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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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Last night my husband came home and accused me of bringing

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Last night my husband came home and accused me of bringing in too little money into the household. This has never been raised before. I have a good job and earn a third of what he does (which is an excellent salary). We have more than enough income for our family and no debt apart from house and cars. I bought a schoolbag and stationary for an orphan child through my childs playschool for christmas and he was ranting about me wasting my money on others not on our children (who lack for nothing). He does not approve so I am not allowed to do it. Also I look terrible. I have picked up weight after our second child who is only seven months old and know I am not at my best but he got a bit extreme in his remarks. I am not allowed to do anything on my own. he does not forbid anything but throws such a strop afterwrds about unrelated things every time I do that I have stopped having any life of my own. My parents live a three hour flight away and I am not allowed to take the children with me in case anything happens to them? Also if I want to go he again throws a tantrum and makes life so unpleasantr I havent been there in three years and my kids have never been to their house. Luckily they understand and visit a few times a year. I understand that I am enabling the situation to continue by accepting it but don't know how to change it and do what I feel is right without tending the marriage. Please help. I canot operate under this much control any longer.

This situation is one where the marriage relationship is highly distorted. A good marriage is like two hands folded together. They are equal, and one can hardly see where one leaves off and the other begins. In this case, the one partner has lost that perspective or perhaps never had it. The marriage is not functional so long as one totally dominates the other.

Domination and control are about insecurity. Although this may be a powerful and successful man, under that surface is a person who is afraid to allow his equal, his wife, a chance to be herself and to make her own decisions and thoughts.

Your choices are limited: You can encourage him to seek a counselor which he desperately needs, but in all likelihood will not seek. Or, you could leave him. Neither is a desirable choice.

For best outcomes, I would like you to seek support from a counselor, even if he will not go. You are being emotionally abused in this relationship and need the support of a caring professional. This will also allow you to hear the advice of a neutral party and to have someone who can help you get past your emotions, such as the need to enable as you mentioned in your question.

It is acceptable to stay if you know why, and you understand what you are doing by choice and not through fear. It is not if you stay against your will or through your own emotional limits.

I would like you to read something: It will help you gain perspective and it is inexpensive on It is: The Emotionally Abused Woman : Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself [Paperback]
Beverly Engel

This book will help and is a good place to start before seeing a therapist if you so desire. Hang in there. You are growing through this, even though it is painful. Many men do realize their control and fear over time, but it usually takes a strong woman's actions to put them into that place. You are that strong woman, you just need some encouragement and perspective. Steven

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