Dear Mrs Jenings,
My husband recently returned from the war in Afghanistan. He’s been acting strangely and not like himself. He spends most of his days sitting on the couch staring at the blank tv or in his garage cleaning his knives. I feel like I live with a complete stranger. I thought that if I were to try and talk to him then maybe he’d open up about what happened so I can help fix him. But instead he got angry. Very angry. He started yelling and screaming and pulled out one of his knives. He was saying that I was attacking him and that I should just accept him as he is instead of trying to change him. But he’s the one who has changed! Anyway, he sort of snapped out of it and dropped the knife and then started crying and apologizing. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel safe around him anymore. Please help.
Well, now, love is like that sometimes, is it not. One moment you’re perfectly happy and the next you can’t stand to be around the person. Lovers’ quarrels are quick to mend though, so don’t fear too much my dear. And many a man has gone through things that causes them to change. Few people, yourself included, always stay the same way, I wager. Now, regarding this whole knife collection business, well, men need their hobbies. You should consider yourself lucky he didn’t take up shooting instead. Its easier to pull a knife back then to pull shot back.
Now, that all being said, while attempted murder of a spouse is certainly not unheard of, I do think it is in bad taste, at least in the current fashions. So it would seem best to avoid your demise. There are several ways of doing this. You could ask him to see a therapist but he probably won’t and most likely would just get angry again. You could just leave him, but that’s in bad taste too, since you will have to live with this unresolved at the back of your mind. Also, many a man thrown into a situation like that, especially the unstable ones, have actually gone after the women who left them. And once again your unfortunate end would seem unavoidable. So it would seem the best course of action, when you can’t change the other person, is to seem to change yourself. You’ll notice I said, seem. That is because once you have the appearance of acquiescence his guard will be lowered and you will find your influence much easier over him.
Best of luck my dear, and do not get too discouraged if it takes a bit of time. Sometimes you can simply wear a man down. They like to think that they are so strong and solid but they all give in eventually. They always do. Just keep at it.