Advice on feeling trapped


I just want some advice. I am getting frustrated with my wife because I feel she doesn’t allow me to do anything without getting her approval. She puts guilt on me if I want to go to just play a pickup football game with my friends for an hour or two, or just to do normal things. I’m always willing for her to go do her things she wants to (shopping and when she wants to visit her friends) and I feel we do quite a bit together. We are very involved with her family as to go to her brother’s bball games and she informed me all tournament games I must go to, no question.

She does work second shift, We do work opposite shifts so I do understand to a point, but she offers nothing to do when she wants to do something, which is hard for me because I am a busy body. I just get the feeling of her being CEO instead of Co-CEO. We’ve been married for a little under a year and I just pray it gets better!


I have been married along time.
Best advice I can give is this.

Talk with her, tell her how you feel. Dont ask for her permission, but find something you both can do.
Schedule something with your friends, invite her to come along, and dont back down. If she knows the guilt will work, then it will work ever time, until you stop it…
Sometimes you’ll need to take the lead and sometimes she will lead. But to take the lead, you must step up to the task…asking for the lead will never be granted…

and on a lighter note…"(step up son and show you have a pair):thumbsup:



It sounds to me like maybe you both are still living as single people. This is very common! You each have your own activities, maybe you only have “leftover” time and energy for each other. You each want to make your own decisions, maybe you want to change the other to fit how you think things should be. You’re living as married singles.

What is so important in a marriage is to place your unity above everything else. This is a decision that the two of you have to make, together, to place that first (it is a way of making God first in your lives, too - he united the two of you in marriage).

You are still getting used to the whole being-married thing. The two of you have to figure out ways to put your unity first in your life. Consider saying “no” to some of the outside activities (both of you) until you are on the same page with how you two want to live, how your new family (you, your wife, any children you may have) will work.

Set aside some regular time to talk to each other and really communicate. You can’t unite with someone without lots of communication! Each of you will have to let go of the independence you had as single people and learn to give yourselves to each other.

This may not be what you were expecting to hear, but I really hope it’s helpful! Good luck! God bless.

(By the way, this is straight out of the diocesan marriage preparation program that my husband and I help present.)


Was she controlling before you got married?




I find it odd that she would behave radically differently after the wedding than she did before. Have you two had any major problems crop up? Anything that might make her feel less secure? Because this is clingy insecurity raising its ugly head. She feels so afraid of losing you that she is hanging on tighter and tighter.

My DH and I also work opposing shifts, though I only work part-time. There is no reason that that has to mean feeling insecure and trying to deny your spouse personal time. But perhaps she just feels like she doesn’t see you enough. How often are you taking part of the time you could be spending with your wife to do other things? Once a week would be reasonable, IMO, but everyday is not.


Perhaps she is just upset because since you work opposite shifts, she thinks any free time ought to be spent with her. Just explain to her how you need other friends too, guy friends. Tell her how men need to do men things with other men from time to time.

That being said, are you making an effort to spend time with her or are you always wanting to run off and play football with your buddies and ignoring her?


You are the Head of the Household, she is NOT, period.

This information below will help guide you and your wife.

I have seen a lot of people change drastically after marriage as if one spouse believes they have an actual license over the other one. God gave everyone free will. She is NOT a co-CEO If she does not want to live and trust in you, then set her free before she really traps you by having children, that adds way more complexity to the equation of life.

Marriage is a man and women coming together to give of each other the way Christ gives to His Church and people. If she is not able to get her head around giving of herself, you will not be able to force her or change her. Let her go and find someone who will give of themselves.


Unbelievable and ignorant… I would never do that. I didn’t come here for a way out, I came for advice.


Whoa there. you are way overboard with your comments.

Tot he OP, Compromise, Compromise, Compromise. Both sides need to give an take. If ya’ll are having issues with this, I would recommend either seeing a counselor or attend one of the workshops on building your marriage. Your marriage needs to come before your pickup football games or her brothers playoff games.


You sound like a reasonable guy who is not asking too much. I encourage my husband to keep up his guy activities like you are describing. It’s good to get in the outdoors and healthy for men to do things together/

Maybe you need to talk this over more, and perhaps seek outside counsel? You are still in the formative first year of your marriage, better to nip this in the bud.


Going to figure you are Catholic if you are here…:smiley:

Read a book today, and I am going to suggest it to every married couple I know.

Fr. Dubay’s “Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer”. The advice for marriages in this little book is amazing!


You need to sit her down and talk with her. I would never be so disrepectful to my husband! And, he would never allow me to act like that!

This is not normal behavior and it’s not acceptable. John, I suggest you get some professional advice – counselor or priest-- as to how to approach her (b/c my approach of telling her to put a sock in it would likely not get the desired result).

Seriously, it’s not going to “get better” if you just wait it out, she’s going to keep right on running roughshod over you.

And, Guardian is right that you are the head of the household (although I disagree with his advice to kick her to the curb).

Really, something is wrong with your wife.


Whoa, whoa, whoa, TIME OUT! This is a Catholic forum, and we do NOT advocate divorce for such piddly matters that can be worked out, especially when there are married couples who have much more serious problems and they are working it out.

OP, I don’t know how often you want to “go out and play”, but if it is not burdensome, simply stand up for yourself and tell her “Honey, I let you go out with your friends - is it too much for me to have an hour or two a week for my hobby as well? It works both ways”.


See if she will read through the book, “His Needs, Her Needs” with you.

If she doesn’t know how to voice her desires to you kindly, and if you both don’t know how to sit down and come to an agreement, life will get pretty hectic.


Sorry about that. Good for you for standing your ground!

I understand. At one point I, too, felt like the employee. What I think happened is that our lives did separate. DW once told me that I was about 6th on her priority list. Well, at least I knew her top 5. Very dark days indeed.

I read up on some things (TOB, prep for marriage websites, etc) and she really was missing the mark. So was I from some important perspectives. I had to change and wait. And wait.

Well, we enrolled at Church in the “10 Great Dates” program (Arp and Arp). You can get the book on Amazon, but better to have a “guide” for it. It’s helped a great deal. I’d suggest it, or marriage encounter. Something to get you away from your usuall environment with a set of rules on how to behave for that narrow window of time. It was well worth it. We still have a ways to go, it won’t fix itself overnight. But it becomes obvious that both have to work at making a good marriage. They don’t “just happen.”

Peace to you!


johnnyjohnjohn, you still have not answered how often you are doing things without her. That would help give us a gauge as to whether your time away is reasonable or excessive.

And Gaurdian… yeah, approaching his wife with Bible in hand and beating her over the head with it would REALLY help solve this problem. :rolleyes: If my husband came to and said “I am the head of this household and YOU’RE NOT!” I probably wouldn’t speak to him for weeks. We have roles, but we also must respect each other’s human dignity. And how does an attitude like that go with the vow to cherish, anyway?!


I bowl one night of the week when she is at work. But that is my only time that I have committed to. The rest of the time is with her. Sure, I don’t always spend time with her as in holding hands, but I am around the house with her talking with her.

Aside from all of the wonderful Catholic resources to help marriage, the book I linked to above seems like it would be perfect for you. Hubby and I took it out from the library (along with several others) and this one appealed to me the *least, ***lol…

But hubby started reading it the other day and actually wanted to talk to me about it. He told me how it makes so much sense and is something that seems like it has the potential to be very helpful. All this from a guy who never says more than one word (or grunt) when approach the subject of improving our marriage (and if you read the book you’ll see why).

So, curiosity piqued, I picked it up. I am only half way through but it is really good:thumbsup: I’m surprised but pleasantly.

I would strongly encourage you to borrow a copy from the library or even purchase one. I think a lot of things in your marriage will make sense once you see the “fear/shame” dynamic present between most couples.

If you do check it out, please let me know what you think… I’d love to know if it helps you!!!:slight_smile:


To the OP:
Your desire to spend a night a week with your friends is entirely normal.
If I were you, I’d smother her with attention on the other six nights until she gets sick and tired of it. :smiley: Maybe that way she’ll be glad to get rid of you for an evening!

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