How to manage angry and aggressive behaviour?
Q: My wife has a very angry temperament. She gets worse, abusive and threatens me especially 8 to 10 days before her menstrual cycle. This behaviour continues even after the cycle too, but at a lower intensity. She has made several attempts to kill me during the peak of her anger. She wishes to be a controlling parent and I do not have an opposition to this but I am much concerned about the way she is trying to acquire this status. We have a 3 year old son and she continues to abuse me all the time in front of him. She showed similar behaviour even before the birth of our son but it has worsened after her delivery. She talks too much and does not realise the consequences of her abusive talk in front of our son. The boy has started understanding the situation and tells his mother lies like I ill-treated him and seems to enjoy the fun when she abuses and beats me. One important aspect of her behaviour is that she presents herself as a very kind and balanced personality in front of our relatives and friends. She even cooks very good and tasty food and serves me and my son with lot of efforts. But the abusing continues when we are sitting and eating. I had tried to explain her parents about her angry behaviour and her attempts to hurt me; however they only partially believe me in this. However they were the only supporters who suggested me to take her to a psychologist. She has a step mother and she had told me that even she had similar experiences when she married my father-in-law after his first wifes death due to Breast cancer. My wife, then in early days of her school did not accept her new mother and used to be very angry with her. My wife was treated by a psychologist for her anger and by a gynaecologist for her hormonal imbalance recently, but the treatment was halted as we shifted to US from India. I had tried to have a dialogue with her regarding her behaviour, but could not succeed. I have lot of patience to bear all this as I love her and our son. When this problem started with her I too used to be angry and had slapped her on one or two occasions. However now I do not turn angry and always maintain an adult and mature behaviour whenever she is ill treating me. I have succeeded in this as I have learned that actions are followed only after thoughts; and if I control my thoughts I can control my actions. I have cultivated good and loving thoughts for her and my son. I am concerned about why this is happening to her and also psychological effect of her behaviour on our son. Please suggest a remedy.
A:I cannot make a diagnosis without examining the person, but a few items stand out in your description. There is probably a hormonal component to your wifes angry mood, since it varies to some degree with her menstrual cycle. She may be experiencing an agitated type of depression, which she controls with most others, but lets it express itself when with those to whom she is closest; her husband and her son. Since she has been treated by a psychologist and her gynaecologist, it is now time to see a psychiatrist, who can do a full examination and, based on his diagnosis, prescribe one of many appropriate medications for her condition.