Question: I am married 26 years with a child. My husband treats me like a slave and I feel trapped. Recently I applied for a job and he does not want me to work at all. He has threatened divorce because he thought I put something in his coffee that he had made himself. I have no friends because he is jealous of them. HELP!
Answer: Dear Reader...
We really feel for your situation and hope that you find a path to more peace. From your description, it sounds as if your marriage of 26 years may be struggling with control issues and possibly emotional abuse. Your interest in pursuing a job indicates to me that you are hoping to boost your self esteem, gain some independence, meet others and perhaps have some fun.
His resistance and threats against your desire to work may be an attempt to control you, erode your self esteem and disrespect you. A healthy marriage is one that includes mutual respect and trust, efficient communication and the ability to resolve conflict without abuse.
It sounds as if trust in your marriage is very weak. Without trust, a great deal of tension and unhappiness can develop between you and your husband. A weakness in trusting is often at the core of controlling behaviors. Healing the need to control others is very difficult, but it is possible with the right professional help and guidance.
Consider speaking with a therapist or your doctor for some support and help in identifying the unhealthy patterns in your marriage. It may be appropriate at some point to engage in marriage counseling to look at the origins of the behaivors in your relationship. Best of luck with this journey and remember that happiness is a jewel that needs to be cared for and honored.