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How to deal with an arrogant husband?

Answered by: Dr. Ashu R. Gandhi
Consultant Psychiatrist
Adult Mental Health Program, Eastern Health
Australia

Q. My 30 years old husband is very arrogant, dominating and ill-tempered. He has beaten and abused me several times. We got married last year and ever since he has been instructing me on what to do and what not to do. He says bad things about my family and me. He says that my parents are only relatives now and my real family is his parents and his brother. I feel hopeless and depressed. He is very talkative and usually uses harsh words in a normal conversation. I see him tense all the time and rarely happy. He feels he is very intelligent and has an excellent IQ level, always complaining and demanding. He also says that his life is very fast and I am unable to adjust with that. I am also working. He has changed his jobs twice after marriage in the past 11 months. I always support him and never speak at a high pitch. If I don't agree with any of his decisions, I put my point across politely and calmly. He only listens and tries to prove me wrong and eventually I need to agree because I know he will never agree with me. He wants to be praised all the time. He always checks my mobile and messages. I used to chat with someone unknown when I was feeling depressed but once he got to know of it, he abused me. Please advise and help me.

A.  Your query/ mail does raise many issues. In fact it is not just about your husband’s personality, but also your perceived lack of support, pressure to keep things going and under wraps, pressure of the society and customs, your own career and marital goals, and your capability to cope with things. These issues are usually present in arranged marriages when time has not been spent in adequate bonding and understanding and acceptance between the partners. I would rather suggest you to consider seeing things more objectively. The questions, which should be raised are: does your husband have any maladaptive personality traits, does he have difficulty in other areas too like in work amongst friends, with his siblings/relatives/friends, etc. If so, he certainly would require some individual help. Then you should consider the marriage and see the perspective around it. It would be most advisable to visit a marriage counsellor thereafter. Thirdly, but not in the particular order, and rather simultaneously you should consider how you can visit a counsellor to increase your repertoire of coping skills. Thus, you would need to consider these various issues with a multi-pronged approach with help from your family/ friends/ relatives.

A.  Your query/ mail does raise many issues. In fact it is not just about your husband’s personality, but also your perceived lack of support, pressure to keep things going and under wraps, pressure of the society and customs, your own career and marital goals, and your capability to cope with things. These issues are usually present in arranged marriages when time has not been spent in adequate bonding and understanding and acceptance between the partners. I would rather suggest you to consider seeing things more objectively. The questions, which should be raised are: does your husband have any maladaptive personality traits, does he have difficulty in other areas too like in work amongst friends, with his siblings/relatives/friends, etc. If so, he certainly would require some individual help. Then you should consider the marriage and see the perspective around it. It would be most advisable to visit a marriage counsellor thereafter. Thirdly, but not in the particular order, and rather simultaneously you should consider how you can visit a counsellor to increase your repertoire of coping skills. Thus, you would need to consider these various issues with a multi-pronged approach with help from your family/ friends/ relatives.

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