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Are my husband's conditions unfair?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (5 January 2018) 10 Answers - (Newest, 9 January 2018)
A female United States age 30-35, *akura291 writes:

My husband's conditions for our marriage were that I would never talk to men online ever (including my male cousins, childhood friends who were like my brothers and gay male friends), that I would cut off contact with all my male friends in real time, that I would give up "talking to weird people online", and that I would keep no secrets from him at all.

I messed up. It started innocently. I traded/bartered online with a friend I've known for 6 years from a message board (recently some of the group moved to FB). The friend in question happens to be male (and is queer and in a relationship himself). We traded two items. Other than that we don't talk. I left it on my messenger because I don't have anything to hide. My husband went through my phone because he was upset that I had been contacted by the newspaper for an interview and was saying that the columnist was a "predator" and accusing me of plotting to cheat with him as well.

Then he found it that I had traded items with my online friend and blew up. He says I'm a cheater -- although the conversations were never sexual in nature and were only us exchanging addresses and sending pics of the items we wanted to trade (tarot cards and an 1800's skeleton key).

Is this cheating? Is my husband being irrational? I know I shouldn't have been hiding that I was trading tarot cards but my husband has forbidden me to practice my personal spiritual practices and that's one ultimatum I just fail at.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (9 January 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntMy question would be why did you agree to these conditions? Personally if my husband presented me with those before we got married I would have kindly told him where to shove it. A marriage should be about trust. He cannot and should not control you. But you agreed to these terms and now it gives him more off a reason not to trust you because you did not stick to your guns.

You say it started off innocently yet you knew your husband would probably fly off the handle. Why agree to isolate yourself from friends just because they are male? That should never matter in a marriage. Your husband sounds very controlling. Off course a platonic conversation is not cheating. We are all allowed friends no matter if they are male or female it should not matter.

You mention he has forbidden you to practice your spirituality? He is your husband not your keeper. It sounds like you may be much more happier without this man in your life. He is controlling and abusive and I think you need to talk to family or friends who are close and tell them what has been happening.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

You need to go to a women's shelter and get a escape plan now.Really abusive men start out this way.And yes this super controlling and his non trust of you is abuse.I promise you if you stay it will get much much worse.Next he will hit you and say sorry and you will believe him...and it will happen again and again I promise.He is so textbook abuser it is not funny.Is this how you want to live?It never ever will get better I am so sorry but you must escape to a safe place like a shelter where you can be protected.If you do not maybe you should invest in pre paying your funeral.That is where you will end up if you stay I promise.This is not love it never ever has been.It is about his power and control over you.Very very sick man.Escape now before you are dead.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (6 January 2018):

What was it about this control freak that caused you to marry him? His demand was unreasonable and your agreeing to it was sad and to be honest kind of pathetic. But you did agree to it.

I assume at some point you realized how controlling his demand is so you decided to disregard your agreement. When you figured it out you should have gone back to him and told him you could no longer abide by the agreement.

Instead you chose to sneak around behind his back. What you did is in no way shape or form cheating. It was lying.

Yes your husband is irrational. But now that it is out in the open it is time for you to put on your big girl pants and tell him straight up that his demand is ridiculous and you are no longer going to live with it.

If he doesn’t like it too bad.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (6 January 2018):

N91 agony auntThis man sounds unbelievably controlling.

Is he your husband or your owner? Why on earth would you think someone laying down those kind of terms for marriage would be a good catch? That would be the perfect time to hit the road.

You're in an awful mess now to get out of this one. As the others said, it begs the question what you did before marriage for him to feel like he needs these rules in place. If you haven't done anything then I think you need to look at a way out of this marriage, a normal rational thinking person wouldn't feel the need to control someone like this.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (5 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with Denizen,

YOU agreed to these (honestly ridiculous) rules, so you SHOULD honor them. It doesn't matter that the guy is queer or not interested in you sexually. If you have AGREED to not talking to other men, then you don't. Simple as that.

And I also agree that there is a backstory to these "rules". Did you cheat on him? Or where did they come from and WHY on EARTH!!! did you agree to them?

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (5 January 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntI don't know why you married someone who would demand you alienate yourself from all men, even family members. You agreed to it by marrying him - a naive and, to be blunt, stupid decision. I'm assuming you felt conflicted at the time and felt you had to marry him?

Your husband spies on you. It's controlling and an invasion of privacy. Not only that, but you're married to a man who vehemently opposes your beliefs and keeps you on a prison lockdown.

I'm sorry, OP, but you need to put your foot down and/or leave him. He will continue to make you doubt yourself and shatter your self-esteem. Talking to a guy is not cheating, unless you're flirting or being inappropriate.

We should LOVE our spouse, not control and manipulate them. He's horrible to you.

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A female reader, like I see it United States +, writes (5 January 2018):

like I see it agony auntNO, platonic interaction with someone who lacks any sexual attraction to your entire gender isn't cheating.

In your shoes the "deal" I'd be rethinking is your marriage to someone this controlling. You're not allowed to practice your spiritual beliefs or keep in touch with your male family members? Your husband is so far out of line making these requests, he's in a different hemisphere. What does this guy add to your life, that you're willing to tiptoe around his unreasonable demands like this?

Further food for thought on your end is that the the type of people (male and female) who constantly accuse their partners of cheating are the ones most likely to be cheating themselves.

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A female reader, Miami2691 United Kingdom +, writes (5 January 2018):

I don’t know where to begin! You should never isolate yourself from friends or family at the request of someone who is meant to love you, your husband is being completely irrational with these demands. Why is he so paranoid that you’re going to do something to betray him? Has he done something he’s not proud of in the past and is now having a guilty conscience or is he really that insecure that he thinks no male (family, friend or gay) can be trusted with you.

If your husband has also forbidden you from practicing your spiritual beliefs, it sounds to me that he is unfortunately looking for someone to dominate and wear down to do his bidding - not a loving partner.

Hope things work out for you and you find someone who does not stop you from growing.

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom +, writes (5 January 2018):

Denizen agony auntYou made a deal and, for whatever reason, you should honour it. However I think that in the circumstances it would be fair to ask to renegotiate the terms.

His demands seem a bit harsh but I don't know how extreme your behaviour was before you married. It may be that the only way he could put up with you was if you dropped the weird stuff.

Can you tell us a bit more about it all?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2018):

Unless you cheated before the marriage started and these conditions were the basis of him learning to trust you again, then this is VERY SCARY and you need to run. soon... and fast... he sounds extremely controlling and abusive.

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