sounds like that is what is happening. She is totally responsible, however, for her reactions and actions, regardless of what her loss has been.
The best thing would be if she would choose to learn about grieving and go through the grief process. If she doesn't, and continues to try to control you and your family in this destructive way, it is difficult to see how you could have a happy marriage and family.
Make up your mind that you're going to find the gift in this problem. Your wife is a good person, and this is part of her journey. Trust her to work through her process and come around to a more reasonable way of being. Believe in the goodness in her, and try to keep your focus there.
As long as she continues in this destructive pattern, I suggest that you keep your focus on yourself as a man, as a husband, and a father. Make up your mind to do the right thing, Jason, regardless of what she is doing. This could change if she becomes reasonable and compassionate, but for now her motives seem self centered and destructive.
If your wife is open, you might suggest this page on grieving to her. I realize she may be too angry for this, but it's there if she's interested.
And for you, I suggest you read the following page on relationships:
how to deal with abusive relationships
Believe in yourself, your wife, and your family.
My very best to you,
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