So I'm currently writing a ghost story with a twist. My main characters are a husband, a wife, and their two sons. Originally, I planned to have my protagonist be the husband, but as I'm writing more it's becoming clearer that my protagonist should be the wife.
The thing is, the wife is supposed to be unlikable. She resents her children and her husband at the beginning of the story, and then completely breaks down as the story progresses and begins to drink, to resort to physical violence, and to shut everyone else out. She has to be this way for some major plot points to occur.
I have no issues with writing her like this. My only concern is that she might become too unlikable, to the point where the reader hates her and doesn't relate at all. She changes because of her surroundings and the stressful situation she's in, and also because she's quite isolated.
I guess my question is, how do I make sure she's unlikable, but not so unlikable that readers can't relate to her anymore?
Source: reddit post