Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am having a big problem with my husband right now. We have only been married for 2 years. I’m 24 and have a 1 year old son with him. I started back at work and became good friends with my colleague Christina.
There was a staff party I was invited to and I went leaving the house guilt-ridden as my husband doesn’t seem to trust me when I’m out. We went to a bar afterwards while my husband was trying to contact me and my friend failed to pick up when he called her. He hates her now and doesn’t want me being freinds with her. I went to her house 2 weeks ago: harmless, right? He hated me going to her house and got all moody before I left. When I got there he called me and told me to come home as he needs to go to the shop. I told him I’m at my friend’s and we might go to the bar around the corner for 1 drink before heading home, and he responded that if I do he will leave my son in the house alone and that we will break up. He also threatened to punch my friend in the face.
I’ve told him he can’t make me choose between her and him as I love him but I also love my friends as I only have 2 friends and don’t socialize much. But he wants me to ditch her and I feel like he is ripping our marriage apart. I’m so frustrated and sad. I need some help.
Don’t Make Me Choose
Dear Don’t Choose,
Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry because I am going to tell you something that will be unpleasant to hear: You are in an emotionally abusive relationship.
You love your husband and he probably thinks he loves you, but he is treating you horribly, manipulating you, threatening you, and telling you that he will commit criminal acts (leaving a one year old home alone and assaulting your friend) if he does not get his way.
It is illegal and absolutely not how you deserve to be treated. No one deserves that kind of terrible treatment. And you are right to be upset. Because as adults there are many things that we have to do. We have responsibilities, we have to go to work, we have to pay taxes; but we also have privileges. And one of them is that we get to decide, all for ourselves, who our friends are. How dare your husband tell you that you can’t be friends with Christina! Because she didn’t pick up the phone? Because she offers you friendship? Because you get together with her occasionally for a party or a drink?
Your husband doesn’t like Christina because when you are with her, you are not with him. And that is threatening to him because it loosens his control over you. He may be one of these people who wants his partner to be isolated from the rest of the world. Does that sound healthy to you? Or maybe he genuinely doesn’t like Christina. Maybe he thinks she’s not smart, or boring. But guess what? He doesn’t have to be friends with her. You are not insisting that the three of you vacation together, nor are you imposing her on him on a regular basis.
You need to decide how you want to proceed. I recommend reading more about emotional abuse, starting with this, and seeking assistance. And believing that you deserve so much better.