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You Asked: My Husband Is Controlling

Dear Sugar,

My husband and I have been together for four years now, and we have a two-year old son. Our sex-life has changed, mainly because of me. I’m so tired most of the time because I spend more time with our son than my husband does. He's pretty controlling and he says he wouldn't be acting that way if I satisfied him more.

He has an issue with me going out with my friends. It doesn’t matter if they're male or female but whenever I want to go out, he’ll call me constantly wanting to know what I’m doing or if any other men have tried to talk to me.

He accuses me of having other men over to the house when he’s at work, but he’ll say that he’s only joking with me just to see what I say. He says he acts the way he does only because he cares.

I was in an abusive relationship back in college, and I noticed that some of my actions then are similar to my actions now. I'm really careful with who I talk to or make eye contact with. Things just feel really bad. We’ve been to counseling in the past, but we stopped going because he felt like the therapist was finding fault with him. (We went to the therapist because I found out that he was contacting his ex-girlfriend and almost cheated on me.) I just don't know what to do.

—So Unhappy Hannah

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear So Unhappy Hannah,

Your husband seems insecure and he's trying to control you as a way to feel better about himself and to feel more powerful. Controlling behavior is never okay, whether it is mental or physical. You should be able to live your life freely and not have to worry about someone telling you what you can and cannot do. Also, don't let him use lack of sex or "because he cares" as an excuse for his behavior. He is negatively affecting your life and things can only get worse.

The bottom line is that you can't trust him (he almost cheated on you?) and he treats you disrespectfully. He needs to get his jealous and abusive tendencies under control, and therapy is a great way to do that. Maybe you can help him find a new therapist that is a good match for him that is if he's willing to work on himself and this relationship.

What about your son? Do you want him to grow up seeing his father acting this way? I worry that your husband will start on him next. What if his controlling behavior turns into physical violence? Right now, you've got to do whatever is necessary to keep you and your son safe. If I were you, I'd move in with family or a close friend until your husband gets some help. You can also get more information or support by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. This isn't something you have to go through alone. I hope this helps.

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tammy1987 tammy1987 6 years
im married im 21 and i am in a relationship where i am constantly picked on on a day to day basis. my dads from iran my mam irish my dad thought my dad how to cook nice persian food but as im only married nearly 9 months im slagged because i cannot cook the food or i cant make the type of food from the country he is from im so upset he will pick on me for little things like that i am to scared to wash my clothes because my mam hasnt shown me yet or that i cant cook and i like to sleep in because the recession has killed me. i so hurt hes a dj for celebs as for tonight he is attending playboy party night and he is so controlling he said if i turn up he will tell the bouncer no entrance for me im sitting here so upset my husband doesnt feel my pain i would cry i feel like dying more than anything else to be honest i am on depressents since 3 years even before i met him i am just so lost im loosing myself and i he has made me start to hate him, im only newly wed . for all you girls out there im 21 i got married at 20 dont make the same mistake i make live with ur boyfriend for make 6 years before marrying im in big shit im suffereing badly even when he djs everyweek im left here on my own my own friends have left me not completely but starting to i had to get this out im in bits and if i cry i no ill suffer more coz i wont stop im trying to be strong, see im irish hes pakistani and i dunno maybe i stormed in 2 quick i dunno but not allowing me go somewhere because hes working trying to make money and doesnt want distractions like men talking to me or whatever suck a fucking freak forgive my language if only you could feel my pain i swear
tammy1987 tammy1987 6 years
im married im 21 and i am in a relationship where i am constantly picked on on a day to day basis. my dads from iran my mam irish my dad thought my dad how to cook nice persian food but as im only married nearly 9 months im slagged because i cannot cook the food or i cant make the type of food from the country he is from im so upset he will pick on me for little things like that i am to scared to wash my clothes because my mam hasnt shown me yet or that i cant cook and i like to sleep in because the recession has killed me.i so hurt hes a dj for celebsas for tonight he is attending playboy party night and he is so controlling he said if i turn up he will tell the bouncer no entrance for me im sitting here so upset my husband doesnt feel my pain i would cry i feel like dying more than anything else to be honest i am on depressents since 3 years even before i met him i am just so lost im loosing myself and i he has made me start to hate him, im only newly wed .for all you girls out there im 21 i got married at 20 dont make the same mistake i make live with ur boyfriend for make 6 years before marrying im in big shit im suffereing badlyeven when he djs everyweek im left here on my own my own friends have left me not completely but starting to i had to get this out im in bits and if i cry i no ill suffer more coz i wont stopim trying to be strong, see im irish hes pakistani and i dunno maybe i stormed in 2 quick i dunno but not allowing me go somewhere because hes working trying to make money and doesnt want distractions like men talking to me or whatever suck a fucking freak forgive my language if only you could feel my pain i swear
nikecold nikecold 8 years
Rockandrepublic:I know, I actually know people who are in relationships with complete asses. And everytime they get out of one they go on to the next complete ass they can find. Its really sad and I really hope they figure it out.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
Rockandrepublic: I know, I actually know people who are in relationships with complete asses. And everytime they get out of one they go on to the next complete ass they can find. Its really sad and I really hope they figure it out.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Nikecold, some women don't know how to break the cycle(like dating patterns) so they repeat and repeat inviting in the same type of guy. She needs couseling.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
Lay down the law... Tell him to get back into counseling with you , or you won't have any choice but to move on with your life. NO ONE deserves to be treated like that. And NOT ALL HUSBANDS are like that. If he can't be secure in his relationship with you, then there's nothing you can do except move on and find some one who will be good for you.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
Lay down the law... Tell him to get back into counseling with you , or you won't have any choice but to move on with your life. NO ONE deserves to be treated like that. And NOT ALL HUSBANDS are like that.If he can't be secure in his relationship with you, then there's nothing you can do except move on and find some one who will be good for you.
Eternity Eternity 8 years
This really hits home with me. I can't say I know exacty what you feel like, but I've been in similar situations (on both sides). Mean and controlling people are that way because they have been hurt. Its that simple! Getting to the bottom of it is the tough part. Was he ever cheated on by someone he loved in the past? Betryal can create complexes so deep the only thing that fixes them is private therapy, rather than the couples kind...and obviously he needs to talk to someone that he likes and trusts. If this isn't the antagonist behind his paranoia, its also possible he is projecting on you because HE is not trustworthy. It would do so well to validate his wrongs if he could catch you being just as deviant.Either way, he is coping with a deep insecurity problem. Because you love him enough to post here, I suggest you make some private time with that therapist in order to get some backup and foundations laid for how to slowly help him open up to you (or worse, how to uncover the affair and get it over with).
Eternity Eternity 8 years
This really hits home with me. I can't say I know exacty what you feel like, but I've been in similar situations (on both sides). Mean and controlling people are that way because they have been hurt. Its that simple! Getting to the bottom of it is the tough part. Was he ever cheated on by someone he loved in the past? Betryal can create complexes so deep the only thing that fixes them is private therapy, rather than the couples kind...and obviously he needs to talk to someone that he likes and trusts. If this isn't the antagonist behind his paranoia, its also possible he is projecting on you because HE is not trustworthy. It would do so well to validate his wrongs if he could catch you being just as deviant. Either way, he is coping with a deep insecurity problem. Because you love him enough to post here, I suggest you make some private time with that therapist in order to get some backup and foundations laid for how to slowly help him open up to you (or worse, how to uncover the affair and get it over with).
designerel designerel 8 years
Please get out now for your sake and your son's. This guy is no good at all. Don't let history repeat itself.
NdHebert NdHebert 8 years
I dont say run just yet. I say try to get help NOW. Not for your sake, but for your child. How is he with the child? You are a grown up with a grown mind. This child is now developing and by keeping him near this man as he is now will turn him into a controlling person himself. Get counseling, try to turn things around for your son. If you do have to leave, make sure he has a male influence, is your father or grandfather around, not a stand in boyfriend.
NdHebert NdHebert 8 years
I dont say run just yet.I say try to get help NOW. Not for your sake, but for your child. How is he with the child? You are a grown up with a grown mind. This child is now developing and by keeping him near this man as he is now will turn him into a controlling person himself.Get counseling, try to turn things around for your son.If you do have to leave, make sure he has a male influence, is your father or grandfather around, not a stand in boyfriend.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
I feel really sorry for you. If you've been in an abusive relationship before and you yourself have noticed the similarity I don't get why you keep putting up with it. I don't think this is about having a heart to heart, or telling him your feelings, he almost cheated on you and he treats you like crap. Get the hell out of that relationship, if you're staying for your son, understand that although divorce is painful for kids its even more painful to live with 2 parents who don't get along anymore. Trust me he is not going to change and with time it will only get worse. Leave him, he doesn't appreciate you and frankly there's no other way to say this, he is a complete asshole and you are being naive if you think you can just fix this. I'm sorry for your bad relationship and for the one in the past too, but if you keep on putting up with this guy the past will repeat itself.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
I feel really sorry for you. If you've been in an abusive relationship before and you yourself have noticed the similarity I don't get why you keep putting up with it. I don't think this is about having a heart to heart, or telling him your feelings, he almost cheated on you and he treats you like crap. Get the hell out of that relationship, if you're staying for your son, understand that although divorce is painful for kids its even more painful to live with 2 parents who don't get along anymore. Trust me he is not going to change and with time it will only get worse. Leave him, he doesn't appreciate you and frankly there's no other way to say this, he is a complete asshole and you are being naive if you think you can just fix this. I'm sorry for your bad relationship and for the one in the past too, but if you keep on putting up with this guy the past will repeat itself.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
It sounds like he is projecting his own thoughts onto you. "You have men over when I am at work." What does he do in the evenings? At weekends? Do you know where your husband is and what he is doing and with who? He probably doesn't want you speaking to other men because he is flirting it up with other women. If he cheats/has cheated then his reason will probably be "it's your fault, you made me cheat, you don't satisfy me." Basically he needs to grow up and if he has refused to attend counselling before then the only thing left for you to do is GET OUT NOW!! before your son realises what an as*hat his father is.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
It sounds like he is projecting his own thoughts onto you."You have men over when I am at work."What does he do in the evenings? At weekends? Do you know where your husband is and what he is doing and with who?He probably doesn't want you speaking to other men because he is flirting it up with other women. If he cheats/has cheated then his reason will probably be "it's your fault, you made me cheat, you don't satisfy me."Basically he needs to grow up and if he has refused to attend counselling before then the only thing left for you to do is GET OUT NOW!! before your son realises what an as*hat his father is.
cittypark cittypark 8 years
that's tough. as an outsider looking in, you're husband is pretty selfish and only thinking to tend to his insecurities. obviously, he isn't secure or confident about himself or your relationship. well first off, try telling him how stressful he has made your everyday life. Explain how his insecurities have caused you to become anxious, paranoid, and like a child being watched, and slowly suffocated. This is a marriage, why should you feel like this anyway? He's supposed to be your everything, not someone that causes you everyday anguish. Honestly, my father was like your husband, and for the most part, men like that dont change. It may be a hard idea to swallow that your marriage is not what you set it out to be, but its better alone than in something like this. Marriage is not supposed to perfect, but definately not like this either. Best of luck and follow your heart :o)*
lemassabielle lemassabielle 8 years
He got mad because the therapist was trying to find fault with him? What the hell does he think a therapist does? points out great things about people with problems and doesn't evaluate the person and help them? he seems a little disillusion with a capitol D. I don't want to step in the middle of a marriage and give an opinion, but you asked for it. You said you have trouble making eye contact with people because of how he treats you. If that isn't the biggest and brightest red flag in the most visible sky. I get it, you have a son with the man but let's face reality: You are in an unhealthy marriage. Men who use the "Joking" line are passive aggressive. It's ridiculously annoying because if you call them out on it they'll use the "I was joking!" excuse so you can't find fault with them. This guy obviously has an issue with people finding faults in him. He seems excessively controlling and potentially abusive? Tell him if he doesn't open himself up to therapy he can see the back of the door because you just won't put up with that behavior. It isn't worth sacrificing yourself for a relationship that will make you a weaker person. No matter what, you have to look out for yourself -- relationships are great -- if your with someone who balances you out and treats you with respect. If not it probably isn't worth it. That's why people shouldn't jump into marriage and having kids so fast.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 8 years
He got mad because the therapist was trying to find fault with him? What the hell does he think a therapist does? points out great things about people with problems and doesn't evaluate the person and help them? he seems a little disillusion with a capitol D. I don't want to step in the middle of a marriage and give an opinion, but you asked for it. You said you have trouble making eye contact with people because of how he treats you. If that isn't the biggest and brightest red flag in the most visible sky. I get it, you have a son with the man but let's face reality: You are in an unhealthy marriage. Men who use the "Joking" line are passive aggressive. It's ridiculously annoying because if you call them out on it they'll use the "I was joking!" excuse so you can't find fault with them. This guy obviously has an issue with people finding faults in him. He seems excessively controlling and potentially abusive?Tell him if he doesn't open himself up to therapy he can see the back of the door because you just won't put up with that behavior. It isn't worth sacrificing yourself for a relationship that will make you a weaker person. No matter what, you have to look out for yourself -- relationships are great -- if your with someone who balances you out and treats you with respect. If not it probably isn't worth it. That's why people shouldn't jump into marriage and having kids so fast.
BlairBear BlairBear 8 years
I was in a controlling marriage like yours, we were together for 5 years. I started by not making eye contact with anyone, to avoiding talking to any men what so ever. I was so afraid that he would yell at me or call me derogatory names. I wasn't allowed to talk to any of my friends, I could barely even talk to my family, I had a bed time for Christ's sake! I finally got up the nerve when he went on a vacation for two months. It was the best decision I ever made, my kids and I are happier now that we've ever been. I beg of you, get out now! While your son is still young and before it gets any worse for you. He'll say he's going to change but in the end, he won't and you'll just become a shell of what you once were...like I was. Please get out now.
hotstuff hotstuff 8 years
I'm going to post my honest thoughts! Run for the Hills!!! A controlling man is not a good man. He almost cheated? I bet thats why he thinks you cheat because sadly he's probably doing the same. You don't want to spend the rest of your life in a relationsip where you are afraid and have to pretend to be someone your not. I respect your marriage and I'm sure you'd do just about anything to make it work but sometimes you have to be realistic and move on especially while your still young. I would give him the opportunity to try counseling again but if he refuses and things remain the same please get out and enjoy your life. I wish you all the best and I'm sending good vibes your way!!!
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 8 years
I am afraid for you...I agree with RockandRepublic get counseling NOW!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
The problem continues when you begin to modify your behavior just to suit his. Did you get counseling after your first controling/abusive relationship? You should do so now, you need an individual session and then marriage counseling.
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