My husband controls my life and I want to leave

Written by Dr. Ginger Gabriel, Ph.D., M.F.T

controlhusbandMy husband controls who I have for friends, what kinds of meetings I go to, what I should wear to cook breakfast in. I’m thinking of leaving him.

Advice: You really do have some choices before you move out. You can give your husband the choice of being controlling or of being frustrated. The reason we get frustrated in our lives is that things we want to happen don’t, and we get frustrated. You might stop letting him control you. For example: you might wear something else to cook breakfast in. He yells {the normal way to try to control is to use intimidation} at you, and you respond sweetly: “I’ve thought about your request that I wear high heels to cook in, and even though I enjoy making you happy, I’ve decided that I’m more comfortable in these pants and tennis shoes.” He says: “If you loved me, you would wear what I requested. You’re just selfish.” You could say: “I love you and I think I’ll wear this.” If he is prone to violence, have the phone near by to call 911 if he threatens you physically. If he hits you, call the police and have him arrested.

It’s against the law to hit women for not wearing what you want them to. Then I’d get counselling and join a support group, to help decide if this marriage can be saved.

On the other hand, he might decide to start respecting you when you decide to start respecting yourself and taking yourself seriously as a person. When controlling people don’t get their way, they will end up frustrated. Some people don’t have a high tolerance for frustration. Those people do not make good candidates for a strong relationship such as marriage.

A controlling person will not change without your first making some decisions about the quality of your and your children’s lives, and without YOU making some changes.

Dr. Ginger


88 Responses to “My husband controls my life and I want to leave”

  • Michael Jantzen M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Chell,

    As I read your comment I was saddened to read of the many ways you have been disrespected and blamed for things. What you are describing does sound abusive. I was reminded of this list of abusive behavors, which you may want to read: Have you reached out for help from anyone in your community? Does your husband ever acknowledge that these things are hurting you deeply? Please feel free to respond here, but if you want to discuss things privately, you may want to connect with one of our online mentors. If you describe the problem in the form, we would connect you with someone who has experience helping people in your sort of situation. Take care.

  • Chell says:

    Hi there,
    I av been withy husband for 23 yrs now have 3 amazing & healthy kids. I feel I am in a mental & emotianal abusive relationship.
    He has never physically abused me but his words r wicked ! He brings up my past from age 17 continuously saying how bad I am & how being with my ex boyfriend (age 17) has wrecked r marrige. I get called a bum when I at home with baby’s & get accused of having affairs eg, checking my underwear, hates me looking good or socialising with friends. He has thrown water over me in bed after a night out calling be much abusive names, he threw ltr inga in my bath accused me of washing away previous nights sins! He has said vulgar things intimidating & shouting with anger in front of children too. I have never ever been unfaithful in all these years £ wouldn’t dream of it either. Do u think I should leave him x so hard x I feel for
    My lovely kids xxx

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who is going through this that they will seek Your guidance. In Jesus Mighty name amen

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.
    Lord I lift up anyone who is going through abuse and they will seek shelter for Your protection form anyone who is trying to harm them. In Jesus Mightyname amen

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    That is great to hear that you are in a safe place Kris. Does that include someone who is helping you take steps to hold your husband accountable for his actions?

  • kris says:

    Hi is they same situation i am a survivor for abuse, i been abuse for 6 years with my husband right now i ma here in a safe place

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Christine, How did the appointment with the counsellor go?

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Hi Christine, Oh how refreshing to read your Oct. 12 post! I was wondering what to say to you when God led me to read an article in Guideposts (stories of hope & inspiration). There a young woman, a few years into an abusive marriage, went home to her family and realized that she needed “to let go of the victim and reclaim the strong capable woman God had made her.” Surrounded by the love she used to know, she was encouraged to let go of her husband and seek a counselor. She has now found a new loving husband, and in 10 years has 3 lovely children!
    You have much to thank God for; may the Holy Spirit lead you to a new and beautiful life!

  • Christine says:

    like what these people say, don’t listen to the lies everyone is telling you, as it is not right to be treated like that. I know far to will that it hurts. I’ll be praying that you have a peace about this trouble!!! I know God does answer prayer. He really works in many ways then we all can think of.
    God bless!

  • bonnie says:

    Christine-You are not being selfish. You are being a survivor.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Christine, That’s wonderful that you’ve got an appointment to see a counsellor. Well done! Normally I would caution against keeping secrets, but in this case I think you’ve made the right choice in keeping the appointment to yourself. It sounds like you are seeing your own situation very clearly (you can see that he would try and twist things) and that’s a very helpful thing to be able to do. If you’re able, don’t focus too much on wishing you had done this sooner. The important thing is that you are doing it now. You are considering the possibility that life could be different. That’s courageous. You’re going to need that courage in the weeks ahead. I’m so glad that you were able to get an appointment so quickly.

  • Christine says:

    Hello Claire. Thank you so much for your kind reply, it really makes a huge difference talking this out.

    Yesterday, even before reading your post, I suddenly out of the blue decided to go in and see my local GP (doctor) ostensibly about a cystitis problem that didn’t seem to be shifting but whilst there I tentatively started to discuss my mental unhappiness in my domestic situation and she was so, so sympathetic that it all came out in a huge “whoosh” of repressed anxiety, emotion and, I have to admit, tears!!

    She has booked me in to see an NHS counsellor next week (that’s pretty speedy for the NHS over here!) and I suddenly feel confident that this will help me unpack the whole situation. I have not told my husband and in fact I think I won’t – because he has just about enough mental grip inside my brain to be able to persuade me out of going – I will do this in my work lunch hour so that I can approach it with my own “unadulterated” thoughts and opinions without constantly worrying about being grilled on it by my husband or having things deliberately skewed to suit his viewpoint.

    I feel better already, I don’t know what exactly brought this all to a head – but it does feel as if I have finally reached a point where I recognise I need help. Perhaps I wish I had realised this years ago!?!! But there we are. Thank you.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Christine, It sounds like you’re in a very challenging situation. That must be really hard. I’m glad that you felt comfortable writing in here. When I read through you comment I was reminded of this list from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Take a look through the list. Does any of it sound familiar? Does it resonate for you?

    What Does An Abusive Relationship Look Like?
    Does your partner ever….

    > Embarrass you with put-downs?
    > Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
    > Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
    > Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
    > Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
    > Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
    > Make all of the decisions?
    > Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
    > Prevent you from working or attending school?
    > Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
    > Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
    > Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
    > Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
    > Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?

    If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. In this section, you’ll find all sorts of information on different forms of abuse. Don’t hesitate to chat or call us (1-800-799-SAFE) if anything you read raises a red flag about your own relationship or that of someone you know.

    I cannot tell you what you should do, but I do know this: you are not responsible for your husband’s thoughts, his feelings or his actions. He is grown-up, not a child. Shouting is a form of violence – it’s an attempt to gain control through emotional pressure. Have you ever had a chance to see a counsellor? It sounds like you are not getting much (any?) support from your husband. A counsellor can be a strong advocate, someone who is on your corner while you figure out what needs to be done, what can be salvaged and if there are things that may be beyond repair. It is not small thing to wonder if you can stay in a marriage and I’d encourage you not to try and face those dark questions alone. Perhaps if you see a counsellor your husband will realize that you’re serious about things needing to change. Perhaps he won’t… I can’t say either way.

    It does sound like you’ve been carrying a heavy load for a long, long time. It’s not a selfish thing to want to have a life, to ask to be respected, to long for affection, or at least peace or a little companionship. I don’t know if you have a faith background or not, but if you do, speaking to a pastor could also be a helpful thing. Or asking people to pray for you and having that support as well. If you’d like to talk to someone privately, we have email mentors available. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. (What is mentoring?)

  • Christine says:

    I always thought I was quite strong and independent and I have supportive family but I am staying in a marriage where my every move is either “allowed” or “not allowed” by my husband ……. and I don’t know what is the best thing to do. He always piles the guilt on me – he isn’t working, every job is too demeaning or he can’t do it for some spurious reason or another: ie 40 mins is too far a commute, he can’t use computer programmes because they “fuzz” his brain, labouring work is too menial, even as far as being an estate agent (realtor) is morally wrong (??!!?). Somehow the fact he isn’t working is a. My fault (never really explained why) and b. my responsibility – and so it is my fault.
    I work hard but when I get up in the morning I am “not allowed” to put on music (a real pleasure to the start of my day before meeting him) in the house because he doesn’t want the noise … So it’s ok I got an iPod but then he accuses me of shutting him out and – I know it is difficult to understand why I don’t ignore – but the rows, the shouting, the demanding are just not worth it ……… he has to have everything his way or he makes such a scene and I don’t like rows, I can’t stand the confrontation and yet he knows that I am nice and that I worry that if I leave him, he will be on the streets and so he also uses that – twisting it to make me seem the selfish one when in reality it is him but I so naturally look to self-blame, I so naturally look to be a self-solver rather than rely on others ….. the competent carer, the one who wants to make everything right at her own expense, who wants everyone to be happy. So I work, pay all the bills, do everything but I still have no freedom and it is my “care” or my sense of worry that keeps me here – he has abdicated all responsibility for his life on to me thereby trapping me!!!
    We go out if and when he wants to go out and not otherwise, regardless of how I feel about it, whether I want to or not. He just does all this not through physical violence, just shouting and going on and denanding and expecting and insisting. And because iam a doer – a people-pleaser it just escalates. He constantly undermines, makes nasty remarks and I feel like he is waging war against me …. I can’t stand it, every comment has to be shot down, sneered at or disputed (when I don’t much care about the comment but do care about the following attack on me). We can’t have a civilised conversation unless he decides to. Everything is a competition in his mind (I think) so I am never supported or we never cooperate (as I do with friends and family) but somehow any joint initiative, however small or large, becomes a battle to prove he can do it better or if he thinks he can’t to sabotage it and I am sick of having to try to remain positive whilst facing this daily onslaught.

    What to do? Perhaps I really should just leave and finally be what he tries it accuse me of so often – selfish for once in my life.

  • myplacetorest says:

    Dear All:

    I’m married for 4 years and for now we have no baby yet. I Just recently resigned for the purpose that me and my sister are now putting up a business in one of the prestigious mall in the phils.

    My sister has an existing business, aside from our corpo business, Sometime last month She was given a chance to be an immigrant in U.S which they came up to the grab the opportunity. My sister is asking me a favor to monitor her sales , the in and out expenses on her 1st store though she has employee what she wants is somebody to manage on her business. I agreed at that time and even my husband know that but after 1month my husband doesnt want me anymore to manage their business.

    I feel like i have a selfish husband why he changed his mind and even came up to the point that any single moves from me he monitor. Im sad because in this decision the closeness w my sister to is gradually gone.

    Please help why im sad. I want to help my sister.

  • placetorest says:

    Dear All:

    I just want to share the burden i have experiencing right now.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi CJ, It sounds like you have walked a very difficult road. Have you ever had an opportunity to talk to a counsellor? It sounds like you could really use some support and a counsellor would be able to help you to figure out how you can move forward.

  • CJ says:

    I have been in a very controlling marriage for 28 years. I have lost close relationships because of his jealousy. I have few friends because of him. he not only picked and chose my friends- but told me what I could and could not wear, what type of job to have, he never bought me my car. I just recently at the age of 50 bought my own truck and that was with inheritance money- He would wave the keys in front of my face in an argument and ask in a cocky voice, “where do you think your going, its my vehicle!” so this year at the age of 50, I did take a step forward to independence but I still need to get strong. he is mentally abusive- manipulative, and brainwashing me constantly. …. its time to get strong! I don’t want to live another 28 years like this!

  • Ann says:

    I do not spell so well but I have been in a abusvie relatetioship for almost 40 years I am afraid of him he has physilly mentally abuse me I feel like I am in a box I sit in a room because he has put things in the house that it is closer I can’t clean up he watched what I eat he buy the food he control the cars we have four his name is on everything I feel like there is nothing I can do I feel like I have nothing he tell me I will have nothing the house the car all of it I have been beaten when I was for mouths with child because he had numbers he is lowing to his family about me he is very controlling I cry and pray and ask god to give me the strength to leave this lace I bright a car but it does not work well I was hopping to leave with it if there is some one willing to help me please help me when he does things to me no one see it I have been to the police but they don’t help I just need a home some where to go I have call the hot line the said we have no where for you to stay and I am not blaming then I blame me for staying for so long if there a women who needs a room mate I live in Maryland I or any one else who is willing to help Please help me [it is our policy not to publish personal contact information] ann

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Sam, What a hard story you have lived. You said that you are stranded and don’t know what to do. The very first thing to look to is your personal safety. Are you in a safe place? I don’t know if you already have this info, but the National Helpline Centre for Violence Against Women and Children has a hotline – 10921. If you call them they should be able to help and also point you toward other resources in Bangladesh. Please be very careful about where you call or access the site from. Remember that if you are using a computer that your husband has access to he could search your history and find out. If possible try to contact the helping from an internet cafe or public phone.

    Secondly, if you’re thinking of leaving the country and coming back to Canada probably the best place to start is with the High Commission of Canada to Bangladesh. You can reach them here:

    High Commission of Canada
    United Nations Road
    Dhaka 1212

    Telephone: +880 2 988 7091 to 988 7097
    Fax: +880 2 882 3043 & +880 2 882 6585

    I don’t know if you have possession of your passport or not, but the consulate could help with that. They may also have other resources that could help.

    I cannot tell you what you should do, only you know that. But I will say this: if you were my sister or my friend I would want you to run. I know that you love your husband but from what you’ve written here he is not safe. He has attacked you, tried to kill you, taken your money, stolen your dog…. I know that marriage is supposed to be a commitment that lasts a lifetime, but if this marriage is going to last your husband would need to make some serious changes. Do you think it’s likely that he will? Is there any chance he would go to counselling with you? You said that you are reluctant to go to the police and file a complaint. I know that it is no small thing to consider making formal charges, but you were afraid for your life. This is not a situation that would become big if you pressed charges, this situation already IS big, the only difference is that you are facing it alone and defenceless.

    Abusive men often say they’re sorry, but that doesn’t mean that they stop hitting. There is some really good information here on the American National Domestic Violence site. This is a really big decision to make and one that no one else can make for you. Contact the hotline so you know what your options are. They should be someone there who can help you sort out what you want and what steps it will take to get there. Marriages can be restored when both partners are willing to do the work of change. But one partner cannot love enough for both.

    Do you have a faith background Sam? Is there a church you can reach out to? If you’d like to talk to one of our mentors privately you can use this form to send in your request. Mentoring is free and private and you’ll get an email back usually within a couple of days.

  • Sam says:

    Just to add to my statement. I have herpes that I was unaware of from the relations I had in Canada that I transferred to my husband he got tested and informed me then I tested it was positive. He freaks about that in our argument every time we fight.But if I knew I had the virus I would never come back to him.

  • Sam says:

    My life is exactly what bonnie says on July 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm on the TOP
    From 2008 August my life was being controlled by a 43 year old American-Bangladeshi abusive husband in Bangladesh. He physically and mentally abused me before marriage as my husband was already married to someone else and was planning a divorce. His mother and sister disowned him financially who lives in USA after they found out about us. I am a Canadian Immigrant although I love my husband to death, left my family/friends behind. He couldn’t divorce his wife as his mother was the guarantor, mother never showed up and divorce never happened. So we took the matter to our own hands. We got married while he was still married in Mar 2009. My life was great after marriage although he couldn’t live with me 7 days straight but whatever time he spent I was felt blessed. He is a family man no doubt about that His good was very good and bad was very ugly. We even owned 4 dogs in our family then. In Aug 2009 I had to leave for Canada for 3 years for my citizenship and still he never divorced his 1st wife. Shocked and disheartened! I financially supported my husband literally gave up all my saving on him from Canada as his business was in jeopardy and promised to re-pay me. We missed each other every second and also used to fight on the phone everyday from 2009 to 2012 Jan, verbally abusing each other on the phone. When things became messy I decided to separate and moved on as i couldnt take it no more. When i was learning to adjust life in Canada I kept on receiving abusive emails, calls every now and then to say how bad of a person i was, destroyed his life, broken his heart, i am a bitch/whore, my family was a whore, threats to kill me etc. After 6 months I started to date men but was never happy as I always missed my husband so my relations ended before it even began with others. In Sep 2012 he called to say he filed for divorce with his 1st wife i felt i have forgiven him for every abuse and talked about getting back together and work our marriage. After 3 and half years I will be going back home to him and my family. I confessed my sins to him thinking if we need to start things over I need to clear up everything. But little did I know I was entering another abusive marriage.
    Although he accepted me back but he never forgot people I slept with. It’s been a month we moved to a rented place with my father’s money. But every week he curses me you slept with Hindu…Hindu why Hindu…Hindus are this Hindu are that…they are our enemies, they raped our women and our nation. When I tried to defend myself that I confessed to you and it happened when we were separated and I have nothing against Hindu as I see all race and mankind equally. This verbal fight turned to physical. He is a BIG guy I always kept sharp object incase e attacked me and I can scare him off, he was injured and bled few times he came to attack me. Its 2012 July we already had 3 physical fights but the last one took a toll on me as I didn’t have any objects to protect myself he almost strangled me to death, it was the first time in my life I gasped for breadth. I called the cops and women’s right they told me to go to their and file my complaint, but I am hesitant as this could be BIG. I am not afraid. I know if I want I can save this marriage and if I don’t want I can finish it all. My heart doesn’t want to end this but my mind is telling me another. My husband left the house with his belongings sold one of my dogs for money to go by this crisis. I thought of committing suicide but that won’t solve anything. He called last night and said sorry and wants to talk for 5 mins. I told him to bring home my dog only then I am willing to sit with him, he said he will bring it back and he was in hospital for severe chest pain.
    I am 33 year old all stranded with one dog. Can’t decide what step I should take next!!!

  • Bonny says:

    I’d like to commend Bonnie on her response. She is quite wise. I went through a controlling marriage, and I find that people who haven’t been through it will advise a woman to leave, or to stand up to him by being assertive. They don’t understand what it’s like to live in the house with a controlling man, and what the consequences are when you try things like this. I had to flee my situation while he was away, after trying several “methods” advised by others. They didn’t work, needless to say. Bonnie is right…a controlling/abusive man will not change. He will get worse. Best thing to do is leave. But how do you leave when you’ve been brainwashed to think you’re worth nothing? It’s a vicious cycle, and if you get out, you still have a long road ahead to get “clean” from him. It is no small feat for a woman to leave her abusive man, and then do the work necessary to be “whole” again. We have to suffer mentally while everyone else had no clue as to what we’ve been through. I applaud all of you (including myself) who have done it.

  • Butterfly says:

    I am in a very sad relationship,in the beginning I tried to impress this man, and I did the wrong thing because of past relationships and lied about my past. I actually did the opposite of what I should have and lied about doing more then what I did. This backfired when I really felt love for him, and wanted to tell him the truth, it got out of hand, and I ended up having to lie more and more and agree to whatever he thought I did. This lead from small things over years so more and more, and before I knew it i was having to admit to whatever he felt was what I have done. The things he feels that I have done has gone finally to the point where he wants to see me do them to prove it to him. This stuff is really heavy and I can’t do these things, they are so wrong that I have tried to commit suicide and he and I have had all out wars behind them. I was saved a while ago and begged God for deliverance after I have confessed my sin. I have also told him and apologize but he will not accept it and he goes to far with his response, threatens to take our kids, I am pregnant, threatens to take this baby, and to even harm himself. I don’t have anything, I gave it all up, and now I am in a place where if he leaves (which he threatens to every time something doesn’t go his way), he will leave me with absolutely nothing. I will have to leave my home, and probably my children. It is killing me, he even has me text him literally every moment of the day to ensure that I am not cheating on him. I am scared, and I have nothing. Please pray for God’s deliverance, I know that he could be a good man, but he has trust issues that stem far before me, and now he is living out what he wishes that he could have done then with me now.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Bianca, I am so sorry that you are facing this experience. There are two main resources I’d recommend to you. The first is a question – do you have a faith background? Is there a church community that could help you? Is someone praying for you? Secondly, this is the link for the National Domestic Violence Hotline – You can also reach them by phone at 1-800-799-SAFE (1 800 799-7233). They are very skilled in helping people put their lives back together after experienceing abuse. From what you’ve written here, it sounded like you have been abused. Would you agree with that? If you do contact the hotline, the most important thing is to think of your safety first. If you contact them call or go online from a safe place. If your husband has access to your computer he may be able to track your online activity.

    I know that you don’t want to intrude on your brother’s family, but have you thought about going to him again? You said that he came to help you once before. He may be able to help you as you figure out what happens next. There is work ahead as you get things sorted out, but you don’t have to do it alone. There is help available. I don’t know if you have considered seeing a counsellor (or even if there has been time or money to think about that) but if that was an option at some point I think that could help as you process what has happened.

    I know that you feel robbed of your life. What has happened to you was not fair. I can imagine that it would feel overwhelming, but this is a chapter in your story it is not where the story ends. There’s a verse in the Bible in the book of Joel where God promises to restore “the years the locust have eaten”. Someone explained to me once that locust are like giant grasshoppers that would swarm over a field and eat every stalk of grain right down to the ground. When the locusts attacked at field there would be nothing left – total destruction. That’s the picture God paints of the situation that he can restore. He can make something beautiful out of your story. You can learn more about how God sees you here.

    Bianca, I don’t know if you believe in prayer or not, but I do. Can I pray for you?

    God in Heaven, I pray for Bianca today. You see her Father, you see the pain in her heart. You know the cruel words that have been said to her, the lies she has been told. You say in the Bible that you see all our tears, you count them. You know the pain Bianca has experienced. I pray that you would bring relief. Bring someone to help her. Show her what to do and how to move forward. I pray that you would protect her and protect her son. Bring peace back to their home. Give them a place to live, a safe place, where they can rebuild their family. Give Bianca wisdom and remind her of how much you love her. Go ahead of her and show her the way. Thank you for your promise that there is nothing she could ever do to lose your love. She is worthy of your love and beautiful in your sight. She is a woman of value and worth. Help her to see herself that way. In your name I pray, Amen.

  • I’ve been married for almost 2 years i have a 2 year old son from a prior relationship. My son was 6 months when we met and he imedately wanted to marry. So i thaught it was love at first sight . Ever since day 1 this man was a little obsessive, my bank card , my lone stare card, i.d everything he kept .He is an alcoholic, so he has always pushed me around. Told me ugly things. Accused me of , well, everything under the sun a bad woman would do to their husband. Honestly, I’m not a bad wife, cooked, ironed, worked, paid bills. I even lost my beautiful long hair to his jealousely. Lost all my friends, and associates. I thaut i was in love so bad, wanted to be in love , wanted a real family i just didn’t see the warning signs. he got so upsesed about my every move. My every text message every phone call just everything in my life. When i would get off from work he would go throu my phone smell me… Every Where. he would go to my job and just sit in the establishment and watch me. Or even the parking lot, or even the parking lot but hidden so i wouldn’t see him. Any ways i loose my job, i loose my apartment . SO i get another job and another apartment. it all goes down again, this time I’m not so lucky as to finding a job or an apartment. mind you he never works just stays home all day with my child spending all my money. Income tax season is in and i buy another car( he wrecked all my cars so far drinking)so I get a car and not enough to afford an apartment. Sadly we end up sleeping in my car for 3 months till i find my brother and he lets me and my son and my husband move in. My brother doesn’t let this abuse continue, my husband finally starts working and acting like a man. This lasts about 6 weeks. Meanwhile my brother is telling me to stop being stupid and be a woman. Don’t let this man treat you like this your a good woman he tells me , and i believe him. i guess i grew some balls because i have my brother to back me up. Husband hates this and we fight a lot by this time. i guess he doesn’t think i deserve respect or maybe he doesn’t like that my brother is trying to make him a good husband and father for us i just don’t know, but now he is leaving me. Nothing. I have nothing. Husband has a house but always had an excuse why we couldn’t live there. Always had a job with his uncle but just recently decided to work all the time and doesn’t help us wen he gets paid. He has my car title and just refuses to give it back to me. I don’t know what to do. This man pawned all my jewelry, Wreck 4 of my cars, I lost 2 really good jobs because of him. And now me and my son are left with absolutely nothing. I can’t even sell my car to get a place to live. My brother has a big family and i don’t want to intrude any more then I already have, you know. Its just so hard and I’m so sad. In my state it is a community property state, which means, I’m probably going to have to give him 50-50 of my car since we baught it while still married. But all his assets are his alone because he had them before we met. Omg, I lost everything to my husband. And now i still got to give him, 50-50, while he sits back in his beautiful house with a great job. Me and my son, just nothing. I just turned 23 years old and my baby boy is going on 3 in a few months. My son calls this man daddy. I don’t want that at all, but he cries for him all the time. He doesn’t understand any of this mess. He is too preciouse, my son. Why? I don’t know what to do? I feel robbed of my life.

  • bonnie says:

    My sympathy to all those who are being abused by their controlling husbands. Control is ALWAYS ABUSE. Men who “must control” are self-loathing, feel inferior all the time, tend to be narcissistic and extremely selfish. They are filled with rage and hatred for their wives. No matter what she does or how hard she tries to “fix” the situation, she can do no right. This is because he is projecting his self-hatreds onto his wife. It is easier for him to blame others, in particular the one who is closest. Patriarchal societies like here in U.S.A teach through culture, media, traditions and religion that men are superior to women. Little boys are given Superman capes which not so subliminally indicate their maleness/cape/penis tells even the most ordinary boy that something about them makes them better than girls and entitles them to more privileges throughout life. Later in life when that boy realizes that the girl in his class is smarter than him or bats a ball better than him or as an adult she earns a better living , etc. he can’t reconcile the truth from his male-superiority indoctrination. That’s when he may lose all control of himself and may become an abuser.

    In my case it seemed to come on slow. It first appeared as selfishness. I didn’t recognize red flags, as I came from an abusive family and was taught nothing about how to have a successful life. I thought everyone has faults and since I wasn’t greedy or materialistic, I would get by with his selfish behaviors {cheapskate never even bought me a wedding ring). Many years later the ##it hit the fan and I went on line where I found out that CONTROL IS ABUSE. I am a hard-working person, but my husband has stolen money by forgery of my separate bank account, he’s forged my name to a second trust deed on our home, he came into my business which I paid for entirely myself out of separate property funds which are not his and he fired my chef ( I have a small restaurant) and stole my money from my corporate business accounts. I opened the restaurant so I could have some money so that I could leave him. I am now broke and don’t have any money to move away. He never gives me any money even though he earns over $100,000. per year. He lies, steals, cheats, yells, breaks my belongings, throws out my vital records like birth certificates, throws out my clothing, punches walls, called all my friends and threatened them-don’t have friends anymore. Have no family to go to. Went to divorce attorneys and because of the debts he ran up in my name and crashed my credit, I was told no divorce judge would give me a penny of alimony until I paid off all (his) debts he put in my name!

    My advice to those who are being controlled is- control freaks do not ever change-they just get worse and add an array of other abusive acts. No therapy, marriage counseling, medications or prayers are going to change him. If you are going through this and you have family who can help, go there. Be extremely careful and cautious. He may get violent or even kill you. If you have a college degree use it to find good employment as far away as possible. Check with an attorney in your state on laws of “abandonment” so you won’t lose your rights to your property, belongings and custody of your children. Also if you are newly married, do not bear children with this man. And leave as fast as you can. I wish I could leave, but among other things I am being financially controlled and have nowhere to go but to live on the streets at age 64.

  • Michael Jantzen Michael Jantzen says:

    Hello Held Captive, thank you for sharing about your struggle. It must be incredibly difficult to feel trapped and unsatisfied in your life. I don’t know what is motivating your husband’s behaviour, but it seems that he struggles to trust you and that his recreational plans and need to take it easy in his way takes priority over what you need.

    It seems like you need to find a sense of freedom that remains even if your circumstances don’t change right away. You might want to try this short fill-in-the-blank study: One of our online mentors will respond to your thoughts as you try to work out what freedom would mean in your life; it’s a way to process what you’re feeling and hoping for.

    I would encourage you to talk to one of our confidential online email mentors: You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days:

    Thank you.

  • Held captive says:

    I know I need to make changes to change my situation, but I am so scared. The outside world doesn’t understand this–I am educated and have a good job. My husband is not educated, but does hold down a secure job. The problem is that I am not allowed to do anything–it is as though I am under house arrest. He frequently takes multi-day trips with our son, and I stay home alone. When I mentions things I might like to do while he is gone, he tells me that I don’t need to go anywhere, and that I just need to stay home and “take it easy.” When I am at work, and he can’t reach me by phone for 15 minutes, he freaks out and says that I am acting weird. I feel so depressed, and remember when I used to be a free person. My youngest child will be out of the house in another year, and I hope I am brave enough to leave them. Sometimes, I feel like I will not know personal freedom again until I die.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi hopeless mommy, It sounds like you are in a very challenging situation. There’s an excellent article here on abuse in the home that could be a good resource for you. If you’d like to talk to someone privately, we have mentors available. Mentoring is free and private. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days.

    There is also excellent information and resources available by calling the National Abuse Hotline at 1?800?799?SAFE(7233) or going to their website but please be careful – if your husband may be monitoring your computer use or search history phoning from a secure place might be safer.

  • hopless mommy says:

    im really in a stuck in four walls, unable to get out. my husband controls my life, money and myself esteam. he dnt allow me to work , does not allow me to sit down while his at home. wants me to cator him and take care of our kids of 1yr and 10 month old boys. he controls the money and tells me that is i leave is leave with the clothes ill be wearing and nothing else. his already hit me and always verbal abuseing me. he saids if i seed help no one will believe me. he tells me all he has to say is that im crazy and an un fit mother. i feel i can never escape. never will have a roof over my head for my children. sometimes if fell like anything i so is ever enough. if he sees a single item on the floor he goes crazy and telling me im dirty and a pig. i do try to have everything clean but its hard at times with a 10mth old baby boy, one yr old boy and my daughter of 10 yrs old. i cnt feell like this anymore.

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Dear Windbourne, Sorry to hear about the struggles you are facing. I cannot even begin to imagine all that you are dealing with. The article above notes, “A controlling person will not change without you first making some decisions about the quality of your life, and without you making some changes.” You mentioned numerous times your husband had been offered employment in other states but failed to go forward in making the commitment. Have you ever thought about applying for a job outside of your current state in hopes of using your degree? Maybe if you were offered a well paying job in another state your husband may feel more comfortable in moving forward and then finding a new job as well.

    You mentioned that you are upset at your father…will never forgive him for getting your husband that job. It sound like this act of kindness on your dad’s part was a way that he could supply a need in his daughter’s, your, life. Your anger might be misdirected in the wrong place. Your dad meant no harm by helping your husband obtain a job and was even willing to put the down payment on your home that your husband decided to sell. Sounds like you have a caring mom as well based on her loving response to you. Is there a way that you could possibly get away and go visit your parents for a while? Maybe a little time away from your present issues and spending some time with your parents would help you sort things out. This may allow you to come up and embrace new ways for “you” to change your life for the better regardless of your husbands willingness to make changes for the betterment of your future.

    I pray that you do not give up hope….because God loves you and He wants you to have a better life. In Mathew 19:26 Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Windbourne, your situation may look impossible for your to escape BUT when you begin to trust that God can turn your situation around for the better…He will move heaven and earth on your behalf because of your faith in Him to help you out.

  • Windbourne says:

    I have been married to the same man since 1990. My Father got him a job and he has been at it ever since. He is not educated. I have a degree from Tulane University. We live in a rural town with nothing but chain restaurants of which I am not hireable. I’ve tried and tried as silly as it sounds. Every day he swears he is applying to move to San Diego, Virginia, etc the list goes on. Jobs get offered and he not only disappoints me by not taking them but he drags the new employer on that he is taking the job. He will not purchase any furniture in this house, he turns off the heat to the water heater during the day. I livet in the roasting deep south in a sweltering house. People say not to tolerate it. I have no choice I have no money to leave. Heck he doesn’t leave money for groceries.. He goes on his own and gets healthy food for himself and will tell me to eat chain burgers etc. Everyone I meet that has a terrible husband story always feels much better when they hear my lifestyle. I decided not to have children, thank God for that as they would have no food nor clothes. I know this story sounds impossible but every person I have met has seen the mental abuse and how I live. He sold our house that my Dad paid the down payment for and I thought we were finally getting away from this south and he took the profit and got another house in an affluent neighborhood 20 mins.away that no way can he pay the property owner fees and etc just so he could stay close to the job that let me remind you my Dad gave him.I asked my Mother if this is what my parents had in mind for the outcome of their daughters life. Of course not she said.I was totally freaking out at him that he could no way afford this endeaver and he held me down all the way to the house closing and I had five realator types telling me to come out of the car and come in and sign the closing. I will never be able to forgive my Dad for giving him that job. I have never had a birthday nor Christmas card much less a small minding from him. My life is torture.I was told by an educated woman who went through this about a free counciling service here in Mississippi. I called them just to be told they had none of that available and they suggested that they have many roads out of here and suggested I take one. Just a ghastly place. I will never fit in here as they can tell I’m differnet. I don’t hunt or ride in massive trucks and play in mud. My childhood is private schools in the North East and maybe it would have been best if I had grown up under a bridge in New Orleans. The locals probably would have been kinder. You’ll either believe me or not but all I ask of anyone who is reading this is for your prayers of hope that I will ever be able to get away from this. I have no faith as that has been destroyed. I still believe in charity as when I do have any money from free lance work as even with my degree, my job at the emergency room I was paid $6.80 an hour. But God knows as well as many recipients of my bit I could contribute I do share everything I’ve got.
    Sound like a martyr but just sharing a tale that these stories exist. What I can’t understand is that there is no where that I or other abused women can get help. Not money help, just hire me. I did the university thing why can’t I figure this out? I get it the south it not the place to be but where do you suggest I try? A safe city that is women friendly. Southern MS or LA is not that place.

    Rant over. Thank you dear readers for reading my epistle.

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Father God, in faith I pray to You today on behalf of Research. I ask that You place a hedge of protection around her and her son as well. I ask that You would send the right help into her life at this scary and vulnerable time of her life. Someone that will guide, encourage, and perhaps help her to make whatever wise steps You desire for her to take regarding the relationship she feels trapped in and is longing to flee from. I pray that You work on her husband’s heart at this time, making Him aware of his faults and how he has actually been hurting his wife and children as well. I pray that Your Spirit will comfort Research at this item and that You would impart wisdom, understanding, and knowledge as to how to proceed forward. I thank You, Lord, for all that you are going to do in Research’s life. I thank You for the protection that You will place around her so she will feel more at ease knowing You are guarding her. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Research, I am sorry to hear that things are so hard at home. Have you considered going to a marriage counsellor? I don’t know if your husband would ever agree to go with you but if you could go on your own I think you could really benefit from the support. If you feel you are in danger there is excellent information available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It is always my hope that families can stay together, if that is no longer an option for you and you decide that you need to go I would urge you to be very careful. People who are very controlling can sometimes react violently when they see their control being threatened (as would happen if he saw you leaving). If it comes to that, take steps to protect yourself and your children. If you would like to talk to someone privately, we have email mentoring available. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. (What is mentoring?)

  • Research says:

    I have been married for 29 yrs. I have had physical and verbal threats. I have been to group meetings off and on and we have filed for divorce 2 times. He alawys comes back crying and saying things will be different. He also has a drinking problem but won’t admit it. He was arrested in 2002 and I thought this was my chance to get away. I’m on depression med. and deal with anxiety. We have 3 kids. My youngest is 15 still living with us. My husband has been telling me he will be glad when its just me and him. I never get to see the other two. He always thinks of a reason for me not to go. The house needs cleaned, or I need to workout. He says I’m to consumed with my kids, that my focus should be on him. He attends church and you would think he walked on wate. I have never posted on a site before, but I need advice on what to expect cause I want out. Last weekend he got mad cause he wanted to drink and have sex and wanted me to find somebody for our son to stay with. But i didn’t and he was furious. I was taking a bath and he came in on me and demanded I shave. I told him no and he said do it or else I will yell it so everybody hears it meaning my son. I don’t want to hate him but I don’t love him. I have done research and he has characteristics of a narcisstic social path. Anybody ele ever deal with this type of person? What should o expect when he sees I’m leaving?

  • Andrew Andrew says:

    @ confused I am sorry to hear of the situation that you find yourself in as in life when a person is going through severe hardship it is difficult to look beyond the problems. The longer we hold the problem in the bigger the problem is because all you look at is the problem. When I went through a very abusive relationship I asked Christ to show me the way out as to what I should do. The first thing I did was reach out to someone in local baptist church as I was in a foreign city and did not have a support system.

    Often the answer to the problem is to meet with other Godly people for them to pray with you as God through the Holy Spirit will do amazing things and give you insights when you ask him too. Ask Christ to give you the strength and read Psalms as I found when i did this it gave me peace.

    Lord Jesus,

    I pray that you will be with this Lady who is going through a very difficult time. Lord Jesus I pray and ask that you will bless her and that she will look to you for peace. Lord I pray that someone will come along side her and encourage her during this very difficult time. Protect her and her kids,

    In Jesus Name,


    You may also wish to request an online mentor to talk with you,

    God Bless

  • confused says:

    I have a husband for 9 years but been with him for 16 years we h ave three children together and anothw r one that isn’t his he tells me I’m syco and tells the Kids that he also yells at me everything I take them the doctors they don’t need a doctor I don’t know what to do but I know I can’t take it anymore I cry all the time my kids don’t listen to me and I don’t even have a job. I don’t know what to do. I need help.

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