Dear Dr. Archer,
I am married and have lived with my wife for the past 10 years. She is a dictator! I'm never allowed to exercise even ordinary rights, like having a little fun with my friends, and I'm not allowed to do anything without her.
She runs the show and decides everything. I have no power and no say, and cannot do anything on my own.
She's mean and demanding, too. Now I'm fading as the fun goes out of my life. Please give me some psychological advice.
How long has this been going on? A dictatorial relationship is no fun for anyone…..except the dictator. I'm not sure what you want -- do you want to remain married or are you interested in defecting?
First, you’ve got to man up, now! It takes two for a dictatorship to function. A dictator AND a willing subject -- you! You are allowing this to happen, Kuki. If you refuse to be bossed and bullied it will stop or you will leave. Period, end of story.
Time to be assertive. She's used to running the show, and she's not going to want to give up that power. She has been walking all over you for a long time and she isn't going to welcome the new you with open arms.
Let her know you love her but you're tired of watching the fun in life go down the drain without you. Everyone needs happiness and you are not happy.
Tell her, tell her right now, that starting now you will make your own decisions. If she absolutely refuses to go along with the new you, then tell her you will seek an attorney and start divorce proceedings.
That's the way it is, I'm afraid. You either live the way you are living -- miserable -- or you make the change or you divorce.
Do not blame your wife for all of this, Kuki. You allowed this to happen somewhere along the way, but now you need to fix it. When you can do things you enjoy separately from each other, it can actually strengthen your marriage. Now, go have that talk. Good luck!