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  • Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

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    Old 08-01-2015, 06:55 PM   #1
    halo29
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    Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    My husband of five years is very supportive and does any thing for me, in the mean time, he is *very* controlling. He controls what I wear, where I go, whom I talk to, how I talk to ... . I barely talk to my family and I have absolutely NO friends.

    My question is could my husband be a cause of my recent social anxiety or it's just an excuse? The fact that I couldn't find a friend that meets his criteria is due to my disability to communicate with people, right? I mean out of so many people around me there should be a couple whom he approves. But I have no interest in talking to people anymore and absolutely no interest in going to social events to even find friends! Needless to say, I have to confirm with him which event it is and when/where/who! If males are in the event I'm not allowed to go!

     
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    Old 08-01-2015, 08:20 PM   #2
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    It would be amazing if you DIDN'T have this anxiety! He is an abuser; a partner who controls and isolates you from your family and friends is a classic abuser. It is only a matter of time before it becomes verbal or physical. This will not change while you are in this marriage. This your life with this man. It is up to you whether you want this life or not. Keep posting, Sera

     
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    Old 08-01-2015, 10:02 PM   #3
    halo29
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Thank you so much Sera for writing a reply.
    So you think it's not me not being able to communicate?

    I once tried to tell him that I'm going to leave (I had decided not to stay in such a relationship, about a year ago) and he angrily hit me, but ever since he has never done anything like that again. I don't know that it's me being fearful and complying his rules, or is it him being ashamed of what he's done and being such a nice guy (nice *and* controlling). Or being nice is just part of an abuser's personality?

    I've been going to counseling for about 2 years now, but I feel so guilty and selfish to tell him that I don't want him any more. Does it have to do with abuse, too?

    As you can say, I'm so confused and self-doubt for every single thing.

    Last edited by halo29; 08-01-2015 at 10:31 PM.

     
    Old 08-02-2015, 01:40 AM   #4
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Another result of abuse is to try to make yourself out to be somehow at fault - this view encouraged by the abuser of course. If he has already hit you once, then the next time is inevitable. If you are ever serious about leaving, first lay some plans. Take a family member into your confidence. If this not possible, then look for a refuge group or something similar. They will advise you on the safest ways to proceed.
    Abusive spouses are often nice while they are bringing you under the thumb. Otherwise no one would stay around long enough. This will become less necessary for him over the coming years, so you will notice the nice guy parts of his nature fading away. I am sorry that you are in this situation, it is not your fault; this stuff creeps up on you until you look around (as you are doing) and see that everything is different snd you are no longer the person you were. By then it is often too late to extricate yourself in a safe and civilized manner. Keep yourself safe, and do not allow him or the circumstances of your life make you think that you are in any way to blame for HIS actions. Sera

    Last edited by Seraph; 08-02-2015 at 01:47 AM.

     
    Old 08-02-2015, 04:29 AM   #5
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    There are a lot of men that our controlling and that is because they can get away with it!!! I've seen when women go through menopause and don't take it anymore the men wise up and treat them better. Do you want to wait that long? I think the best thing to do is tell your husband that you are not happy and you feel controlled and you can't take that anymore. If he chooses to control your life the way he does than you can not stay with him because you do not need the stress. He will try to convince you that it is your problem not his but that is not the case.

     
    Old 08-02-2015, 04:39 AM   #6
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Are you going to counselling alone? What does your counsellor advise you to do, if I may ask? Ideally the couple should go together, or at least each should go alone, because it's clear that both of you need to change. You must become stronger, and he must get in touch with his own vulnerability. That he doesn't want you to go to a place where there are other males shows how insecure he really is. I wouldn't advise you to leave this marriage straightaway, although I would risk to say that you guys are probably incompatible as a couple: first you have to regain your natural right to live your life as you wish, within the limits of a marriage, and then decide what is better for you: to stay or to leave. You must learn how to tap into your own energy and determination, so you can be free to choose again. Of course, when you are married, you can't have total freedom, but you seem to be living in a prison. Don't allow this to go on happening. It can only make you more bitter and possibly lead to an ugly end.

     
    Old 08-02-2015, 11:44 PM   #7
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Thank you all so very much for your posts and the advice.
    This is really nice to know there are people (you guys) who care about others (me). I appreciate that.

    Yes, I've been going to counseling by myself to find out what my problem is (not to fix the marriage). [My husband believes counselors are culturally very different from us, so refuses to go, and I don't really care whether he wants to go or not.] To be honest, I am strong enough to leave, I'm financially independent, no kids, and my family will always support me.
    And as you said, I've been living in a prison that I just want out, with no more rules, no company, nothing, just me.

    And this is were I doubt myself. Whether I just want out because I feel controlled? Or this is really my truth? Am I really not able to communicate with others and that's why I'm isolated? Or is it my husband being controlling? Is my husband a nice guy and I just want to be alone, or are my feelings really caused by his abuse? Am I making a childish decision here?

    This is what my counselor has been trying to figure out, and I am so confused and unstable that it's taking forever to know the answer. I have talked to my husband before about how I feel, and his answer is "you don't know your limits in the marriage...".

    You guys are right to the point, he is abusive. When Sera pointed that out, I read about the signs of domestic abuse on line, and a couple of them do match!

    Last edited by Administrator; 08-03-2015 at 12:20 AM.

     
    Old 08-03-2015, 03:18 AM   #8
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Thanks for further clarification of your case. I hear you. Actually, at this point it may be a waste of time to keep analyzing through counselling or whatever your inner motivations. It boils down to this: you want to be alone, or maybe you need to be alone. Your gut is kind of telling you to do so. Is leaving a childish decision? A whim? Maybe so, but the fact is you aren't in a position to judge it. Maybe it's just the opposite: staying is a childish decision. Probably you will only know the answer after you leave. The good news is that you have the means to do it now: no kids, financial independence, support from your family and then again probably not being in love with your husband. And lastly, you are probably young enough to start it all over again (with someone else) if you find you need it.

    Give yourself a chance.

    Last edited by pendulum; 08-03-2015 at 07:13 AM.

     
    Old 08-03-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    he's abusive, he's controlling, you can't be somewhere if there is a male present, he hit you......what more do you need? he is NOT a nice guy and you are not doing anything to deserve this treatment. If you are able to leave him as you say you are, my only question is, what are you waiting for?

     
    Old 08-03-2015, 11:02 AM   #10
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    If it were me, I'd have been out the door already. He sounds like a total nightmare. I'd rather live in the most remote cave on a deserted island than to be in any kind of rationship with someone like him.

    I'm sorry that his constant emotional and psychological abuse has caused you to question everything about yourself. Hopefully by posting here and seeing that every person who has responded has said that you need to leave him will be enough for you to take action. He has been messing with your head and we are all telling you that you're not crazy and this IS abuse and you DO need to leave. ASAP. Don't wait any longer because life is far too short to stay in such a situation where you're under his thumb with no life of your own.

     
    Old 08-03-2015, 06:08 PM   #11
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    For your information, read up on "gaslighting". This is, I am sure, what has brought you to the place where you question everything about yourself. As far as your "problems" go, you gave only one problem and that is your abusive relationship. Get out of that, and you will soon return to being the person you once were. Sera

     
    Old 08-03-2015, 09:19 PM   #12
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Thank you all for taking the time to write responses and thanks for the kind advice. That really helps.

    I already feel guilty that I've described him as a nightmare here. My situation is not that bad, I still have choices as long as they are reasonable. He has kept his promise since he hit me. (or maybe because I've tried not to put a foot wrong??) It's not fair that he's trying hard to change but I just don't like him anymore. I feel terrible about myself.

    I understand that you all are saying the same thing: "The situation IS bad", but unfortunately I keep questioning myself. For example the victim of abuse could stand up and fight for himself/herself. But I gave up (well I tried first 2-3 years, then gave up), that means I'm not even strong to face one man, let alone the whole world after I leave.

    I read up about abusive behavior, but still not sure if I understood it right. Could any one give a more clear example about verbal abuse? I know that trying to belittle the victim, or I can't live without you, are classic ones, but what are the more real ones? What is manipulation like? Either my abuser doesn't know he is abusing or he does it expertly.

    As for the gaslighting, humm, he's not a psychopath or a narcissist. But wait a second, the stockholm syndrom applies to me! I'll keep on reading, Thanks.

    Last edited by halo29; 08-03-2015 at 11:10 PM.

     
    Old 08-04-2015, 01:56 AM   #13
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Examples of verbal abuse include
    *nonconstructive criticism (you are fat, you are useless, etc)
    *dismissal of your point of view or opinions ("what would you know about such things", or "you are childish, dumb, gullible, etc)
    *making you behave in a particular way (not going out with friends) by verbally demanding this of you and laying down the law with orders and threatening behaviour.
    *using argument, verbal demands and derogatory comments to separate you from any support system you may have, ie. Family, girlfriends.
    *spoken or implied accusations of your wrongdoing, eg not allowing you to go anywhere there are males as you would surely misbehave.
    *making severe rules with no input or negotiation from you.

    Apart from all that, you sound definitely unhappy and you don't like your husband or his behaviour which he shows no sign of changing. Instead of thinking of "the right reasons to leave" think more of any reason why you should stay!
    Sera

     
    Old 08-04-2015, 07:49 AM   #14
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    It's good to read, but it's much better to make a decision (to act) and then follow it through. You are financially independent - that is a good thing also - but your financial independence is almost useless, because you can hardly exert your own personal freedom. You long for meaningful relationships, and ironically you can't have one with the person closest to you. Actually, some people think that your wealth can't be measured by the size of your Bank account, but rather by the number of meaningful relationships you have

    Don't get me wrong, but I think you analyze too much. You sound unhappy where you are, and probably it'll only get worse. You feel terrible about yourself. Why? Don't be afraid to say 'no'. By making the decision to end this marriage, you are not only giving a chance to yourself, but also to him. So please don't judge this as a selfish act in the first place.

    Last edited by Administrator; 08-11-2015 at 05:56 PM.

     
    Old 08-04-2015, 10:00 AM   #15
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    Re: Could my controlling spouse be a cause of my social anxiety?

    Look, he hit you and that's not ok. It's never ok for a husband to hit his wife. For that reason alone you should've left. But there are all of these other major reasons, like the fact thay he treats you like a child and like he is your parent. You're not his child, you're a grown woman who does not need him or any other man to tell you how to live your daily life. I'm sure you'd be just fine on your own. He's got you under his thumb and that's where you'll always stay until you decide you've had enough of being treated like a dumb kid who doesn't know anything and you realize that you deserve a man who will treat you properly, like an equal who is completely capable of making her own decisions about basic things.

     
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