Browsing All Posts filed under »Controlling spouses«

The Mediations of the Rich and Famous

September 30, 2014 by


Pretend, for a moment, that you are a celebrity, with name well-recognized across the world. Got that? Ok, now pretend (and  this may be harder for some of us working stiffs) that your net worth is in the high-hundred millions (is anyone still with me?). Finally (and  this is an easy one, sadly, for all too many […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part III

September 3, 2014 by


In the past examples the spouses came across as more aggressive and demanding. But Norah and Tali were different. Let’s look at two controlling women who passively managed to get their spouses to do their bidding. Norah never learned to drive. Norm encouraged her repeatedly throughout the years of their marriage, but she said she […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part V: Warning Signs

September 1, 2014 by


So you’ve read about Connie, about Kyle, about Norah, Diane, Tali, and Janice, and I’m confident you’ve gotten the ideas from these case histories that all is not right in the state of Denmark.  You probably also would like to make sure your marriage or relationship doesn’t turn out like the relationships of any of […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part IX: Taking Back Control #3

August 22, 2014 by


So we’ve addressed the importance of picking and winning small battles, as well as of not entering into an argument with your spouse on topics on which there’s really no ‘winning.’ What else can you do to get out from under your partner’s thumb? First, I need to emphasize the importance of having a safety […]

Under My Thumb (X): Taking Back Control (4)

August 19, 2014 by


So by now you know to pick small battles and win them, to stay away from heated arguments, to plan for change-back moves, and to share your suffering with somebody close to you. What else can you do to crawl out from under the thumb of control?  Start by being cautious of what you tell your […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part VII: Taking Back Control #1

August 18, 2014 by


At one end of the relationship gradation is patriarchal violence [and, as I’ve mentioned before, if you are in a physically abusive relationship in which you are beaten to the point of physical harm, this blog is not for you. In that case you need to get out of your house to a safe place, […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part IV: When is Control Abuse?

August 15, 2014 by


I’d like to briefly address in this post the fine line between the controlling spouse and the abusive one. The controlling partner can, you feel, cause you to behave in ways you don’t want to avoid his/her anger, but I’d suggest that the level of fear you feel in regards to your spouse’s displeasure differs […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part XIII: Taking Back Control #7: Mop-up

August 15, 2014 by


So we’ve gone through some crucial control-reassertion moves, talked about how to deal with change-back moves, addressed what your fears might be–and quoted my son not once but twice. Not bad for a day’s work. But there are still a few ideas I’d like to get across before I close the topic of controlling spouses. […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part VI: The (Self-)Blame Game

August 13, 2014 by


As people read about couples where one partner is dominated and controlled by the other, most healthy individuals wonder why, in heaven’s name, the controlled partner doesn’t leave–or at least make it clear that the day of a new regime is dawning. One of the major answers to this is a common response on the […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part XII: Taking Back Control #6: What Am I Afraid Of?

August 12, 2014 by


Having acknowledged in the past post that simply forgiving your spouse’s controlling behaviors, and sweeping your own anger under the rug, is not a way to either improve your situation or achieve self-respect, let us return to steps you should take in the process of taking back control. This next one is less of a […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part II

August 10, 2014 by


Before you read on I want to make it extremely clear that the control I am discussing in these posts does NOT deal with patriarchal abuse or violence. I use ‘patriarchal violence’ as a term to describe violence in which the man is systemically violent, cruelly beating his partner to the point of harm or […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part I

August 9, 2014 by


Throughout my years in practice, I have been surprised by the number of people I have seen–almost always individuals, the other spouse firmly against therapy–who have been involved with controlling partners. Although, when you read these histories, you may feel that the men and women in these roles may be in hopeless situations, if at least one […]