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Dear Counsellor: I'm sick of my controlling husband

Published:Monday | July 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband is very controlling and it is driving me up the wall. He was not like that when we got married eight years ago. At that time he was a free spirit and fun-loving. He has changed since I lost my job and only work part-time. But this part-time job is paying the same as my former full-time job did.

He wants to control the spending on food items. After I come back from supermarket, he asks me how much I spent although he will know because it comes up on the credit card bill. Furthermore, if I want to purchase anything I have to get permission, but he can buy any foolishness without telling me.

My father lives in the country and if he is visiting us for a few days, my husband has to give the green light. However, his mother who lives overseas can visit and stay anytime. She will tell him and he says nothing to me until the day before because I have to fix up the guest room. Believe it or not, she has visited unannounced, claiming she likes to surprise us. In addition, he tells his mother she can visit any time she wants.

Our only son cannot stand his father's controlling attitude. He wants to know every move he makes. He is telling our son not to play a certain sport because it is dangerous. He is already telling him which subjects to concentrate on at this earlier age. He has a profession in mind for our son.

If we are in a group of friends, he wants to dominate the conversation with his knowledge. He is indeed quite bright, but he can be a bully in conversations, even with me. What should I do?

A: Most persons change over a period of time. In fact, the marital vows assume that there might be changes, hence the vow to be faithful even for better for worse.

You need to tell your husband that you despise his controlling attitude and design a new way to handle things. You should plan a budget before spending and eliminate any question afterwards. In addition, he should not be able to spend as he desires. There also needs to be consultation whenever any relative will be staying over. The same rule should apply to your father and his mother.

You need to visit a counsellor to ascertain why he is displaying such controlling attitudes. It could be that he is anxious about finances since your change of job and is wondering what will happen next. It could be that he has an incorrect view of his superiority based on his education. It could be that he feels that the role of the father is to dictate to his son and make him a clone of himself. He needs help urgently.

Finally, you appear not to be handling the stress of a controlling husband very well, and so you too need professional counselling.