Dear Abby: Wife needs to push back against taskmaster husband

A stressed husband who tries to tell his wife how to do everything.
A stressed husband who tries to tell his wife how to do everything. (istock)
Posted: February 27, 2013

DEAR ABBY: "Harold" and I have been married for more than 20 years. We are both college graduates and held middle-management jobs until recently.

Two years ago, Harold was offered a temporary job in an exotic location in another country. We jumped at the chance. I can't work due to the regulations here, but the money is good.

Now that I'm not working, Harold suddenly believes he has the right to tell me what to do, how to manage daily activities, how to care for the children, etc.

The scrutiny is daily and relentless. I am instructed how to do the laundry, wash dishes, clean the stove and cook dinner.

How do I deal with this new controlling behavior?

- Just About Had It

DEAR JUST ABOUT HAD IT: Your husband may be stressed in his new job and no longer feel in control, which is why he is attempting to control you. Or, because he is now the sole wage earner, he may feel "entitled" to dictate your every move. If you are now living in a male-dominated culture where women have no rights, his thinking may be influenced by the men around him.

If marriage counseling is available, I urge you to get some.

DEAR ABBY: My son recently committed suicide. He was 24. Two weeks before his death, he confided to a family member that he had been molested by his uncle when he was between the ages of 4 and 7.

I want this uncle to be exposed, but the family wants to keep it "quiet and in the family." I am very much of the opinion that this molestation could be behind my son's suicide. The uncle is now in his 30s and would have been in his teens when this happened. Please tell me what I should do.

- Suffering in Ohio

DEAR SUFFERING: It is important that you talk with a therapist if you haven't already. What is clear is that what this uncle did while in his teens was predatory. Others in the family - and the community - should be made aware so their children can be protected.

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