My husband has turned into a moody, controlling man: Ask Ellie

I’ve been with my husband for 33 years, yet recently wonder “who” he is.

I come from a physically and mentally abusive mother. I was married and divorced by 19, then met my husband at 29.

He was charismatic, funny, the life of the party, but into his friends, sports and himself more than me.

I raised three children who I put first. Though he was a good dad, he put his needs first.

Now, with friends, he’s constantly interrupting, speaking loudly, swearing, seeking attention.

When we travel together, he wants my every second. Especially now that his friends have let him down, his physical self is letting him down, and business, although successful, didn’t make him as much as he wanted.

Money matters most, besides his own needs. We have plenty, but not enough for boats and planes and whatever other dreams he had.

His once-occasional outbursts have become daily, and his moods are up and down.

He takes it out on his family and tries to control us financially.

Bullying and controlling are part of his character.

He put security cameras in our house, but I discovered he watches us from work, seeing if we’re home and what we’re doing. Not acceptable!!



A reader says her husband is constantly watching her and the kids from work.


© Provided by Toronto Star
A reader says her husband is constantly watching her and the kids from work.

He put a system in my car to know my whereabouts. Not acceptable!

When we complain, he explodes with anger that he “needs” to know we’re safe.

Recently, I found binoculars around the house.

I discovered that he watches women in the houses surrounding ours through the binoculars.

When confronted, he casually said, “Yah, men do that, and watch porn, and if women leave their blinds open, it’s their fault!”

Then he listed all “my” faults. But when I ask him to come to therapy with me, it’s 100% NO.

He says that if I want to leave him, he’ll stay in our house, but I can go.

Twice in the past 30 years, he’s threatened my life.

He said he can make me disappear and nobody would ever know what happened because he “knows people.”

I wrote a letter to my sister and sister-in-law, telling them if anything happens to me, to read it.

My kids would be devastated if I left and, obviously, I can’t ever tell them of this sickness he has.

They’d then blame me for splitting up the family, and he’d make me be the bad guy. Help Needed!!!

“Unacceptable” means you can’t live like this. Period.

Yes, he may have a mental health disorder or some other physical illness that’s affecting him, but if you can’t get him to see a doctor, you’re still living in an intolerable situation.

Despite the cameras, you have to make a plan for leaving safely, see a lawyer and prepare your children somewhat.

If at all possible, take some time away. Arrange something with your sister or sister-in-law, or use whatever other excuse you can find to get to a lawyer’s office and seek legal advice.

Tell every detail you included here.

To be fair, you should also see a doctor and/or psychologist to discuss what could be causing these major behaviour changes from someone who’s previously been mostly self-involved to someone who has become controlling, angry, threatening and nasty.

If a health professional finds a likely cause from your description, you’d be able to express concern to your husband for his sake, which might get him to make an appointment.

If not, leaving becomes a necessity for your sake.

Tip of the day

Major behaviour changes may have a treatable cause. But if getting help is rejected, the partner must seek safety.

Read Ellie Monday to Saturday. Email ellie@thestar.ca or visit her website, ellieadvice.com. Follow @ellieadvice.

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