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Anyone here have a controlling spouse?.

Community Member


i am new,but have found the courage to answer a couple of posts,so here is my situation as discreetly as possible. My husband is both financially controlling and also very critical and often quite nasty towards me. He wasn’t like this in the early days when I first met him,although he lived with his mother and also had friends who gave him meals etc. so never really had to care for himself,nor had he been married before. He,has super in the bank in a joint account I can’t access, he got a large inheritance,and ,he is also on pension which the accountant got for him,as his micro business is not viable by their reckoning. Meanwhile I am on the spouse aged pension,have to pay all my own food,clothing,medical (Clinic doesn’t bulk bill) and I have chronic conditions needing constant visits and multiple medications. I pay for my own dental,optical (have macular so need special glasses),pay half of pet vaccinations and recent surgery,and the list goes on. I have to pay $100 of towards utilities too. Needless to say out of $700 of I am struggling and paying off a credit card debt.He gives me nothing,no present for Xmas,just complaints,he isn’t affectionate,I don’t get even a hug or a kiss. I have seen numerous Counselling services,financial legal service,even a solicitor (more money I don’t have) who has suggested I now see a mediator,which cost money. My husband came to a marriage counsellor once, I had to pay for sessions,when it came time to see her as a couple,he hit the roof and said it was a waste of his time. I am elderly and have no family apart from a disabled sister. I don’t know where to turn to next Divorce is going to have to be very carefully considered,as he could lose everything,and I might be worse off also. Recently after a day of picking fault ,I had a week of severe depression,where I was suicidal,wanted to just vanish,felt like self harming and had no joy in life at all ,at least I am well over that,as had depression,anxiety since very early childhood,was hospitalised on a couple of occasions and seen a few psychiatrists in the past. I just wish there was one person in the medical profession who could set up a meeting with a social worker or someone,who won’t give me the run around,as I can’t face having to go through all the unpleasant details again and again.

6 Replies 6


Hey JoannaJay, Welcome and thank you for sharing your story. We are so sorry to hear about what you are going through with your partner and think you are so strong to have gone through so much. We are really grateful that you were brave enough to reach out to the forums this evening as we know this can be difficult to do for the first time.

If you feel that it would be beneficial to you to talk through your feelings and experiences with a counsellor, please, contact the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some support but also provide you with advice and referrals for seeing a counsellor in a more ongoing way.

We would also encourage you to contact 1800RESPECT. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/

Hopefully a few of our community members will pop by to welcome you and offer some words of support and advice. If you would like to post further, please tell us more about what's on your mind and how we can best help you get through this time.

Thanks so much for your words of support and directing me to appropriate counselling services.

It is very much appreciated and comforting to know I am not alone in this.

All my very best wishes.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Joanna Jay,

A very warm and caring welcome to the forums..

Im really sorry this is happening to you ...

I do relate to a lot of your story you have shared with us..

My husband was the same..add to what you have said mine was very physical abusive as well as controlling..every part of my life...He passed away now 7 years ago..Had he Not I would probably be still with him and be controlled by him..

When I first married him, he was very caring towards me..that changed though over the years..I was married for 38 years....I am also elderly..and found by now living on my own, that decision making is very hard as he made all the decisions....but I am learning..

I feel that your spouse is being very unfair with your financial situation...A marriage..well to me, should be 50/50of everything..the chores, shopping, financial..

Unfortunately no one can tell you what to do in regards of divorcing him...That’s a decision that only you can make Dear Joanne..If you do decide to divorce or separate from him...I’m curious that your worried about his financial outcome...I do know that even though My was abusive my love and concern was still in my heart for him...It’s strange how our hearts and mind think...

Please Dear Joanne..try hard to think about your mental health..it really is unacceptable that he is nasty to you..you don’t deserve that..no one does...also care as much as you can for your physical health...you are very important and should have a life of peace...

Please Dear Joanne ..Talk here anytime, you feel up to it..Im listening and want to try to help/support you if I can...you are not alone lovely Joanne...

Sending you my kindest thoughts with my care..


Community Member

Thanks so much Grandy,

your support and the fact you have been through similar is so comforting,as you truly understand. I said to him that we should be combining our pensions,paying food utilities etc.,and sharing the rest,also his other cash he gets by selling out of his ‘back pocket’ss the saying goes. Without declaring too much online,the reason I am worried about financial repercussions,isn’t through love or concern,as I am at the stage of disliking him intensely,but he is being dishonest,and he could lose everything,so I would too. Basically I am better off trying to get out in a non aggressive way,or work out a solution the same.

Min a former marriage,I had physical violenceas well as mental,but he also died. We were divorced,so I can live on my own if need be. I just thinkwhen we are older it’s such a huge thing going through the courts and legal stuff,as he once said he would make sure I got nothing.

Would love to keep in touch and let you know what happens when I do eventually get some outside assistance. 🙏🌹

Community Member

Hi JoannaJay,

I would like to start by saying how incredibly strong you are. You should be so proud of yourself. Please make sure you don't let anyone put you down as you are a truly beautiful person.

Don't let the abuse he is inflicting on you affect your mental health as I am speaking from experience having been physically and verbally abused by my husband for many years.

In my experience of trying to reach out for help I found the organisation Safe Steps to be a great to me, their phone number is 1800 015 188.

I would also recommend getting in contact with Women's Legal Service as they would be best placed to give you legal advice on what your options are.

The one thing I hope you will see about getting put in place is a safety plan if you do choose to leave. You can get help with that through 1800Respect or Safe Steps. I wish I had of had one in place when I left as I ended up living on the streets with no plan in place, that can be very dangerous.

I realise that I am slightly younger than yourself and maybe Grandy will be better equipped to be able to provide you with more advice regarding your concerns around the issues you could face due to your age.

I hope that I have been of some help to you. I am very happy to discuss any concerns or issues you may have. I am here for you.

Please keep yourself safe.



Community Champion
Community Champion

Dearest Joanne,

I really am sorry you also went through physical abuse..and Pleased that for a while before you met now husband..had some peace in your life...For me it’s once bitten twice shy...I will never ever trust a man well enough to enter my life...I do get overwhelmed with loneliness at times..but have agreed with myself loneliness is better then the alternative..

I think I understand what your saying about going through court.,and your husbands threats about you getting nothing if you divorce him,,,I don’t really know how courts work...but I’m certain that in divorces, the judges are very fair and most assets are split down the middle ...

as well as the contacts ecomama has given you..1800 respect is another place you could talk to about your situation with your husband and get some guidance on how to leave safely....

I would also love to keep in contact with you Lovely Joanna..

Please talk here anytime you feel like your able to..even if it’s just for company....most importantly Joanna is to be gentle with yourself and look after you...

Looking forward to hearing from you when you feel up to it...

My kindest and most caring thoughts dear Joanna with a gentle caring hug.🤗.