How to Handle a Possessive Husband

Updated November 21, 2016

Being married brings with it a series of challenges. One aspect of a relationship that can be cause for concern is that one spouse does not treat the other properly. This can range from being emotionally distant to being abusive. Possessive husbands can create havoc within the relationship when the wife is left to deal with fits of jealousy and distrust, many times for no apparent reason. Learning how to best handle such situations is the first step in getting your life back under control.

Handling a possessive husband is only possible and safe when his possessive attitude and demeanour are not physically threatening. Understand that possessive husbands may be an indicator of more abusive actions, so make sure that you are safe.

Understand that you did nothing wrong and that your husband's possessive attitude is about him, not you. Learn what triggers your husband's possessive streak and try to find ways to work around these incidents. For example, keep a list in a secret location where you have noted every event that resulted in your husband being possessive. Note exactly what happened leading up to the event and what his words and actions were in the aftermath.

Sit down and talk with your husband during a period when the two of you are not fighting and have been getting along. Ask your husband to explain his possessive attitude to you in simple terms. Question him why he feels the need to be possessive. Do not push the conversation far enough to produce a fight. Ask him if he is willing to go to counselling both with you and also alone.

Schedule therapist appointments. Make one appointment for couples and also schedule a separate, individual therapy session for each you as well. Talk openly and honestly to all counsellors and therapists. Know before starting down this path that your husband's possessive tendencies may not change and you should prepare for the possibility of separating or leaving him.

Leave the marriage and get away from your husband if and when his possessiveness begins to impact you physically and emotionally. Know that if you feel unsafe or insecure in your marriage due to your husband's behaviour toward you and others that it's OK to leave. Go to a friend, family member or police if you are in an unstable marriage that is dangerous. Flee to a women's shelter if you must.


Find someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, to talk to on a routine basis about your fears and concerns regarding your marriage.


Leave your house if you ever feel threatened. Call the police for help if you are scared and have no way out.

Things You'll Need

  • List of pros and cons of the marriage
  • List of specific incidents of your husband acting in a possessive manner
  • Pictures or proof of violent acts stemming from possessive disputes
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