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Reaching Out!

Sometimes it's not easy to reach out to someone for help. Yet the sooner you do the better you feel!

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Albert Einstein

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“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein
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Let's Talk

Dr. Darlene DeStefano, PhD


Did I Make a Mistake Marrying the Love of My Life?

Posted 9/18/2016

Dear Darlene,

We are in our early twenties and just recently married. My husband is from a culture where the men are very controlling with their women. When we were courting he was terrific and showed no signs of this part of his culture. Only three weeks after returning from our honeymoon we were sitting having dinner and he burst out screaming at me that I was to throw out all my

make-up and to lengthen the hem on all my skirts and dresses; and the items that were too low cut at the top to either fix them or throw them out. He said “You are my wife now and will act and dress appropriately.” When I started to respond he just glared at me daring me to open my mouth. He really scared me. I starting shaking. I have never seen him like that. He yelled again “You have until the end of the month to attend to this” and he walked out. I sat there still shaking and cried. His mother had given me a nasty look a few times as she ran her eyes up and down my clothing so I am pretty sure this is where it came from. My husband is very close to his mother. Now I am concerned about our future if she has that much control over him. I really love my husband and want to have children and grow old together, but this is not the guy I courted and married. What do I do?

Signed, Still Shaking



Dear Still Shaking,

You really have only one question to ask yourself. Do I want to be ‘controlled’ by my husband for the rest of my life? Obviously he courted and married you while you wore make-up and the clothes in your closet. Being his wife he should be proud of you and want to ‘show you off’. After all, he is the one you chose to marry. 


My advice is to stand your ground. Tell your husband you have no intention to change your clothing or to stop wearing make-up. Remind him that he married you knowing how you dress and attend to your image. There is no need to yell, scream or swear. Be loving, yet firm.


If you do as he orders you to do, then you have essentially told him he can control you in all things. Big mistake, and you will surely regret it the rest of your life.


If you want to have children with him and grow old together, it needs to be a happy union, one of give and take, one of respect, trust and love. And most importantly you need to come first in his life. Men from cultures where they put their mother ahead of their wives, find it very hard to change, but if they love you enough they will. 


Reassure him of your love yet let him know you need to be able to choose what you feel is right for you of which clothing and make-up need to be your choices.


Be strong and set the tone for the future now.


Live Well,

Darlene DeStefano, PhD, CPC, MMsc