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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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MY HUSBAND CONTROLS ME. I feel like Im in the wrong all the

Customer Question

MY HUSBAND CONTROLS ME. I feel like I'm in the wrong all the time. My husband and his mum wind me up to the point where I react and then they use my anger to get back at me. My husband is really nice to every one else evan my dad believes he is in the right. what do I do. I feel like I am trapped I have 4 children and I can not leave him. I have no money and no family support.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
To help me to help you, can you tell me how long this has been going on?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ever since I have been married. I have now been married for 21 years. My mother-in-law used to use the same behaviour as my husband for the first 10 years of my marriage and then my husband started to use this behaviour on me. They both seem to ignore me then blame me for ignoring them. It's like mental abuse they take all their low esteem within them self or their down falls and put me down just to make themselves feel good. My mother-in-law used to make me do all her house work and if i ever said I'm not doing this or didn't go round regularly she would ignore me and make out that i was in a bad mood and treated her with disrespect. Everyone used to believe my mother-in-law and make me apologise, this was a regular patern. My mother-in-law loved to annoy me and then told everyone that I had a bad temper and needed to control it. My husband does the same thing.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I feel as if my husband is only happy when I am down. He doesn't like it if I am really happy or if i ask him to take us out as a family. Every time he buys me something he makes me pay for it in the way of getting really angry with me he acts as if he's does something really big for me and I'm in debt for it. I have been working since 2000 and have never asked for anything from him but yet even if I buy things with my own money he still acts as if I owe him.


I feel really loney all my own family don't understand and have told me to get on with him and not to tell my troubles to any one of them. My husband has told all my familoy that he is really nice to me and that I don't smile or talk polietly to him. I don't want to get on with my husband I am deeply hurt in the way he has treated me, i have wasted 20 years of my life.

Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for getting back to me on this.

Twenty years is a long time, but wasted? Not totally. You are learning from it, and what you are learning will stand you in good stead in the future.

It seems from the tone of pour letter that you have almost given up on your marriage, but before you make any irrevocable decisions, you need to be sure that you are thinking very clearly indeed. For that reason,
I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies. It will help you deal with all the negative feelings and emotions surrounding you at the momenmt, and get you ready to move forward.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

In the meantime, I’d like you to use this tool -

This Bill of Rights was one of the tools used by Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist. Containing some really basic psychological rights belonging to every person, it really helps to identify and deal with areas in which we have problems.

Read the statements. Note down any immediate thoughts or feelings that come to you.

Look at yourself in a mirror and read it out loud to yourself. Listen to your voice grow in strength and volume so that you can really start to feel it inside. In the beginning, you may feel silly or embarrassed. You may hear the inner voice say, "That's not the truth". Just hang in there and keep doing it - you'll notice the change within six weeks, if you do it regularly.

1. I do not have to feel guilty just because someone else does not like what I do, say, think or feel.

2. It is O. K. for me to feel angry and to express it in responsible ways.

3. I do not have to assume full responsibility for making decisions, particularly where others share responsibility for making the decisions.

4. I have the right to say "I don't understand" without feeling stupid or guilty.

5. I have the right to say NO.

6. I have the right to say No without feeling guilty.

7. I do not have to apologise or give reasons when I say NO.

8. I have the right to refuse requests which others make of me.

9. I have the right to tell others when I think they are manipulating, conning, or treating me unfairly.

10. I have the right to refuse additional responsibilities without feeling guilty.

11. I have a right to tell others when their behaviour annoys me.

12. I do not have to compromise my personal integrity.

13. I have a right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. I have a right to be wrong.

14. I do not have to be liked, admired, or respected by everyone for everything I do.