One simply stated, “Freedom could only be realized by completely leaving the relationship geographically and emotionally.”

Toward the end of the survey, we asked the following question:

What advice do you offer people who are controlled or dominated by their spouses?

A woman gave her counsel from a spiritual perspective, “A God centered relationship is the most important thing a couple can have. You have to be able to love yourself so you can love your spouse the way that God intended you to do.  Let your spouse be your best friend and really listen to what is in their heart.  Love, cherish, and respect your spouse.  If you do everything possible to be the best you can be in that relationship, then your spouse will most likely do the same.  If you are in a relationship where your spouse is controlling, manipulative, or dominating I think the most important thing to do is to stand up for yourself too and not allow them to mistreat you.  Accept love and compassion, not control”

Another woman shared a similar view, “Get help. Go to a good, Christian counselor who specializes in domestic abuse so they can help you see what is happening. In my case, I had no idea I was being abused. Read the Bible and soak in God's Word. Especially meditate on the verses where God promises his love and care, how special and unique you are to Him. Remember, Psalms 139:14

A woman wrote, “If you wish to stay with them, offer unconditional love and acceptance. Listen to them to find out where the behavior is coming from. See a therapist for training on becoming more assertive etc. Don't allow them to pull you into their anger.”

Another said, “I had training on becoming more assertive. I explained that his anger was the problem and introduced effective communication into our conversations. Also explained how it was making me feel. I don't allow him to pull me into his anger anymore.”

A woman, somewhat angry about the way she had been treated, responded, “If a man tried to assault you, you'd fight him. If a man is trying to assault you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, don't lie down and take it. Fight him and don't let him near you again.”

One respondent summed it well, “There is life after control. You can stand up to it. Leave if you must.”

If You Feel Abused…

If you feel safe, suggest marriage counseling or other therapy if needed. If you wish a faster route to changing your spouse’s behavior, consider a “marriage intensive” such as our three-day workshop for marriages facing difficulties.

If you feel that you may be dominated or controlled but are not sure, take a free assessment. Reach it by clicking this link.

We would love to help your marriage, whether there is criticism, control, infidelity, or any other problem, please call us toll free at 866-903-0990, or email us at

Publication date: February 15, 2013