Dear Miriam

I would like some advice, please, regarding an ongoing relationship issue. My husband is a very kind and caring person generally, but can be very jealous-minded. We get on fairly well and this problem arises only when I am going out on my own to meet friends. It can be a work-related event or as simple as meeting a friend for a walk and a coffee. His mood changes and I get asked a lot of questions about where I am going, and who I am with. Naturally, I dress up and put on make-up if it is a work event, and this really drives him mad.

Occasionally, he has asked me who I am seeing and has told me, “I know where the door is,” if I am not happy with him. Sometimes I just stay at home for peace and quiet. Then I am full of resentment towards him and angry with myself for giving in. I have tried talking to him about it but he is never willing to discuss, he just says he is sorry.

The work events do not happen very often, but I regularly go for walks on my own or with a friend. It has started to get me down. We have no children, so it is just the two of us at home. We go out together regularly, enjoy a foreign holiday each year and occasional weekends away. He works hard on the farm and if I could only get him to sit with me and discuss this issue, I feel life would be really great for the both of us. I welcome any advice you can give me.

Thank you,


Dear Mary

Thank you for getting in touch. You are going through a difficult time, but know that there is help available.

It would seem to me that your husband may be experiencing low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth. In his troubled mind, he may feel ‘not good enough’ for you and may have developed an irrational fear that you might leave him. Often, where there are control issues in a relationship, the underlying factor is fear. I am not condoning this behaviour, I’m simply trying to help you understand what may be going on in his troubled mind.

Unfair and unwilling

His unwillingness to have a conversation around it is unfair to you. I would suggest you pick a time when all is at peace between you and try speaking to him one more time. If this does not work, then I would strongly advise you to reach out and seek professional support from the counselling services. It is too much to have to deal with alone.

You need to start taking back your power from him and from the situation. It is about learning to respond, not react. When we allow someone to make us angry or unhappy, we give our power away to them. To change your life you need to start changing your thoughts. Thoughts lead to feelings which lead to actions. Our actions determine our results.

Know that your husband’s behaviour is about him and his issues; it is not about you or anything you are doing wrong.

Seek help

Try not to give in to his moods. You are entitled to socialise and meet friends on your own. If he refuses to seek help and the situation continues, remember you do have options.

Life is not a rehearsal. You can live or exist. The choice is yours and I wish you well.

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