Who do you talk to when you can’t tell your family how your husband, boyfriend, or partner treats you? If you’re keeping secrets from your loved ones about your marriage or love relationship, who can you turn to for support?
Here’s what one of my readers said:
“I need advice [about how my husband treats me], I had to get it all out,” says EW on How to Leave Your Husband When You’re Trapped in a Bad Marriage. “In my family, nobody knows what’s going on. I have kept quiet all these years.”
Below is more of EW’s story, and a few tips on what to do when you can’t turn to your family or friends.
If you’re in a controlling relationship (which I think EW is), you may find Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men helpful.
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Who Do You Turn to When You Can’t Talk to Your Family?
“I’m a Christian and I believe in marriage,” says EW. “My husband is not an abusive man, but how much of this do I have to take?”
They’ve been married for four years, and EW pays the rent and car payments herself. Her husband doesn’t pay the bills he’s responsible for. Twice, their cars have been repossessed. Her children aren’t biologically his, and he yells at them and hurts their feelings.
Her husband has medical coverage at his job, but she lost her medical insurance when they married. “I’m $5,000 dollars in medical bills debt,” she says. “When a debt recovery assistant asked my husband to pay at least $150 a month, he refused.”
He doesn’t help around the house or in the yard, and makes her spend her money when they go out. “Every week I have to give him gas money to get to work,” she says. “He doesn’t have a drug problem – he’s just stingy and doesn’t want to waste his money. He’s always in a bad mood, and this week he asked if he could pawn my jewelry for more money.”
EW said he’s not an abusive man…but I think he is. Just because he doesn’t hit her doesn’t mean he’s not abusing her! And I think she knows this, deep down.
Figure out why you’re not talking to your family about your relationship
Perhaps EW hasn’t told her family how bad her marriage because she knows that they’ll be outraged, disappointed, or sorry for her. One of the first warning signs of an unhealthy relationship is the reluctance to tell other people – especially loved ones – what’s really going on. If you can’t be honest about what’s happening in your marriage with your loved ones, then there’s something not quite right about your husband, you, or the both of you together.
Realize the reasons you’re hiding
Telling other people what’s really going on requires you to take a cold, hard look at your marriage. And, telling people about how your husband treats you makes the problems more real and more important to deal with. After all, if you start sharing what’s really going on, your loved ones will want you to leave, right? To deal with your husband in some way, to find a solution to your unhappy life. So, it seems to be easier to avoid your marriage problems by not talking about it with the ones you love.
Find the courage to be vulnerable and honest
It takes a LOT of courage to be honest about how bad your relationship is – and I really respect EW for sharing about her marriage. It’s the first step towards healing and healthy emotional growth! And, trust me, the more you do it, the easier it gets to tell your friends and family how bad your relationship is.
When you can’t talk to your loved ones:
- Call a distress or help line – they’re for everyone, not just people in dire situations!
- Talk to a counselor or your spiritual leader.
- Look for a women’s support group in your area.
Remember that you’re not alone. How to Leave an Abusive Relationship is one of my most popular articles, because many women are struggling to cope with unhealthy relationships and men who treat them badly…and the only one who can help them is them.
If you’re wondering why you’re still with your partner, read Why Do Women Stay in Loveless Marriages? 5 Reasons.
And if you have any comments about not telling your loved ones what’s really going on in your relationship – or if you have words of advice for EW – please share below…