Archive for May 6th, 2007

May 6, 2007

Wife is controlling….. she shoplifts…. what am I doing wrong?

by Rod Smith

Reader writes: “I have been married for 7 years to a woman who is becoming more controlling, unhappy, demanding, disrespectful, and depressed. She fights over anything and has developed a shoplifting problem called ‘depression based shoplifting.’ We have gone to psychologists and therapists but nothing works. What am I doing or not doing right? We can be happy one day and then out of the blue all chaos breaks loose. Our five year old tends to prefer me to her and that gets her even more aggressive.”

Rod responds: Assuming your wife has already had a full medical checkup and is in regular dialogue with her physician, I would suggest you find a respected practitioner of “family of origin” therapy. Your brief description suggests your wife might be “out of sorts” (inappropriately disconnected or connected) with the most powerful people in her life – her family of origin.

Do not falsely assume blame for her illegal activity. This is her issue to solve. It is not the result of your behavior.

While it is sad your child prefers you to her, it does appear that your parenting is less confusing for your child.

Be firm. Love. Stay out of control. Resist the pressure to join her in her toxic cycle no matter what their cause.