Dear Amy: I met my husband at my workplace.
After three years of dating, we recently got married. Now, our workplace has become really stressful.
I have wanted to quit my job and change jobs for the past year, but when I brought this up, my husband (who was still my boyfriend at the time) was against it. I thought he was probably just being possessive.
After we got married, he still went deathly cold on me if I so much as mentioned quitting. The situation has become so bizarre that he won’t even go to the office without me.
What is the psychology behind this behavior? — Newlywed
Dear Newlywed: When it comes to relationships, I seldom react with total certitude, because I acknowledge that most relationships are complex, layered, and — with effort — are often reparable.
However, I am alarmed by your situation. I believe that you should not only leave your job, but you should also leave this relationship — and take extreme care when you do so, because — based only on what you report — this is a risky and potentially dangerous situation for you.
The psychology behind your husband’s behavior is fairly transparent. Yes, he is being possessive. Now that you are married, he feels entitled to clamp down on his possessiveness, which has morphed into extreme control.
Given the dynamic in your marriage, you should take steps to avoid getting pregnant. Pregnancy and a child would likely delay or prevent your exit.
I hope you will take your situation extremely seriously and develop a safety plan for when you are ready to leave. Victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) are at an extremely heightened risk when leaving, and it is important to have a plan in place.
You could take the first steps by contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org or call (800) 799-7233). It is important to make sure you contact The Hotline safely — if you and your husband share a computer at home and if he can check your phone or computer searches at work, you could be at risk. Do your research and make the Hotline call from a friend’s computer or phone.
I genuinely hope I am overreacting to your situation. I also hope you will take this very seriously.
Dear Amy: My daughter, “Annie,” joined a local theater group five years ago. Her younger brother (there is a five-year age difference) is now old enough to join, and has asked to enroll.
She is livid. She says it is her “thing,” and that letting him be part of it will ruin it for her.
Should I deny her brother the opportunity to participate in this theater group, or let him join, at the risk of upsetting her? — Concerned Mother
Dear Concerned: As a sibling, I understand this dynamic. Each sibling quite naturally wants to have their own “thing.” Many siblings instinctively avoid one another’s specialties and special interests.
As a parent, however, I don’t think you should let your daughter push the family around. “Annie” does not get to own “theater” as an overall pursuit.
Dionysus, the Greek patron of the theater, would not be pleased.
You know the dynamic in your household, and if your son is interested in this mainly to bug his sister, then you should encourage him to pursue something else.
Otherwise, yes, I believe you should let your son join this theater group. Tell your daughter that — if he’s interested — he deserves to pursue this, and that you are going to let him give it a try.
Unlike in sports, where a five-year age difference would put the children on different teams, these two are likely to perform in productions together. I encourage families to get their kids involved in theater because the sense of community and togetherness in performing encourages pro-social behavior.
Once Annie adjusts to this, it could be a bonding experience for both.
I assume Annie will find a way to discourage her little brother from close contact during rehearsals, but you should caution your son to give his sister plenty of space. She is not going to want to hang out with him.
Dear Amy: I’m responding to “Grounded,” whose retired husband was spending their money traveling while she worked.
When someone asked me why I didn’t accompany my husband on his “vacations,” I simply told them that one of us had to be the responsible adult.
Pointed yes, but it answered the question without having to say much more. — Elsie
Dear Elsie: Yep, that covers it nicely.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.