I’ve been married for 30 years. When does a person cut bait from an abusive relationship?
My partner initially forbade contact with my friends. I thought I could live with it. Then I was denied contact with my family. I thought I could live with it. Now, I’m being manipulated into eliminating contact with our three children.
My partner monitors any computer use and I have to use passwords on my cell phone!
The answer is NOW, immediately, leave any way you can that assures your safety!
You give no details of your circumstances, whether you stayed for adherence to your marriage vows, responsibility to the children, financial reasons, or fear of retribution. It no longer matters, the emotional abuse and isolation must end.
You don’t say if you’re female or male. Gender doesn’t matter here.
In Canada, spousal and partner abuse is a crime. Emotional abuse can include threats and intimidation, demeaning and degrading verbal/body language, control and isolation, subordination and humiliation.
In the US, emotional abuse by a spouse can also fall under criminal and family law.
You’ve put up with this too long. See local police to start a report. Make a private plan to leave (the same way you wrote me privately). If money’s an issue, seek accommodation at a “Y,” through your church and/or community social services.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the pros and cons of finding unknown relatives (February 4):
“Two Christmases ago, my parents bought DNA testing kits for themselves, my brother, me and our spouses. When my results came back, the predicted ethnicity was close to what we expected, as was Mom’s.
“But I had a very close DNA match with someone who could only be a half-sister.
“Turns out that my grandfather was not Dad's genetic father. We knew that my grandmother was pregnant when they married but had always assumed that the baby (my Dad) was my grandfather's son.
“Dad never looked much like the paternal side but everyone thought he just took after his mother's side.
“Dad messaged his half-sister. He actually has three younger half-sisters and we’ve established a relationship with all of them. They’re happy to have an older brother and all their personalities mesh together well.
“However, Dad is glad that neither of his parents were still living when he learned this secret.
“His “father” didn’t always treat Dad, when young, as well as he should have but they had a good relationship later.
“My grandmother and Dad's genetic father (the neighbour's son) were both single.
“The half-sisters think my grandmother may’ve been their father's fiancée until they broke up after an argument. We’ll never know if my grandmother knew who Dad's genetic father was or not when she married. Back then, as an unwed mother, she’d either have to marry someone or go away and give up the baby for adoption.
“A cousin also did her DNA. Her father is Dad's youngest brother. It seems our grandfather was not her grandfather either. She also has a lot of unexpected relatives, different again from mine.
“But when my uncle was born, my grandmother was married, so DNA shows that my grandmother likely had an affair.
“That saddens me. We’re learning that while they never divorced, our grandparents both had affairs, some secret and some not.
“For knowledge about health and longevity, knowing your ancestry is a good thing. But knowing how my grandparents’ choices complicated their own and their children's lives, is not.”
My husband and I like and respect another couple. We each have two school-age daughters, but theirs are younger and sometimes quite rude.
The parents seem to ignore it. If our girls are ever even mildly rude, we discuss it and explain why it’s wrong.
Recently, one of their daughters spoke harshly to me, ordering me to “hush up.”
Should I say something to her mother? I’m worried that it’ll harm our friendship.
Liking children matters more than disliking some of their behaviours.
It’s not a contradiction: Since you care about the parents, it’s important that you care about their kids.
If there’s a future similar retort, ask the girl gently, “Is everything okay? Can I help in any way?”
You may learn something significant. If so, offer to help her tell her parents about it, assuring her that they love her and will understand. Even without any revelation, she’ll likely behave toward you differently.
Tip of the day:
Early signals of control and isolation are relationship red flags. Act immediately to end the behaviour or leave.