Maybe leaving is not an option right away, but will be an option later on. Prepare for leaving anyway. Make sure you save some money that only you can have access to. Try to keep social contacts as much as possible. Try to have time for yourself as much as possible. Socially isolating a partner is a form of mental abuse. If it has developed slowly over time, you may have gotten used to it in a way that you think is not that bad. Read the book 'emotional blackmail' by Susan Forward. Check this: outofthefog.website/what-to-do-1 This is meant for people who deal with people with personality disorders. Same applies for dealing with abusive people.
Post by greatcoastal on Jan 29, 2022 17:28:22 GMT -5
Go out on your own. Start taking and serving yourself by serving others! Start with a men's group, maybe a men's bible study at a nearby church? ( it doesn't have to be athletic) Or volunteer at your local high school. Talking , working with the other men builds up your communication skills ,when the time comes to meet another woman. Look up meetup groups in your area.
Post by mirrororchid on Feb 1, 2022 6:49:31 GMT -5
Good suggestions for the end result from the others. (meetup.com often gets suggested)
What does she do to isolate you? You see her friends, but not yours? Or you see no one? Do you get home ASAP because your wife likes it that way? Or has it become a habit you assumed was the case? (co-dependence?)
Criticizes your friends to their face, or behind their back with you? Likes nobody you associate with?
What's her M.O.?
What's the reaction if you start a "bowling night"? Silence? Crying? Seething rage?
How far are you ready to take this if it becomes a contest of wills?
Post by theexplorer on Feb 1, 2022 13:32:15 GMT -5
The social isolation has been growing worse over time. I'm not sure what is behind the shift in her behavior. It began probably about 10 years ago. In the beginning, I did not realize what she was doing. At first, she tried to prevent me from having any female friends that were close to my age. Then it expanded to all women. Now she wants to keep me away from other men.
The reason for the this post is that I was recently decided to go to church. That was quite out of character since I had not stepped in a church door for years! Later that day when the wife returned home, I told her about the service. She got real mad about me going. I asked if she wanted to go with me. She wasn't interested in attending, but she did NOT want me to go either! I asked why it bother her that I went to the service. She refused to answer the question. Instead she kept talking about her feelings.
The funny thing is, the church I attended has a program at Christmas time to provide Christmas dinner for poor families. My wife mailed the church a donation for this purpose! Seems like she can't dislike the church too much if she is sending them money! Yet she got mad because I attended a service there! It seems completely illogical!!!
Another example: About a month ago, I called one of my childhood friends. I've known this woman for over 40 years! There has NEVER been kind of romance between us. She is not a blood relative, but she is practically a family member. Back when we lived in the same area, she would frequently join my family for holiday meals, etc. When we were teenagers, I spent a great deal of time at her home. Her Mother was like a second Mother to me!! I secretly wanted her parents to adopt me!! (Today she lives a considerable distance away, so we very rarely visit in person.) Over the years, I've typically called her 3 or 4 times per year and we send e-mails probably once a month on average. The wife has access to our e-mails! There are NOT any secrets. The wife has known this woman for almost as long as she has known me. The last few times I've called her, the wife has complained about that!
To answer Mirrorchid's questions: My wife does NOT allow me to socialize with her friends. Before we married, she include me. After the wedding, she has excluded me, completely!
More recently, my wife has been avoiding her own family. I really like several of her relatives. She has told me that she doesn't want me to see her relatives either. (Except for her immediate family)
She doesn't like any of my male friends. She hasn't taken the time to get to know them, but there is always something wrong with them! If she knows I'm planning on visiting them, she will frequently create some "reason" that I have to change my plans.
Back when the wife began this campaign to socially isolate me, I had made a few female friends in this area. When the wife was around them, she started treating them badly. Being snarky, rude, disrespectful, etc. She was doing whatever she could to make them uncomfortable. After their visit, she would tear into me about how my behavior was inappropriate, etc. (It wasn't inappropriate!!!) She made it miserable for me and the female friends.
Over the last 5 years or so, the wife has been socially withdrawing from everyone to a significant degree. Then Covid-19 happened and she has become a hermit. Unfortunately, she expects me to be more of a hermit than herself!!
Back to Mirrorchid's last question, I'm not certain how far I should take this. That is the very question I'm struggling with, and could use some advice on!! Part of me wants to just have some "underground" friendships. In other words, simply not tell the wife about the friends or activities I do with them. My wife doesn't monitor my time very closely, so that is an option. Part of me feels guilty about this idea. I dislike keeping secrets from her. Is this the best option though? Are there any other options for having friends I'm not considering?
How can I look up my old posts that Baza mentioned?
Tamara, Thanks for the thoughts. I will look up the website you mentioned later. Out of time at the moment!
Last Edit: Feb 1, 2022 13:46:34 GMT -5 by theexplorer: Grammar, wasted words, etc.
... Part of me wants to just have some "underground" friendships. In other words, simply not tell the wife about the friends or activities I do with them.
Nope, nope, nope. Having secret friends will just hyper-feed her psychosis when she finds out. And sooner or later she will find out unless you are some kind of super double agent type. Stay above board. Which means she will get snarky about them but that is her flaw not yours. For you I would suggest a simple mantra to practice so that you can use it without overthinking. Each morning look into the mirror, imagine your wife forbidding you to talk to your friends, and then say in a normal tone "Fuck Off". Sure this may cause her to explode, she might even storm out of the house but so what. Once you seize command of your life then you win.
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Post by greatcoastal on Feb 1, 2022 22:09:35 GMT -5
Some people are like that " if they ain't happy, ain't nobody gonna be happy."
They have a twisted sense of satisfaction by isolating others. It helps suppress their fears of people seeing them for who they really are.
Not a very good 'partner' to have in any circumstances. It's not you it's her. It's not how you handle your friendships, it's not that you can't be trusted to remain platonic with the opposite sex,it's your partner who has slowly brainwashed you (manipulated you) into second guessing right from wrong. Perhaps this has been going on for a while without you realizing it? You have become more codependent than you realize as mirrororchid@ suggested?
You, Brother theexplorer , are entitled to associate with whoever you like. So is your missus.
Who she associates with (or doesn't associate with) is none of your business, and likewise who you associate with (or don't associate with) is none of her business.
You have no right of veto over who she associates with.
In this case/situation I agree 100%!
You did bring a thought to my mind and I'd like to discuss it, and then let this thread continue.
My now ex girlfriend ( Rafaela) had a new customer (Rafaela cleans houses) that is a bad influence all around. How do I know this? Rafaela would come home telling me stories about all the chaos at the house while she was there. Making sure the homeowner paid her first before walking down the street to the local bar and drink herself into debt, on top of all her smoking. Then complain to Rafaela about her stomach pains but can't afford a doctor. The 500lb man who's her roomate, who can barely move, the piles of trash and laundry all over the house, all the dogs and cats in the house that no one cleans up after, and a neighbor bringing over kittens and her taking them! The kids not doing their schoolwork and mom allowing it... the list goes on.
Well ,this woman would drive ( possibly driving drunk) Rafaela home sometimes and was very bold and forward about trying to invite herself over to spend time with us.
This was when I veto over who she associates with. Telling her " you deserve a much better friend than that. Not someone who's going to use you, take you for your money, and manipulate you. You need a mentor a friend who you can see by their life and actions knows how to have a happy, full, meaningful life, she aint it! Side note: I wonder if this woman poisoned her mind to ending her relationship with me ? I may never know.
When you're dealing with an adult who needs some "parental guidance?" there are those times when it's okay to step in before it's to late. Do you agree?
...I recently decided to go to church. That was quite out of character since I had not stepped in a church door for years! Later that day when the wife returned home, I told her about the service. She got real mad about me going. I asked if she wanted to go with me. She wasn't interested in attending, but she did NOT want me to go either! I asked why it bother her that I went to the service. She refused to answer the question. Instead she kept talking about her feelings.
The funny thing is, the church I attended has a program at Christmas time to provide Christmas dinner for poor families. My wife mailed the church a donation for this purpose! Seems like she can't dislike the church too much if she is sending them money! Yet she got mad because I attended a service there! It seems completely illogical!!! ... Part of me wants to just have some "underground" friendships. In other words, simply not tell the wife about the friends or activities I do with them. My wife doesn't monitor my time very closely, so that is an option. Part of me feels guilty about this idea. I dislike keeping secrets from her. Is this the best option though? Are there any other options for having friends I'm not considering? How can I look up my old posts that Baza mentioned?
My suspicion about the church thing? She feels as though going to church is a good thing that reflects well on those that do it. Your going without her displays you before the public as a man of character and by comparison casts suspicion upon hers. Especially if she doesn't go with you. But she doesn't like church, so you put her in a bind. She can acknowledge the good the church does with that check, or she does it to feel good about herself? Everyone else pretty much said what I would have about seeing who you like without permission. Over at Dads Starting Over, he suggested phrasing things as: "I'm going to see _____ on Thursday, wanna come?" She can come or not, but you're going. The part about seeing the friend isn't a request or a debate. Your wife's asociality is nothing you should participate in. Breaking free of it, might inspire her to do likewise? Win-win One can look up old posts by another user by clicking the link to their name to get to their profile. The "Activity" tab includes old posts. You can also use the "Search" tab and look for posts or threads created by specific users, if "Activity" is too much to sift through.
Post by northstarmom on Feb 2, 2022 22:26:28 GMT -5
theexplorer: Your wife is emotionally abusing you by isolating you from your friends. If you acquiesce and stop seeing friends and family, your wife's behavior will get worse and you will have no support at all. How exactly does your wife keep you from seeing your friends? Does she call you names? Physically hurt you? Threaten to hurt herself? Crying? What is making it so difficult for you to have whatever friends you want? What keeps you from just saying, "Fuck off." and then going off to do what you want with your friends?
Post by theexplorer on Feb 4, 2022 16:39:46 GMT -5
Northstarmom, You are 100% correct that I have very little social support left.
My wife loves to run her mouth fussing and complaining for days I see a friend. If it's a female friend, she will accuse me of being romantically or sexually involved with the friend. She has made it far easier to just go along with what she wants rather than deal with results of NOT doing what she wants!
My wife is a controlling person. She has made the statement a few times that "marriage is all about dominance and subservience." No, she ain't going to even consider being subservient. (Not that I would want her to be!!) She has only said that a few times, but her actions tell a similar story far more frequently. (For whatever it's worth, the relationship that is all about dominance and subservience is the master / slave relationship.)
My wife has way to much power in our marriage. For example, she controls most of the money. So I have typically tried to appease her rather than fight her. I'm really not sure how to reach a more equal balance of power though. I'm NOT the kind of guy who interested in having power over other people. I'm a live and let live type.
Jim44444, You brought up the point that concerned me about having secret friends. I'm a lousy liar, so it's likely any friends would be discovered sooner or later.
Post by northstarmom on Feb 4, 2022 20:04:04 GMT -5
theexplorer -- what happens if you don't engage when your wife tries to stop you from having friends? Can you walk away? Leave your house? You have choices. What do you get out of constantly bending to your wife's will?