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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need tips on how to deal with stress caused by a contentious or brawler wife. Divorce is not an option because I love my kids. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Anything can start her brawling, and she won't stop unless somebody reacts (me most of the time).
Anything can trigger it...like an innocent question, or when a certain subject is mentioned while in a conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Has she always been aggressive?
She seem to have mood swings...like she can act like we didn't have a fight a night before...and expect me or whoever she had a fight with to act the same.

She's been this way since we got married 15 years ago, and only discovered this behavior after we got married.
 

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Without knowing more about her, she might have an actual disorder or be going through menopause. Vicious mood swings aren't normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
By the way, my aim is no longer how to fix my wife's behavioral problem. I gave up on that long ago.

My only goal now is to "stay alive" to raise my kids until all of them are independent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Without knowing more about her, she might have an actual disorder or be going through menopause. Vicious mood swings aren't normal.
I can tell it's not menopause, because she's been like this since she was 23, when we got married.
 

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Yes, I have some advice.

1. Buy a voice activated recorder. Keep it on your person at all times while near your wife.
2. Set firm boundaries on her behavior. Say, "If you yell at me or threaten me with violence, then I will call the police and reconsider staying in this relationship."
3. Understand that it's better for your kids to be without their mother than to witness domestic violence in action.
4. File for and receive a restraining order using the evidence from the VAR to back up your claim and prevent false charges on her part.
5. If you love your children, then don't subject them to abuse from their own mother, deal with the problem.
6. File for divorce asking for exclusive use of the marital home and sole custody of your children due to her documented (via VAR) violence. Ask for child support as well.

Don't tolerate this abusive behavior any longer. No person has to live with abuse from another, their are laws against that sort of thing. You deal with abusers by hitting them hard, hitting them fast, and hitting them often (legally speaking, of course).

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I have some advice.

1. Buy a voice activated recorder. Keep it on your person at all times while near your wife.
2. Set firm boundaries on her behavior. Say, "If you yell at me or threaten me with violence, then I will call the police and reconsider staying in this relationship."
3. Understand that it's better for your kids to be without their mother than to witness domestic violence in action.
4. File for and receive a restraining order using the evidence from the VAR to back up your claim and prevent false charges on her part.
5. If you love your children, then don't subject them to abuse from their own mother, deal with the problem.
6. File for divorce asking for exclusive use of the marital home and sole custody of your children due to her documented (via VAR) violence. Ask for child support as well.

Don't tolerate this abusive behavior any longer. No person has to live with abuse from another, their are laws against that sort of thing. You deal with abusers by hitting them hard, hitting them fast, and hitting them often (legally speaking, of course).

Good luck.
I could see this type of advice coming..that's why I mentioned about it on my original post.

My wife left us several times and came back immediately each time. I can tell the kids would rather have a verbally abusive mother than having parents living apart.

I would feel responsible if after divorcing my wife, her next husband kills her. Call me stupid, but I still love my wife despite the situation.
 

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Read "The Dance of Anger"

Tell her that from now on you will not tollerate her angry outbursts. From here on out when it happens you will tell her to stop. Then you will walk away...to another room, go for a walk, drive away...whatever you need to do to get away from her. Tell her that this will give her the time she needs to cool down and figure out a humane way to discuss things.

Take your children with you so that they are not subjected to her anger.

Tell her that if she follows you yelling, gets physical, bangs on the door of the room you are in... you will call the police and have her removed from the house.

You might want to write that down and give it to her. It might be the only way you can get all of that out to her before she goes ballistic on you. In the letter tell her that her anger is her problem. She needs to find a way to handle her anger so that it does not hurt others. You will no longer tolerate it for yourself or your children.

Then do this. Having a VAR (voice activated recorder) is very wise so that when you call the police you have evidence of who was being the agressor.

Call the police enough times and you might be able to have her removed from the house adn you get 100% custody of yoru children.

I did this with my ex. He was physically and emotionally abusive. It took about 6 months for him to learn that I was not playing that game any more. The angry outburts stopped. He learned to leave the house or go listen to music when he was about to explode.
 

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I need tips on how to deal with stress caused by a contentious or brawler wife.
Short answer: read Stop Walking on Eggshells, the best-selling book targeted to abused spouses, and start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily's "Staying" message board and "Raising a Child when One Parent Has BPD" board.
She seem to have mood swings...like she can act like we didn't have a fight a night before....
JJ, your comment about "mood swings" brings us to "long answer" territory. Because the brawling and mood changes have been occurring throughout your 15 year marriage and she is not a drug abuser, the most likely causes are strong traits of

  • a personality disorder -- either NPD (Narcissistic PD) or BPD (Borderline PD),
  • bipolar disorder, or
  • both of the above.
The event-triggered rages you describe sound like they are closer to typical NPD or BPD traits than they are to bipolar traits. For a description of 12 differences between those BPD and bipolar disorders, see my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/anxiety-depression-relationships/59344-confused.html#post1175425.

Significantly, I don't know what is wrong with your W, JJ. I've never met the lady. Moreover, only a professional can determine whether her dysfunctional traits are so severe as to satisfy 100% of the diagnostic criteria for having a full blown disorder. I therefore suggest you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is that you and your kids are dealing with.

Granted, if your W has strong traits of NPD or BPD, there is absolutely nothing you can do to fix her and it is extremely unlikely she will want to fix herself. Even so, knowing the name of the disorder -- in our Google world -- will unlock a ton of information on how to deal with these individuals in a way that reduces stress -- i.e., the tips you are seeking in this thread.
She's been this way since we got married 15 years ago, and only discovered this behavior after we got married.
When a person marries someone having strong NPD or BPD traits, it is common for the courtship period to be filled with passion and great sex and, immediately following the wedding, for it all to go off a cliff. This is another reason I am suggesting you seek a professional opinion on what you're dealing with.

I also suggest that, while you're waiting for an appointment, you read about these disorders to see if the traits sound very familiar. Although you are not capable of diagnosing your W, spotting strong occurrences of the traits (i.e., the red flags) is not difficult when you've been living with a woman for 15 years. There is nothing subtle about PD traits such as verbal abuse, temper tantrums, and rapid flips between loving and hating you.

Because your brief description of her traits sounds closer to PD symptoms than to bipolar, I suggest you start reading with Kathy Batesell's overview of classic NPD traits at Narcissism: Recognizing, Coping With, and Treating It and my overview of BPD traits at My list of hell!. If either of those descriptions rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss it with you and point you to good online resources. Most likely, Kathy also will join your discussion. Take care, JJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Uptown, thanks for sharing these info. I'm now researching more about these personality disorders. And it seems that she also has more of Paranoid and Antisocial PD symptoms (looked up Wikipedia).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BTW, I'm still open to suggestions on dealing with the stress. It's worse when insulting words are involved. I could be one of the most patient person here, but I'm still just a human. I feel I can breakdown any time. :(
 

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You need to seek out some IC for yourself and tell the counselor what you have told us here about your wife. A professional might be better equipped to help give you suggestions on things to try when she stresses you out.
 
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