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Hi,

First time posting on this site.

My H and I have been together for 8 yrs, married for 2. We have a 1 yr old son.

My H has always been tidy and very particular about the way he likes things. I am easy going but I can be lazy.

We have recently moved to a very large house and I was excited about entertaining friends and family, having people to stay. However my husband is very particular about the way he likes things. We regularly argue about the housework, he tells not washed the dishes correctly or left the ironing pile too long. The truth is I am struggling as I don't want to be cleaning the house all day and would rather spend time with my son or relax.

My H also only ever wants his family to come over. Over the years I’ve spent more time with his family than my own because it is easier that way. If I invite my family or friends over then we argue about something - he doesn't want me to go to effort preparing food for them or he picks out parts of their personality that he doesn't like and tells me that "they best not do this when they come over". He also likes to pick and choose which of my family members or friends come over and he gets very upset if plans change and someone else comes unexpectedly.

It’s not just with people coming to the house either. If I want to visit someone I have to run it by him first, and he usually thinks of reasons for me not to go. I want to visit a friend who lives two hours away. He’s told me that she is stupid, he doesn’t like her and that there is no point seeing her anymore now that she lives so far away.

I think that all this narrows down to his issues with control. He hates being out of control of a situation. In turn he makes me feel useless because he'll never let me take control of anything.

Is there any advice you guys can give me on how to help him? I want him to relax when people are over and I want him to feel he can give me responsibility for things. Is there anything I can do?

Sometimes I think about leaving, it's affected my relationship with my family and I now have few friends because it is difficult to see them when I want.

I want to get help but he refuses to go to a counsellor. I can see this situation only getting worse. Please help!
 

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My mom was in a similar situation with my father when I was a baby. He slowly but surely cut her off from her family and friends and in the end it took a very physical altercation, near arrests on both sides and her having to go into hiding to prevent him from harming me. His last words in regards to me were "If I can't have her, no one can".

I'd express to him that you are an individual and you have a right to make your own decisions, it is your home too and you need your independence. Don't give him ultimatums, he will take advantage of you. At this point, I am sure he knows your weaknesses and will do everything to keep you vulnerable.

If he won't step back a little, it may be best to walk away while you still have the option. As horrible as that is, do you really want to put your child through a childhood with unhappy parents?
 

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He needs counseling, you cannot do this alone I'm afraid, try to go to MC as a starter.
 

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I think that all this narrows down to his issues with control. He hates being out of control of a situation. In turn he makes me feel useless because he'll never let me take control of anything.
I'm not exactly clear to me how you arrived at this conclusion regarding his internal state and feelings. A lot of couples have disagreements, but disagreeing is not in itself controlling. I have serious problems with some of my wife's friends and family so they only over when I'm gone so we don't have to be around each other.

Google "marriage builders" and look for the "policy of joint agreement". Present it to your husband and if he won't agree to it, ask him why and write back to us with his answer
 

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Yes, I think you are 100% right that this all boils down to control. In fact, there might even be an element of OCD here. Does he suffer from any kind of anxiety?

Does he know that you have thought about leaving? Assuming he wouldn't get volatile if he knew that, it might be the kick in the backside he needs to come to terms with his control issues. I think counseling is a very good idea, and maybe you can explain that you are both unhappy with the way things are, and the only way is up if you attend counseling together. Even if he just agrees to one session to see what it is like and how it can help you.
 

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Yes, I think you are 100% right that this all boils down to control. In fact, there might even be an element of OCD here. Does he suffer from any kind of anxiety?

Does he know that you have thought about leaving? Assuming he wouldn't get volatile if he knew that, it might be the kick in the backside he needs to come to terms with his control issues. I think counseling is a very good idea, and maybe you can explain that you are both unhappy with the way things are, and the only way is up if you attend counseling together. Even if he just agrees to one session to see what it is like and how it can help you.
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His mother suffers from OCD and although he hasn't been diagnosed with it himself he does recognise he has some traits and has done some research on the Internet. However, if I bring up going to a councillor he says that I am the one with the problem. I have spoken about leaving and although he's never hit me (and never would) he becomes very volatile and uses ways to get me to stay.

He is very driven and I know that he'd do anything to try and make it work. I think we have to spend some time apart in order to shock him into doing something about his problems though, I agree there. I just don't know where to go and how...he'd come after and he'd take my son away if I left, that I'm certain of.
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MC is a good place to start. If my wife had a friend that I did not care to be around and she told me she was going to see her, I would not say anything about it. I am not going to stop her from seeing a friend now and again.

Family, well he married into her family. He may not care to be around them, but when they married - he became part of her family. This is where he should grin and bare it....he should be able to be friendly around them and not make it uncomfortable her. I know that if I kept my wife away from her family....well that would not be a good thing and would lead to other problems.
 

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I'm not exactly clear to me how you arrived at this conclusion regarding his internal state and feelings. A lot of couples have disagreements, but disagreeing is not in itself controlling. I have serious problems with some of my wife's friends and family so they only over when I'm gone so we don't have to be around each other.

Google "marriage builders" and look for the "policy of joint agreement". Present it to your husband and if he won't agree to it, ask him why and write back to us with his answer
It is controlling when he starts to tell her who she can visit and who can and cannot come over. No one should ask PERMISSION to go to a friend or family member's home for a visit unless that person is dangerous - i.e. drug abusers, violent alcoholic or encourages/invites someone who poses an EA/PA threat to come, too.

Adults suck it up if there are family members they aren't fond of. Couples discuss it, acknowledge they aren't your favorite relative but it's just for X hours... and just deal. I would hate to be married to someone who refused to come around because they can't control their attitude for a short time.

Everyone's family has a few whack jobs in my experience. Sometimes you have to turn it around and chuckle in your head about it. But acting like a child who can't even be around them? No way.
 

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It is controlling when he starts to tell her who she can visit and who can and cannot come over. No one should ask PERMISSION to go to a friend or family member's home for a visit unless that person is dangerous - i.e. drug abusers, violent alcoholic or encourages/invites someone who poses an EA/PA threat to come, too.
I totally agree with this....his behaviors do show signs of control. Those that have encouraged to seek MC for this are absolutely correct. This is something you are not going to be able to handle on your own.

As far as family.... I think it depends on how well past interactions between your SP and your family have gone. H and I don't have much to do with certain members of his family. At this point, they are not welcome in our home. This is due to the TOTAL lack of respect they've shown us both repeatedly over a period of several years. In order to bring peace in our lives, we mutually CUT them off. If this is the case in your situation, then your family needs to respect his wishes, but if not, then He needs to back off, suck it up, and allow you to have the same opportunities with your family he expects to have with his.
 

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It is controlling when he starts to tell her who she can visit and who can and cannot come over. No one should ask PERMISSION to go to a friend or family member's home
I think we may be reading the original post differently. I didn't realize that he was telling her what she could or could not do or who could or could not come over. I took it that he was expressing his disapproval or dissatisfaction or his preferences but maybe I missed something.

My wife always asks permission when she knows that I disapprove, even though she doesn't have to. I look at it as some kind of passive aggressive thing where she say "if you don't approve of what I want to do then I'll ask for your permission in order to make it look like I have to ask". If friends or relatives I don't approve of come over when I'm home, they wait in front of the house until I leave.
 

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I think we may be reading the original post differently. I didn't realize that he was telling her what she could or could not do or who could or could not come over. I took it that he was expressing his disapproval or dissatisfaction or his preferences but maybe I missed something.

My wife always asks permission when she knows that I disapprove, even though she doesn't have to. I look at it as some kind of passive aggressive thing where she say "if you don't approve of what I want to do then I'll ask for your permission in order to make it look like I have to ask". If friends or relatives I don't approve of come over when I'm home, they wait in front of the house until I leave.
How do they know you don't approve? Just asking - I would never tell a friend or family member that my husband doesn't like them. It makes things awkward. I would mention to him if they were coming over and if he decided to be busy, he can leave. But wait in the driveway? Odd... they can't come smile and nod and you leave 5 minutes later?

My ex did this when my parents came over toward the end. It embarrassed me to no end. I'd make excuses and say he had business to attend to or he'd already made plans with a friend.
 

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As far as family.... I think it depends on how well past interactions between your SP and your family have gone. H and I don't have much to do with certain members of his family. At this point, they are not welcome in our home.
See, even you agree the wife should stand up to those family members if they are disrespectful in his home... I wouldn't support those family members visiting if they can't also suck it up. BOTH parties of the marriage should back each other up there. One shouldn't dictate - it should be "we don't associate with them" sort of thing.
 

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Enjoli You bet I agree!! Our SPs should be priority over our families. And Yes! If one's family steps out of line, then that SP should be willing to stand up for their SP. After doing so, if your family still does not accept/respect your SP, then they don't accept/respect you. This is what's meant by leaving & cleaving. Your FOO (family of origin) should be lower on your
totem pole than your SP.

In our particular situation it was H Mom who was outright disrespectful of me to/with other family members. H made the decision, as it was his family, to CUT them out. That was 4 years ago.
 

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How do they know you don't approve? Just asking - I would never tell a friend or family member that my husband doesn't like them. It makes things awkward. I would mention to him if they were coming over and if he decided to be busy, he can leave. But wait in the driveway? Odd... they can't come smile and nod and you leave 5 minutes later?

My ex did this when my parents came over toward the end. It embarrassed me to no end. I'd make excuses and say he had business to attend to or he'd already made plans with a friend.
That's an excellent question. They have all made it clear they are against me in my marriage and they feel entitled to interfere to whatever extent they want. But I'm not having any of it so we are in active conflict.
 
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