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My Controlling Wife

Neil wrote:

My wife and I have been married over 25 years, and our marriage is strong. The problem is that our friends are beginning to avoid us because my wife is so dominationg in a group setting - never stops talking, butts into conversations, wants to control the entire situation (e.g. making sure the waiter splits checks appropriately, telling everyone what the best item on the menu is, etc.) I have noticed this, and occasionally been a bit embarrased, but didn't realize until recently how it puts our friends off, when a couple of them approached me. We all care about my wife; she is kind and caring, but this trait is only getting worse. How can I, or we, approach this subject without devestating my wife or causing resentment toward our friends?

Dear Neil

As you already know, there's no easy answer, and the longer you put it off, the harder it will be. For both of you.

You need to talk to her, and talk straight. Be sure you do not 'drop friends in it' by giving actual situations - think ahead so that you can give her clear examples without blaming anyone but yourself.

Yes, you need to do that, to shield your mutual friends, or you'll lose them. So you have to carry the blame.

Also be sure to repeat endlessly that this is for her benefit, to save her from embarassment. You find it useful to rehearse statements like "I feel that people are upset" rather than ever saying "people are upset".

It will be unpleasant, and you'll have to pick up the pieces (and the blame) for a long time to come.

But you should have acted long before now, shouldn't you?

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