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Should I stay?


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I am a very quiet and shy person. My wife and I have been together for 10 years now. I was young and she was the first person I ever slept with. There is a substantial age gap between us, about 18 years. Yes, she is older than me. It was quite awhile before anyone figured out we were together as we kept it quiet. I was so embarrassed to be seen with her because of our age difference and even to today it bothers me. She has a child only 4 years younger than me which made things worse. I was always shy and never spoke to many people anyways so this wasn't such a big deal.


One thing I have never been able to overcome is that I feel like she treats me like a child sometimes. I wasn't allowed to have social media accounts for years. I wasn't allowed to do things without her. We were together nearly every second of the day for years because we even worked together. It seemed as if she didn't want anyone in my life except her and her friends. I have ran into previous class mates in public that say hi or something similar. My wife would freak out accusing me of sleeping with them and that that person has to be a . I do not have a single person now that I would call my real friend.


I think my wife has major control issues. I tried to put off marriage as long as I could because I wasn't happy, but she gave me an ultimatum to do it or else. We no longer work together, but now we text about 100 to 200 messages a day at work. If she text and I don't immediately respond then she blows up on me. I am always afraid of getting fired for being on my phone but she says I don't put her first. That I care about what the people I work with think over her since I didn't respond immediately.


She is terrible with money and we are now way over our heads in debt. I can't blame it all on her because we have had house repairs and etc that we used a loan or credit card to pay for. She seems to not care about the debt and is always wanting to eat out or go on trips though.


The biggest issue I have with her is that she has driven a wedge between me and anyone that I could lean on for support. I moved out relatively early in our relationship because I couldn't handle her controlling nature. My family helped me in this time, but I came back the next day. Now she doesn't want me talking to my family. When I do talk to them on the phone, she has to know every word said and then she still doesn't believe me. Anytime we are around them in person, she makes rude comments to them. She always talks down about them to me. I only talk to my family on the holidays now and see them only a couple times a year. I miss them all terribly but its not worth the fighting with my wife.


I have stayed with her because we can have a lot of fun together. We have sex often but it is never intimate. It is only pleasure for me as I don't think I really love her. I have calculated and with the debt that we have, I don't know if I could survive on my own. She is also very vengeful. She anonymously contacted the company her ex husband worked for and got him fired after their divorce.


I am so stressed out and don't know what to do. If I could walk away with no problems then I would leave right now. I am so afraid of what she will do to be vengeful if I leave and not being able to pay my bills.


Please offer any advice.

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Well, it's textbook emotional abuse. She has complete control over you. She has destroyed your self-esteem and self-image. She has basically turned you into a child where you have to get permission from mommy to do anything. You really should leave to rebuild your self-identity and find the you that has been suppressed for a very long time. The age issue is actually a non-issue with the exception that she had 18 years of experience on you and was able to control you when you were younger.


The alternative to leaving is that you have to start showing some backbone and start doing what you want to do not what she wants to do. You have to stand up for yourself. When you're talking on the phone, you have to tell her calmly that this phone conversation is private. That you do not have to tell her what it was about. DO NOT ENGAGE HER. If she flips into a rage you cannot argue with her. Tell her you won't talk to her unless she talks to you in a calm voice.


You have to respond to her like a psychologist would. Ask her why she doesn't respect you, or why is she doing this to you? Why do you feel I'm cheating? Is it your own insecurity?


You can read on the Internet how to deal with an abuser on sites like this one: [url=" and this one: [url="


I think deep down her abuse is caused by her own fear that you might leave her. You can use that as ammunition, but in a positive way. Assure her you're not going to leave her by talking to someone on the phone or saying hi to someone you meet on the street. Keep putting that bug in her ear, because it reinforces the idea that you're not leaving, but at the same time you might leave if she keeps up this behavior.


And then you have to curb her spending . Don't go to dinner with her anymore until your debts are paid. Don't let her buy expensive things. Threaten to take them back.


But always, do not lose your cool. Don't argue with her. Step outside if she starts going crazy and tell her you'll talk to her when she calms down. Stand your ground. You have to be the mature one. Stick to your decision and don't let her change your mind.


So those are your options. Stay or leave. It's up to you.

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