I Know this Woman Whose Husband…


Only lets her shave her legs and not her armpits.  For a visual, she teaches hula dancing. 

Makes her turn in her dull razor to get another sharp one from him.

Won’t let her and the kids turn on the air-conditioning while he’s at work. Since he is not there to “enjoy” the a/c then he is not going to pay for it.  (Even though he sits in an air-conditioned office all day at work.)

Will not allow her to turn on the heat at home while he’s at work.  Again, he is not there to benefit from it.

Makes her sew large, heavy, quilts so she and the kids can keep warm before he gets home from his heated work place.

Won’t let her spend a dime.

Insists on cooking dinner for the family.  This guarantees she will not do any grocery shopping.  This would go against the “her spending money rule”.  She and the kids often have to wait until eight o’clock before dinner its ready.  By then the kids are starving.  No one is allowed to eat early.

Makes her bake the kid’s birthday cakes from scratch, enough to feed 100 family members.  However, he will not buy her more than one cake pan. She has to keep baking cakes, one by one, until she has made enough for everyone. 

Staples her shoes back together when they fall apart.

Makes her wear big, chunky-clunky sandals instead of cute ones.

Makes her sew her own clothes.

Will only let the kids have silkworms as pets because there is no pet food to purchase.  She has to walk around the city harvesting mulberry leaves from trees to feed them.  I swear this is true.

Won’t buy cheese because it bothers his stomach.  If he can’t derive enjoyment from it then no one in the family can have it.

Won’t let her teach the kids to clean the house properly.  He demonstrates to them how to shove objects in every nook and cranny, with no order whatsoever.

Would not get her a golf umbrella, even though she walks the kids to school in the rain.  He feels her tiny-kid-sized-Spiderman umbrella is sufficient until it wears out.

Now, before you say I must be describing members of the Taliban regime or these must be some kind of cultural norms, let me just say this is your typical American family of five.  He has a great job, they live in a beautiful house, are financially secure and have two nice cars.

So yesterday when this woman FINALLY asked me if I thought her husband’s conventions were normal, what do you think I said… 

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130 Comments

  1. …” in what world ???” I hope you are kidding, but I really do know families like that. Many families like that, and sadly….the families self destructed.

    You know, many of these families claimed to be ‘Christian” or very “religious’….somehow the husband and father of the family forgot the teaching “husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church” and we all know He gave His life for the church. Really, if a man won’t provide air conditioning or heat, he is unlikely to give his life…that man is a tyrant, and his poor wife and family suffer and probably somehow believe it is their lot in life.

    Thanks again for the interesting and very varied blog ! KathyB.

  2. Alan 2

    I am astonished that this poor woman remained married to him for long enough to have children. He reminds me of Saddam Hussein and Radafann Karadic and one or two other ‘pleasant’ tyrants. Advise her to get out of it. How sad that she didn’t know he wasn’t normal!

  3. HoneyB 3

    OMG, the man needs to be put thru exactly what he has put his family thru. It blows my mind.

  4. You said, “Here’s the number of a good lawyer” ?

    It truly saddens me that this poor woman believes this is her fate in life. I can only imagine how she was raised – perhaps this is better? And those poor children. My heart aches so much right now…

  5. MizFit 5

    I really thought there was going to be a READ MORE place to click…that you were joking or this was some sort of a teaching fable.

    *sigh*

    that’s why we need to give our daughters confidence when they’re young huh?

  6. Deeba 6

    O the poor thing…for heavens sake. Breaks my heart to read about her life! Normal? Hopefully there will be a part 2 to her tale when she is shown light of day…& hope fully that will be part 1 of her husbands horror story!! *SIGH* Deeba

  7. kj 7

    This is just so sad. What a miserable life this poor lady must have!!! I hope she finds some way to a better life.

  8. I hope you told her the truth! (I think you did). Poor woman and children. Her husband is such a beast… Can’t wait to hear your answer and her response – nail biting has begun…

  9. It makes me sad that there are people, children, living this way.
    it’s abusive and he should be arrested for child neglect for the heat/ac thing.

  10. What kind of a life is that? To be stuck in that kind of a situation and not even help yourself, let alone your kids, pitiful. I hope she finds the courage to change her life.

  11. Philly 11

    What a dick this guy is !!
    I want to feel bad for her but she let’s this happen

    #1

  12. Kim 12

    Frankly, I think she is nuttier than her husband for asking you the question. Surely, you were gentle but bold in breaking the news to her that they both are nuts.

    On on a sidenote, you are an angel for having spell check………..

  13. bunny 13

    i almost stopped reading this 1/2 way through cause it was making me MAD! i know a couple women that have husbands that are controing ,but not this bad. This “man” , i use the term loosely is very self centered. GGGGRRRRRR!!!

  14. Fran 14

    I KNOW he wouldn’t be my husband!

    There are some strange marriages out there……

    Thanks for leaving a message for my Dad!

    Fran

  15. misty 15

    I know of several families like this. All of the details aren’t the same but they are similar. This is sooo sad and sick to me!

  16. Susie 16

    I hope you told her that you think he’s harsh and she should make a change…if not for her, for her children. It’s a difficult situation because you don’t want to blast him for fear of losing a friend but you also want to be honest and let her know that she and her children shouldn’t have to be subjected to his tyranny. I hope this has a happy ending.

  17. Lori 17

    I doubt you would answer her in a judgmental way, whatever you said. The delicate problem for you, hearing her question, is in how to tell her the truth in a way that will give her the space to keep talking to you. One whiff of judgment and she’s likely to go back inside her house and not come out.

    When people are abused, as she is, the story is infinitely more complex for the victim than “she is nuttier than her husband” and “she let it happen.” Some of your more compassionate commenters seem to understand this; maybe her current life is better than any she’s ever known, as awful as that is. Her husband has probably convinced her of her worthlessness, that no one else would ever want her, that she couldn’t survive without him. There are children, she worries for them. She’s doing calculations in her head, trading off this known thing against that unknown world.

    Obviously, I only know you through this blog, but I’ve been struck by your compassion and wisdom, and depth of caring. I’d bet you handled it in just the right way.

  18. Steph 18

    I can’t believe any woman would put up with that! I know I wouldn’t be able to for more than one day.

  19. This is not something I like to say. I don’t like to tell people how they should handle their marriages. BUT! This woman should get a divorce–unless doing all these things actually makes her happy. Let me clarify! I do not believe in divorce except in extreme cases. This is an extreme case! This is abuse and manipulation. Sadly I have known at least one husband who was like this and two more who were very, very close if not exactly like this.

  20. Marcy 20

    OMG I hope you told her in a nice way that her husband is a FREAK! Since they have obviously had sex since they have children, maybe she should try with holding that from him, because ‘she’s not able to enjoy it’.. I don’t really want to know about their sex life, but its a thought.
    What an ass…

  21. This made me sick to my stomach. I have been in an abusive relationship, while nothing like this, I cannot bear to even hear these stories.

    I do not judge women who have gotten themselves into these situations, but I hope that one day, she will see that she is better off somewhere else…

  22. I hope you were gentle with her because I wonder if she doesn’t have something wrong mentally. Even if she started out with full capabilities, to be downtrodden like that must do something to her self esteem. And then I hope you gave her a sharp knife and showed her a delicate operation she could perform. Get me on the jury, there’s no way I’d convict.

  23. I read this post to my husband and asked him what he thought about it. He said, “That man is crazy! No way would I cook for myself!” LOL.

    Then he said, “They must be homeschoolers.” Except that she walks her kids to school in the rain. Sadly, the three I mentioned were homeschoolers and as someone else mentioned, supposedly very religious.

  24. One of Warren Jeffs’ relatives?

  25. Surely you were kind in your response. Because as much as we might say “get a divorce”, it’s not that easy when you’ve been controlled like that. And a man that controlling isn’t going to say “alright dear” when she announces that she’s had enough. Controlling spouses don’t give up the power in the relationship easily, and he is controlling based on his whims. Since she can’t spend money, it’s unlikely that she could even do counseling without his consent. What advice did you give her?

  26. Abuse. Plain and simple. Whether he knows it or not. If he’s not physical now, it’s just because she hasn’t gone against the “conventions” yet. If she dares? I guarantee you it will get physical.

    God, how awful.

  27. raysongrrl 28

    yes, this woman is in an abusive situation, and her children are in this situation as well. the key factor for continuing abuse is growing up in an abusive household. while he might not be physically hurting her, he is hurting their family nonetheless. abuse is about power and control, and clearly her husband has it all in this relationship. give her the number to the nat’l domestic violence hotline or the website, and give the kids the number to a teen help line (800 799 SAFE). let her know that what she is going through is not fair, nor is it her fault, and there is help available for her. let her know there are shelters, hotlines, legal services available to them for free. she can’t get a protection from abuse order unless he has physically hurt her or has threatened to physically hurt her, unfortunately. violence is a cycle, so while some people commented that they wouldn’t stay in that situation, part of the time he is probably a loving husband, which is known as the honeymoon period. this is the being sweet, buying flowers part, and what love she has for him is in this part, the part that she hopes will continue. all you can do is support her, ask her if she feels safe at home, and let her know it isn’t her fault. don’t blame. don’t pass judgment. you don’t know what he’s telling her behind closed doors… and as for the person who says they have sex and she should withhold it…sexual abuse is part of domestic abuse. a husband forcing his wife to have sex, or forcing her to have his children is part of DV and again about power and control. i have much more to say, and i truly wish i could educate those commenters who are blaming the victim or are saying that would never happen to them. guess what, those women probably know someone going through this personally, as 1 in 3 women are experiencing domestic violence. i hope they could be a little more compassionate should they find that it is happening to someone they know. i work for a domestic violence agency, and i educate medical staff about screening for dv. we do health fairs, go into schools, etc, but there are not enough ways to reach everyone who needs this sort of education. contact your local dv agency if you have questions, call their hotline to see how you can help a friend. i am in pa, and every county has a dv agency, so there are many resources available, let your friend know what they are. good luck to you both.

  28. sharon 29

    Oh, poor gal. You wonder how someone gets into a relationship like that but perhaps he didn’t show his true colors until it was too late?

    The heat/ AC thing is a little scary and depending on where they live, could border on abuse!

  29. Nancy 30

    “They must be homeschoolers,” and “They must be religious?” Wow-amazing the assumptions and generalizations from your readers! I find it very offensive.

    Anyway, “knowing” you, I’m sure you handled it very appropriately! =)

  30. Suzette 31

    I am almost without words. I will never understand how a woman can get to the point that her husband dictates what she does and doesn’t do. Which is probably why I have had three of them and finally have given up. Nobody’s going to run MY life but me! But, that’s another counseling session. This poor woman needs a lot of help and support, obviously. Please keep us updated on her situation.

  31. Heartbreaking…..
    Love is so confusing.. I heard on Rabi Shmuely’s radio show yesterday something similar… it was about a young woman in an emotionally abusive relationship – a bright, smart gal with the whole world ahead of her – except for asshole #1. Her mom had called in concerned and she was going to cut off communication w/ her daughter because of the guy… The Rabi said to let her know she loves her dearly, will always be there for her, and she has a loving family waiting for her when she is ready… THAT is the key.
    Abused women and their children are often alienated from their friends and family by these assholes.. so they feel they have no where to go… hopeless… and the women in most cases did not have a good relationship with their fathers (most likely out of the picture) so this type of man is an authoritative dad figure…and boy do they take their ‘authority role’ seriously!
    Best thing for your friend: For her to know she has a loving helping network ‘out there’ to help her when she is ready… Sounds like the light bulbs are going on right now…
    The guy is just an ass…

  32. Misty 33

    When I 1st read this I thought you were joking…actually , I had hoped you were joking! Poor woman. Poor Poor Poor woman & kids. This is not the way it should be. Don’t you just want to open her up & insert a spine.

  33. I am sure you were kind in your answering her, being a social worker I would have asked her if SHE was comfortable in her home situation and give her my card. Amazing what some will put up with because their self esteem will not let them think they can be truely loved

  34. Helen 35

    I work in psychology, but you don’t need professional qualifications to see that this woman is being bullied and psychologically abused. I have to disagree with Misty, I don’t think she is spineless, I think she is a victim of a controlling and cowardly individual. If I were you, I would encourage my friend to seek professional help while remaining the supportive friend that I am sure you are. I feel very sorry for this woman and I wish her strength for the future.

  35. Leah Q 36

    It’s so sad to read this, yet know situations like this are not rare – just not known. Some of you gave great advice (rayonsgrrl for one!)

    It does not have to be a super religious family (if you can call this family) to have such horrid experiences be told and learned.

    My own well wishes go out to this woman and her children and to all those in similar situations – may the find the solace they need to know to seek!

  36. She and the children are being held hostage and are in slavery, which are both illegal in this country. She needs to pack up her bags and get out with the children while she can. This isn’t love, this is control and psychological / emotional manipulation/abuse. Help her, please.

  37. I agree – abuse, plain and simple. I do not envy you having to talk to her about this. I’m sure you helped her, tho. I say you gave her the number of your local domestic violence shelter? And let her use your phone so hubby couldn’t trace the call? Do let us know!

  38. Trisha 39

    I hope that you continue your friendship with her as she starts to figure things out for herself and her family. It certainly sounds like she is an abuses wife – maybe not physically but certainly emotionally.

    I, luckily, have never faced this situation but I do know that for the abused person it can be very difficult to break away from the situation. I would suggest counseling for the couple but, I doubt if he would go. Maybe she needs counseling (free of course since HE won’t be using it) to gain the self esteem to finally get out of the situation.

  39. krysta 40

    i hope you said here’s the number to a local women’s shelter because something else is going on in that house… you don’t see the bruises but…

  40. Claudia 41

    Run? Run as fast and as far as she possibly can from this egomaniacal asshole??!

  41. Cassie 42

    That is awful and it makes my heart hurt to think people live like that every day.

  42. It always shocks me when I hear about marriages like this. I know a woman who’s husband makes her get on her hands and knees to wash the floors. She isn’t allowed to have a mop because that isn’t how is mother did it.

    I’d kick his ass if it was me.

  43. Karly 44

    Also offended by the homeschooler remark. Soooo tired of people thinking homeschoolers are creepy people like that lady’s husband.

    And I think you probably handled it well, but I have no idea how. :)

  44. Greg 46

    Who are these people? I guess they live among us, but we don’t know until we interact with them on a personal level. So sad…

  45. That is straight up abuse. It doesn’t leave visible marks, but his excessive control is abusive nonetheless. I hope she and the kids get help.

  46. HOLY Toledo… this is the sort of story that should never have to be posted online. So sad.

    I hope you were able to keep your wits about you when you responded. Not sure I could have.

  47. I’m SO thankful for my wonderful husband. I’m always shocked to hear that there are actually situations like this, and I’m fascinated to think about how women end up this way. I’d love to give him a piece of my mind!

  48. Jeff 50

    Yes, he’s sick – mentally, and has serious issues with control. And she’s submissive and abused and brainwashed. These are not good combinations.

    So what exactly did you say to her?

  49. Cathy C 51

    I had to read this twice as I was searching for the DAMN punch line!! Are you kidding me…
    WOW that is horrible and very abusive. I am not sure that I would have been able to keep my mouth shut on this one.
    That is why we need to teach our daughters (if I ever have one) to be Strong – Self sufficient – Nurturing – Sensitive – Thoughtful and remind them that slavery and indentured servants were abolished (thankfully) many years ago and that if a “man” ever treated her like this even for a second to get out. No one deserves this.

    Cheers
    Cathy
    http://www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

  50. Jules 52

    OMG! I thought for sure at the end of the post you were going to say it was from somewhere far away or something to that effect. All I could think was “Ewww, that is way gross”, and then I thought how sad it is for this woman. I wish her and the kids a speedy escape.

  51. ELRA 53

    Deng…. Cathy….. This is not normal. Does she need a Lawyer?
    My husband completely the opposite! He would set the air conditioner to the lowest setting, to make sure that I will not complaint about the weather when he comes home! Yes! I am lucky and great full to have a husband like him!

  52. Ahh, so my wife got to you did she??????

    KIDDING EVERYONE :)

    I realize this isn’t a laughing matter- in fact, it’s downright disgusting (the AC thing could be considered neglect). I know a few guys who still hold the sentiment that a woman’s place is at home, doing what the man tells them to and taking care of the family. They just don’t get it…

    In my home, my girlfriend (of 4 years with whom I share a mortgage and 3 dogs!) is the bread winner (while I finish grad school!) who usually tells me what to do around the house, and keeps MY budget (read: wine buying) in check! I couldn’t think of a better relationship than one built on trust, equality, and commitment to each others needs and happiness.

    This guy sounds like a real jerk and the situation definitely needs to be addressed.

  53. Candy 55

    Holy hell…you aren’t serious are you? I know this sort of thing does go one…but when I got to the part about the silkworms I was sure you were making a political point about families in China or something.

    Damn…I so want to hunt this guy down and slap him around. A good ole American woman-sized ass whopping is required.

  54. Kyddryn 56

    I imagine your response included both “hell” and “no” as well as “parsimonious”, “selfish”, “nut-job”, “jackass”, and “cruel”, plus a few less family-friendly things. I have an active imagination.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (wandered over from…er…I can’t remember)

  55. Neen 57

    For real? And I hate to ask, is this an immigrant family?

    And doesn’t this qualify as domestic abuse, or is that limited to verbal and physical, not monetary abuse? For real, I would look into that.

  56. Hey, this isn’t Faerie Tale Friday. Did she let her hair down so you could climb up for a visit? Hmmmmm …. this is just too weird to wrap my brain around this early in the morning. I’m off for a cuppa tea and some reading to clear my head. (I can’t quite process it all … really, truly REAL? Hula dancing?) *sigh* I’m going back to re-read Mondavi’s accomplishments and and wait for a part 2 to this tale; you know, the one with a happily-ever-after ending. (Really true?? UGH!) I’m off to kiss my husband. ; )

  57. Mike 59

    Holy crap. I thought this was going to have some sort of funny, ah-that-was-fiction ending…yikes

  58. that girl down south 60

    I hate to say this after reading all the comments about abuse and neglect, but…. What if she is happy in this relationship? I realize that in abusive relationships a person fools themselves into believing they are happy and so on. But what if this arrangement was created together? The only sign I see that she is not happy, is that she asked the question. Which makes me think that she is questioning the way she is living.

    However, I have known men and women that prefer a subservient life style and go into full aware of the situation and agree like adults to the terms and conditions.

    The sad part here are the children. They had no choice over the situation.

    Either way this is not a way that I would choose to live. I’m too darn independent.

  59. Lore 61

    Hope you told her to divorce him!!!! I can’t believe how much bullshit she and the kids had to endure..he’s dispicable

  60. Erin 62

    oh my goodness. this was painful to read. Evil, evil man.

  61. That certainly is an abusive situation. I hope you were upfront with her and told her that it is not normal behaviour. I can’t even imagine what low self value this woman and her kids must have living in that environment.

  62. Tara 64

    I agree with Erin, this was very painful to read. I come from a family of abused, submissive women and sometimes I hate men so much it scares me. (Thankfully, my mom broke the mold and married a man (my father) who worships the ground she walks on almost.) :) Whenever I see crap like this, like the situation you’re friend is in, it scares me the rage that builds inside of me.
    I really hope this friend of yours reads your blog…

  63. Rayrena 65

    I hope you said that she should find some psychological and legal help. I’m not usually a proponent of divorce when kids are involved. I have a friend who recently went through one because her husband was a lazy jerk, who has since the divorce, been fired from 3 jobs due to lack of working. He was mean and petty. Now she has no way of mitigating or preventing her kids from seeing the crap he does when he has custody. At the very least, she kept him employed and kept his lazy ass friends from hanging out at the house when she lived there. Now, his house is like a big beer drinking, smoking, cursing hell hole and she can’t do much about it because he’s not endangering them and she doesn’t have the money to try to take full custody. But what is really sad is that she wanted to divorce him before they found out they were pregnant and went on to have 3 more kids with him. Now 4 kids have a deadbeat dad. She feels really guilty about this but there’s nothing she can do but try to be a positive influence on them.

    But this woman sounds like she has a case for full custody since his behavior is abusive. I hope her family (and his, if they’re normal and he’s just fell really far from the tree) will step up and try to help give these kids a better life. But she needs counseling too if she was willing to tolerate his behavior. Just sad all around.

  64. Anna 67

    GOOD LORD! This is the kind of situation where the woman snaps one day and kills the guy, then ends up in jail and her children have no parents (at least that’s what I would probably do, except that I would never let a man treat me like that). I hope you were able to tell her the truth without alienating her so that she feels like she can come to you for help if she needs it.

  65. Ruthanne (in Seattle) 68

    oh Cathy – I’m sure you were helpful and supportive with her need to see the truth of the situation. Please let us know what you did do/say and if she was able to hear you at all. Sure seems like she’s realizing that this isn’t how other women’s lives are. You must be the kind of person she knew to be trustworthy and truthful for her to even ask you at all. Bless your heart.

  66. Cathy…please tell us you told her exactly what her husband was and how you couldn’t believe she’d live like that.

    I’m literally sitting here with my mouth hanging open because I’m in utter shock over everything this man does. He sounds manipulative, mean and abusive. It’s unreal to me that anyone would put up with this kind of treatment.

  67. Egghead 70

    Sad sad situation. I know someone that was in a controlling and abusive marriage for almost 30 years. He finally committed suicide which freed her but she still is having issues with said freedom.

  68. Shelly 71

    What is wrong with people? Did she have some sort of horrible childhood to make her so weak that she will not stand up to him. And they wonder why the female black widow eats her mate. It is so she is allowed to shave her armpits and spend money.

  69. James 72

    This make me sick. First off if you know someone like this you should call child protective services, if only for the children’s sake. Do you know how screwed up these kids are going to be? I really hope you can use all of these posts to show this poor lady that this is not your average family, and that this is a nightmare. If you are the lady that this article was written about PLEASE find the courage to leave this man, if only for your children’s sake.
    There is such a thing as Good and Evil people.

  70. You know… I’ve thought about this all morning. I know it’s easy to call this guy names, but I think it’s just as important to understand that it’s a shared issue between them. Likely he has his own long term issues with self esteem and insecurity and is using his marriage and home to finally appoint himself as the most important person in the house. I’m guessing she has self esteem issues as well and that’s prevented her from building a relatioship with healthy boundaries. Thus he’s eroded all her personal choices and she’s hasn’t recognized it… there’s no alarms going off for her.
    Having survived a marriage like this I can tell you that because she’s stayed, it doesn’t mean she’s happy. Nor does it mean he’s physically abusing her. She’s likely been convinced that things are her fault and she’s a pleaser that’s committed to constantly trying harder. There’s also a significant inability to think that you even have other options to consider. The only hope you are allowed is that things will improve if you follow their agenda.
    I personally think that her asking Cathy’s opinion is a good sign in that she wonders if her situation is normal. Finding it’s not, she may actually consider what her options might be…. if she’s unhappy. But it could take a long time.
    Is she happy Cathy?

    PS~ it’s awful that the kids are seeing these behaviors as the norm.

  71. Vicki 74

    That’s sickening. If she’s happy living that way, well then…ok I guess. But it’s showing her kids that a) if they’re boys, it’s ok to treat women that way, and b) if they’re girls, it’s ok to be treated that way. She (and probably her kids too) need some counseling.

  72. Jeff 75

    I am freaking speechless. I really want to sit down with this guy and actually figure out what makes him even think this is acceptable behavior and figure out where did he learn it from.

  73. I would have invited her to lunch at the battered women’s shelter. For the children’s sake, someone has to do something. It will just perpetuate.

  74. melly~ 77

    it’s been interesting reading all the comments.
    what did you day??

  75. Well, I don’t know what you told her, but I know what I would’ve told her. And if I were her, I know what I would tell HIM!

  76. Daisy 79

    After mulling over the situation you described, I think there’s one really positive point that I didn’t see at first. When you said that she “FINALLY asked” you if her husband’s conventions were normal, I’m assuming that she’d never asked before.

    I know of people in unhealthy situations who ask the right questions over and over, but never listen to the answers their friends/family give them. They wonder if the treatment they receive, from people like this husband, is normal or healthy, and when told otherwise, they convince themselves it’s okay and stay.

    I’m holding out hope that even though it seems late for her to be questioning her situation, maybe she’ll fall into the category of someone who, when aware of how bizarre her circumstances are, will make a change.

    (On a general note, the people I “meet” on your blog make me think A LOT. Kudos to you!)

  77. grace 80

    good googa mooga. to me, that would be a dreadful existence, but has she just accepted it? what a mess.

  78. and I would have helped her hide the body.

  79. I don’t know what you said, but I hate the idea of any adult ‘letting’ or not letting another adult do something. I think I’d taser that man or poke him in the eye.

  80. Sassy 83

    Everyone is differant, Every marriage is differant, What works for one marriage, does`nt work for another.

    I am by no means condoning this mans selfish behavior, and if he were my husband, he`d have been history long before mulberry leaves were even an issue, but he is`nt my husband, he is her husband. They are still together, so it must be working for THEM.

    A woman can only continue to be treated this way if she allows it to continue.

    I had a brother in law who used to tape the furnace thermostat at a certain temperature, if they were cold, put on another sweater. She left the tape alone, so who was to blame for that? Tape would not last long in my home, but it did hers, without complaint.

    Ya just never know about people.

  81. Terrie 84

    WTF?!?! Excuse my profanity, but along with a bit of sympathy I am also wondering why in the world this woman is going along with all these overly anal rules that her egocentric husband is laying down? I am so sorry for her, that she doesn’t have what it takes to stop allowing him to operate the household like this.

  82. Tipper 85

    I hope you give her some real advice-and I hope she takes it!!!!

  83. Jessy 86

    Omg. I feel so bad for that lady.

  84. Oh…the rant I could have with this…I simply don’t understand peoples’ controlling ways…AT ALL.
    Hope you told your friend to get a grip and get the hell outta there!

  85. Alicia 88

    Are you freaking kidding me? I thought for sure there was going to be a punch line.
    What an ass. The problem is she probably has no self esteem left to change a situation she should have a long time ago.

  86. DoryLou 89

    Cathy, I am a huge fan of your blog but I’ve never commented before!

    After this story however, I felt compelled. I am just horrified for this woman! But more than anything I feel for her children. I can’t believe they have to watch their father treat their mother (and them) that way! It’s probably just normal to them.

    So sad!

  87. Oh my goodness. I would have kidnapped that woman and her kids long ago if I were related to them. Poor poor lady. How does she cope with that?

  88. I would have said ” This is the address of the nearest woman’s shelter. Take the kids and go there. They will help you.”

  89. Alanna 92

    This is so very sad! Hopefully now that she has come to you, she will begin to realize that she does not deserve this lot in life. I hope that you will be able to advise her and help her make a change in her life!

  90. Wow, I’m practically speachless. I hope she listens.

  91. That is so sad. When I was growing up, some of my friends’ fathers were psychologically abusive like that w/ the mothers–not letting them have money, etc. Luckily, the 2 I knew of both left the husbands. I hope this woman you know wakes up and realizes there’s more to life than being controled by this man!

  92. At first I thought this was going to be a funny story about arm pit fetishes. Does this guy have a plan for the silk worms? Next he’s going to be having his wife spinning thread to darn her underwear… oh, it’s so sad.

  93. If she is my friend, I will not hold back my thought.

    Poor her, and most importantly children. What is the precious thing in marriage life? Kid. They deserve better, much better. I will slap him with that cake pan if he is my friend’s husband.

  94. Shirley 97

    I can only imagine you told her that no, that behavior is not normal and to get the hell out, immediately. That is not a life.

  95. Kari 98

    Oh my! It’s hard to believe there are men who are actually that ridiculous. It’s even harder to believe there are women who actually put up with it.

  96. I can’t believe somebody didn’t bring it to her attention first. Good heavens I’m feeling thankful right now for that man at home sitting in our humble little abode.

  97. Laura 100

    Holy moly I felt sure this was going to be a joke. I’m impressed you’ve managed to never say anything BEFORE she asked you. And now I am dying to know what you did say.

  98. I am utterly speechless! And I can’t even type more because I will say words that will have me banned from your blog until infinity!

  99. leslie 102

    UNREAL! I cant believe this typy of behavior exists! But I suppose that makes me a bit nieve!
    If she is a true friend of yours I would have to burst her bubble and tell her this is soooooo not the normal behavior! This man obviously has power trip issues! And I would hate to think her might get violent with her if she confronted him!
    Also thanks for your comments on my Apple CAke

  100. yeah I did think you were talking about the taliban…sounds on the upper echelons of control freakishness. Does he beat her? Let me guess she can’t use the computer…so she probably won’t read this.

  101. Howdy 104

    Wow… I’m kinda speechless over that. How incredibly sad for her and the kids to have to live under that kind of pressure. And unfortunately it’s hard to escape people like him – he sounds like the kind that would harm her and the kids to keep them from leaving.
    A very scary situation… one I don’t envy you having to give advice on.

  102. Liz C. 105

    Cathy, I can only hope that you gently told her the truth. Honestly, there are so many women who simply don’t know life should be any different than the misery they have known.

    My friend Linda was married 30 years, suffering verbal abuse & contolled by her spouse. She never knew what an orgasm was for 30 YEARS! She thought she was supposed to be happy with nothing. They eventually divorced and she’s not the same woman today, for sure. I think once she discovered there was such a thing as an orgasm, it took all of her self restraint to keep from killing the jerk.

    That poor woman needs to be introduced to the steel she probably has hiding in her spine. Uh-Huh.

  103. Liz C. 106

    Oh… I meant to add that after reading about her husband, I think I understand why some people murder. I understand it very well. Do you have an address for me per chance? LOL!

  104. Rita 107

    let’s not resort to murder, people. let’s simply torture him LOL

    my response wud’ve been “WHAT THE…” right after she mentioned the no-AC policy

    but who knows…maybe it really works for em. surely wont work for me

  105. Raina 108

    I know men like this too…They are called deceased!

  106. Raina 109

    As Madea from Diary of a Mad Black Woman would say…”He looks hungry, fix him some grits”…If you don’t understand the comment you HAVE to watch the movie!

  107. Keith 110

    Sounds like a wonderful person. May I live up to such a noble standard.

  108. Keith 111

    Just out of curiosity….. is this for real? Yikes. I think he sounds like a nut job

  109. ok the question was, “WHAT DO YOU YHINK I SAID?” I have no idea but I hope you tellus tomorrow. what gives with all these profiling comments! Saying these poor people are probably Christians and homeschoolers, that is not only a wild comment from left field, it is bigotry in it’s truest form. Can’t we just wait and see? Yeah the guy is a jerk but why is she agreeing to this treatment? she could be oriental,(whoa profiling!) what does this have to do with believing in GOD?

  110. Lennie 113

    I had a girlfriend in an abusive situation many years ago. I tried to gently talk her into leaving, telling her the environment she was raising her daughters in was poisonous etc etc etc. Her response? She told me her mother had taught her that any husband was better than no husband. I was floored. And my friend had dropped out of high school to marry this guy, and had convinced herself that she could never make it on her own. It took a couple more years and heaven knows what went on behind closed doors, but she finally did leave him. Not everyone has the self-esteem to get out of a bad relationship, at least not at first. When you get repeatedly told you’re worthless — by a spouse, or by a parent — you start to believe it. Cathy, I hope you told her that she deserves to be treated better!

  111. I don’t know what you said, but I’d love to hear it. It makes me just ill that that man has broken her spirit so far down that she accepts this treatment. Emotional abuse is every bit as destructive as physical. The bruises are just on the inside.

  112. Dee 115

    It’s frustrating to hear stories like hers, even more so because I know there are many others like her. Her asking you is obviously a cry for help; I won’t ask what you said because I’ve no doubt it was the right thing.

    I’m glad you posted this in the off-chance that someone in the same situation stumbles upon it.

  113. Kate 116

    Cathy,
    You have touched a nerve with this post, as can be attested to by the many comments you’ve received on it. I’m not even going to read them before I comment.
    The fact that this woman is asking for your advice is clear to me that she’s at least beginning to question it.
    She is being abused, as are her children. This has probably happened slowly, over time, and she either ignored the warning signs, or didn’t notice them.
    This man has control issues and she needs help immediately.
    I speak from experience and it is all I will say at this time. I am angry just reading it.

    I hope she reads this and stops denying what is happening here. My God.

  114. melissa 117

    I do know people like that. It’s kind of scarey. A year or two down the road we’ll probably hear on the news about this lady that killed herself and her kids. I wonder where her parents are? I wonder if they go to Church. Or does this man have his own Jesus complex.

  115. barbara 118

    How sad. She has a choice but the children don’t. I hope you were able to get her to recognise this is not normal. I think the fact she was asking means she is beginning to realise that.

  116. Lex the mom 119

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but I read many.

    This is an awful situation for this woman to be in, certainly! I think she would be doing a justice to her children (and herself) to get out of there. As much as that is an easy thing for us to decide, it isn’t for her. She’s obviously been entrenched in this marriage for a while & hasn’t complained much about it. I think complacency is a cruel emotional trait. It subdues people into feeling like that is just the way it is, the way it’s supposed to be.

    Very sad. I hope she comes to realize that she deserves to be treated equally human.

  117. Alisa 120

    I am completely sure that you told her this is how all us wives are treated right? I just read this to my husband and he wants to know how this man gets away with this? He knows I’d murder him if he ever tried to control us in that way :)
    Although, it’s the biggest reason that we both waited to marry until we were sure we could be partners and not just husband and wife. Poor woman. But, it is even worse for the kids.

  118. The truth? {{big nervous smile}}

  119. Flea 122

    You’re really not kidding? What the F#*& is WRONG with her? I’m sorry. That’s just … just … ARGH!

  120. Dragonfly 123

    Sounds like one of my mothers friends whose husband used to remove erm, a part of the car (that you can remove in less than half an hour, not the tires!)when she came home from work so she couldn’t go out again until the next day. They got divorced after she got sick of the emotional and eventually physical abuse…

  121. WOW. As badly as I feel for this woman there is something wrong with her for still being in that marriage…

  122. Danielle 125

    Oh hell. Without reading all of the comments, this is abusive.

    period.

    I’m sure she loves her kids, but if it were up to me those kids would be removed from that house until the husband was.

    This is so sad. I hope she was able to really confide in you and that you could guide her to someone for help.

  123. Shaye 126

    Ugh, my niece’s husband is a little like that. My niece is a SAHM with four babies under the age of five. The last time they came over, I asked her what fruits were her kids’ favorites so I could pick some up for them, and she told me she didn’t think they’d ever tried fruit. She then told me that her husband doesn’t like fruits and vegetables, so he doesn’t let her buy them. She told me that he’s just “quirky” that way.
    But you’re right, what can you say to someone? She thinks it’s normal and some people are just “quirky” like that.

  124. Bella 127

    Hi Cathy,
    I love your Blog and all your recipes. I’m really concerned about your friend. It’s a whole big world out there. It looks like so many people out there are thinking about her too. Can you give us an update?
    Bella

  125. Beth 128

    What a selfish piece of trash. I would love for her to up and leave him WITH the kids. What a controlling bastard. I hope someday she is able to have a better life, without him.

  126. Kristina 129

    yes please give us an update??

    I’d love to hear that by now she is on her own with the kids, happy and living a normal life.

  127. Stephanie 130

    Any update? I am sick after discovering this post.

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