For Therapists and Counselors...

Q: My husband has not kept up with the property we live on and won’t let me hire someone even though I made $60K last year. I feel like I have no power in my relationship because he always threatens to divorce me when we disagree…

A: The most important thing is that he “always threatens to divorce”…. The only reasonable response for you would be to say: “Don’t threaten me. Either do it, or don’t do it. But don’t threaten me!” You can’t cower every time he threatens you. If he’s going to divorce you, you will be able to build a good life without him after you finish facing your sadness.

Another important phrase in your letter is when you say your husband “won’t let me”…. Seems you agree with him that he is “the boss” and he has the final say about this, and probably about many other things. He’s not the boss. And you aren’t the boss either. If there’s a divorce, property will be divided equally in most states. You are equals.

If your husband is willing to get into marriage counseling, I’d sure suggest that. But in situations like this the “boss” is seldom willing to talk things over rationally with a third party. If he won’t go to therapy, you should be going yourself… to regain your power, to know you are an equal, and to figure out how you got such a low idea of yourself that you ended up in this position in this marriage.

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