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  • 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 1800RESPECT.org.au.

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    Lee-Anne is an independent, fully qualified, registered counsellor offering a flexible dedicated counselling service that focuses on the struggles, needs, and empowerment of women. Lee-Anne ... View Profile

    Domestic abuse, in particular, emotional abuse is a subject I am very passionate about. Whilst there are many support services available to those wanting to leave abusive relationships, I understand that they are not as readily available as people think. During the course of your relationship you have been stripped of your support networks and resources-you would feel like your walking on eggshells! I truly empathise with your situation. It sounds as though something inside of you has shifted and you are now looking at ways to look after your wellbeing, I think this by far is the hardest hurdle to cross, knowing that your damaged and want out, but have been left in a position where this is not easy for you to achieve. I imagine it would be frustrating for you as well. I'm not sure if you are faced with the additional pressure of people asking why you don't leave? Often those that want to help, don't understand the detrimental impact of ongoing abusive relationships, and the damage it can do to a person. If you are looking at ways to gain support, I focus on the needs and empowerment of women and offer many platforms by which you can have the service delivered, both on and offline. If you would like to check out the services provided there is a link to my site via my profile. I will share my recent campaign below for you to take a look at, I am finding that a lot of women in similar situations are being very responsive to it. Perhaps it will resonate with you too. 

    YOU counselling for women FB/Google+ post:

    Let's make a stand against domestic abuse and the long-lasting impact on those faced with destructive relationships. Many people question why women don't leave their abusive partner, but those that live in, or have lived in this world, understand it's detrimental impact. There are millions of reasons women stay, and not generally because they want to. Many victims of domestic abuse that leave, are faced with hardship because during the course of their relationship, they have been stripped of all resources. Immediate support for those wanting to leave is not always readily available, and many have children making the whole situation more complex. So while we stand against the abusers, let's support those struggling with domestic abuse and show them empathy and understanding, with no judgements. Many women are kept from family and friends and become isolated over time, making reaching out for help even more complicated. Just knowing we are there if needed, may be all the security these women need to help them regain personal strength. No questions asked, just be there.

    For more information and useful resources about domestic abuse please visit www.youcounsellingforwomen.com

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