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05 Apr 2007

WHAT TO DO?
I've been married for 7 years this year, together for 10 years and have a 4 year old son. I'm 30 and my husband is 36. For 10 years my husband told me what to wear, who to see, where to go etc etc and I let him. He never wants to see my family, if we get invited somewhere, if it is not too close to the last invite, we will go, but he will sit there looking miserable and we will leave as soon as possible. We will never invite my family to our house, or should they arrive for a quick visit without telling us, that is a huge problem, but his family can arrive any time. Family is important, so I do not have a problem with his family, but I just want the same in rturn. We always spend Christmas and New Year with his family. I can invite my parents, but he does not get along with my brother or sister so they cannot get invited, and I do not want to invite them if I know there is going to be an atmosphere. I am one of a twin and we are very close, but he does not even want me to see her. He used to say that we have an abnormal relationship and because we talk to each other every day. If I do not do something he likes, he will not talk to me for days and days, punishing me in a way, so to try and avoid this I let him rule my life, but cannot do this any longer. From the beginning of this year I've put my foot down and wear what I want, and try to see my family and sister, but this scared feeling inside to ask or tell him something is still there because he's made me feel like this for soooo long. I told him that my love for him has died and now he is crying, and saying that he will change. We discussed the family issue, and he said that he will do anything I ask him, even if he is unhappy about doing it, he will rather be unhappy than lose me. So he does not really want to change, he is just carrying on as he usually did. How am I suppose to feel knowing that he is unhappy doing things. He was never happy to see my family. To see him cry breaks my heart, but who should I be thinking about now. He will not change, and will I be able to change back to myself if I stay with him. I do not think I can do that. He is asking me constantly if everything is going to be okay, and I cannot lie to him and say yes, what do I do!!!!! I care for him and do not want to hurt him, but my love for him has died.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

He sounds raher a miserable, unsociable fellow, and unfair in expecting his family to be treated differently from yours. He is being childish, sulky, possessive and over-controlling, in seeking to control your personal life and friendships.
If your confrontation bothered him enough for him to weep and pomise to change, then use this opportunity to get him to join you in marriage counselling, wherein you two can start to work things out reasonably. He can discover that treating you with proper respect need not be something he feels unhappy about. HE CAN probably change if he actually wants to do so and if he allows himself to do so. If he won't allow himself to do so, and to heal his own low self-esteem, then maybe separation would become a reasonable option --- but it is best for this to arise after counselling, so that you have fairly explored the options, and both have had the chance to learn about yourselves and about what has gone wrong here, so as to be better able, at least, to avoid repeating this pattern
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