Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Husband uses money to control me

Published:Tuesday | February 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband is very controlling. When we were dating, I thought he was very protective and attentive. He always wanted to go out with me and he would shower me with presents.

However, as the marriage unfolded, he has used money to try and control me. I do not know if it is because he is eight years my senior why he is like that. He earns far more money than I. He, therefore, takes care of all the bills. He pays the mortgage, school fees for our son, insurance for the cars, all telephone bills, etc.

He also pays for my gym fees, etc. I use my money to pay for my personal insurance, clothes and lunch. My husband paid for me to do my first degree for which I am grateful. However, two years ago, he bought a very nice car for my birthday, but the car is in his name. He claims that he had to do it that way for it to be a surprise.

He does not want me to visit my mother in the country and to take our son, and if I don't take our son, he says I have a man in the country. When I go to my mother, he cuts off paying certain bills. He also believes that he must have sex on demand because he pays the bills. He wants to search my bag and telephone, and if I complain, he takes away the car keys, and I have to get a girlfriend to take me where I want to go. He is very quick to tell me that he pays the bills.

A: It is obvious that your husband is using money to try and control you. The reason for the car being in his name does not seem reasonable. By now, he could have transferred it into your name or add your name to the car title. Furthermore, if it is your car, how could he take away the keys?

Your husband is playing a dangerous game in using money to expect sex on demand. He is cheapening the relationship and himself by his posture. You need to tell him you do not like his attitude and educate him that sex between married couples should be based on respect and mutuality.

He needs to appreciate your need for your own space and nurture the relationship with your mother and to have privacy with your bag and phone.

You need to shake some of your financial dependence on him. You should either pay your gym fees, or if you cannot afford it, then stop going to the gym and exercise at home. Otherwise, you will open yourself to further abuse from your husband. Unfortunately, he does not see the money as belonging to both of you. You need to have a say in expenditure.

Your husband's attitude has little to do with him being eight years your senior. It seems that he is very insecure and arrogant with it. He is a bad example to his son and you need to be sensitive to how this is affecting your son.

Is your name on the house title? You need to go and see a counsellor as soon as possible.

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