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1 - 11 of 11 Comments Last updated Feb 26, 2013

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Des Plaines, IL

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#1
Feb 26, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: "Harold" and I have been married for more than 20 years and have three children ranging in age from teen to toddler. 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. When we explore our host country, he loses his temper if I take a photo of something he has already photographed.

At Halloween, we invited some local friends over to share the American tradition of pumpkin carving. He literally took the knife out of my hand and shouldered me out of the way so he could do it. In previous years, he had no interest in this activity -- the children and I carved the pumpkins.

These are just two examples, but the scrutiny is daily and relentless. I am instructed how to do the laundry, wash dishes, clean the stove, on and on.

How do I deal with this new controlling behavior? If I address it when it happens, he becomes nasty. I have tried discussing his overall change in attitude, but he says I am "imagining" it. If I ignore his "suggestions," it results in angry outbursts.

I don't know how to get through to him that I'm the same competent individual I was before we made this change and that I do not need micromanaging. Any advice is welcome.-- 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. If that's not possible, perhaps a long vacation for you and the children with your family would defuse the tension.

DEAR ABBY: My son recently committed suicide. He was only 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: Because you are suffering, it is important that you talk with a therapist if you haven't already. While early trauma may have played a part in your son's death, suicide is a complex act that is not completely understood.

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, because they may be at risk. The therapist can help you decide how to deal with this, so please don't wait.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Feb 26, 2013
 

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1- Welcome to Egypt.

I disagree with Abby's line:

"because he is now the sole wage earner, he may feel "entitled" to dictate your every move."

It could be the STRESS of being the sole wager earner that's weighing heavily on him. If anything happens to him or his job, you and your family are out on the street. That can be a lot for a man to tackle.

2- Don't blame the uncle on your son's suicide. But if the family knows about his behavior, who exactly are you wanting to "expose" him to? The family knows, criminal action likely can't take place at this time (accuser is dead) so what exactly do you wish to accomplish?

Since: Jan 10

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#3
Feb 26, 2013
 

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L1; Insist on marriage counseling or divorce him and take half of all that great money he is making. Makes me wonder what country you moved to, and if it's one with ingrained sexism, he's buying in to what he's seeing and hearing.

L2: Expose him, go to the cops, SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. This man didn't molest only your son -- he has molested other kids and will continue to do so.

Secrecy keeps the abuse happening. Don't let this happen to another kid. You have an OBLIGATION to say something and make a big stink about this.

Frankly, I"d like to see a child molester's life RUINED.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

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#4
Feb 26, 2013
 

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LW1 - Abby did nothing to solve this woman's problem. Each time he criticizes her way of doing a job, she needs to say, "I'm sorry, I'm just not doing this right, could you do it?" Next time, "I'm just not doing this right, could you do it? Maybe I will learn to do it right." She needs to do this with even the simplest tasks. She slowly does less and less while he has to do more and more. Eventually, he will be exhausted and she will be left alone. This method actually works with controllers.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Feb 26, 2013
 

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1 Well, good to see some parts of the world still know how to manage their women (ducks and runs)

2 Yes talk with a shrink, if the kid mentioned it right before he died it was probably still weighing on him.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#6
Feb 26, 2013
 

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LW1: I've never heard of the technique Shari is suggesting, but it sounds good. And really, what can it hurt; the LW sounds just about ready to pack up and come back to the states.

I also suspect he is picking up on the local cultural attitudes towards women, so this may not change until they leave.

LW2: Team Red again for the win!

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#7
Feb 26, 2013
 

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L1: There seems more to this than a bit of controlling behavior. It sounds like a LOT of controlling behavior -- and could be from many of the reasons Abby suggests. I say get into marriage counselling immediately before this escalates.

L2: Yes -- I'm on Team Red. Do not wait. You need to call the police and get the ball rolling and this uncle investigated. The one that wants to keep it in the family is embarrassed or doesn't know how to deal with these things. Ignore those kind of people. They are the hiding places of molesters (whether knowingly or unknowingly).

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Huntingdon, TN

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#8
Feb 26, 2013
 

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1. Tell him counseling or you're going back, and he won't be imagining it when it happens.

2. Tell him he gets to go to counseling with you, and you can let the counselor evalute his responses, and if he doesn't go you will go to the police and he can defend himself. You should not be disuaded from doing what's right because other people in the family don't want to deal with a mess.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

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#9
Feb 26, 2013
 

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squishymama wrote:
LW1: I've never heard of the technique Shari is suggesting, but it sounds good. And really, what can it hurt; the LW sounds just about ready to pack up and come back to the states.
I also suspect he is picking up on the local cultural attitudes towards women, so this may not change until they leave.
LW2: Team Red again for the win!
The helpless method works because it is very calm, non-violent, and non-argumentative. But it has to be done consistently and relentlessly. The criticizer eventually realizes that the minute he starts criticizing, she stops doing the job instantly and he has to take over and complete it. He is then in a no-win situation.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#10
Feb 26, 2013
 

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LW1: He's really taking to Saudi Arabian culture, I see!

LW2: I wouldn't keep that quiet. That's how these guys do this stuff for far too long in many cases.
EJG

Plainville, CT

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#11
Feb 26, 2013
 

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RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1; Insist on marriage counseling or divorce him and take half of all that great money he is making. Makes me wonder what country you moved to, and if it's one with ingrained sexism, he's buying in to what he's seeing and hearing.
L2: Expose him, go to the cops, SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. This man didn't molest only your son -- he has molested other kids and will continue to do so.
Secrecy keeps the abuse happening. Don't let this happen to another kid. You have an OBLIGATION to say something and make a big stink about this.
Frankly, I"d like to see a child molester's life RUINED.
>>

Good call on both letters.

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