Saturday 22 October 2016

Ask Rosanna: 'My husband treats me like a PA. How can I get him to respect me?'

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison

A husband who is treating his wife like a member of staff, problems with a close family and a girl who might be too innocent for secondary school

Q: My husband takes me completely for granted - and worse still he treats me like a PA.

I get quizzed on and found lacking when it comes to paying bills, sending thank you cards, purchasing presents for family and friends and many, many other things and I think I've had enough.

We row about this a lot but nothing ever changes, it seems like he is on a constant quest for dominance over me and no matter what I try to do to please him he treats me like a skivvy.

We have two children and I work part time but he thinks he is king of the castle - how can I shift the balance of power?

A: All relationships work best when there is no power struggle or dominance of one over the other, and while I'm sorry to hear that your husband tries to boss you around, it's important for you to achieve a better balance as a couple.

Jobs around the house should also be divided as equally as possible, depending on your schedules.

I suggest that you have a chat with your husband to explain how you feel, and how much you dislike him asserting his power over you.

Any positive steps that you take towards shifting the power balance need to come from within your relationship and your dynamic as a couple.

It's impossible to have a healthy relationship without honesty, and it's important for him to realise exactly how he's been making you feel.

The only way to change this situation is to raise his awareness and make him appreciate you far more than he does.


Q: I come from such a close family that we practically speak the same language - this is of course wonderful but it means that it's a close shop and most other people find it hard to slot in.

We probably judge them on some unconscious level and find them lacking but it plays havoc with my love life as my family give the potential suitors hell, and either I dump them or they just get so intimidated that they become mutes.

Do you think I need to put some space between my family and I? I ask because an old boyfriend brought all of the above to my attention when I bumped into him on a night out.

He had a few drinks on him which made him brace and he said that my family were like some sort of private members club that he was deemed not good enough to join

I love to hear that you come from a close family and that they mean so much to you.

A: My family is also extremely close, and I understand why your partners over the years have felt intimidated.

For the sake of your relationships in the future, I think it's important that you avoid subjecting a boyfriend to the judgement of your family.

It doesn't really benefit anyone, and brings negativity into all of your lives. My advice is to slowly introduce your next boyfriend into the family, but be there by his side to support him if necessary.

If you meet somebody that you really like and get on well with, you don't need your family's approval to move on with the relationship.

Have confidence in your own decisions and if needs be, warn your family to treat anyone new with kindness and respect and make sure they know from your tone that you are serious.


Q: My little girl starts first year this September and by today's standards she is very, very young for her age and so terribly innocent when it comes to fashion, beauty, sex and social media.

In fact I think that it is largely her lack of interest in social media and the world of technology that has helped maintain her innocence.

This wasn't by design, she simply prefers playing with dolls and other toys that have been around for generations.

Her little group of friends are the same and if they were all going to the same school I'd be less worried but all of us parents seem to have selected different secondary schools for different reasons.

Anyway, I've started having nightmares about her being bullied and I think I need to prepare her in some way for how bitchy girls can be post-primary - but by the same token I don't want to change her lovely, trusting nature or push my own worries on her.

Can you think of some things we can do together to get her ready for big school?

A: Starting as the youngest in a new school can be very intimidating and a whole different experience to being among the oldest in class at primary school.

But it's a learning experience and I feel that it's important for you to allow her to learn as she goes.

I would definitely encourage you to be available to give her advice and always support her when she needs it.

But after that there isn't an awful lot you can do to prepare her for secondary school, and she also needs to make her own mistakes and find her way.

If I were you, I would prepare her by telling her that it will be different to primary school and what she's used to, and that you're always there for her to talk to.

She will soon adapt to the different pace of secondary school life, and it's a transition that everyone has to make.

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