Is her excessive temper a red flag for our wedding or can it be overcome?
August 31, 2010 11:59 AM Subscribe
I am months away from a wedding with deep reservations about my future wife's temperament, which often becomes physically violent. How do I persist?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (371 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
I've been engaged to a charming woman I fell in love for about a year and a half. After a couple delays, we finally set a wedding date in winter.
The relationship has been mostly good. We are both faithful Christians and share a lot of common values and interests. She's helped me grow immensely both in becoming more responsible and in spending time developing worthwhile skills (as opposed to sitting around and watching TV, for instance). I love her faithfully for all of her qualities, but with one concern.
I have some deep reservations about her ability to be a capable mother. Most of these reservations stem from her inability to control her temper.
She often (several times a month) has fits of rage over otherwise minor arguments. In most of these cases she throws things around the room and hits her head with her fist. I always try to stop her from hurting herself although she responds by biting and scratching.
In one instance she pulled a carving knife and said she would kill one of us if I got close. I called her bluff and approached her, and took the knife out of her hand. Thankfully, this extreme instance has only happened once. However, her hot temperament otherwise manifests itself as screaming, stomping, slapping, and door slamming a few times a month.
I concede that some of these arguments are the result of my own actions or words, and take full responsibility for these "normal" disagreements. I know I am a jerk and not understanding of her, but I am trying to do better. But I feel the way she deals with her anger is abnormal and unreasonable, and clouds my better judgment when I have to be careful about what I say to her.
I can, for the most part, handle these outbursts. However, as she has always been this way, I don't see this changing any time soon. My primary concern is her own health - she is exhausted and needs the the following day off from work to recover after these outbursts.
My second concern lies in the future. We want to have children. I consider having children to be a both the honor and responsibility of a married couple. However, I see no feasible way to raise children in a household where violent outbursts occur as often as they do.
I am scared for the future because she knows she acts this way, and has no desire to be this way, but she can't help herself. She insists against any therapy, and I don't want to resort to forcing any medication on her. I am scared because I don't see another relationship as being much different - they all require work and face their own challenges. I've been with her as long as I have because I know she has a pure and simple desire to be happy and free of burdens. They simply overwhelm her and expose her worst.
Everything would be great if I could find a way to keep her temper under control. But with every day that passes it's harder and harder to love someone who treats me this way, and who may treat our children the same way. A marriage is a covenant and a sacrament, and an engagement is nearly as binding, and I don't want to give up on it. I just want her to be happy first and foremost. I can deal with anything else that comes my way.
We have a house together, which complicates things. But that's small beans when I consider how our future will be shaped. What are you thoughts about this situation?
Thank you for reading this far. It is cathartic to throw my thoughts into the wind. I have an e-mail at email@example.com should anybody wish to send a private message.