This question is motivated by the paper Choosing Islam: a Study of Swedish Converts by Madeleine Sultan, 1999 (link), which contains a story of a convert woman who experienced a conflict with her husband: basically, he decreed that he was going to a wedding without her, and she was unhappy about it.
The wife was confused about whether this particular decision was (a) cultural, a form of oppression, and not really Islamic, or (b) within the scope of Islam and a perfectly legitimate course of action. The paper writes:
She is not, however, sure if her husband's action, his decision-making over her head, is compatible with Islam or if it is oppression of women.
In general, a husband could theoretically make demands of his wife to the point where it becomes oppressive. Clearly, this would not be a healthy relationship, and would be regarded as inappropriate for Muslims:
This is a command to husbands, fathers, brothers and others to treat women kindly and not to oppress them; to give them their rights and to guide them to do good. This is what is obligatory upon everyone, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Treat women kindly.” -- Islam Q&A
In the above example, the husband's decision seems unnecessary, which leads me to think it's more on the oppressive side. However, there may be more to the story.
Question: How does one distinguish between a husband exercising his role as the decision maker and a husband oppressing his wife?
(My experience thus far is that Muslim men treasure their wives, and highly value their opinions, so this is a hypothetical question for me.)