McENTIRE says first husband was domineering

Monday, June 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Reba McEntire says her biggest challenge has been confronting the domineering men in her life.

McEntire, 43, said in Sunday's Parade magazine that her father was a strict disciplinarian and her first husband, Charles Battles, dominated her.

``I married a rodeo cowboy very much like daddy. I don't know why I stayed with him. Charlie tried to control me. With Charlie it was, `Do what I say you need to do,''' McEntire, a native Oklahoman, said.

Battles told McEntire she'd have to quit singing if she wanted children because he had no intention of changing diapers. In 1986, after she was voted Entertainer of the Year, Battles told her she'd ``pretty much peaked'' and wouldn't be able to do much more.

After that, McEntire said she decided to leave her childless marriage and start a new life in Nashville. She married musician Narvel Blackstock in 1989 and the two have a son, 11-year-old Shelby.

``Some men try to brainwash their women into thinking that no other man would ever want them,'' McEntire said. ``Men treat women that way out of insecurity, so they'll stay with them. It's getting into those relationships that makes your life such a living hell.''