MY HUSBAND HAS DEVELOPED A RAGING TEMPER
My marriage was arranged between mine and my husband’s parents. At first, I was happy with their choice. My husband seemed to love me, he was successful, and most of the time he was kind and good fun to be around. Now I am frightened to be around him, or say anything that might upset him. If he loses his temper, he flies into a terrible rage and says all kinds of hurtful things to me. I never know from one day to the next what sort of mood he is going to be in so I avoid any issue that’s likely to annoy him. I have tried to speak to him about his temper, but that seems to be one of the triggers that sets him off. At times, he can still be kind and loving, but then out of the blue he will change.
It’s as though he’s a completely different person. I have tried to think of anything in our marriage that might have caused this change in him, and the only thing I can think of is an accident he had while away on business two years ago. He was travelling around India and Sri Lanka and was involved in a bad car crash. He was treated in a local hospital apparently and came home after a couple of weeks recuperating. He’s never told me the details of the accident, nor what treatment he had. I tentatively asked him about it last week and he flew off the handle again, blaming me for everything that’s wrong in his life. He also called me a waste of space as a wife and accused me of sleeping with our neighbour. None of this is true and the fact is, I have tried to be a good wife, but nothing has helped. I can’t help it, I really do hate him now. Do you think we can ever have a good relationship again?
JENNIFER SAYS: It could be possible. However, I can only see this happening if your husband is able to accept that he has a problem and then seeks appropriate help. His mood change could indeed be a result of the accident he had, especially if this involved any injury to his head. It might also be due to a long-standing psychological or behavioural issue that is unrelated to the accident, and which your husband was able to control in the early years of your marriage.
Or it may just be that your husband has always been prone to ill temper. Whatever the cause, his first step should be to speak to his doctor discuss all of this thoroughly. If a head injury is ruled out, then counselling options can be discussed. All of this assumes, of course, that you can persuade your husband to seek help. Do you feel safe to do this? One option might be to wait until he is in a good mood and gently ask if something is bothering him that he might want to talk to a doctor about? However, if you think this is too risky, is there anyone in his family that could approach him, someone that he gets along with?
HOW CAN I GET HELP FOR MY GIRL?
My daughter is seven and has hemiplegia, which means that the left-hand side of her body is very much weaker than her right. She started school last September and at first she seemed happy enough. However, as time has gone on, she has become more and more unhappy. It’s rare for her now to come home from school and not cry, because she was unable to do something that other children were doing. I accept that to most people, my daughter may look like any other child, but her condition is very real and does affect the extent to which she can take part in some activities. It is primarily a physical condition, but in my daughter’s case, it also seems to affect her ability to absorb new information. What can I do to help her?
JENNIFER SAYS: A child’s special education needs are typically assessed by their school, in consultation with a parent and sometimes the child. The school then prepares a plan and implements this, along with regular reviews to see how the child is doing. However, sometimes professionals outside the school may also be part of the picture. Please attempt to open a dialogue with your daughter’s school. It’s possible they have already done an assessment and decided that your daughter needs little in the way of special educational support. Perhaps they are reasoning that treating her just like any other student would be best for her. The problem here is that you have not been involved in a process and, as your daughter is currently very unhappy at school, something is still wrong. Please talk to someone at the school as the educational support system here is very good.
SOMETHING HAS CHANGED IN OUR RELATIONSHIP
I have been with my boyfriend since we were both 17. I’ve never loved anyone else and he has only ever been the one for me. However, I’ve got chatting with a friendly guy at work, and feel able to talk about anything with him. He listens to all my worries and usually has a positive thing to say that lifts me. Last week, we went for a drink together after work. It felt a bit naughty, but we only had coffee and mainly talked about a training course we’re both doing. Anyway, I was about an hour late getting home and, thinking nothing of it, I told me boyfriend where I had been. I suppose I expected him to be a little angry, but instead, he just went all cold and silent on me. The following morning, he said he was finding it hard to trust me anymore. I tried to reassure him that nothing happened and that the guy is just a friend, but he just got moody. I think I still love him, but something has changed between us.
JENNIFER SAYS: I agree, and what’s changed is you. You were a teenager when you got together, and now you are a young woman. Your needs and wants are no longer those of a teenager, and it seems clear that your boyfriend is not meeting at least one of those — namely a sympathetic listener with whom you can share your worries. Like it or not, cracks are showing in this relationship, and you are having doubts about your boyfriend.
Given this, would some time away from it give you the space to decide if it’s what you really want? It may be hard getting this across to your boyfriend, but if you let this situation drift, you could find yourself stuck in a zombie relationship a few years from now.
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