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Am I possessive?

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I’ve been married 35 years. My wife went to visit her sister and brother-in-law. While visiting, her sister set up a night out for the three of them and a male friend, I thought it was a little weird. I left a v mail with a sarcastic message I hope you enjoyed your double date. That night we had a fight and she said it was an impromptu dinner nothing more, asked me if I trusted her.

Over the next three nights I found she lied about it being just a dinner, and the other man leaving after dinner, and then lied about where the 3 of them went after dinner (all four of them went to a club). Am I too possessive? It seems the new lies made each phone call to her another reason for me to yell at her each time I caught her in a lie. She says I have anger mgmt issues and still says she did nothing wrong including the 3 or 4 different lies. I also think her sister is advising her on what to do and say. Any thoughts or advice?

Am I possessive?

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for your question. It sounds like a very difficult thing to be coping with.

There is a problem in the relationship if your wife feels she has to lie to you. In an intimate relationship trust is essential, and while we only have your side represented it is clear your wife found it necessary to hide something from you and lie about it several times. This is typically emblematic of larger issues of trust and I would strongly encourage you to talk to her about seeking couples counseling.

Here is my rationale: If you are too possessive then this needs to be dealt with more directly in the relationship than your wife avoiding the problem by not telling you things she fears will upset you. If you are not possessive and your wife is hiding her activities and lying to you then this issue needs to be dealt with more directly. There is a rule in couples therapy: If one person in the relationship has a problem, both of you have a problem.

If your wife is unwilling to go to couples therapy I would recommend a solo venture for you. This can help you to sort through this issue and cope with the relationship in general. You can use the find help tab at the top of the page for a referral.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

Am I possessive?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan 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.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Am I possessive?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/28/am-i-possessive/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.