Dear Counsellor | My wife is stressed
Q: I need your advice. My wife is going through a very rough time. She is dealing with a death on her side of the family and this is leading to some fighting within her family, which was once close. Now she is stuck in the middle and cannot pick a side, and both sides are against her because they think she is against their side. She is all about family, and this comes at a hard time because she is coming under a lot of pressure at her job and trying to keep up with her volunteer work. This is beginning to affect me also, because I hate to see her like this. I try to talk to her and be there for her, but she only lets me in so much and no more. I do not know if she does not want to burden me with her feelings or just does not want to share them with me. Should I take her to spend time with her best friend overseas or have her get help from a professional? I believe she should be talking to me about this. What should I do?
A: It is good to recall that the death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events in life. It is at those moments families should bond and help each other. Sadly, too often it is at this time that families argue over trivial matters, including the will. You are playing an important role by being concerned for her welfare and though she might not express it, she is noticing. You are the only good thing going for her because she has many stressors, including her extended family, death of a family member and job-related issues. Do not add to her stress by wanting her to open up more to you.
There are some practical things you can do. You can help with her volunteer work. You need to tell those family members to back off. Remind both sides that they cannot both be right in saying your wife is against them. You cannot stand idly by and allow these persons to stress your wife.
In addition, you can ask if she wants you to take her overseas or to accompany her to see a professional counsellor. Allow her to make the choice and continue being supportive.