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

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

  • Laura says:

    Katie!!!!!!!! I’ve been where you are. No one can tell you to go. You have to believe in yourself first. It sounds like your ready or at least very close to being able to leave and actually STAY GONE.that man is sick mentally. It is sad yes and I know part of you loves him but know that nothing will change……ever…..it will only become worse…trust me. Please trust me. I went through the exact same thing. Your story was my story..and eventually I did leave. Even when I had nothing. Got to the point where I WANTED to start over..from scratch..with nothing. And it’s true that what doesn’t kill u makes you stronger. Seek financial assistance from the government and move in with your mom and kids . The hardest part is packing and leaving.but once your gone you get that feeling deep inside and u know it was the right decision. I left when my husband was at work to avoid any violence. And went back with my brother..you can do it….love yourself

  • Chris says:

    katie…so sorry to hear of your situation!….surely this isnt marriage what you are living but rather you have been taken hostage by this man. jesus has an abundant life for you, just walk out the door, he has it opened for you spiritually. do not be afraid. fear is never from jesus. do not fear the threats of your husband either. jesus is the one whose words endure forever, not the words of a worm of the earth. move in the power of the spirit as you seek jesus to truly be the only lord and savior of your life. if you arent sure you know jesus savingly, log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. i am praying now that through the power of the holy spirit you can rise up and walk in the integrity and authority of jesus promises to you and no longer let this man make you his slave any longer. remember, slavery ended over a hundred years ago and it ended when jesus died to set you free as well. blessings now to you!

  • Katie says:

    Hello,
    I’m having issues in my marriage. Been married 5&1/2 years. From the beginning he was really controlling. Made me quit my job. Sold my car, took all the money I had. I thought he just wanted to take care of me and get me a better job. I had 2 kids (twins) from previous relationship. I have a lot of health issues and he promised to take care of me if I married him right away. After 3 weeks we were married. My health has deteriorated substantially in the last 5 years… He won’t let me have any friends, doesn’t want me to see my family… I literally sit in my room all day and all night. I’m horribly depressed! I have no money, no job, no car, nothing. He controls everything. Doesn’t even want me to say hi to neighbors or anything. I’m losing my mind. I swear he’s brain washing me and he’s a liar. I catch him all the time lying about stupid things. I grew up strict Baptist. I now Don’t go to church and my 2 kids are staying with my mom because of my health and we have hit hard times. He gets mad if I make eye contact with anyone. I can’t live like this anymore! Only have my 3 year old to talk to. My mom wants me to leave. I’m scared to do that because of my health and because I have nothing. Not to mention our 3 year old. He takes good care of me… Gets my medicine and takes me to hospital when I need it… Buys me things I need but I have to ask for everything. I haven’t driven in over 5 years. I don’t know how much more I can take but I’m scared to leave… He has threatened me that he will take my youngest and call CPS and all these things. Said he would ruin my life. I’m so lost.

  • Chris says:

    ishita….so sorry to hear you are struggling….there are times in life where we realize we are not happy but if we will seek Gods will instead of seeking happiness, then God can give us the true happiness we are really seeking through him. only God our father through his son jesus christ can show you what to do in this situation but he would have you give it and your life to him so he can direct you about it. you, like we all, need to have a close and intimate relationship with our Creator since he knows what are the best plans to take for our lives. if you would like to know more about having a personal relationship with God please log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. i am praying you find the inner peace you need through receiving jesus today. i know your life will never be the same as you do!

  • ishita says:

    My husband has been controlling my life for past six years. Now I am tired and depressed. I have a two year old. I live in USA as a dependant visa holder. But now I want to go back to my country but my husband is not letting my child go with me. What should I do? Please help me

  • Aldo says:

    Been there, thank you for your kind comments on the article, for your agreement about seeking direction from God, and for your testimony on how it has changed your life for the better.

    May God continue to use you in helping people to turn to Him and to trust Him in your similar situation.

  • Been there says:

    I have been there before and I actually really like Dr. Ginger’s advice. I also wholeheartedly agree with the comments about seeking direction from God. That is how my life changed for the better. I am now very happy. I have also come across a great resource that I wish I would have had years ago when things were really bad, but I still find it useful; maybe you will too. Check out http://www.narcissismcured.com God bless!

  • tqGOD says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your comforting prayers.
    Keep up the good work.
    God bless

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Lee, sorry to hear about the difficulties you are facing at this time. Perhaps you would like to connect with one of our online private Mentors via email. Here is a link to request one if you would like: http://powertochange.com/experience/talk-to-a-mentor/

    Lee, I came across this website that may be of help to you. It is Largo Florida Shelters and Services: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=Largo&state=FL

    Also, here is a link to Florida’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://www.fcadv.org/ Perhaps they will be of assistance to you as well. I have seen abused women reach out to this organization and have seen how they have literally turned those women’s lives around by giving them a safe haven place to stay and teaching them the tools to safely move forward.

    Lee, Do you believe that God is with you through this situation? That He is watching over you and will provide for your needs? many years ago when I did not know what else to do or where to rest my head…the Lord showed up on the scene and changed my life forever more. I believe He will do the same for you too.

    Even thou you stated do not pray for you…I can’t help but to pray at this time on your behalf. There is power when hurting people reach out for help and someone comes along and prays on their behalf.

    Father God, I pray for Lee today. I ask that You would help Lee transition through all that she is going through at this time. I pray that You would provide for her immediate needs such as shelter, a vehicle, and safety. I pray that You would arrange to have the right people come along to help Lee find an affordable car so she can go to work. We thank You for all that you are doing and will do in Lee’s life. In Jesus’ name, Amen

  • Lee says:

    Don’t just pray for me, take off a day to help me find a used car under $500. down payment. Then a room to rent or shelter. (don’t have a lot of money saved) hopefully close to work at brian Dairy Road in Largo, Florida. In the past 7 years , been isolated from friends, and lost all my immediate family (I’m in my 50’s)over the last six years. Lost contact with my distant family over the last 40 year. He is a very insecure, angry person. I have to be discrete. Thank you for letting me share, vent & cry out for help.

  • Aldo says:

    Sharon, I agree with Debra. The best thing you can do now is pray for your husband. Ask God to bless him. It will be like heaping coals of fire on his head, which means that conviction will come upon him, and he will realize how good he has it now. I don’t doubt that God will turn your husband’s heart around to see something in you that he has never seen before.

    By the way Sharon, do you have a “born again” relationship with God through having accepted and received His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not, you can have that now.

    Here is a suggested prayer. Remember, God is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me, forgiving my sins, and for giving me eternal life, in Jesus name, Amen.”

  • Debra Stringfield says:

    As I was reading your comment, again, Sharon. He might be up under financial pressure. So, I encourage you to pray and ask God to remove the financial pressure off of his life.

  • Debra Stringfield says:

    I would just like to encourage you to seek God in prayer for His Direction. And to spend some consecrated time (1 hour or more), in praying for your husband. And every morning, Plead the Blood Of Jesus over you and your husband and children.

  • Sharon says:

    My husband yells at me all the time. He says it is so nice when I leave for the day. Tells me he can’t help me with anything, like medical bills, etc. he says your on your own. I am going to leave to get back my sole. I am told what am I doing with you.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Johnny—
    God constantly intervenes in the lives of humans, both men and women who are in physical harm’s way. Jesus protected the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death by the Pharisees (John 8:1-11). Jesus protected his disciples from drowning during a storm at sea (Matthew 8:24ff). God protected the apostle Paul from dying in shipwrecks, stonings, beatings, and snake bites. God protected Queen Esther from being killed by the King when she arrived unannounced in the palace (Esther). God intervened to save the apostle Peter from death and brought him safely out of the prison (Acts 12:1-19). He continues to work that way today. At least twice that I know of he intervened to save me from death or I wouldn’t be posting this today.

    He has also intervened in YOUR life Johnny—by sending Jesus Christ to die for the sins of disobedience YOU’VE committed—lying, stealing, lusting, using His name in vain, and denying Him. At this very moment, he holds your life in His hand. He could stop your heart before the next beat. It is only because He is merciful that he hasn’t done so already; but sooner or later, you too will die.

    Yes, there are terrible atrocities committed by sinful man every second of every day. If God were to judge every one of them right now, there would be no one left on the planet. However, every person, including you, will one day be judged for everything they’ve ever done against a Holy God. Nothing will be forgotten. Every evil deed will be brought to light. No one will escape eternal judgment. It’s obvious from your post that you are NOT ready for that judgment day.

  • Johnny G says:

    The [expletive removed] with that [expletive removed] religion crap! That stuff was made up maybe a couple of thousand years ago. Debra needs to go a lawyer first. Get into a ‘safe house’ where other women go to leave their abusive and controlling men (and women) spouses. Make sure the kids are with you. Because, if you have children, these controlling nut cases will take the children and threaten you. Women do the same to men. Let’s face it, if there really is any sort of spiritual being out there, do you really believe that being is going to physically help you? Never did it before.

  • Kate says:

    Thank you Debra for your prayers and encouragement. We certainly need the Holy Spirit to fill us, to teach us to pray, to guide us and teach us to be wise.

  • Debra Stringfield says:

    Was praying, and felt impressed to also encourage you, to ask the Holy Ghost for help… He will help you to see and understand.

  • Debra Stringfield says:

    I’d like to add to encourage you to pray and intercede for your husband on a daily basis. Love you, ladies…

  • Debra Stringfield says:

    I pray for all the ladies on this website. That they will arise to be all that God called them to be. You are valuable, you are precious. Ask God to help you to focus on your life, and what He has called you to do. As you do, Our Lord God will take care of your marriage. The enemy wants to stifle you and make you feel stuck. I pray that the Holy Ghost will place an anointing of release over your lives. I encourage you also, to do a study on the Blood and Cross of Jesus Christ. As you do, I encourage you, to every morning and evening to Plead The Blood of Jesus over your family. There is Power In the Blood….

  • Chris says:

    Wendy…i am sorry to hear about your situation. 1 tim 5.8 is clear that its the mans responsability to provide for his household. you can stand on that verse and not have to back down from it or be coerced to feel bad when you have done nothing wrong. leave the ball in your husbands side of the court. let him decide if he wants to provide for his family or not. as you continue to trust christ, you know you cannot fail nor fall…lord hold Wendy up in her stand of faith. lead her by your guiding hands and let her never be ashamed of her hope she has in you jesus amem!

  • Wendy says:

    I am finding things really hard because my husband of 19 years has become extremely controlling. He took my bank cards and expects me to use up all the savings to feed and clothe our five children. He just got angry at me today because I wouldn’t give him my tax return. I need this money to feed the children and I. He earns almost a million a year and has plenty for himself so I don’t see why he has to have what little money I have in the bank as well. What I struggle with is that I want to be a godly wife and have put up with his critical and controlling ways for years but right now I just can’t see how I can keep going and still be godly. I will not leave him because that is not biblical and yet I feel like I am going stir crazy putting up with his rudeness etc. It is as if he wants me to leave him. God has not answered my prayer yet but I am walking in faith that he will. I read an article about putting up boundaries and tough love but there are other articles that say just keep showing love. It is so hard.

  • Chris says:

    debra…sorry to hear about your situation….it would seem that your husband either cant or doesnt want to fulfill his marital obligations to you and is in even restricting you from living a normal life yourself. we know that God did not intend marriage to be slavery. there are many times we will need to exercise patience but within the parameters of a true marriage. first, i would suggest that you be sure you have a personal relationship with God through jesus christ since all life starts there. you can find out how to do that by clicking…knowingjesuspersonally.com or by clicking talk to a mentor above. in order for our lifes problems to be resolved, we do need to have God personally involved in our lives. that way, you might be also to lead your husband into having his need for christ resolved also. you might find walkingthechristianlife.com also helpful in your marriage situation. i pray jesus would become alive to you since he truly is and that you would see the hope of your calling comes from heaven to your life here on earth, so that your life becomes alive again in christ for your good and for the good of your husband in jesus name amen!

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