• Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I manage my emotionally abusive husband

    We have been married for over 40 years and I feel that I am not longer able to handle him and/or the whole relationship. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Wherever I go he wants to go. I still work part-time, but I have to be back home immediately after work. Going to the hairdresser, I get questioned where I have been so long (it can not take longer than 1 hour and a half to get a haircut, does it?) I have a sister and brother in law living an hour away. He has had a fall out with them I have not been at their home for 7 years. My sister is not allowed to visit me, he has forbidden her to come to our home, we have recently moved into a new house which we own together. He will call the police, should I let her in. His reason: she has said something about him which he says is not true (I think she spoke the truth). "She is a liar and a b....." He is always right. I am his servant, cleaner, cook etc. If I dare to question him I get put into my place with hurting comments and threatening tone.
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    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about ... View Profile

    It certainly sounds like you are in a relationship where you feel powerless and controlled by your husband, and you may be frightened of the consequences of being more assertive with him about your needs and wants. You may find that counselling is a good place to start, where you can start to explore your options - whether you are able to 'manage' the situation differently without risking your safety, or whether you need to access the legal and other professional supports that will enable you to put safe boundaries in place. For more information to help you decide if you are in a violent relationship, what to do, and where to get support, a good place to start is either ringing 1800 RESPECT or visiting their website at

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