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Kristin, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 454
Experience:  Psychotherapist and Relationships Expert with 11+ years exp. Dating, Relationships, Marriage.
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Like I said, I have a friend in a controlling relationship.

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Like I said, I have a friend in a controlling relationship. Beside myself, she has possibly only one other friend. Her husband control of the finances and almost every aspect of the life makes her almost a slave to him.

I just cannot sit back and watch her destroy her life and the kids he is demanding that she give him. I want to be your friend and I know that she has to make the decision for herself. But, isn't possible or suggestible that I encourage her to be more independent, finish school or something to show that she is options and that her life can be more promising than being subservient to him. Once she has kids, she will never leave the house or have anyone to talk to.

There must be something one could suggest to help her. I can't believe just listening, comforting etc. her is all that's possible

Hello and thank you for your question.


Yes you can make suggestions to her about becoming more independent and to also help her to see how controlling her husband is, and that this concerns you. Do you think he is abusive to her as well? How long has she been in this marriage and has she been confiding in you that she is unhappy in the marriage?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

As far as I know, but he has only subjected her to mental abuse, as in being extremely controlling with an outrageous prenuptial agreement and of any decision she hopes to make from which movie she should watch, how to clean the house, relationships she's allowed to have. Although, she chose me feel my friends are "friends" she has is pretty much a male friend who has the same kind of relationship with their wife or wives.


She is about 24 and has been married roughly 4 years. He is a believe in his late 30s or early 40s.

I don't know everything, like I said, but what I know is disturbing and cannot sit back and watch as the previous expert suggested, repeatedly.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I forgot to answer one question you asked.


She has let slip comments about what he will or won't allow her to do and other troubling, to me anyway, aspects of their marriage. When I confronted her about how wrong this is she has replied softly, almost' apologetically and quite unconvincingly that she is in fact happy... pretty much. She says early in the marriage it was very, very tough for her. But, that now after a few years, she's got used to it. That statement made me crazy.


I told her that in no way did I believe her. But she again saying that while her marriage may not be ideal or normal that she said (and after a pause) she was happy.


It can't be possible. Like I said, she possibly has one person beside myself she could call a friend. Otherwise, everyone else to my knowledge are people who are husband knows and, of course, approves of.


I did not ask her if anything got physical, as she is only really opened up the past month or so. I just wasn't sure how to confront her or talk with her, which is why I'm here now

Okay thanks for the info. Yes, it does sound very controlling and to the extreme level from what you describe. The best thing to do for her is to be a friend to her, and when she does confide in you, to be honest with her about how you feel in regards XXXXX XXXXX situation. You of course can let her know that you don't like the relationship and that you feel it's very controlling and that you worry he will get even more so, as the marriage progresses, which is typically what does happen. Be aware however, that she may resent you for saying these things to her, unless she is directly asking you for your opinion and for your help. meaning she may not be ready to hear these comments and may end up therefore being angry with you for such. That is a possibility. If she is open with you and is wanting ideas, you could suggest that she seek out some mental health counseling (without his knowing about it) and just talk with a professional about this. You could also show her info. from the internet that his behaviors are indicators for an abusive situation. Give her information and some resources so that she may be able to see herself (or not) more realistically. Here is a link about warning signs of abusive relationships

Simply tell her that you are concerned for her wellbeing and that here is some info. that may help her to understand more clearly her situation, and then also provide her a list of therapists in her area.... you can go to this link for therapists...and sort it by zip code and by specialty.

please click accept for this answer and feel free to ask anything, even after clicking accept. If she is saying she is happy, then say okay, and I want you to be happy, but I also am just asking for you to atleast look at some of this info. so you can understand why I'm concerned...Thank you...



Kristin and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I should say to be completely honest with you that I do have some affection for her. But, I'm honest enough to admit that this has nothing to do with my reason for writing. If she was in a truly happy marriage, I would regret that and move on. It's not the first time this has happened.


Once again, how should I approach her with this information about counselors or literature she should read?

Again, I appreciate all your help.



please see my previous answer on how to approach her...thank you and best wishes...

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Another question: it troubles me so much to see her in this situation and to hear the excuses she makes to make the situation less serious than it is, I wanted to ask if it would be a problem if I temporarily put some distance between us, not only for my benefit but that she may also better appreciate the isolation her husband has forced upon her. After all, I spent the good part of the last three days researching this topic and talking with you about ways to help manage the situation with her.

Hello again,


I think that it would be okay for you to put some distance there... it could be beneficial for both of you and perhaps it would allow her to view her situation more clearly, if she didn't have you there as a distraction or to fill that void, etc. Also, for your own benefit, you need to be careful to not get overly involved where her perceived problem becomes an even bigger one for you. Meaning if she is not interested in getting any help or changing anything, then you will need to also refrain from trying to "fix" the problem as ultimately she is the one who will have to initiate change for herself. So, you can give her the info. and then take some space as well... you may want to let her know however that you are taking some space so that she doesn't feel confused... let her know that you are taking some space for the benefit of both of you....

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX exactly would you suggest I phrase it when I tell her I won't need to see her for maybe a week. She works for me as a personal assistant. But, like I said, she is a friend. So, how do I say I won't need her as an employee for a week on sol without that bleeding over that she may interpret it as some kind of snob or cold shoulder, especially since she has been working for me for roughly 4 to 5 days per week for the past nine months. Unless, I cut down the hours to maybe one or two days per week
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I could be misled and exaggerating my importance to her. But, I know that or believe that she likes and have some affection for the. Like I said, to what extent, I'm not sure.


My fear is that now she's taking everything in stride, more or less, and sees these setbacks in her relationship as something that would change or eventually get better. But, she is pretty young and prone to feel that there's plenty of time to make changes in her life. It's just that I don't want to see what happens in 10 or 15 years when she finally or hopefully wakes up and realizes that predicament she is in and will truly be unhappy, with little or no choices for her to change her life, especially if she goes ahead and has a family. Because, now, she has no job except me, which is only part-time and no college degree or skills beyond being a caregiver. Even if she wanted to make changes. What would her options B. with no job, no money and kids?

Like I said, I am fond of her but I can see what's coming on down the line and it doesn't look good. I'm a little bit older than she is and see the mistakes or opportunities I missed out on and don't want the same to happen to her. But, I agree with you that I must keep from getting too emotionally involved

Well, since she works for you as her employee, I don't think I would get back on her hours in order to get this distance. She may be relying on these hours for income and this is a personal matter, not a professional one. So you need to separate out the two...


I would simply take some distance from her personally...not cut back her hours to get that distance, but to take it in a more personal way.

It would be best to give her those resources I gave to you, and then leave it at that. And take the distance personally, unless she specifically asks for your advice or help.

Please click ACCEPT. Thank you...

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