Relationship expert Jo Lamble answers many prickly questions in her book, Answers to Everyday Questions about Relationships. This week she has answered member Jane’s question on whether it’s time to leave her domineering husband?
Q. I feel since the kids grew up I stuck in my marriage for better or worse. My husband has cheated on me a couple of times and it’s hard to forgive and forget. He is very possessive and acts as though he is my father, not my husband. I feel I need my independence. Should I leave and start my own life? I’m not happy just hanging on.
A. I admire your commitment to your marriage, but I am questioning your husband’s. If he has had multiple affairs, he has not been committed to you. Without commitment, a relationship cannot survive. Even if he is no longer cheating, it’s important that you both do everything you can to make the relationship work. Being possessive and controlling is not doing everything he can. Before you decide whether to leave your marriage or not, why not try increasing your independence. Gently tell your husband that you are unhappy with how things are and that you want things to change. Make sure you own your own problems by saying that you are feeling controlled and ask him for his help in increasing your independence. Then consider taking up some new interests and making an extra effort to catch up with your own friends. If your husband supports your new lease on life, then perhaps you can enjoy a future together. If he doesn’t, then it may be time to make that difficult decision to leave.
Jo Lamble – www.jolamble.com.au