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Am I an Abusive, Controlling Husband?

May 15, 2000

My wife left me 3 months ago since she thinks I am an verbally abusive husband.  I have never hit my wife, so definitely the is no physical abuse.  Good!

 
My mother-in-law was physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by her husband. They tried to work their marriage several times, and now they have like 16 years separation, never divorced - and there is no relationship between them.  My point is that my mother-in-law does not believe in man, and anything close to an abusive relationship, she considers to be not worth pursuing.  So, several times she took the opportunity to influence my wife, which she does very well, to abandon any effort to continue in a relationship with me - even though we have 2 kids. I'm sorry to hear that.
 
Am I a verbally abusive person? Yes. I've read ahead. And very controlling too.  I do not know. Now you do. I have a difficult time expressing my feelings, since I do not want to look weak before no one.  I know it is a mistake, and I am working on it.  GOOD. Never forget that only a strong person has the power to appear weak - when they are... When I get hurt, I try in a peaceful manner to express my concerns, but I do not do it very well; arguments escalate.  If the argument becomes pretty bad, I say wrongful things; I get out of control, but only verbally.  Stop minimizing. It's not "only" verbally... Verbal abuse is horrible... Plus you need to improve your anger management skills. Start with Ron Potter's very readable Angry All the Time, and go from there. There are lots of good titles on The Bookshelf. 

Now, since I do know about this, I try not to express my concerns, but then I get resentful with the person. You need to express your concerns, but express them respectfully. Also, don't assume that just because you have expressed your concerns or asked for something that you will get it. Expect that sometimes your concerns will be met, other times they will not be. You have to learn to deal with this. This is life. Your resentment is something you have to work on. This is YOUR issue.  Then I isolate myself from that person. Not OK. When you isolate, you are acting out. Stop sulking and deal with life.

For instance, my wife started coming back home around 10:00 pm. I know she has not been cheating on me, but that is not a right thing to do. Correct.  Now, you might be thinking I want to control her, but, not at all.   I have no problem if she were to be going out with friends 2 or 3 times a month.  But what about 2 or 3 times a week?  There is definitely something wrong. Yes. I am thinking why is she so unhappy that she stays out so late, so often? I let her do that, since I knew she was trying to call my attention to something. You "let" her do that? What right to you have to give her permission? We are already talking about control.  She is not the type of person that does that.  But one night, I exploded and told her that was wrong. She said that I was calling her a bitch, and maybe I implied it, but did not say it directly.  Same difference. Not OK. She got mad and wanted a separation. I have been quiet for more than 2 or 3 months, accepting her behavior, and now I am a bad person because I implied that her actions, not her, were not lady like. She did not like your feedback because you told her you wanted her home more. While you are "correct," that is not what she wants to do. She is within her rights, and you need to accept that. If you can't, pull away.

 
I get mad because every time I come home, she talks to her mother over the phone 5 to 6 times in a period of 2 hours.  She pays no attention to me since she says she will not tell her mother not to call her.  Ok!!!! Her mother definitely controls her since she is the one who calls her so many times. My wife does not understand she is my wife and I need her, and then I am the bad guy because I want to control her talking to her mother. Wow!!!!!!!!! STOP! Did it ever occur to you that she may be talking to her mom so much - because she is not happy talking with you? You seem to think you are in a position to give her permission to go out, to talk with mom, etc., etc. WRONG. If your wife wants to get away, for whatever reason, that is her prerogative. If you are not happy with her behavior, you can tell her - once or twice. If she won't change, you are free to leave. You cannot force her to behave the way a wife is "supposed" to behave. 
 
Now, if you hear her side, you will advise her to run immediately, since she will not say the whole thing, just that I want to control her going out and phone calls with her mother.  You will say that I am a controlling husband. You are a controlling husband. And, I have only heard your side. You think you have the right to expect wifely behavior simply because you married her. You don't. 
 
I do not think I am a controlling husband, I have hear so many stories from your web site and I am not even close to any of them. Please... You are very controlling. You just don't see it, which is par for the course.  I know I have a bad temper, which I have worked on over the years, and there must be order in our life and lifestyles - but when I talk about them, I become accused of being controlling.  So what have I done? Plenty. You have the right to impose order on yourself. You have the right to ask your partner to impose order on herself. You do not have the right to demand that she do so. Just because she is your wife does not mean you own her!  Stop asking for the things I would like? Yes. If you have asked and whatever you asked for is not offered, accept it. If you can't accept it, you are free to leave. You have no right to try and make her comply! But, you don't get that. Am I happy? No, so it's a matter of accepting a bit of chaos or being called a controlling person. It's a matter of accepting that you can't dictate how another should feel or act. But, you don't get that.
 
I know I have changes to make in myself YES. Big, big changes. Huge ones. You are controlling as all heck... , and so does my wife I have no information on your wife. , so my situation is acceptable to me.  But I have my story and I do not believe I am the bad guy nor she is the bad person.  But my wife tells her story like I am the bad person, so her mother advises her for divorce.  I can not understand her mother's behavior, but I know there is God, and what we do here, we will pay it later in God. I think you better start praying for clarity and insight. You are so hell bent on seeing things your way, you don't see what's in front of your nose...
 
I am trying to tell you that everybody has a story, and their side is not necessarily the truth, it is just a side of the story. I hear you.  I do not like you to advise people for divorce, it is wrong. I agree. I know you mean well, but it is wrong.  There are people involved and your advices affects lives.  Please think about it.  Remember, you will have to answer to God later on.  Jake

Jake,

Divorce is about the last thing people in our crazy, high-divorce rate society needs. But, marriage takes two to make it work. You can't make marriage work when you don't see your own faults. You can't make marriage work when you assume that your wife is your possession - and that she should behave like a wife! Look inside Jake. Ask yourself, without minimizing, why your wife should behave like a wife. Have you behaved like a husband? Have you loved, honored and obeyed? Have you understood that life doesn't owe you squat, and that that is OK? Have you understood that your partner has needs, wants, and desires too? What makes her feelings less important than yours?  Check it out Jake. And, yes, I will answer to God. You answer to God too. 

I'm posting a board for you and I will ask readers for their comments. Feel free to participate in any discussion. The purpose of this board is to help you see two inches past the end of your nose. I love you Jake.  I'm with you.    Dr. Irene

 

I just want to read the Psts page 1.  Posts page 2

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