From a man in India: I married two years ago to my girlfriend for fifteen years, since we were both doing doctoral research I knew that we will marry late and she was also informed about the same. A year before we got married she started to pressurize me to get married and we used to have frequent fights, then one day she came to my house early morning and fought with my parents alleging that I am not serious about getting married and I am weak and avoid responsibilities etc. though I had already informed my parents that its time we get married few days before the incident.
We were shocked with her visit and things she spoke, the kind of person she was for 15 years we never in our wildest dream imagined that she would create such a scene given the fact that my family was extremely supportive of relationship and hers was totally against to the extent that at times becoming almost violent and heated confrontation everyday for almost 10 years.
She knew that my family was supportive and even our friends and colleagues knew about the situation at my place. With her unannounced visit to my place my parents acknowledged her issues and since I had already agreed to get married we got married in 2 months.
Since our marriage she became possessive about me and started to dominate me, she would then misbehave in the family often saying things which would cause rift in the family. She would do things at her own pace and would always point how disciplined she is and how inferior we (my family) was. She would constantly lecture us by saying she does everything perfectly and doesn’t like attitude of my family etc.
I always told her that her unannounced visit to pressurize my parents for marriage has dented her image in the family and that she needs to work on that and try to be in damage control rather than be offensive. But she always defended her move now after 2 years of marriage she has completely withdrawn herself from almost all household duties and has even stopped talking with my family and would remain isolated, she even fights with my parents and has even gone to the extent of saying that I would never get along my mum and don’t like living at my place.
In short she has changed absolutely what she was for 15 years ago.
How do I deal with her?
When someone changes so dramatically in a short time, there is often a medical explanation. I therefore suggest that the first step is a complete medical exam. It’s important to rule that out before concluding that there is a psychological problem.
If she is medically okay, it’s possible that she is depressed. Depression doesn’t always show itself as sadness. Sometimes it is expressed with irritability and anger. Since most people assume that depression is about a “depressed” mood, meaning sadness and apathy, they don’t recognize that anger and irritability are symptoms that need to be addressed. Further, managing the anger and the negative thoughts that come with it is exhausting so the person may have little energy for managing the tasks of daily life.
A risk factor for depression is perfectionism. The person is constantly measuring herself (or himself) to an impossible standard. Sometimes that relentless negative self-evaluation is projected onto others. One way for your wife to feel better about herself may be to at least feel better than other people — like the people in your family. This constant self-criticism combined with depression is also exhausting.
I have a guess that your wife’s apparent tantrum about finally getting married had to do with her age. You are both in your mid 30s and had been promised to each other for 15 years. If she wants children, her biological clock was ticking. That realization may have triggered frustration with waiting to the point where she could no longer manage it. It may be that blaming others and withdrawing are her way to cope with overwhelming emotional pain.
The way to deal with this is to stop arguing and to get your wife adequately and professionally assessed.
As I said, the place to start is with her physician. But if she is fine medically, then do make an appointment with a qualified psychologist to determine if the problem is depression.
I wish you well.