The hot-headed husband

My friend’s husband has an aggression problem. He tends to throw things and say hurtful things when he is angry. He also puts my friend down on being overweight and does not take her to social events because of the same. My friend tried talking to him but he says that all their problems would end once she loses the extra weight. I feel he will crop up new problems once she loses weight as that is the kind of person he is. What should she do?

The problem lies in the difference of expectations that both your friend as well as her husband have from each other. You might not be wrong when you say that he might find something new to point out as a problem even after your friend loses weight. However, keeping aside the speculations, your friend could consider professional help here who can help them see the underlying problems in their relationship so that they can either decide to work on it or then mutually decide the future of the relationship.

Battle of ideologies

My mother-in-law and I do not get along at all. She is very strong-headed, so no one in the family can dare correct her. She is also extremely conservative whereas I am more modern. She wants me to wash my own clothes and clean my room even though we have a maid. I do it but still she is unhappy. She influences my husband too as a result of which the relation between my husband and I has deteriorated. She has made my life hell and I have a one year old daughter to take care of. What should I do?

The problems you have raised here are reflecting the lack of communication between all the members concerned: you, your mother-in-law and husband. There are differences between the ideologies, however to bring it to your mother-in-law’s notice it is very essential as that will pave way for a middle ground. Communicating to your husband about the deterioration in your relationship is essential as the work needs to happen on that front as well. Discussing the options of how all can pitch in to work towards a healthy family environment is the need of the hour as you are getting stressed with the existing scenario thus leading to concerns about your young daughter’s well being as well.

Aftermath of an incident

Recently, I went through a traumatic incident with my family. As a result of which, there was a lot of screaming and confrontation. Everything has settled now, but I have developed anxiety when I hear my mother shout. There have been a lot of days when my mother is shouting at my brother and my heartbeat starts increasing at that time; I feel like crying and I just want to shut out everything happening because it makes me uncomfortable. How do I deal with this?

I understand that your traumatic experience has left an impact on to you which is resulting in anxiety with slight alterations in how your mother behaves. The healing has to still take place even though you mentioned that things have settled now. Speaking to a professional about the incident and also the followed anxiety could be a beginning in helping you build mechanisms to deal with stressful situations at home in a better manner. Additionally, family therapy for a couple of sessions also could be of help as things have been rough for everyone.

Liar in the family

Agony Aunt: My friend’s husband is over-aggressive, puts her down on being overweight

My 16-year-old brother has a lying problem. He lies for the smallest of things. Everyone in the family has caught him in his lie but he still does not stop. This creates a lot of tension now and then in the house. I have tried explaining it to him that he does not need to lie but he still does it. He says he gets scared and blurts it out. However, we can see no end to this because despite several tries from our side he just does not stop lying for anything and everything. I am scared he will turn out to be a dishonest person in life permanently. What should be done?

Your concern for your younger brother is very evident as lying for smallest of things and feeling scared to face the truth on repeated basis could lead to compulsive/pathological lying. Since your brother is made aware of his habit, it would be best to provide him with possible solutions as well. The constant effort to draw his attention to his mistakes wouldn’t result in an inclination to change as he might not be aware of how to do it. One of them is to deal with it professionally so that he can understand whether his need to lie stems from something deeper and what can be done as an alternate to the fear of speaking the truth.

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