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How to deal with a controlling husband

UserPost

12:44 pm
November 7, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Hello, has anyone ever been in a relationship where you think you've given 100%, but somehow your partner blames you for almost everything. Somehow I have become responsible for everything and everything isn't done correctly: how I do laundry, how I speak to customers in our store, how I write documents, etc. Even stupid things like not being able to park a commercial van-he is yelling at me telling me to listen. Maybe I just can't park as well as he can–or why can't he just park it for me. No we have to have a big fight about a lot of small stupid things, where I end up crying myself to sleep and he just ignores me. Maybe he doen't know what to do, but when I tell him that when I'm sad, not angry, to give me a hug. That's all I ask for and I don't know why it is so difficult to get.

Isn't your spouse suppose to take care of things for your wife? I was told by my psychiatrist that your husband isn't your daddy. I spoke to some people and they said get a new psychiatrist.

I don't think he'll change, I'm tired of arguing. I get so upset I end up hitting him. I feel terrible because how could someone who loved and married me do this to me. He refuses to go to marriage counselling-I guess that is a red flag.

Are most men like this?

Any advice on coping skills- I basically have dropped most of my friends and I don't want to bother others with my problem.

1:28 pm
November 7, 2006


southgoingzax

Member

posts 79

Hi snubby,

what you are experiencing is the "crazy-making" behavior of an emotionally abusive partner. I urge you to read as many books as you can on emotional and verbal abuse (Patricia Evans is a great author and her books are a great place to start). There are also several resources on this website.

As you read, you will realize you ARE NOT CRAZY. Most of us have gone through exactly what you are going through – thinking there is something wrong with us for "failing" our partners all the time, being reduced to tears while our partners roll over and go to sleep, feeling weak, stupid, or incapable of dealing with seemingly rational demands from our partner, or having our partner make irrational demands seem rational… I hope you continue to read and post here – I'm sure there are a lot of other people who can help you out here, too.

You're not alone, and you're not stupid or weak or incapable. I think you should see another therapist – this one sounds like no good. The best thing you can learn how to do is to emotionally detach from your partner – see his reactions as his own problem and that they have nothing to do with you….It's a long learning process, but others here know all about it.

I hope you can find the help you need,

zax

2:13 pm
November 7, 2006


lovetocrochet

New Member

posts -1

Zax is right… this is definitely emotional abuse. My ex used to do stuff like this to me.

If I used phraseology he didn't like, he'd jump on me about it. If I gave the wrong answer, oh I paid for it. If he thought I was ignoring him, he'd start yelling. If I wasn't in the "right" mood in public, he'd start telling people I had mental problems.

I couldn't do anything right as far as the man was concerned. He did a good job destroying our marriage.

My ex went nuts for a few years after the divorce until he got it through his thick cranium that he really wasn't in control. I also started standing up to him more.

I still remember the day I got fed up with him correcting me when I said "my daughter" and he would bark, "OUR daughter!" The last time I snapped back, "Oh for God's sake, whatever, who cares, it's just a pronoun!" I haven't heard him correct me since.

He occasionally still slips but he knows I don't put up with it anymore. At this point all that matters to me is that he's a good father, and he knows that, and he follows through most of the time.

My current husband has occasionally been controlling but not to the scale my ex was. Even then I've made it clear when he does get that way that it's not his job to tell me how to do something, and that my doing it differently, or disagreeing with him, doesn't make me wrong.

I have to laugh because he got all grouchy with me when I used the blender while he was watching TV over the weekend. I shut it off and said oh, does this bother you? He snapped yes! I said too bad, and went back to pureeing, LOL. He didn't exactly respond to that :-) It's not like he couldn't have parked his butt in our room where we have another television…

2:26 pm
November 7, 2006


katiescarlet

New Member

posts -1

Snubby,
I am in a similar relationship right now. I have no good words of advice, since I am still trying to figure things out myself. All I can say is that you should hang in there, read the books recommended (Codependent No More was an eye opener for me) and just start trusting your own instincts as best you can.
This is a great place to vent and find support. It has helped me tremendously and I have only been posting a week.
You are not alone.
Katie

7:09 pm
November 7, 2006


Anonymous

New Member

posts -1

A Control Freak that makes you feell bad about yourself to the point your family thinks "you" are the problem? I had one. I gave up so much that Im still struggling with who I am, what I need and want.

Once we had a discussion and he said: Ok, no one says a word anymore. I said: Ok. He replied: I said no one says a word anymore!…

(((Snubby)))

7:21 pm
November 7, 2006


sleepless in uk

New Member

posts -1

Hi Snubby

I have a similar marriage but I do think that reading about emotional abuse and codependency has helped me a lot in setting boundaries and standing up for myself.

Only you will know if your husband can accept them. My husband became even more abusive when I started asserting myself, it really did escalate to a point that frightened me, but it is a bit better now.

He is more watchful about what he says now. And I have changed in that I have stopped asking his permission to do things. It is still very shaky and I dont know if we can get through it but I wont go back to where I was a few months ago

Take care; I wish you well

10:37 am
November 8, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Thank you people for the response. I felt so helpless and didn't know what to do. I was sick and just wanted to leave him right away. So I went and read a few books to give me some strategies.

Hearing from the comments, I know I need to be more assertive and just ask for what I want from him. If he doesn't live up to it-I will have to make a decision.

Meanwhile, I am going to register for an abuse course and get some better counselling.
Thanks for the support:)

10:40 am
November 8, 2006


sleepless in uk

New Member

posts -1

Good for you Snubby

Best of Luck

11:40 am
November 8, 2006


Guest

posts

I've been married forEVER!!!

We used to go round and round with certain things.

I always asked his opinion. I actually DID care what he thought and wanted to …what,….PLEASE him? At least make decisions with his input. Be together about stuff and not just ASSume I knew best, etc. and make decisions without him.

He was always flattered and more than ready to make decisions for me. Even when he didn't care, or didn't really know what he was talking about. Ego ia a powerful thing!

But last night I told him I just bought some more of those straw placemats we both like and now I can't remember where I put the other ones — I asked him did he remember?

He looked at me — honest to God — and said, in disbelief, "How would I know where you put them?"

My point is::: we have come such a loooong way away from CARING how the other one DOES things — just that it gets done is nice.

snubby, your husband is frustrated and becoming a control freak and taking out his frustrations on you. You are so frustrated you actually hit him. So it is mutual.

You need to let him know you can park a vehicle without his instruction, etc. You have a right to your own opinion and your own way of doing things.

When he tries to tell you HOW to do something, come back with "I am doing it. You are not doing it. If you want to do it yourself, then be my guest. But if you expect me to do it, then I'm going to do it my way. Period." And if he insists on harassing and haranguing you, just walk away. But pick and choose when you do this. Doing it ONCE probably is as effective as it will be.

What are you referring to when you say, Isn't a husband supposed to just take care of things for a wife?

I guess a married couple slides into not opening doors and pulling out chairs behavior after some time. You can't expect those things anymore. Hitting him? — don't do it!! So little girl-ish! I know you are frustrated, but that is exactly what a little spoiled girl does to a daddy who is trying to get her to grow up and be good.

I know one young wife who took the money meant for vehicle insurance and household bills and spent it all on decorating and expected that to be OK, after all, it was spent on the household and that was important, right??? Her daddy/husband didn't think so, and his trying to stay within a budget without her cooperation was a huge factor in their divorce.

Every time they had a difference, she ran home to her mother. Her parents were very quick to blame her husband. The girl had no clue how to pick up the responsibilities of a full-blown wife. She really expected her husband to "take care of her".

If YOU KNOW you are doing a good job and it is just a matter of a difference of opinion in HOW it should be done — listen to his reasons (just STOP getting so emotional about the laundry — the goal is to see who is right, right? I mean, this is about who is in control, right? I'm just kidding there) — OK, just listen to his reasons with an emotionally DETACHED ear, and decide if he has a legitimate beef. Does he think liquid gets it done better than powder or is it a cost issue, for example? Then ACKNOWLEDGE that he has a point, and come to a compromise if you don't agree (alternate liquid and powder, alternate cheap/expensive brands/use HIS preference on HIS seperate laundry loads — find a way — ask him if he thinks there is a solution without becoming ridiculous).

Ask him if he thinks this constant crazy fighting about the little things is worth the marriage. Because that is where it looks like it is headed unless you both learn how to have a disagreement that doesn't end with anger, hitting and tears.

Stop JUST REACTING!!! It has gotten you nowhere so far.

Expect him to act like a spoiled little boy who is not getting the affirmation and appreciation he thought he would from the cooing little woman he married (who used to not be so needy and instead made him feel like a super-guy).

Things are not going his way and he is upset and stomping his feet.

I HOPE things keep getting "resolved" in the bedroom.

snubby, I remember how awful we were to each other when we were first married. I dumped a cup of coffee on him once on purpose. I was so freaked out by a mouse in the kitchen I had him standing on a chair with a broom in his hands — scared!!! After that he just blew me off and I've been handling that sort of problem MYSELF. Apparently it comes under HIS list of WHAT THE WIFE DOES.

He still will not do the things I had on MY LIST of WHAT THE HUSBAND IS SUPPOSED TO DO.

You both have to make new lists. Much love.

2:49 pm
November 11, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Brynnie, I was a bit confused and disappointed in your comments.

I am not an irresponsible wife, and just acting like a kid. I am very emotional person and had cried a lot as a child. I have 3 older brothers who when I cried would make it worse by bugging me and pretending to have a camera on me while I had temper tantrums. I don't remember what my mom did-probably nothing-my dad was out working long hours.

I have been taking care of my husband financially for about 7 years while he figured out what he wanted to do in life. Finally, now we are in the retail business-struggling but successful after only being open less than a year. My husband is very intelligent, but cold. The trouble is he thinks I am too emotional and I feel as if I don't have a shoulder to cry on. I feel very alone when I am faced with serious problems. I expected my husband to provide advice and help me –is that too much to ask for? So it's not that I want to do everything–I want help sometimes. If there is a snow storm and I can't park the van–I would like him to do it since he is better at driving than me. Instead, he is yelling at me about how to park the van while all neighbors can hear. A woman neighbour heard this and told me not to try and park that I will get stuck and try park elsewhere.

Brynnie, can you now understand where I am coming from?

My sadness and anger just draws my husband away from me. I thought marriage is for all emotions not just happy.

2:48 pm
November 12, 2006


Guest

posts

I'm sorry, snubby.

I hear how sad and frustrated and disappointed you are.

It would be great if you could get the emotional support you want from your husband.

I didn't mean to call you irresponsible. You sound pretty awesome in the responsibility and work department!!!

I was trying to say it is EVERYONE's OWN responsibility to choose how we react to the way others treat us.

Saying "You made me feel bad" is blaming the other person for the way I feel, rather than taking responsibility for choosing how I react to someone's criticism or insult.

There has to be a way to bolster yourself so you don't just fold up and cry. A way to keep yourself in tact so your emotions do not overwhelm you. You ARE a really responsible person. I'll bet you DO know how to park in a snowstorm just fine! All those rotten bully brothers' voices are still in the back of your mind putting you down and they are no longer present. So the effect is that you are sort of "running those old tapes" on your own now. It is the old reaction (feeling overwhelmed and no way out?) that keeps you in that beaten-down state and wanting to cry.

My H used to say "But that is who I am" to me when I would accuse him of being a procrastinator. Like that made it OK to leave me waiting till he got around to doing something. It just looked like an excuse to me — I did, seriously, want him to change that behavior. So that made me look like the controlling one, didn't it??

Let's say in his ideal world, the H brings home the money and the wife takes care of ALL the running of the household, pays the bills, does or hires people to do repairs, etc. And then in the wife's ideal world, she works and she does all the daily household chores, but she expects him to maintain the vehicles and fix the gutters. That's each of their ideas about who should do what. I think every married couple has to rearrange those expectations…..

You said "I am a very emotional person" and you always have been that way. And I saw that statement in the same light of my H's excuse of "That's the way I am."

He never said If you don't like it Do it yourself. I just kept waiting around and expecting him to change. It was not acceptable to me.

So you see your H as cold, as he sees you as too emotional. You expect more hugs and comfort, and he expects you to control your tears. Both of you have these expectations that are conflicting. They are both valid needs. And, in a sense, a desire for the other one to change.

The only thing childish about it was the stubborn expectations and our unwillingness to compromise.

It could start with something as simple as saying in your most UN-emotional voice "Look, all I want from you when I am crying is a hug. If you can't do that, then I'll take a glass of water. What I DON"T need is more yelling and criticism and meanness. That is abusive."

You're a really good person. I am hoping the other people who post on this site are better than I at expressing themselves so that you are not offended. I apologize for that. We are all trying to learn how to hug ourselves.

4:42 pm
November 12, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Brynnie,
thank you for the advice I now understand where you are coming from. Our communication,especially our expectations from each other needs to be more clear with each other. I agree. I want to get counselling ,but I doubt if he will.

Maybe I will start with us making a list of how we should split responsiblities.

How did you make your husband stop procrastinating–what strategies did u take?

Thank you for your comments.

8:02 pm
November 12, 2006


Guest

posts

Did I say he stopped procrastinating? I can't make him do that. He has to choose to stop making excuses himself.

I have to WILL myself to expect no more at this point and just try to love WHAT IS. He went hunting with our son for a couple of hours today and they hooked up with our daughter-in-law afterwards for lunch and never called and asked me to come along. I was very hurt.

I told him how it felt. He said he was sorry, wasn't thinking, made excuses…..but when all is said and done, he wanted to be with them… without me.

That's how warm and cozy we are feeling about one another right now.

I don't have the answers other than to work on how I've been feeling about myself. His drinking and emotional distance REALLY doesn't help my feeling better! But…..I know treating him like a faulty specimen that needs re-working isn't the answer either.

You have to find a way for each one to WANT to step up to the ways that make the relationship better. Blaming and criticizing doesn't work. Counseling might, even if he won't go with you.

8:39 pm
November 12, 2006


southgoingzax

Member

posts 79

snubby,

only you can decide if you can love your H as is or if you want/deserve more. Frankly, I think from your posts, that you are not getting what you need from him….so if you don't want to just leave him, you need to start setting up boundaries that will leave you healthier and not so entangled in HIS reactions…I think the first step is to make clear to him that you will no longer accept being yelled at – period. I'm sure he wouldn't yell at strangers like that, and certainly you deserve more respect from him than strangers, right? Tell him that – he wouldn't yell at his customers, would he? So why does he get to disrespect you? Then, if he does yell at you again, you have to stand up for yourself and say "Stop it right now." or, "Your yelling is unacceptable and I will not listen to it." And then WALK AWAY. Remove yourself from the situation, go for a walk, go to the library, get a cup of coffee, call and meet up with a friend – just disassociate…

This is really hard to do, but it is imperative that you let him know the abuse is unacceptable to you – he IS abusive, and nothing is going to change until you refuse to be allowed to be treated that way anymore. He will never do anything else you ask him to, like comfort you when you are upset, until you make it clear to him you have boundaries and the kahonas to stick to them. And he may not change anyway – he may escalate the abuse if you refuse to bow down to him, so be prepared for that.

But honestly, you don't deserve to be treated like that. No one deserves to be yelled at. And also, this is HIS problem, not yours – learn to separate out what is really your fault and what is his. It sounds like you've taken this abuse for a number of years, so it wont be easy to change. You will have to do the changing, though, as you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do. Once you feel better about yourself, maybe you can re-examine the relationship and see if it is worth saving…but your husband is going to have to be willing to try to change, too.

The other thing I would do is learn how to communicate with him as a problem solver – this information can be found in "Emotional Unavailability", I can't remember the author, but it's available on Amazon. Learning to do this will keep you on track and stop him from purely blaming while not giving you any solution to your problem. It really can work, but it takes real focus and practice. The strategy is basically to present the issue with "I feel" statements, not "You make me feel" statements, present the issue, and then ask him how you BOTH can resolve the situation. He will probably launch into a blaming statement, such as "I wouldn't have to yell at you if you weren't such an idiot…" and you will have to follow up with a "I am sorry that you feel that way, but I am not an idiot. Now, how can we resolve this issue?" And just keep doing it. Do not give him questions he can answer with a simple yes or no – make him be a part of the solution by asking questions that require some thought and stay focused on the issue at hand. If he continues to be belligerent and refuses to discuss it with you, ask him when you will be able to discuss it with him, and keep asking until you have a date and a time.

You've got to start somewhere.

I hope this helps,

zax

10:24 am
November 13, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Zax, thanks so much for the advice. I will check out the book. Yes, I really need to work on the boundaries. Lately, I have gotten upset and just taken off on him. He gets mad and as usual, blames me for "abandoning him". Ironic, since that is exactly how I feel.

Yes, I have told him that he treats his customers better than me. I've even asked him why he doesn't treat me like a customer. He says that he isn't trying to sell me anything. Maybe, I should tell him that he should try to sell me his love.

I hate him at times and other times, I feel I need or want him. I guess that is the codependency.

I am staying with my family now for about 5 days. I've done this before and have always gone back without changing anything. I am getting physically sick these days because I feel so sad.
Yes, I am getting counselling for myself on abuse tomorrow. I have had psychiatric care but not specifically regarding abuse.

thanks for your support, it sure helps!

10:45 am
November 13, 2006


southgoingzax

Member

posts 79

I hope the time away at least lets you feel better physically – it really sounds like you are at the end of your rope….I hope you do check out that book, it was really helpful to me. It's really important that you learn how to disengage – your husband's reaction is pretty typical of a person with borderline personality disorder…he pushes you away and then claims you are abandoning him when you leave….I know how hard it is, but you have to approach dealing with him with as little emotion as possible and show him you mean business. Good for you for seeking counseling, I hope you can gain some peace of mind,

take care,

zax

12:42 pm
November 13, 2006


shyshy

New Member

posts -1

My ex husband was the same way. I couldn't do anything right. He would even pick my clothes for me. If I dressed the kids or did my daughter's hair he would redo it and redress them because he didn't line what I picked or what her hair looked like.

Eventually I started just letting him do it all. One time he complained about the fact that he was the one always dressing the kids and I politely reminded him why.

For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me. It took 15 years and a divorce to realize HE was the one with the problem. Not me and that the only reason he always had a problem with the way I did things was because it wasn't done HIS way.

When I started seeing the signs with my next relationship I started telling HIM that MY way was MY way and HIS way was HIS way and just because I didn't do it HIS way didn't mean it wasn't right! I'm the one doing it so I'm doing it MY way! and that was that!

8:24 am
November 14, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

I have been taking care of myself by staying with my family now. I saw him yesterday to do some work at our retail business. He was curt on the phone but in person he acted as if everything was the same.

I need some opinions on what he said. I told him I was still going to stay with my family until we figure things out-he said "You'll be waiting a long time", I asked what he meant by that and didn't answer. My family says that is abusive-what do you think?

Shyshy, thank you for the advice about being direct that it is my way-often I say, that's fine it's getting done–but that isn't even clear enough. I know I need to be more assertive-it is hard.

8:41 am
November 14, 2006


sleepless in uk

New Member

posts -1

Snubby

I think you have had some incredibly good advice and insight from everyone who has posted.

In your last post you ask whether his words were abusive. Your family say yes and you are not sure.

For me the thing is does it feel abusive to you? I think if you could focus on yourself rather than reacting to him and what he says you might find it a little easier.

Instead of agonising over what he meant, just do what you need to do for now. If he figures it out that is up to him, if he doesnt that is also up to him.

I do understand how difficult it is to do but if you spend too much energy wondering if he will become the man you want him to be you will pull yourself down and always be disappointed and hurt.

Perhaps you can try telling him you are staying with family for now because that is where you want to be and leave it at that.

You will feel more powerful if you take the power away from him. Dont let him think your happiness and wellbeing is entirely dependent on him.

I am trying to do that and i know it is hard but it does work.

Brynnie, Zax, ShyShy, your advice serves as a timely reminder to me too..thanks

1:33 am
November 19, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

I'm extremely sad because I think my abusive husband will not ever change and somehow the dissolution of our marriage is all my fault-he has nothing to do with it. I know communication is not a one way street and this is bullshit.

The positive part is I feel safe since I am staying with my family.

I'm very tired of him blaming me, so I said it's over and this is emotional abuse. Sick this is as I was walking away, he's hollering at me that he is the one abused.

I'm sick and tired of arguing all the time about what I did wrong–marriage is suppose to be better than that?

I just don't know how I'm going to get out of this mess.

1:53 am
November 19, 2006


bonita1

New Member

posts -1

Yes, his remark that you would be waiting a long time is abusive. It can only mean two things.

1. He will never work things out with you because he doesn't want to.

2. You are too stupid to figure things out.

Stay away from this man, you deserve better.

~~bonita

9:35 am
November 19, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

yes, after 17 years – he isn't changing- I need a divorce. If I know this is better for me why does it hurt so bad? Is it the feelings of inadequacy? Is it the thinking that I did this to myself because I let it happen? I can't wait until I am detached from this abusive man so I can learn to be happy again.

3:44 am
November 20, 2006


snubby

New Member

posts -1

Please anybody–if it is better to be away from an abusive person-why is it so sad?

12:29 pm
November 20, 2006


southgoingzax

Member

posts 79

hi snubby,

it's because you had plans….you had a future in mind, and when your hopes die, it hurts. It can make you really, really sad and leave you wondering what happened, what is wrong with you, or did you somehow fail to create the life you thought you had…It isn't easy to give up those dreams. Plus, you have an investment in this man, this marriage, this life. When you end the relationship, it feels like it was all wasted time, you are back at square one, and you have nothing to show for all those years. It's hard to feel like you have nothing, it's hard to feel like you have to start over. And, you've lost a strong sense of self, because you've tried to give so much of yourself to your husband…it's hard to know who you are anymore.

It will get better. This is a process, and you will grow and become a better person because of all of this, but it isn't easy. Growth is painful. It is uncomfortable, and add to the fact that your heart is broken – well, it will hurt. I wish you didn't have to go through the pain, but you do. Come here when you need to – we'll help you through it, as much as we can.

ZAX

11:41 pm
November 24, 2006


bonita1

New Member

posts -1

snubby,

How are you doing, hon?

I hope you are feeling better and had a peaceful holiday.

~~bonita


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