Dear Positive Way, I’m in a bad relationship and want to leave but we have twins. My fiancé is very controlling. She does not trust me at all. Mentally, she is very abusive to me. She checks my emails, phone calls, money etc. She is always trying to catch me at a lie. She believes I am a sneak, cheater and bad lover. She constantly complains about how unemotional I am. She believes that I am only in this for the kids and is never satisfied with how much validation I give her about us. We have alienated our friends and family with our bad fights. No matter what I do or say she never believes me. She over analyzes everything I say and is very sensitive. We’ve been seeing a counselor. I went to an appointment by myself once and the counselor asked how I put up with all of this. He and I have tried to help her but she believes that I am the problem and that if I would just act normally that we would be happy. What should I do? signed Need Help, age 36
Dear Need Help: The relationship you described is not healthy for any of the parties involved. It will not help the twins if you stay together under these circumstances. Children do not do well in a household were the parents are constantly fighting. Here are some things for you to consider:
1. A healthy and happy relationship has a solid foundation of trust and respect between the people involved. Without trust and respect the likelihood of this relationship getting better is very slim.
2. You are wasting your time trying to change your fiancé. None of us has the power or ability to change another person. You can only change yourself and work on your issues. It is your job to take care of you and your self-esteem and self-worth.
3. Find a counselor that can help you work on you and your issues. Since you have been mentally abused it is important that you seek out help for yourself and work on your self-esteem. Please read all of our articles on self-esteem and how to build it.
4. You are in a lose lose position with this woman. You apparently can’t do anything right in her eyes and she refuses to see her contribution to the problems in the relationship.
5. You can still be a good parent without being in this relationship. Concentrate on being the best father you can be and upholding your responsibilities in that area of life. You have children with this woman but that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice yourself and stay in a relationship that is not healthy overall.
6. Please read our article on setting boundaries and the article on the Five Myths of Love. Our website is full of valuable information that can help you move forward in a positive way. Take some time to read many of our articles pertaining to relationships. You will learn a lot along the way and you can then make better decisions for yourself and your family.
7. Read our article on Express and Own Your Feelings and then have a meeting with your fiancé and tell her how you feel and that you will not stay in an unhealthy relationship where there is no trust and constant fighting. Set your boundaries and then honor them. Tell her you will continue your counseling and suggest she get some counseling for herself. Live separately while you work on yourselves. You both need time away from each other to think clearly and reevaluate the relationship.
Don’t stay in an abusive relationship because of the children. Abusive relationships hurt children. Take care of yourself first and be the best father you can be without forcing a relationship that is not working well for both parties.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.