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November 25, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Scared to Death

Question:

I love my husband very much but he is very boring. He does not allow me to have fun and will not take me out to do the things that I enjoy doing. He only ever wants to do things he enjoys which I find completely boring. He also has me on a curfew, and if I am not at home before midnight he comes looking for me and embarrasses me in front of friends and family. I am not even allowed to go out and have fun without having to be home by curfew. I feel like I am suffocating.

I want so much to leave but I am terrified. If I leave he will lose my friendship and that will hurt him. I know that I should make myself happy first but I worry more about making him happy. He also tells me constantly that if I leave I won't get anything, such as furniture, money etc. I have tried talking, reasoning, and finally getting mad, but he doesn't listen. How do I find the guts to do what I really know inside I should? My friends and family all say I should leave him.

Diane, 32-year-old woman

Answer:

Dear Diane,

This is what you said: "I love my husband very much but he is very boring. He does not allow me to have fun and will not take me out to do the things that I enjoy doing. He only ever wants to do things he enjoys which I find completely boring. He also has me on a curfew, and if I am not at home before midnight he comes looking for me and embarrasses me in front of friends and family."

How did you get into this predicament where the man that you love - the man who is supposed to be your partner - has always had you on a curfew and doesn't allow you to have fun? How did he get to be in charge of what you do? I'm guessing you might have been raised by a strict, overbearing father who ruled your mother and the household. Perhaps your husband came from a household with a domineering father. We learn how to be in relationships from the relationships we grew up in. Perhaps you enjoyed your husband's attention in the beginning of your relationship. Perhaps his attention felt like caring and interest and now you feel what he does as unwanted demands.

You say, "I am not even allowed to go out and have fun with my family without having to be home by curfew. I feel like I am suffocating."

You are 32 years old. Ask yourself: How does someone who was your friend and love have a hold like this over you?

You say you love your husband very much. Perhaps you can save your marriage. You will need to go into counseling together and examine the rules of your marriage, what is working and what isn't. You can develop new rules and new ways of being together.

You say, "I want so much to leave but I am terrified. If I leave he will lose my friendship and that will hurt him." So what would be so terrible if he lost his friendship and you lost his friendship and he felt hurt? Ask yourself: Why are you terrified? Is your husband ill equipped to stay alive without you? Are you staying to keep him alive and ruling the household? Would your leaving say something bad about you? What? Who would think badly of you? Perhaps your mother who stayed and stayed and endured and endured. Ask yourself: Is your mother a happy person living a fulfilling life?

You say, "He also tells me constantly that if I leave I won't get anything such as furniture, money etc."

You probably won't get furniture or money. You're not able to get yourself out of this situation, so it's unlikely you'll be taking furniture if you go. That means you have to figure out how you'll manage to support yourself on your own. If you're safe and he's not slapping you around, you may decide to stay while you take some classes and develop some skills to be able to take care of yourself.

You say, "I have tried talking, reasoning, and finally getting mad but he doesn't listen."

I suggest you go into counseling together so you can both learn a variety of ways to express yourselves and how to listen to each other.

Your question is: "How do I find the guts to do what I really know inside I should?"

You may go into counseling by yourself. You could look for a women's support group. You wrote in October of last year. Now we're in September of a new year. Nearly a year has gone by. I wonder if you are in the same situation or what you have done to get the guts to improve the marriage or let it go.

All the best,

Leya Aum, MA, MFCC

This question was answered by Leya Aum. She is California licensed marriage, family, child counselor certified in clinical hypnosis. She teaches Feldenkrais Method® of Neuromuscular Relearning, is practitioner of the Bowen Technique and Jin Shin Jyutsu®. She is also human resources consultant, writer and editor.

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