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The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan

Q:
How can I tell if I’m married to a controlling man?

A:

There are some basic areas of interaction over which a controlling husband will exert his power. If any of the following signs of controlling behavior seem close to home for you, you’re likely married to a controlling man.

Jealousy and Constant Monitoring

Does your husband continually question your whereabouts? A controlling husband will monitor your every move, working hard—almost obsessively—to make sure you are always where you say you are, doing what you say you are doing. According to Psychology Today, if he makes you account for every decision you make, every action you take, and every penny you spend, this amounts to psychological abuse.

Forced Isolation: Both Social and Physical

Does your husband limit your access to your own friends and family? Does he keep you away from people in general? In some extreme cases, can you not go anywhere without him? A controlling husband may even put down your friends and family to keep those relationships of yours at bay, to control any influence they might have over you. He may degrade them in conversation, dismiss them as unimportant, or even call them names. At times he may seem angry with them for their very existence. His attitude is isolating, as you find yourself not wanting to face the accusations or arguments he might throw your way, so you just stay home.

Physical abuse can also serve as a means to isolate a partner, according to Michigan State University's Safe Place. If you have bruises or injuries inflicted upon you by your husband, and they’re too glaringly obvious, you, like other women, you may avoid going out altogether in order to avoid having to explain—or lie—about your condition.

Stringent Financial Constraints

Does your husband restrict your access to money? While it may be common for one person in a marriage to manage the household finances, it’s not uncommon for a controlling husband to fully withhold money. If you are given money, he will likely demand an accounting from you for every red cent spent. You might have an allowance—or none at all—but it would be no amount that could truly allow you to buy much of anything for fun, let alone cover any of your basic needs.

Threats and Violence

Does your husband ever threaten you verbally or physically? Controlling husbands may use violence or threats to maintain a sense of power and control. This could take the form of threatening injury, pain, or even murder. He may also threaten to hurt your children or take your children from you, threaten to commit suicide as a way to manipulate you, destroy your property or have a temper that frightens you. Forced sexual encounters are also an example of violence and are a clear sign of control and abuse, both physical and psychological.

Regain Control of Your Life

If you or someone you know is ready to take on a controlling husband to pursue a life without him, call the Law Offices of Nathan H. Paul. We can give you solid, experienced counsel and help champion your rights to as you seek your divorce.

If you know someone who is married to a controlling husband, we encourage you to share this information with her.