Controlling family


Controlling family


your avatar   Kim

Okay, I will try to make this short. I have been married for 3 1/2 years. I have a 2 year-old little boy. I am my husband's first everything-- girlfriend, kiss, sex partner and date. He has 2 brothers both are older than he, and he is 29. He has one sister who is 27. All but him live at home. None of them have any friends or date. My husband is very controlling and doesn't trust me at all. His mom tells him what to do and he does it. She still buys his clothes for him. I have no say in the raising of my son. His mom makes all the decisions. I can't work, he won't allow me to and I am not supposed to go shopping or pump my gas by myself.

His mom and sister have 'the boys go with them to do stuff'. I left once and he stalked me, harassed me, took my son, and raped me. I am back now and things are a little better, but he still is controlling and his mom still rules. Up front with my family or in social gatherings he is such a nice person, kind and friendly. My friend thinks I am crazy for feeling the disgust that I have for him but she doesn't see how he really is. Is this normal behavior for a man or am I crazy?


    Kenneth A. Weene, Ph.D.


I suggest that you avoid the name-calling. The question isn't who's crazy but how you want to live. I suggest that you offer to go to a marriage counselor with your husband to try to reach an agreement. If he is unwilling, then save up some money as you can and search out a protective shelter for 'battered women'. From that setting serve him with divorce papers; hopefully that will get him started thinking. If he is still rigid in his position, pursue the divorce. (I hope you have already consulted an attorney.)

I couldn't help wondering where your family of origin is in all this. Are they supportive of you? Do they live nearby? Can they help you financially if you have to make a new life?

Unfortunately, some families are so enmeshing that they don't allow for individuality or even for the formation of new families of procreation. Your mother-in-law is, I am sure, quite positive that she should be the matriarch and should make the decisions. If you stay in the marriage, you will have to directly confront her in some way. I would suggest that 'making up dreams' is a sometimes useful technique. For example, 'I had a dream the other night that you were very sick and needed me to help you, but there was something stopping me from reaching you. I looked around and realized that I was chained to a wall. The wall looked just like (pick a wall in her house). As much as I tried to help, I couldn't. It was just awful.' Don't interpret or get into a discussion of the dream. Just let it sit on and in her head for a while. When your husband asks you why you would dream such a thing or talk about it, just say that it scared you and made you feel so terrible and helpless.

However, I don't suggest you use this or any confrontational technique until you and your husband are in counseling.

Ken Weene

This question was answered by Kenneth A. Weene. Ken Weene is a graduate of The Institute For Advance Psychological Studies at Adelphi University is a licensed psychologist practicing on Long Island, New York. His orientation is holistic and eclectic. In addition to a variety of contributions to the professional literature, Dr. Weene has published a number of poems. Before entering private practice, he directed Children, Adolescent, and Family Services for The Counseling Service of The Long Island Council of Churches. Ken's central belief is that life is a gift to be experienced, enjoyed, and celebrated. He knows that this is sometimes difficult in the face of physical, emotional, and other forms of distress and sees his goal as helping people to find their inner peace and joy in the face of stress and anguish.


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