Controlling Husband

Q: I've been married for 26 years, and my husband wants all control over me. Our kids are grown and gone. Our marriage is the pits. I want to leave him, but he has threatened me several times. What should I do? I have lupus and this pressure is about to make my condition worse. Please help me. -- Teresa, 46

Dr. Susan: Sounds like it's time for a therapist to step in and help the two of you negotiate a better day-to-day life, if that's possible at this point. I hope you can convince him to go with you. If not, you might go yourself to work out the details of either staying or leaving. Of course, if he's threatening you, you might consider calling a women's shelter for help. Or the police. He sounds like a real peach of a fellow, threatening a woman with a serious illness. Often, a man's control issues show up as threats and actual abuse when he realizes that his wife wants to leave. You need some friends on your side. Be sure you have someone to call if the need arises, preferably someone strong. Meanwhile, for the sake of your health, learn some calming techniques. And have a little chat with a lawyer.

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