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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My husband controls me. He watches what I wear, he tells me

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My husband controls me. He watches what I wear, he tells me what times I should start & finish work, he doesn't like me going out with my girl friends and hates my kids. I changed and let him pick my clothes, I watch my work times and tell my kids to keep him sweet, but now I feel guilty and stressed. Why?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.

I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing in your marriage. What you are describing is controlling and abusive behavior. The abuser typically attempts to control and isolate his victim as much as possible. The more isolated you are the more vulnerable you are to his controlling behavior. Remember that no one deserves this type of treatment. Feeling stress from this situation is certainly understandable. However, you have not reason to feel guilty, despite what you are feeling and hearing from your husband. You may find the following website helpful to clarify about abuse:

One thing I would add is that it seems that you have been doing quite a bit of emotional work about this relationship. In order for this to be a healthy relationship, we would expect your partner to do a relatively equal amount of emotional work (if you balance it out over time). This may be one way to evaluate if someone is committed to a relationship and to changing in order to make the relationship work. You deserve someone who will put the work into the relationship as well, since it takes two people to make it work. Also, I definitely believe in trusting your gut. It is often a very good indicator of red flags that should not be ignored. Feelings of love tend to be very irrational, while the gut is a good barometer of danger, both physical and emotional.

I would encourage you to seek individual therapy for yourself. This will be helpful for you to be able to decide if it is safe to stay with him and set limits or if you are in danger if you would begin to set boundaries to prevent the abuse. In addition, therapy can be helpful in order to get some support for yourself, build up your self esteem, help you to set boundaries, and take good care of yourself. In the meantime, be sure to take care of yourself through healthy eating, exercise, rest and reaching out to supportive people in your life. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

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