Why Doesn't He Trust Her?

Q: My husband always accuses me of being a cheat, a liar, a sneak, but I am not any of these. I'm a full-time mom of five, and I never go out anywhere, unless it is to the food store, doctor, etc., so why does he do this? I never gave him a reason to be suspicious of me. So is it him??? -- Gina, 36

Dr. Susan: If you're telling the whole truth here, Gina, and you've done nothing to arouse his suspicion, then you're being emotionally abused by this man. And apparently you've been letting him get away with berating you for years. Not that I'm saying you're at fault here. Clearly, your husband is getting a lot more out of tormenting you than you are getting out of working hard, staying home, and being the focus of his tirades. From now on, establish a firm boundary by telling him to lay off, that you're innocent and won't listen to his wild accusations another minute. Then calmly leave the room.

Meanwhile, here are some things to think about. Have you ever lied to him about what you've bought or spent, for example? Controlling types like he is, if they catch you in one minor lie, they can make a federal case out of it. Is he abusive in other ways also? Sometimes a man with a guilty conscience will turn on his wife and project his own failings onto her. Has your husband always been completely honest with you? Finally, think back to when you began to notice this weird behavior. What you're describing is paranoia, and paranoid imaginings can be a symptom of mental illness or brain disease. See if you can convince him to get a complete medical work-up. But come up with a real reason (rather than lying!).

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