Is Your Partner Controlling?

Is Your Partner Controlling?  Do you ask yourself why you stay in a relationship where your partner is controlling?  Do you think you can change your partner’s behavior?  Have you tried to reason with him to no avail? Do you think that if you just do as she asks things will be more stable? Have you considered the problem is not him but you?

As a young and newly married woman, I was controlling in my relationship. Family members and some friends brought this to my attention.  I, of course, dismissed their feedback and minimized my behavior.

As a Marriage Counselor, I work with many couples who present with this exact situation.  A controlling husband or wife who can’t or won’t make the behavioral adjustments for family harmony.  You cannot evoke change in anyone but yourself. If you think or hope you can you may have some codependent traits that need to be identified and managed.  The recipient of bad behavior has a conscious or unconscious agenda that they possess some omnipotent power to influence their abusive husband/wife. I call this denial as some people for whatever reasons need or want to stay in abusive situations.

In working with couples who are distressed by controlling behavior, I give them tools to communicate in healthy ways. Of course, there is a choice to utilize these tools or not. An effective way to see if there is good prognosis for couples moving forward in more appropriate are as follows:

  1. Give the controlling partner the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments.
  2. Give the controlling partner a designated time frame to demonstrate either ability or incapability in making the adjustments.
  3. If change from the controlling partner is not happening determine whether there is a “can’t or won’t” factor.
  4. If there is a “can’t” factor the controlling partner needs to be assessed to see if there are any challenges in how he/she processes information. (code for any personality or mental disorder)
  5. If there is a “won’t” factor the partner tolerating the abuse needs to make a decision whether or not staying in the relationship is feasible.
  6. Counseling is encouraged throughout the process.

Before anyone can leave a long-term relationship they need information to make an informed decision.  People stay in challenging relationships for many reasons. Talking about some of those reason can help with the decision making process.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you continue to ask yourself “should I stay or should I go?”


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