Can’t deal with my marriage
After going through a lot of ups and downs I’ve finally decided to seek some advise online. I am a 27 years old married female. I got married in 2008. This was a love marriage. We’ve been together for almost 7 years now. However, by the time we got married I’d started getting hints that my partner was cheating on me. 3 months after my marriage I found a valid proof to justify my doubt. My husband was studying abroad and had married me and left me in India till when my Visa came back. Few days after he left I found out through his email account that he had been constantly chatting with another girl and passing on unacceptable messages. I told about the same to my in-laws and did not let my parents know about it to avoid creating issues. I that that my in-laws would set him right. Rather my FIL just said that MEN CAN SLIP SOMETIMES AND A LADY MUST FORGIVE HIM SINCE HE IS HER HUSBAND. At that time my mother in law forced him to swear on her not to get back to that girl again and then that became history. However, me being a newly married girl that too living without her husband and that too not very well responded by my FIL broke up so badly that the incidence became the worst nightmare of my life.
2 years have passed after that and things have just got worse between us. My husband is a financially controlling guy. When I try to express any resentment or retaliation for caging me into boundaries, he threatens me with his fathers name and says that he would call him up. He does not respect my parents’ or friends and always wants to isolate me. If I start talking to him about any issue he would start saying that I don’t need to get on his head. He has always had my salary transferred to his account and never gets my account made as his father always tells us that FINANCES SHALL BE CONTROLLED BY THE HUSBAND OR ELSE THE FAMILY IS DOOMED. He is from a very narrow minded background and also blames me to be having affairs at my work if he sees me talking to any of his colleagues. I’ve started hating him and want to run away. I don’t even have enough money to run away and feel trapped in this unknown country. My parents back in India know everything now since I am their only child and they expect me to share everything with them. I have to call them from work to talk to them even went it is not allowed but I have no option cuz he gets irritated if I ask him for buying a calling card for me. I can see that he does not love or respect me. He has a 100 % involvement of his parents in our matters. But he always wants me to say I don’t want to live with you and never says it on his own. I can see that even he can’t tolerate my resistance to his suppression now. But he never asks me to leave. He says he is fed up of me but just wants me to blurt out that I want a divorce. I would have not got married to him in the first place. However he pushed me into a physical relationship within few weeks of our relationship and then in spite of having clear doubts about his intentions and knowing that he is a very controlling man I had to marry him for my parents’ sake. I don’t know what to do now. I can’t withstand his chauvinistic approach. Nor can I just struggle hard to earn money to fill his pockets. He’s using all the money I am giving him to fill his parents bank accounts and he does not let me buy anything here saying that it is expensive. I really feel so unimportant and left out. Please help.
A: The frustration I hear in your letter sounds very upsetting and difficult. Let’s see if we can sort this through. While there may be some cultural issues and concerns about expectancies, there are much more important features involved here. What is clear from your letter is that you husband does not have enough respect for you, is controlling and inappropriately accusatory. It is also clear that you do not feel like an equal partner in this relationship and that he doesn’t seem interested in addressing your needs. By your own statement this isn’t exactly the marriage you would have wanted.
The first thing is for you to become empowered. Money is emotional currency in a relationship and the fact that he takes yours and uses it only according to his discretion (which you don’t agree with) is symbolic of the whole relationship. First things first: Find a therapist to work with during this transition. (The find help tab at the top of the page will help you find someone in your country.) At the same time I would also get your own money going to your own account. Don’t wait to have him do it—that is part of what has to change. You must start taking care of your own needs and the first one now is financial. Have your work money go into a separate account. Yes, this will be difficult for you to do, and impossible for him to understand. But waiting for him to attend to your needs is no longer an option.
I would then find a local women’s center and get a referral for a lawyer who can help you protect your rights as you move through this. You need to form a support team. Emotional, financial, and legal issues are on this agenda, and I would strongly encourage you to get your team ready.
About Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPPDan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
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Tomasulo, D. (2011). Can’t deal with my marriage. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 29, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/24/can%e2%80%99t-deal-with-my-marriage/