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Marriage Help: How to Deal with a Controlling Wife Like Kate Gosselin

  
  
  
  

Marriage Help for a Controlling WifePaula's husband and friends have nicknamed her "Kate."  It's a joke, she told me, as she laughed it off.  But it looked like underneath the laughter the name really hurts.

She acknowledges being controlling and says that's what the name means.  Like Kate Gosselin, of TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" television show, she says she likes to get her way.

Brian, Paula's husband, hates how Paula treats him.  Not knowing how to deal with his controlling wife, he started calling her "Kate". 

Not surprisingly, the sarcastic humor hasn't helped change Paula's behavior.  In fact, it's made her angry and she's lashed back at him by being even more of a control freak.  So Brian and Paula came to marriage counseling for help.

Married to a controlling person too?  Here are two things you can begin to do:

1) Understand Why.  Controlling behavior is a defense mechanism, which is a method our minds develop to deal with circumstances that make us uncomfortable.  In the case of controlling behavior, it is a way to deal with living in a chaotic and unpredictable world.

Most controlling people are fearful and anxious about the world they live in.  The way they try to cope with these uncomfortable feelings is to try to gain some control by imposing their wills and wishes on everyone around them.  Knowing how the person feels on the inside can help you to see past the outside behavior and be more understanding of what's really happening.

2) Set Boundaries.  Boundaries are limits you place on how that person can treat you.  The natural world around us requires boundaries and we need them to function properly too.   

Setting boundaries can be very unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  Keep in mind that control freaks aren't used to dealing with boundaries, so they usually rebel.  So go slowly and be patient.  Your relationship needs time to learn new rules and that playing by them can be better for everybody -- even for your "Kate."

Got a controlling person in your life?  Please tell me how you deal with that person in the comments below.

Comments

I have the most controlling wife. I am controlled to the point that I have a set bedtime and am told it is "her house," "her room," "her tv," etc so that it seems I have NOTHING (she gave away everything I own including my deceased father's ring when I filed for divorce). Well, I went back to her and am being controlled once again. I am online trying to find a way to deal with control freak. I NEED HELP.
Posted @ Sunday, November 29, 2009 9:39 PM by Michael
Michael - I can see that you really do need help. Try using the tips in this article as a place to start. A lot of guys I've worked with have needed more personalized coaching on what to do in specific situations, such as when she tell you it's "her TV."  
 
Find a counselor that works with guys who have controlling wives and get more guidance and support. Things can change -- I've seen worse situations get better.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 01, 2009 8:31 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I have a control wife .. she is so jealous that she gets in my computer look at my history onany web I get in to ,she spy me by going in to web sites and read ,and look at all coments , whon I talk to or where I put a coment and or a video clip , she makes her self look like I am the one whom decides where things go in our house , and what ever . She drives me crazy . please advise . I think she even has a camera in the house to check me out
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 2:13 PM by nick
I was a controlling wife. But only with finances, the kids decisions, and the house. My husband did nothing. I did all shopping, and everything in the home and with the kids. He one day just left. He is in midlife crisis mode, but everyone blames my control on why he left. I did everything because he never did and it allowed him to be worry free. I did not control anything like his poker, or going out everynight. He got to do whatever he wanted. I feel like I can't win. Everyone sees me as the ball and chain, but I saw it as acts of service and getting things done that he was irresponsible about.
Posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 12:03 PM by Marie
Marie, Thanks for the honesty. It's hard to admit that when you're in a relationship that doesn't feel like a shared partnership. Blame is a terrible trap that keep us stuck. I hope you'll work on the control without lowering your expectations of how your relationship should be shared. -Kurt
Posted @ Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:26 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Marie, 
 
 
 
You are a selfish bitch. Your husband left you because he said I do to a wife and not his mother.
Posted @ Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:30 PM by Greg
I agree with Greg, if you don't have anything to say about how you can improve yourself. Don't come on here and "BITCH" about your husband. You sound just like my wife. Never wants to take responsibility for her own actions. Everythings the mans fault. I'm soo tired of hearing wemon like you bitch moan and groan. You expect us to cater to someone who constantly wines? You are only princesses when you act as one. Quit lying to yourself and everone else. Are you treating him the absolute best you can. No... so then why do you expect him to? Women try to control their men so many different ways, they change there tactics to try to hide their manipulative ways.
Posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 3:41 PM by Jonathan
Jonathan, Your absolutly right. My wife does just that. Never her fault but everything is my blame. Never appreciates the things I do for her (housework/Laundry) to make her live easier but expects me to appreciate her for the things she does.
Posted @ Monday, April 09, 2012 8:04 AM by Brian
Jonathan and Brian, Thanks for writing. You're in a tough spot like a lot of other men. Be sure as you challenge your partners to change that you equally examine what you need to change too. Not every woman is like this, but some are and it's not okay. It's abuse and you should get some professional help to stop it. -Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:52 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I do blame men for being ignorant for not doing research and learning more about women prior to marriage. People just think "oh love will get us through". The problem is, that is not true. There are so many aspects to marriage and men leap blindly into the middle of marriage without thinking things through.  
 
Most all women are manipulative by nature. They need control over men to stroke their lack of confidence in themselves as they are very insecure people. Women are naturally caregivers and tend to act like a mom to their husbands and treat men like little kids. Makes them feel better and in control.  
 
In ALL marriages that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, everything revolves around the woman and her needs. If she wants to go to the beach for the day then everyone gets to go to the beach. But if she is being bitchy and wants to clean house then everyone has to stay home and clean. Forget wanting to do anything differently than her or you are a lowlife scumbag. EVERYTHING surrounds the woman. Her mood predominately dictates what has to happen and you either get in line or file for divorce.
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 9:21 AM by Steve
Steve, You're right that the belief that "love will get us through" is not enough. I disagree with you that all women are manipulative and that all marriages revolve around the woman. But thanks for sharing your thoughts. -Kurt
Posted @ Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:51 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Mine iOS very controlling, has a time for bedtime, how much to eat, one meal a day and most with financial matters rules with an iron glove but refuses to help us financially. We are on a trip and refused tolet me have any money only paying what she believed was needed by her standards. This is worst then being military marching to her tone. We rested during day and woke her foe money to buy a cup of coffee it seemed as if had bothered her royal majesty I lot it after that as she put $29 dollars on a table and told me to bring back the change as she cried because I lost it. Pleas advise, thank you.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:40 PM by LJ
My brother is married to a control freak who has decided he now has to choose between his family or his wife. He is miserable because he likes us and she controls his every thought. She hates us because after he spends time with us he is more relaxed and doesn't watch every word that he says. Usually he is very guarded when he is around her because she can blow up at the slightest provocation. She is very thin-skinned. Oh and never forgets any perceived slight. The best part is that she is a Chaplin. What can he do to get through to her that this isn't normal?
Posted @ Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:04 PM by Sally
He has to stand up to her. If he don't, she will keep doing it. My father gave up his family for my mother. I learned she never acted like that to people she knew would tell her off. I say call her bluff. Counseling may help.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:49 PM by Tina Lowry
LJ, Follow instruction #2 in the post. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2012 9:37 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Sally, Getting through to the other person is usually not possible by the partner; it typically takes a professional. He needs to follow the recommendations in the post and let her discover that her behavior is a problem. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2012 9:40 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Kurt, I agree and am sorry I said all women are control freaks. I do believe there is a tendency for women to be controlling (not that men can't be). I believe in being accountable for your own actions, although I seriously believe society has an enormous influence and if not kept in check, can dictate behavior according to gender roles. What is considered the norm and taught verbally, through art (movies), and even through actions of peers, is easily adopted by those who step into those gender roles. It's what we have been taught and seem to know as the appropriate actions. As far as a 3rd party candidate looking in from the outside, I would have to agree completely with that. If it is not a professional it has to be someone that the person you are looking to communicate to can look up to as a role model. It could be a father figure, a mother, a grandparent, professor etc. Usually if you get to a point in your marriage that seems irreparable, then no matter how much sense you try to make to your wife will not sink in. It needs outside intervention, ideally by someone who can see the problem realistically and both partners can look up to as a human being.
Posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2012 9:51 AM by Steve
My wife is a controlling woman, and manipulates me, uses blackmail to get what she wants from me, and does not trust anyone. She steals my personal items, and put a keystroke logger on my laptop. She has called the police on me for domestic arguments (non-abusive), 3 times. She utters threats, had a knife in the night table, as she wanted to cut off my penis, coz I was having business e-mails with a co-worker (Jealousy). Did I for get to say she is a Bitch? She is also from the Philippines, and her 26 year old son still lives with us, who I have asked to leave. It's going to be him or me, as her focus has always been on him since we married 4 years ago. She still does his wash and other things for him.  
 
 
 
We separated last year for 3 months, but I moved back after she made a lot of promises, which she has not kept. August 1st is his deadline to find an apartment, or I will quit paying the mortgage, and will move out for good. Any advice? 
 
Posted @ Saturday, June 30, 2012 3:29 PM by JR
JR, You've got to set limits and boundaries for the behavior you will accept and then follow through with them. This behavior typically doesn't change until the consequences of those boundaries are felt. -Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:53 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Been taking control of my life back and it's been great. Began last summer when I got a personal checking account. Now I know where every dime goes. Every time the bitch wife asks about anything at all, I ask if she can afford it. Additionally, She doesn't throw a tantrum now when I choose not to go to one of her divorced parents weekly gatherings. She rarely asks me now! Turning forty has been great b/c I am gaining weight and had a reason to take off my wedding ring. I've outgrown it...;) no sex is fine by me these days...now I don't need to interact with her unless I am forced to. Three kids are keeping me w/her.
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 2:08 PM by Jeff Chen
I am contemplating leaving my wife, even though we are pregnant with twins and already have a 2 year old son together. She is jealous and extremely controlling. I can not do anything with any of my friends without a huge fight, she gets angry even if I go to the gym. She questions my fidelity almost daily, even though I have been 100% faithfull since day one. She calls me names daily, like stupid, a__hole, fag_t, alzheimers patient, lazy, fat, old looking, the list is endless. I am ready to give up, we have tried counseling but she won't listen to anybody because she knows everything according to her. She even stopped taking birth control without telling me and got pregnant. I will love and take the kids as the blessing that they are but how can I ever trust her after this? Why can't she realize I need time to myself sometimes?
Posted @ Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:10 PM by MJ
MJ, Get some professional help before you leave or divorce. And I don;t mean an attorney; talk to a counselor. There are strategies you can learn to manage and change her abuse. -Kurt
Posted @ Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:40 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I very much agree with Steve and Jonathan,I feel like I've reached my breaking point with my wife's controlling and manipulative ways and I'm comptenplating seperation or divorce. I just can't deal with the thought of not being with my 5 year old daughter,not being able to check on her at night,read her bedtime stories etc. Any suggestions??
Posted @ Monday, September 17, 2012 1:50 PM by Tez
I very much agree with Steve and Jonathan,I feel like I've reached my breaking point with my wife's controlling and manipulative ways and I'm comptenplating seperation or divorce. I just can't deal with the thought of not being with my 5 year old daughter,not being able to check on her at night,read her bedtime stories etc. Any suggestions??
Posted @ Monday, September 17, 2012 1:51 PM by Tez
Tez, you need to listen to Troy Grambling talk about the controlling wife and the passive husband. This is the site but it is week 2. Should be up to watch tomorrow. The info was too late for me and my husband as we are in the process of divorce already. But it totally makes sense that one feeds the other. 
It may help you. 
http://potentialchurch.com/teachings/happily-ever-after/ 
 
Posted @ Monday, September 17, 2012 8:35 PM by Tina
I believe my wife is extremely controlling and manipulating me. All she wants to do is tell me I should be in bed early and what I should eat or not eat then uses the excuse as to us being healthy. I'm down with that by all means but I do have a sweet tooth. Now I have to tolerate her complaining about every little thing as to putting the stuff away after I use it. The problem is that I would do it but on my own terms thus resulting into an another hardcore argument when I'm telling her to calm down only brings out the nuclear destructive ways because I'm well aware of her patterns and have to run outside before she causes great harm to me. If she wanted to talk it out then she will but when it comes to my turn she'd always cut me off. It boils my blood and I'd say we should just end this because we're not happy together and that I want what's best for her and my sanity. She would only threaten to end her life and ensue the drama. I have come to a point in our relationship that I'm tired of calming her down. She says I don't care when I truly do. It seems that she wants to be hug all the time when I'm tired of hugging because its a really gone overboard. I have to watch myself how I respond because I'm peaceful by nature and with her persistence repetition has got my sanity hanging by a thread. We have a daughter but she blames her "craziness" to post partum depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. It's been fourteen months and you would think she's now using it as an excuse but somehow it's a reality. I mentioned I'm not happy because of how controlling she is. FYI I woke up this morning because she woke me up saying I'm making to much noise. I was left wide awake and decided to go downstairs to watch some television with some peace to myself. I wasn't having that because her mother whom lives below us complained of me watching television and having breakfast. I'm thinking seriously and how rare of it for me to be up at this time of the morning. Once out of two years I have succumb to their boundaries and abide by them out of respect. It's devastating and tires me out. What rules do I give? None but ask only for some quiet time when all I get is her breathing on me. Exhausted from all that listening to the noises and numerous of other abuses inflicted on me. 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:19 PM by Leif Joosepson
Look at John and Kate now. He is currently bankrupt, not wanting to pay child support, not working, etc. And Kate is holding this family and supporting the kids on her own. There could be a reason she was so "controlling" ie He lacked any kind of self-control. If a person doesn't want to be controlled, then they need to act like the adult they are, and not like a child.
Posted @ Sunday, September 30, 2012 2:37 AM by Ann
Tez, A lot of guys keep themselves stuck in broken relationships because they don;t want to lose or have less time with their kids. As much as I admire that desire, I believe it's flawed thinking. You've got to equally consider how your daughter is being effected and damaged by living in such an environment. What is she learning? Less time with you, but when she is with you she's in a healthier environment can be the better solution. being willing to make that choice can also prompt the other person to finally change too. -Kurt
Posted @ Wednesday, October 03, 2012 6:53 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I had it. 3 days ago, I got into a fight with my wife, after she insulted my brother and my mom. Who live 3600 miles away! I told her to shut up, shut the fuck up. She didn't she just yelled louder said we should separate. I was elated. Separate, are you kidding, is that supposed to be a punishment. 
 
I left and didn't come back until the next day. 
 
I'd been passive because I got tired of fighting and losing. That's my biggest advice. Set boundries and if she crosses them put her in her place. A woman is not the head she must look to the man as the head. If you can't stand up you still don't deserve the abuse, but it's going to continue and get worse. 
 
I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out. After I came back, basically said 'no more mister nice guy.' One thing to keep in mind is most women are so deluded that they don't realize they're control freaks. 
 
Oh and Ann, you're an idiot, saying John deserves to be controlled is like saying you deserve to get raped.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:28 PM by Brian
My frustrations are shared by many of the men who've posted before, and this is sadly assuring. We started out as the perfect couple, going through high school together but never realizing our romantic potential until our mid twenties. Trying to have our first kid was brutal and I think is the cause of our problems. Sex became a chore and when things didn't work out the blame seemed to always fall on me: whether I was aptly ready to perform, had I masturbated and not had enough sperm and other BS reasons like that. Ultimately, it wasn't my "fault". I saw a really nasty side emerge from her at a time when life was supposed to be filled with excitement for the future. WIth professional fertility help, we've since had two beautiful kids. My son is a mini-me and my daughter is like her mom. I, too, feel like I'd be gone in a second if they weren't here. 
 
My wife focuses so much on the things I can't do, things that I never learned growing up or things/skills that I just don't give a shift for. And I can honestly say that I NEVER ever have complained about things that I wish she could do or would appreciate. She's a good mom and she's not violent or loud normally. I've tempered my diction and voice volume now that the older boy is 5 and is gifted with procosiousness. I just wish I could watch a football game or could have enjoyed the NBA game on CHristmas without feeling guilt.  
 
I don't think I can even afford a divorce and deep down I think there's hope. But I just can't help but feel pretty worthless around her. By the way, I am also an award winning high school teacher and coach, and I workout and have stayed in the same basic shape that I was as a teen 20 years ago. People seem to respect me and maybe my ultimate sadness is that my own wife doesn't feel this way anymore.  
 
She's always bringing up stuff from weeks or even years ago, and can't seem to let go of mistakes I've made like spilling coffee on the rug or accidentally scraping my daughter's cheek as she tried to hit me (she was two at the time...par for the course). I felt bad but I wasn't going to go to confession for trying to grab her arm with a slightly longer middle finger. It was an accident, and the best part is she wasn't even home when it happened so I just can't believe the perceived realities that she paints in her mind. And they always end up with me looking like the a-hole. 
 
Things are messed up and I am scared it's only going to get worse at time goes by.
Posted @ Thursday, December 27, 2012 1:37 AM by Liam
Liam, don't give up. Watch the movie fireproof. I didn't get a chance to fix things and are going through a terrible divorce and my life and kid's lives are ruined as I knew it. She wants you to truly be sorry for those things. She wants to make you feel bad, because she thinks you don't and that somehow makes you think you're better and her complaints are worthless and stupid. And whatever you do, do do anything you say you are sorry for over again. Hearing "I'm sorry" only goes so far if the act is continually is done. Try hard to show her you care and you will get it in return. Love is a committment not a feeling. Get over that you don't always feel it.
Posted @ Thursday, December 27, 2012 8:21 AM by Tina
 
Hi.  
 
My wife have different character which i do not understand. 
 
she always complains and never appreciate me for any thing,she tries to associate any failure in family with me and always thinks of her fathers family,she always things of separation and being indipendent where by she can control herself, she hardly thinks of our two sons.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 20, 2013 3:39 AM by James M mwanzi
I was listening to a preacher on the radio who said she wanted to change her husband. She started to pray that God would change her instead. Whether it be to be patient with him, or help her speak to him in a different way. As time went on she changed in herself and then he too changed. I started to do this and I find it so easier to deal with my divorcing husband. He also out of the blue is nice at times. Just pray for yourself.
Posted @ Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:58 PM by Tina
How do u know if u can stay with a controlling wife and can u change her ways '????? Help SOS 
Posted @ Monday, March 04, 2013 4:27 AM by Tommy Turtle
Tommy, You can't change her ways, but you can make it really uncomfortable for her if she doesn't choose to learn how to changer her ways. -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, March 04, 2013 1:09 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I live with a controlling wife. Been married for three years now. My wife complains about everything. I'm not supposed to have a life outsideour so-called marriage. She complains when I go to the gym, when I hang out with friends... I want to get separated but the thought of not seeing my 1 yr old daughter is unbearable.
Posted @ Monday, March 25, 2013 2:27 PM by Kurt
Kurt March 25. 
 
Get your finances in order. Take control. Make her dependent on you. Get a good lawyer. You could also 'Game' her - Google, Athol Kay. Once you have control, you have more options.
Posted @ Monday, March 25, 2013 4:55 PM by Dexter
I married my wife 23 years ago. She has 3 "children, all of whom are in their late 30's. 
 
She confesses Christianity, but has incorporated non-Biblical literature in her faith, to support her control of our marriage by demanding that her children come before her husband, me. 
 
Our relationship has diminished to the point of her leaving to be with her children, whom I lived with, and around for more than 12 years of our marriage. My wife has never given me the Christian support or submission I need to function as one with her. 
 
Her control finally manifested itself in her constant starting of fights over anything that was out of place in the home, or that was not in her mind, "perfect". 
 
My requests to her were that as a Christian couple, we approach God together in prayer, and ask Him to direct our steps in life, as every place, or job, or under-taking we have engaged in has incorporated her children and their needs over mine. 
 
By starting arguments that center on my imperfections, she has done her best to create in me an uncaring and abusive husband, to give herself a reason for leaving me. 
 
When I finally realized the extent she was willing to go to, to control my life for her own needs, I stopped allowing her criticisms and outright judgements of me to hold no weight, she has decided to depart and live with her children permanently. 
 
She has held back rendering her due, she has made false accusations against me to Christian counsellors, and she has ruined relationships between myself and close family friends by revealing the confidential talk between us over the years. 
 
I am not asking her to stay, and I am placing my faith in God to support me and guide me into a life of happiness as a single man. 
 
A controlling Christian wife can be the most devastating experience a Christian man can ever endure. 
 
With God, however, all things are possible.
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:50 PM by Joseph
Kurt, nice post with valid options. I will certainly try and understand my wife and the issues she may be dealing with in her life. I will also attempt to set boundaries as suggested. You refer to consequences of broken boundaries but it is unclear what consequences should be set. Can you be more specific?
Posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 6:17 PM by GJ
Thank you Kurt. 
The boundaries I set relate to not allowing the past to dictate the present, or the future. 
 
We are all in a state of growth relative to our own research and life experiences...yesterday's dreams are just that, accomplished, or abolished, we have little to do with outcomes. 
 
Accepting our own imperfections and tendencies, and not labeling them as "sin", allows for the immediate growth of a relationship. It is when past unresolved situations take a commanding role in today's problems, that pre-conceived judgements are the result. 
 
By not looking back at the row we have hoed, we can make our pathways straighter. 
 
I refuse to engage in futile and non-productive arguments, and if I have a beef, I sit down and think out my mental presentation in a way that leaves insults and unkindness out. 
 
The boundaries we have agreed to set are simple, and few, and it seems to have a positive effect, however she is still assuming the position of "nondisclosure" as pertains her departure date, or even if leaving is still in the picture...this seems to be the last remaining vestige of her control .
Posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 6:55 PM by Joseph
Really to all you passive men, be men!!! Funny how when I "controlled" things we had property, little debt, savings, 3 kids with straight "A", and money to have fun with to go out and vacation. Now that he is in control of himself he is in debt more than his years salary, the kids grades suffer. He drinks so much he barely has any braincells left. So if a man is going to work but at home going to be lazy and sit on the couch, or go out every night to strip clubs, and bars, and casinos while his wife goes to work, cleans the house, does the laundry, does homework with 3 kids, is a volunteer at both schools, drives and stays at every game, play, show, awards, etc, and pays the bills, makes appointments for repairs, and doctors, even changes the air filter in the house then don't call me the bitch. I am a mom to 3 kids, I didn't ask for a fourth. Wanted a real man. One that believes in either the supporting role and I would gladly be the stay at home mom/maid. But if my ass is working your ass better be apart of the home. Grow up already!
Posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 9:30 AM by Marie
My girlfriend is a self confesed control freak and a phsycoligist to make things worse. We have been together for 4 years and it has been hell for me. We had a unplanned pregnancy while she was on the pill ( go figure ). Basically everything has to be a drama, there are only concquences for my actions and never hers. She refuses to say sorry and always manages to twist every problem in order to blame me. She is constantly the agressor and i find my self constantly in the offensive. She constantly throughs tantrums and then tells me shes had enough and is sick of trying. I have tried my hardest to keep her happy for the sake of our familly but nothing is ever good enough. Her Mother is very close to her and has a lot of negative input into the relationship. She constantly airs our dirty laundry in public to any one who will listen but stugles to repeat the truth of the situation. Always the marter. We tried councelling but once the counceller started taping in to her anxiety and depresion she did not want to go back. Also she would not be honest in the sessions which made me mad. The controlling is extreme, manipultive and un relenting. She always makes out like she is hard done by but seems to be the engineer of the problems and then blows up once they present themself. She is very good at closing every door on me so I do not have any cntrol which drives me crazy. Its like treading water with your hands tied and someone is standing on your head for fun and then getting abused for drowning! I am at my wits end and have little support. We are currently living in seperate houses due to her instability and thirst for drama. My son is in the middle and it brakes my heart. I would love to have a sibling for my son but am scared that i will be digging a bigger hole and nothing will ever change. I am bieng projected in public to her friends and family as a abusive partner who will not give his girlfriend any stability. This is not true I just do not want to put up with the tantrums, abuse and manipulation. I have tried to set boundrys but have had them throughn in my face.Any advise would be much apprieciated.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:42 AM by Leigh
I have been with my controlling wife for eight years its now getting extreme as she want even more power, she tells me that I am getting old and my time is running out, she chooses my educational courses and discourages my choices, she buys anything at any time without any correspondence, and when money runs out accuses me of not serving. now she even prefers working more hours than me. and i get to look after our children, i choose to look after them so that they don't suffer. I take my wife to work and from work, when its money. its all hers. she doe n't want to look after our kids when its my working days and we end up hiring a child minder, we used to afford taking turns to work but now we are not happy working together the same days. I pay all the bills so i don't see why she should work non stop just to be a bully all the time.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:20 AM by Ndo
My wife has been controlling of me for a long time. She is dependent on me and does not work. She depends on me for almost everything including dealing with others. She is very protective of our son and always wants to be around and does not allow me to be alone with him. I think that her desire for control is rooted in insecurity and fear. She used to control basically everything I do including who I associate with, etc. She now wants me not to have anything to do with my parents who live overseas because she claims that they are not good people and will harm us. It is true that they have tried to control us in the past but many parents do this. I cannot bear not being able to see my elderly parents. Even worse, I am upset that my son cannot see them. 
 
I have done alot for her including making so many sacrifices, buying her what she wants, taking her places, etc. I even distanced myself from my parents although I did not completely cut them off. 
 
Yesterday, after reading these posts, I decided that I will not allow her to control me anymore and told her this as well. This benefits me to a certain extent. however, I dread how I am going to deal with the issue of seeing my parents and my son seeing them. 
 
Please advise. Thanks!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:28 PM by Raj
I have no sympathy for any of you. Quit being a pussy and man up. Its either we start doing things 50/50 or tell her to take a walk. Shes probably more dependent on you.
Posted @ Thursday, August 01, 2013 9:20 AM by Derek
Derek, 
I have tried to "man up". first I made alot of noise at home but was still going nowhere because I was still being manipulated/controlled. Now, I am being calm but firm and have told her that I will not be controlled by her anymore. she is trying the emotional game but I am not giving in. However, I feel that she would still not agree to my son seeing my parents and would put up a fight. Because I have a son it makes matters worse. I don't want an unstable emotional climate at home for my son. However, not being in close contact with my parents is hurting. I am not so dependent on them. However, I want to be in contact with them for me and my son. 
 
Raj
Posted @ Thursday, August 01, 2013 1:53 PM by Raj
My wife is very controlling and has always been. No matter what good I do or how much I try to give she says I never put her or the family first. I am not allowed to have friends or go anywhere unless it is to work or to do the shopping for the family or run errands for her. She needs me to call on all of my work breaks and she askes if anyone has talked to me, and wants to know what they have said. She is recently started having an affair with a very rich man who said he can take her and our kids away out of the country if she askes him to. She says if I ever try to leave her or file for divorce she will do just that. I don't know what to do. She calls me names all the time and says I am the abbusive one. She says she cheats and I am to blame. When she is mad it is always my fault. She says I don't do enough for the family and I am selfish. If I try to talk about it she says I am not very manly. I don't know what to do. If she found out about this post she would be upset.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:21 PM by Manga
I am sorry she is treating you that way. My husband is in midlife crisis and is not the nicest person right now. Papers are filed and he is living with a controlling girlfriend which is ironic. He is picking up her dog's crap and running home to let it out when she has no kids and he has 3. I would say call her bluff. Go get a lawyer. Ask how you can get it immediately set that she cannot go out of the country. Or get your kids passports and hide them. Protect your kids first. Then deal with her. She can not take kids if it court ordered. My husband will not even be able to live too many miles from the kids unless I agree. Sometime people need an eye opener. I have changed and seen my faults in the way I talked to him, however he is not in a good mental state and had no right to up an leave us without ever saying what was wrong. He was allowed to live his life playing poker, and going out with friends whenever he wanted. If telling you the lawn has to be mowed, the car needs an oil change, you don't have money to go on a cruise, you should go to your daughter's show instead of poker........ is controlling than guess I'm the best at that. 
Posted @ Thursday, August 22, 2013 7:57 AM by Marie
To Marie, 
 
You sound just like my wife. How long did it take you to come up with "Hide the passports"? Like two seconds I guess. This is the kind of tactics my wife would use, only with her it is "Hide the car keys". It is all about power and control and keeping someone in a place they do not want to be. Well I am not like her and I am not like you. If I fight dirty who do you think will get the most hurt? I parents can't act like grownups, the kids pay the price. You want to act like you are not controlling but you drove your husband so crazy he was willing to walk away from his kids to escape it. And now you still want to tell him where he can and can't live? Never mind that he might find better work somewhere else or better living area or maybe he just wants to be nearer to other family. But you just have to run the show don't you? Thank you for giving me a glimps at what I will be up against should me and my wife split. Unless you are a man dealing with a controlling woman, keep you ass off this forum.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 7:17 AM by Manga
Well, my controlling wife has made a very large mistake...she left our home 2 months ago, and took the only car, the cash, everything she could to get herself set, and leave me in the lurch. I decided I was finished with our marriage, and she now wants me back, but she is now claiming I am "verbally Abusive" and before she will return to the marriage, she wants to live with her children in another state, and have me agree to go to a psychologist for the next 3 to 5 years, and "then" we can resume our marriage. She gave personal documents and papers to local neighbors, as well as my house-keys, and she asked them to charge me with harassment when I called them for her location...I was arrested last night for misdemeanor harassment, and bailed out within an hour...she then sent me an e-mail letting me know that unless I went to a shrink, as she had decided, things would only "get worse". I am disabled, but an active musician...she knows I cannot find work, or even go to the store without a car...Everything was looking bleak and dismal, so I prayed.  
 
The most amazing experience of my life has occurred.  
 
I went online to research the issues with depression, and wifely control, and I met a Clinical Biblical Marriage researcher, who was widowed. We shared over 50 pages of communication about my life, and my 23 years under my wife's regime, and then this wonderful woman called me. After a week of marathon conversation and sharing, she decided to meet with me, and discuss my financial and legal issues caused by my soon to be ex-wife.  
 
We fell in love.  
 
She has extended her faith, and has financed my legal and personal needs, to give me an escape from the wrath of my ex, and we have grown closer than my ex and I had in 1 month, than the 23 tortuous years with her.  
 
We are buying a boat, and traveling as missionaries as soon as the divorce, and the legals are over...my lawyer found a way to dismiss all of my charges, and ....I am in love, I have been released from my hell marriage.  
 
I encourage anyone with these controlling wife problems not to ever give up, but to seek help from the one who really cares about you, and do it as soon as you can...He will guide and direct you to a new place of security. 
 
In conclusion, I want to tell all of you battered brothers out there...this woman I have found told me; "I am yours, and I will follow you wherever you lead me, I am the happiest woman that has ever lived...  
 
My ex-wife will be receiving our wedding invitation, and our forgiveness.  
 
Never give up, there are still some righteous women in this world. 
a
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 12:09 PM by Joseph
Well Manga, I see why she left you for someone else. You must have anger issues if you could not see me trying to help you thinking how to protect your kids. Stupid me. It's not rocket science but most of you men think with the wrong head. Men are stupid if it takes 21 years to realize who they are with. I didn't control him. He did whatever the hell he wanted. That's why it was so easy to walk. He never cared about them. That is why I did everything. I didn't tell him what to do. And if I'm bad for that so be it. He has nothing but debt being on his own. Act like a child, get treated like one. He HAD a house, 2 cars, land, savings, little debt, vacations etc. Now NOTHING just debt and lawyer bills. I have all those things plus a no interest brand new car, no debt, kid attends private school now too. So guess I'm better off not "controlling" him. Good luck with your wife, I know where you will be. 
 
Joseph- So you think a God that hates divorced sent you this "love of your life" instead of restoring your marriage? Okay. Post on here in a year and let me know if she is still around. You are committing adultery now.  
I laugh that my husband left me (the controlling wife) and now has a girlfriend who makes him pick up dog shit, pay the vet bills, uses his apartment while he's at work, makes him clean "his" place. She is a ball and chain. More power to him. I am way better off not "controlling" him. Save me time to have fun with the kids and make my own money. 
Let her pay his debt and ride in his 8 year old beat up truck. She has already hurt her leg, new dog has problems, husband had expensive repairs to car and is limping. Guess God is not approving.  
 
God is favoring me for following.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 2:58 PM by Marie
This discussion is entertaining. Either way, I find women are naggers and whiners, and men don't give 2 shits other than to be left alone. That causes the biggest problem. Men hate to be nagged but women nag because they care too much about the stupidest things. LOL.  
 
Nagging wives is not a new thing. Women have nagged their husbands for a long time and drive men mad. Women haven't learned yet that men just want to be left the hell alone. Who gives a crap if you left a light on or if the silverware isn't put away in the right slots.  
 
The only time my wife is happy is when I am doing something for her own benefit. To me that makes her selfish. If I am not giving her a back rub, cleaning the house, or working my ass off to make her happy then she isn't happy. It's because they are only happy when men are trying to make them happy.  
 
Then women try to make men out to be pigs because of sex. You could spend all day and do everything for them but then if you lay a hand on them it's "ooohh all you want is sex." Women do that because it's a big power trip to them. They try to control their man by holding back sex. The more they hold back, the more men will do what the woman wants so maybe he can "get lucky." and how do I know this? because i have women friends and they all love to giggle about men and how they can control them through their "lack of sex" tactics.  
 
In today's society, men should avoid marriage. There is nothing redeeming about it. Men would get more out of playing in the middle of the street and taking a power drill to their own testicles than to be married to a woman. A man would have more freedom to do what he wanted in prison than to be married. Have a good weekend!
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 3:17 PM by srem
Hey Marie...Abandonment and adultery is what I forgave her for in the beginning...you are very bitter because you don't FOLLOW your man...you are like these Jezebel types that want money, comfort, and control...well, I have been blessed with a real woman, one who knows God's arrangement, and I have been released from this worldly woman.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 4:17 PM by Joseph
If you say so Joseph. I'd rather have the family I had for my 3 kids with their dad at home doing family things. But now guess what, I have money, comfort and control. Why because of the ball and chain I was trying to make happy is gone. Obviously he was not needed around here since I am better off financially without him. He was just another child to cook, clean, do laundry, and have to talk sence into when wanting to spend money we didn't have, Now I have plenty and give my 10% to God also, which he never did. So I don't think I lost anything. Abandonment is not adultry unless she left for someone else. You are with someone else. And the fact she wants you back and you refuse, you are in the wrong. Should be praying for your marriage and wife. I am to believe you were stupid enough to stay 23 years with torture? No marriage started to be work and no longer lust and you quit. That's what most do at 20 years now. No longer the 7 year itch. 20 or more seems the new 7. Problem is, men no longer have the wife slaving at home for them and they are in the work place just as successful and men can't take it. I kept my husband out of trouble, out of debt, having good credit, a home.... Took 21 years and in 2 he lost it all and now going into bankruptcy. So I guess women have it right, men are lazy and need a women to control things.  
 
I did live God's word. Took care of my family and husband. He did not support his family and be a Godly husband and then left and found someone new to control him twice as much. Same story, different cast. Won't end well.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 7:18 PM by Marie
To Marie, 
 
She did not leave me for someone else. She is having sex with someone else. She does not want to let me go. And yes I do have anger issues now. I don't trust women anymore. You are all the same. You start off dating bad boys until you see that gets you nowhere so then you find a nice guy who will work to put food on the table and buy you a house and does everything you tell him. But then after you are set up nice and pretty, you go back to chasing bad boys. Women are snakes. Maybe pretty to look at but stay back! Even if you are nice to a snake it will eventually bite you. This is the nature of the snake. You said men are stupid. This is how women think. But I know this now.
Posted @ Sunday, August 25, 2013 7:35 AM by Manga
Thank you srem. 
 
I agree. I want to tell all the young men to never get married. Women are very self centered, but they love to call men selfish, childish, and stupid. My wife has labeled me "the most selfish man in the world." I asked her how, what do I do for myself? She said, "but you want to. And that is why."
Posted @ Sunday, August 25, 2013 8:12 AM by Manga
Marie...your post has revealed your heart...you did not understand your man when the ability to make an income slowed down...you were looking at the gravy train, not at your man's frustrations...You should have  
held him in your Christian arms, and told him how much you love him, even though things were not getting much better...you should have supported him. not aborted him. You could have encouraged him to go with you to a prayed-for Bible counselor, and you should have humbled yourself before the throne of our Lord, you might have been able to save this man's dignity, hopes, and understanding of God, if you had only been KIND.
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:32 AM by Joseph
Marie, don't you understand? It is the wicked one who has empowered today's woman, she is in competition with all men, and in the home, the man is a mere shadow of what God intended...so bask in short-lived revelry, and understand that some men, like me, waited 23 years to witness my wife's true heart become transparent...she attacked me with such vengeance ...she became something I have never seen in her in all of those years, and she exposed her real motives to the world...she wanted financial security, but she held her children, and her income over the well-being of a disabled, but hard-working man...she became hard.
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:45 AM by Joseph
Wow Joseph and Manga 
Do you have it wrong. First of all the money never slowed down. We were fine, but after he up and left he went crazy and now he has no money. I have always been able to take care of myself. I paid for my husband's college degree. So don't even make me out to be about money. The reason he is broke is because he feels entitled to buy things he can't afford and try to look like someone he is not. I am fine now because I don't have to try to keep up with him. I live in my means and God favors me.  
He left me because he is in a midlife crisis. Has nothing to do with me. He was taken care of by me, my mistake. Should have made him be responsible for more, but he is lazy and if I or the kids needed something we had to do it ourself. Kids see that now that I can't be the one to clean up the mess (mistakes) like when he forgets 3 pieces to a baseball uniform, or shows up late to pick them up. Not my problem. Now they see. And my son is so the opposite thank God.  
 
I am sure your wife's heart has harden. It's your job to pray for her. And if she wants to reconcile. God wants you to try.  
 
That is the biggest part of my husband. His heart is hardened and I wanted to do whatever it took, he is the one who refused so God favors the ones who has the heart. That is why I am ok alone and he is miserable with someone else. People don't bring you happiness, God does.
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:02 AM by Marie
Thank you Marie, you have a good take on this...I am praying for my wife as we talk. Love is the only way to solve these problems...Blessings, 
Joseph
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:10 AM by joseph
To whomever posted the hate comment... 
 
It is never ok to act out violence toward women. Being mad is one thing but as men we are still charged with the responsibility of controlling ourselves, and our actions. 
 
Keep it cool men.
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:00 PM by Manga
This morning I asked my wife if she wanted coffee,keeping in mind I already had the machine prepared and either was going to place the K-cup she would want or my own. She says yes and I proceed. Then mid way through she says never mind I'll make it. I tell her its already done at this point and hand her the cup...She says "why didnt you listen? I said I'd make it, that's not the mug I wanted any way" I explained that her coffee was nearly done by the time she said she would do it....result of all this was me dumping the coffee that was hers I made in the sink and her by this point making the EXACT same type *only different mug. Then leaves for work with out a single word. I'm not perfect and know that I can be stubborn which leads to further arguments....I've come to the realization we can argue HOW to do something when the end result is the same. I don't know what to do. I feel at times I am always to blame but know that nothing is ALWAYS or NEVER.... advice further comments please?
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 10:07 AM by David
Hi David. I used to be like that. All I can tell you is she is mad at something else. With me, it was that I had so much to do, my ex-husband would come home sit on the couch and treat me like a maid watching me cook and clean. So if he did something nice for me, I hated him more. It wasn't what I wanted him to do. Maybe start listening to things she is complaining about and offer help with that. Don't know if it will make a difference. Get the app or book The Love Dare.
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 10:37 AM by Tina
The fact that this is getting comments FIVE years after OP just a tremendous testament to what a serious problem this is. 
 
I am about to leave an abusive/controlling relationship. My name is Greg and her name is Erica and we live in Iowa. I moved to Iowa to be with this woman. I left my mother behind and basically changed my whole life. (Because she refused to move to Alabama, where I'm from). 
 
We bought a car together and she's the one that found the online link to where it was located. I said I wanted to buy her a promise ring. She instantly found the link to it and said all I had to do was pay for it. Same with her engagement ring. There was no input from me in any form.  
 
And if I tell her she seems a tiny bit controlling then she blows up like crazy!!! 
 
Now I've seen on here a lot of very blatant and obvious controlling/abusive behavior reported. I believe the worst kind of abuse is the subtle kind. 
 
She has a way of imposing emotional punishment to exact her control. She will become frigid and distant. She definitely withholds sex! She will change her entire demeanor if she perceives being criticized or judged. If I say anything at all I am punished. The only thing that has ever been accepted has been 'this is perfect darling. You are perfect darling.' Anything else is met with the most extreme responses of aggressive manipulation, cold shoulder, with holding sex and everything in between. 
 
And yes, sadly, she has cheated on me. Which is another thing to watch out for with a controlling person. They don't believe there are rules in place for them. They always have an excuse to do exactly what they please no matter who it hurts.She had all these 'excuses' as to why she did it too.  
 
^^Another problem with this type of person is getting them to ADMIT a damn thing! You might as well forget about that. That is why I am leaving now. Because she just won't admit that she is controlling, a compulsive liar, and all around dishonest person. 
 
She left her husband to be with me. She was trying to leave her husband 5 years ago but the guy she was cheating with died. Her husband had bought another house and they had some of the paperwork drawn up. The guy dies so she stays married until she met me and then got divorced and we bought a house together. 
 
Never never never trust a person that would leave their current husband to be with anyone else, especially YOU. Because they will do the same crap to you! 
 
Controlling is as controlling does. 
 
BEWARE!
Posted @ Sunday, July 27, 2014 10:32 PM by Greg
David, There are very helpful coping skills to learn when you have a controlling partner, so get some professional help. Tina makes a good point that she's mad at something else -- most likely true. But there very well are other factors too. -Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:46 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
I feel strengthened by the above stories. I understand the anger and frustration. My wife has heaped destruction on my head for 38 years. We have had loving moments, but too few and too far between. During all this time we have not been able to keep on good ground for more than four days at a time. I will speak out about the controlling and then she will not have a word to speak to me that is not motivated by anger for the next two weeks or more. Our children were all raised with her undermining my authority in our home and countermanding any instructions I gave. She has an excuse or justification for everything she says or does or she just denies doing it completely. I felt that I was being systematically destroyed. As an experiment, I tried saying and doing similar things to her to see how she would handle it. She crumbled. I couldn't continue. It was just not in me. But I know I could completely destroyed her if I did not love her. Now I'm 65 yrs old and I'm done. I feel my choices are limited to taking my life or just disappearing. She is the most selfless and caring woman I have known outside the context of our marriage. I still love her and care about her deeply.
Posted @ Saturday, August 16, 2014 12:02 AM by JD
JD, Have you ever gotten professional help? Controlling people can change when we set boundaries that give them no other choice but to change in order to stay in a relationship with us. Given the sad choice of Robin Williams this week to end his life and the resulting affect on so many, I hope you'll choose a different path. Please get some professional help -- send me a message through the Contact page on this site or call 800-273-8255 24/7. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, August 16, 2014 8:16 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
I am a little gun shy of therapists. She harped that we needed marriage counseling so I went with her. By the end of the session she was controlling the therapist and it had deteriorated into something focused entirely on fixing the problems in me. I watched the whole thing happen and was amazed. When it was over she felt empowered and I felt wretched. I realize that there are problems I bring to the table but our session was a complete bomb. I believe that happiness in a relationship must be achieved by two people uplifting and strengthening each other. I feel like I have consistently supported her and built her confidence in any endeavor she set out to accomplish. I know she would agree to that much at least. It has occurred to me that our relationship is extremely parasitic. She has thrived and I have just become increasingly weaker. JD
Posted @ Sunday, August 17, 2014 12:23 PM by JD
JD, Sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience in therapy. Unfortunately, not all therapists can handle these types of problems. However, to be fair, judging therapy on a single session is not fair either. It's pretty common to hear that each partner feels the therapist took the other partner's side. It takes time, patience and a number of therapy sessions to work through problems that have taken years to build. -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, August 18, 2014 2:59 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
I am married to a woman that is so controlling, it has taken an absolute toll on my entire life.  
 
When I first met her, she was not as bad as she is now. I saw all the signs in the beginning. Signs such as examining the contents of my cell phone and going through my internet history.  
 
Since I began my relationship with her, I have lost all of my friends. I have also lost close relationships with my family members because she is so controlling. I always saw the signs, but I thought it would get better as time improved.  
 
For a short while, she was perfect. This was after she had decided we were going to get married. That's right, she went out and purchased rings and damn near proposed to me.  
 
After three years, one of which we were married, and a child, I have finally decided it was time to end it.  
 
I was tired of long sleepless nights of arguing, having my penis grabbed during a Victoria secret commercial to see if I was erect, my phone being taken and raided, my emails being raided, my bank account being examined, not being allowed to spend cash, not allowed to hang out with any guy friends because none were "approved" of, being called all night at work to see if I was really working .... and so on. . .  
 
Her response to a divorce was the falsification of a police report and a domestic violence arrest which ended my dream career.  
 
And still, she will not agree to divorce.  
 
She wants to work things out.  
 
I used to laugh at situations like this when I heard of them. I no longer think its funny. A controlling woman is the worst thing that can happen to any man on this earth. Even as a Marine, I never had to endure such stress and agony as I have had to deal with in this relationship.  
 
This relationship was more traumatic than my deployment.  
 
I encourage any guy who is in a controlling relationship to carefully step away. 
 
Lets face it, we as guys can recognize the signs of a controlling woman. No close friends. N hobbies. No social life. Very attached. No close relationships with family members.  
 
Don't let a pretty face and beautiful body distract you from what is obvious.  
 
 
Its not worth it in the end.  
 
Good day good luck to all who may be enduring this.  
 
 
 
 
 
Posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 9:03 PM by Joe
Joe, Very sorry to hear of your situation. Thanks for sharing and your advice. Enduring is a choice and I hope no one will read this and think you're stuck without options. As difficult as they may be, you do have choices besides enduring this. I hope you'll start making some better choices or get help to learn how. -Kurt
Posted @ Sunday, August 24, 2014 2:12 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
My wife says it's all me. Sadly I've reacted from the way she treats me, never physical, but it gives her ammunition against me. She yells at me, calls me useless, belittles me, belittles my friends, controls my finances and yells at me if I don't do what she says, tells me I need counselling (of which I've had, extensively), mocks my efforts to clean the house up after her. Recently she punched me repeatedly after I received a message from a woman I'd met online (after my wife kicked me out of home - the second time). For two years I slept in the guest bedroom while she kept our baby daughter in bed with her, later telling me she did it on purpose. All my old friends, my support group, no longer contact me. I shut my parents out of my life for two years, to my wife's pleasure - she never liked them. But now I'm happily back in contact with them. My wife started World War III on Facebook with the woman I met online, after my wife recently 'decided' that she wanted me back. She has since ruined this woman's life with targeted attacks, even though we were just talking as friends. When I find the strength to ignore my wife's control, she predictably sends me photos of our beautiful daughter. Today I suggested to my wife, after many years of progressive arguments - every day now - that I will help set her up in her own home and settle our affairs before the divorce papers are signed, (a seperation that she herself filed for during our second split). She then predictably sent me photos of a vacation we were once on, saying I even hated her back then. She's trying to bait me. Thing is, I'm very very worried for my beautiful daughter who's been in the thick of it. My daughter is the reason I came back every time. Her, and an uncanny dependence I've formed for a controlling wife. This morning, after our daily argument, in a house electric with tension, I was trying to sleep after a long important night at work, and I heard how my wife was treating our daughter. She was icy cold. My poor little girl was bending to her every demand and fear tactics. Tonight, at work, after suggesting to my wife that we seperate our affairs, my 5y/o daughter rang me in tears, saying she missed me so much, even though I'm only just at work. She has never done that before. I sincerely hope my wife isn't manipulating her. If I leave my wife I'm afraid for my daughter under a controlling mother, but if I stay I'm afraid for my own sanity.
Posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 12:31 PM by Phil
Phil, If you leave won't your daughter at least get some time away from her mother? I don't easily advocate breaking up families, but sometimes when the abuse won't stop it's the only way to get change to happen. If your wife won't change or get help to learn how to, you should be thinking about this not just for your own sanity but your daughters well being as well. -Kurt
Posted @ Sunday, September 07, 2014 7:01 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
Phil, Im in the same situation. My wife knows that my daughter is my heart, and that I won't leave her for anything. She tries to use my love for my daughter to manipulate me. I think of leaving all the time, but I know it break my daughter's heart, and I don't want her to be subject to my wife's anger towards me. I kind of feel like the only option is to stick it out until my daughter is at least 18. She's 7 years old now. Hang in there,your wife will reap what she has sown....karma is a bitch.
Posted @ Sunday, September 07, 2014 7:58 AM by Anonymous
Kurt, 
I have a controlling and emotionally abusive wife. I did everything for her. She wanted me to cut off ties with my parents who reside overseas. I distanced myself from them (calling them from outside the home) until she said I could not call my dad on his 75th. Since then I built myself slowly, setting boundaries with her and being assertive as well. Now she has become delusional (her sister has been mentally ill as well). I think that she suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. She does not admit she has a problem and is stubborn in not seeing a counselor or doctor. I feel for my five-year old son because he deserves a better environment although I am trying my best for him. I now think that her mental condition in her was a large part in her behavior toward me and it has now become full blown psychosis. She has a difficult personality anyway. 
I am wondering whether it is her personality disorder, mental illness, or both that caused her to control and emotionally abuse me in addition to by being too nice to her and spoiling her. Also how do I get her to get medical help in California (where one cannot force someone to seek help against their will)? She is not physically harmful to anyone but does not give the right environment for my son. Please help. Thanks, Chris
Posted @ Sunday, September 07, 2014 10:39 AM by Chris
Anonymous. It's a tough one. I talk to a lot of people about this issue and many have said they wish their arguing parents had parted ways when they were younger instead of waiting till they were 18. I've been trying to make things work. It's been my intent to stick it out in spite of my health and happiness. Wish I knew the answers. Right now I'm living by myself in a friends new house under renovations. It's empty and lonely and without running water or amenities but I feel a calmness for not being in a war zone right now and it's better than living in my car at the beach. Luckily I've got a good support network but would rather not abuse it. Taking myself out of the equation was my last option. My wife dug her heals in and said she wasn't budging from our home. I've learned to choose my battles so I left instead. I still can't get my head around kicking my wife and daughter out only to experience what I'm experiencing now. It sucks with no home. I figured I'd be a better person for my daughter though if I get it together again. Maybe try and buy a home of my own one day. Already I took my daughter to the aquatic centre today and we had a great time. She swam further than I've seen her swim before. I had to put a brave face on though when I picked her up and dropped her off. My advice.. Find some strength and look after yourself first even though you'll meet resistance at first and eventually you'll be in a better position to help your daughter when the time comes. Easy said but not done, I know from experience. Mothers can be manipulative but they're maternal too so your daughter is physically safe if you decide you need a breather. Guilt is what brings me back every time and it's hard to ignore. But after running emotionally empty for ages now and physically drained from the stress I've had no choice but to try and think rationally for a change and ignore my guilt and remove myself from a situation that's doing more harm to my daughter than me leaving. My own health needs a break too. I was at my peak fitness a couple of years back but now I'm living on cigarettes and junk food because it's hard to care about ones self in constant conflict. I have no idea what the future holds and after our nine year track record I do expect more bumps in the road but it feels damn good to relax once in a while... Also, if you have a break be careful with other women or you may see a jealous side of your wife you've never seen before. It took me six months of heart break and closure to finally move forward after our last split when I thought it was all but over but when I finally moved past the guilt and started trying to live again I discovered a jealous side to my wife I never knew existed. It was a bit scary.
Posted @ Monday, September 08, 2014 1:50 PM by Phil
Chris, Forget about what caused her behavior. Wrong is wrong wherever it comes from. You need to focus on taking care of yourself and your son first. You're right that you can't force her to get help, so why are you focusing on that? Do what you need to do to keep you and your son healthy and safe. Modeling that example could actually influence her. -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, September 08, 2014 2:25 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
Thanks Kurt. Yes, I am trying to model good behavior for my son and hoping it would influence my wife. It is difficult, though, because she does not pull her weight around and provides a dysfunctional environment for our son.  
 
I will not tolerate her behavior but am sometimes torn between whether to be more understanding of her because of her mental condition (so as not to cause her alot of stress and exacerbate her condition) or to be firm and assertive, even if it hurts her, so that the right thing gets done.  
 
Chris
Posted @ Monday, September 08, 2014 6:21 PM by Chris
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