Ask the aunties - domestic violence scenarios

Dear Aunties,

My problem may not seem serious, but I cannot understand it myself.

My husband does not like me being too happy. I could seem a little too sure of myself because I like to be happy but nothing more. He says he likes hearing me singing around the house.

The problem is as soon as I am too relaxed and laughing he will find some way to put me down until sometimes I am in tears. When I cry he then tries to comfort me. Now I just try not to show my feelings – not too happy, not too sad. Any suggestions?


This would be described as controlling behaviour by your husband. Your feelings are yours and you have a right to be happy or sad and to express that freely.

If his attitude continues to worry you, we encourage you to contact a relationship counsellor or an online service staffed by professionals such as Beyond Blue. Free, confidential advice and information is given by experienced counsellors. If you don`t find this helpful please write again.

The Aunties

Dear Aunties

I have been in a new relationship for six months and at first, I felt very special to my boyfriend as he gave me so much attention and he seemed to be very caring and affectionate.

I gradually noticed that he started telling me he didn`t like what I was wearing-things like my dress is too revealing. He also criticises my friends and says I shouldn`t spend so much time with them. Lately he calls me several times a day and gets angry if I don`t answer my phone straight away.

I`m feeling uneasy. What do you think?


Your letter does raise concerns. A loving partner will accept you just the way you are; the way you dress, who you want to spend time with and the activities you enjoy. A respectful relationship is one where both of you enjoy time together and can enjoy time apart. There seems to be an element of possessiveness here which is really a form of control. We suggest communicating your concerns openly and honestly with your boyfriend. If this cannot resolve the issues to the satisfaction of both of you then it seems to us that the person you are with may not be the right person for you at this time.

The Aunties

During the month of January, the Manning River Times will present a series of letters under the title ‘Ask the aunties’, focusing on potential scenarios that could lead to domestic violence. 

Some signs of abuse can include: unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful; controls how she spends money; decides what she wears or eats; humiliates her in front of other people; monitors what she is doing, including reading her emails and text messages; discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family.

To seek help, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); Lifeline 13 11 14 or the police 000.