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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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.