Thank you all for your frank and honest messages. It is a very difficult topic to talk about but it is great to realise that I am not alone in what I have experienced and how I feel.

I can totally identify with the ‘gilded cage’ comments above. To the outside world I have/had a perfect life. We lived in the countryside, had 3 cars, we had built a relatively successful business together, we had a nice standard of living. I stopped working after having our second child and that is when things really started picking up pace. Firstly he had me where he wanted me; at home all day tending to his needs. I never really got chance to spend any quality time with my daughter, as I’d planned, because he always put his needs before anyone elses. When I did return to work, partly because I could stand being at home any more, he made things very hard. He would get really angry if I worked outside my contracted hours or if I brought work home. The flip side to this was that when I was at home full time he made it very clear who was the bread winner. Everything suddenly became his. The car that has previously been ours suddenly became his and I should be grateful I was allowed to drive it. During arguments he would take the keys from me and ask me how I was going to get to such and such a place as it was his car.

One more thing I would like to ask about intimacy is this. My husband is very hands on. What I mean by this is that during the day he will not think twice about putting his hand up my top or down my trousers for a little fumble. He doesn’t seem to care if the children see. If I go to get changed he will follow me and either ogle me or have another grope. He will quite frequently ask whether we will be having sex later. It’s as if he is booking me in. If later I refuse, he calls me a tease because I hasd agreed earlier. I suppose in any other situation it would be classed a sexual harassment. Where does a normal behaviour in a marriage stop and sexual abuse/harassment start? xx

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