Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Moving on from controlling, jealous husband

Community Member

New to beyondblue, hope this finds you all well.

quick run down of my main struggle. I have been marriaged for 21 years and have two teenage daughters. I knew from the beginning that my husband was very controlling and jealous. Surely this would change with love and time! Silly me 😞

last 10 years have been hell. I was no allowed friends and regardless of what job I had he never approved of it. I have no family as they all live overseas. Thank god for Skype:)

i have now realised he is a narcissist with violent tendencies.

so, I have fought severe depression for many years. I'm on good meds and most days was worth living. But.....

approx 7 years ago he 'joined' a group of 'bike riding people' and life as I and the kids knew it disappeared.

before long drugs was a daily visitor, and for days sometime weeks he was away on the road. He lost his job to cut downs, and now he was fully absorbed by this group. This group does not allow women/wife's to obtain any info or have a say in what's going on. Suited my husband perfect!

well, due to group related crime he got arrested early this year and it looks like he will spend a long long time in jail.

I SHOULD BE SO HAPPY, but I'm not!

i am so broken, so lost, so scared and so so tired. I've got my GP in my corner along with my head doc. I'm not alone, I know but...

where do I find support to move forward? To not cry my self asleep? Someone to hold MY hand. I get plenty of compliments from a large range of people on how strong I am, how independent I am. I'm an inspiration to others and so forth. My kids are suffering, I'm numb on the inside, where is my support? Where can I find it?

please help



7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Sue

Hello and welcome.  I am so sorry to hear of the bad place you are in. There are various organisations that you can talk to. I presume you have started with the obvious of CentreLink if cash is a problem.

For the children and you and I suggest you contact the Kids Helpline. http://www.kidshelpline.com.au/ They also have a 24/7 phone line 1800 55 1800. Or Headspace http://headspace.org.au/ or phone 1800 650 890. Your children need help with this situation as you have said. They will be able to give you some help as well. You can also contact Beyond Blue 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 and they may be able to supply further contacts.

Also look up GROW. They have support groups where you can talk about your needs and get support from others. http://www.grow.org.au/


Community Member

Hey mary

thank you so much for taking time to answer me.

yes I have contacted many help lines and mostly good advise and compassion has been given freely to me.

im OK with all the legal stuff, Centrelink, both girls attend counselling, and things should be great!

i find it hard to deal with the stigma of having a spouse in jail. Can't find any help on that one... I don't understand why I can't move forward, why I still fear/obay my husband. Not to mention it's hard to stay away from alcohol (my old almost life long addiction).

sorry for the ramble, mary

god bless 🙂


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Sue15, welcome

"I still fear/obey my husband"... the classic objective of a narcissist I say. My mother is 84yo and I fear her. I'm likely going to fear her once she has passed away. Such is the impact of these people. With her denial of any mental illness I and my sister were left to decide what was wrong with her. I found it when I googled "witch hermit queen waif" try it. read up on this theory by Dr Christine Lawson. It all fitted in place for me as to why she made life for many people a train wreck.

As for yourself you need to break away. In fact you owe it for your daughter more than anything. The tricky bit is to do so in a calm and decisive manner with your husband and weather the storm that will come with your decision. Pick your time right. Tell him (perhaps) that you will continue to be a friend, visit him in jail and co-parent your kids as you have always done, but you cannot be his wife any longer and that's a decision you have a right to make.

Then one day you'll be ready to move on towards finding another man....that will treat you as an equal human being.

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Sue, it's really great that you have asked for help, because it's a situation which leaves you at the cross road.

Out of 21 years the last 10 have been the worse for you and the two girls, not that the other years were much better, but your husband has been controlling , demanding and not respecting all of you, so he has lived his life treating you all in a disrespectful way and doing what ever he wanted to do without any consideration for anyone else.

Now he has gone that extra mile but was caught by the authorities, so he has to be punished, by gaol time, and shouldn't feel as though you need to be guilty or at all ashamed.

Have you considered getting a divorce or is this being too hasty, but if you decide to then now you have the opportunity to start a new life with both your girls.

Remember the last number of years have been such a nightmare, but you can close this, and then it may help you with the alcohol.

It's a book that needs to be thrown away. Geoff. x

Dear Sue

Great to hear you that some of your needs are being met.

When I left my husband I built my own home and thought I would live happily ever after. While the house was being built I went shopping with my daughter to choose bathroom tiles. To my horror I heard myself reject some tiles that I liked because 'Your father won't like them". Sounds trivial I know but it was so revealing about how I no longer had opinions of my own. Or rather how my opinions had counted for nothing for so long. And no, I did not buy the tiles.

I found myself feeling guilty about watching certain TV programs because my ex would demand to know why I was watching "that rubbish" usually because he wanted to watch football. It has taken me years to believe in myself and do the things I want to do without feeling guilty/stupid/wasteful and all the emotions he taught me to feel in order for him to be in control.  I left 15 years ago.

Now I don't want to frighten you. You will start to feel better and he will have less and less influence on your life. Unfortunately  it will take time to get over this. We cannot change our emotions with a flick of the switch which I think is most unfair. I still fear my husband in some ways and he is still playing the control game. I see him at family gatherings which can be difficult. My children have not seen him as a controlling person especially and still care for him.  It amazes me and sometimes I wonder if I am the person in the wrong, so to speak.

Are you receiving and counselling for yourself? I found this incredibly useful. If you have not started any counselling I urge you to try this option.

There are various organisations that help those with family members in prison. I know your situation is different in that you do not want contact with your ex but it all has an impact on your life. http://www.redcross.org.au/offenders-and-their-families.aspx   Have a look at this web page. I expect there is little use in saying your husband's exploits are anything to do with you. You already know this but still feel very unhappy about it. You may want to get a fresh start in a new area, but this is a huge decision.

I feel I am the one all over the shop with my reply today. My excuse is that I stopped taking several medications and now managing the side effects.


Community Member

Hi Sue.  So sorry to hear of your ongoing situation.  As far as your kids are concerned, they may never see dad for what he is until they're much older, depending on how he treated them.  Kids tend to be very protective to the absent parent, they will make excuses (to themselves) for the inappropriate behaviour.  He's now in gaol, firstly, are your kids 'blaming' you, or do they know what happened to put dad in gaol.  If they are old enough and can handle the truth, I think you should sit down with them and as unemotionally as possible explain what happened.  I wouldn't 'bag' him, they will defend him, he is still their father, they want to believe in him.  No matter how kids are treated by their parents (even abused children) they will defend their parents till they understand.  You are still an 'abused wife', it will take time for the feelings of 'control' from him to fade.  You're watching what you want to watch, you're trying to make decisions without having to justify them.  It sounds as though it's not that long since he was taken, you had such a long time of 'doing as you were told', you can still 'hear' him.  That is quite natural.  Any person who has lived with someone who likes to be in charge knows it takes an indeterminate length of time for that sort of control to dissipate.  If you're having counselling ask your counsellor to give you some guidelines on 'ignoring' the 'voice' in your head.  Remember, it's just a 'voice', it can't hurt you, anymore.  The 'numbness' you're experiencing is due to the fact that you're 'free'.  Prisoners who are released after a long incarceration experience the same 'numbness'.  You've been told what to do, what to wear, what you're allowed to watch, where you go for so long, it's become your life.  Next time you watch something on t.v and you 'hear' his 'voice', say (either to yourself out loud, or in your mind) 'go away, you don't own me'.  Say it often when you hear the 'voice'.  After a while, the voice quietens because you have the control.  The sky won't fall in, the house won't collapse, you won't get into trouble HE'S NOT THERE.  I actually do this when I listen to music, I used to hear m/d saying 'turn the music DOWN'  They're both deceased now, but I 'heard' them for years.  They don't say it anymore, I have control, now.  It will take time, but it works.  Worry about his release, when it happens.  By then anything's possible.        

Keep writing here for support too.

Community Member
Hi Sue.  Further to what I've already said, you're also obviously in a state of shock.  That can also give you that 'numbness' feeling.  As you start rebuilding your life the way you want it, you'll start feeling stronger.  Getting confidence in decision making will help strengthen your confidence too.  Remember, if you make a mistake, so what, as I said, the sky won't fall in.