What Do I Do with my Wife?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I have a problem with my wife (Age 30) and I have reached a point where I do not know how I should deal with her.

We have been married for over 10 years with 4 kids, all under 10.

She has a very unpredictable/random personality to the point that you can never guess how her reaction. One minute she is the nicest person on earth and within seconds she turns into a different person, and sometimes for no obvious reason what so ever.

We have not been talking now for 4 days. And this last episode started as follows:
She asked kids to go and have cereal. While in kitchen kids dropped something. She grabbed her hair in terror and wanted to start shouting, but very quickly and before she had the chance I said, it is ok calm down… you asked them to prepare their own breakfast and you would expect that something like this to happen, it is ok. And this was all I said. This was enough to start a debate bringing all the problem we ever encountered since we met (12 years ago). Most of these issues are brought up every now and then by her. It does not matter whether we discussed them a million times before or not. She still has to bring them up. I have been unable to settle any discussion or topic of disagreement with her for good ever. She only remembers her version of a story, taken out of context and highly exaggerated in her mind. As an example we are discussing a particular issue, I say something like is this a new shoes, her response would be it is not expensive. My reponse would be I am not asking about it is price, I am asking if it is new. She always trys to be one step ahead and based on what she thinks the purpose of your query she will respond, even though you may not have meant what she assumed. Sometimes she acts like a 10 year old child, at others she is mature and reasonable, then she is absolutely opposite. For example she claims she is not jealous and gets upset if I say she is, yet she will go mad if a girl looks at me or I look at one, however it is not immediate, i.e. she would leave it for a few days/weeks, before she talks about it. She would tell me my mother is nice and good today, and tomorrow she becomes a monster. My sister is nice and ok today, but tomorrow she is not. The same with all her friends. If I try to show her an alternative point of view I will be accused of defending them and have a huge argument with her.If I say thats it I can not take it anymore we should split, her response would be I will take the kids…Her response is as if we agreed, while my statement was out of frustration. This is only a small summary of what I have to go through on a regular bases.
Thanks

A: I am so sorry you have to deal with this difficulty with your wife. It can be one of the most frustrating things to watch the person you love experience radical changes in her life that affect you. Of course it is too difficult to know for sure, but it does sound like this should first be checked out by a physician. The radical nature and unpredictability of this lends itself to a medical review first and foremost. My strong suggestion is to ask her to go for an examination with her general practitioner and offer to go with her for support. Approaching this as a condition she is having symptoms with is a good way to begin before trying to investigate the possible psychological underpinnings.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). What Do I Do with my Wife?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/14/what-do-i-do-with-my-wife/