Who Wears the Pants in Your Relationship? Marriage Problems -5 Signs of Controlling Behaviour
We all know the saying ‘Who wears the pants in your relationship’ but have you ever taken a step back and really thought about it? Who wears the pants in your relationship? Do you both wear them, or does one of you predominantly wear the pants and control the relationship? Either way, a healthy relationship is one that is balanced, where both partners can be themselves and just as importantly, feel good about themselves. Of all the different marriage problems signs, control issues are very common.
When it comes to major decisions in your relationship, who wears the pants? Perhaps it’s both of you, but if it’s predominantly one of you who controls most of what you do together and how you live you could be headed for troubled waters. If one of you feels inferior in any shape or form, regardless of the other person’s good intentions it’s time to address the issue of control. Being in a relationship is about working together and being partners not controlling each other. At no point should one of you feel inferior to the other. It’s a recipe for marital disaster. If your relationship is struggling because of control related issues the first thing to be aware of is that the person who is controlling in the relationship, is more often than not doing it with good intentions; aka they really believe that they can help. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Overt or covert control in a close relationship destroys intimacy and connection. If one of you is forced into pleasing the other and doing everything “their way” resistance and resentment often builds. Where there is resistance there is distance! Nobody wants to be controlled, manipulated or made to feel like they are inferior, this is especially true in long-term committed relationships. As we all want to be seen, heard and loved by our partner, not bossed about. When it comes to marriage problems signs control is often being threatened or forced at some level.
Naturally, we all want life to go our way! Therefore most of us can be a “little bit” TOO controlling at times. But if this has become your natural state of being, before long you could destroy the love, happiness and connection between you. No one wants to be married to a “nag” or feel restricted.
Below are 5 of the most common MARRIAGE PROBLEM SIGNS of controlling behaviour in a relationship. As we can only ever change ourselves in a relationship the questions are LOVINGLY directed at you as opposed to focusing on your partner.
MARRIAGE PROBLEM SIGNS – THE 5 SIGNS OF CONTROLLING BEHAVIOUR –
- YOU DON’T TRUST YOUR PARTNER TO ‘DO THINGS RIGHT’: It’s time to make the school lunches for your kids and you always do it every night, only tonight you need them to do it. Do you trust your partner will do a good job? Can you let them do it and not interfere? Is there a chance you will check up on it or remake it, so it is one exactly the way you like it? Another example that comes up often in my 1-to-1 sessions is the way someone packs the dishwasher, prepares the meat, or washes the car. Has one or both of you become obsessed with the RIGHT Way and that right way is your way.
- YOU STOPPED ADMIRING AND ENCOURAGING YOUR PARTNER: We all need to be admired and supported by our partners. If you don’t have each other’s back, who will? Admiration is more important than love I truly believe.There will also be times in the course of your relationship when exciting opportunities knock at your front door and when this happens for them, do you give your partner your full support and encouragement? In a healthy relationship, both partners should encourage each other to be the best they can be, even if it means spending some time apart or having to give up something to make your other half happy? Are you genuinely supportive of your partner, the opportunities they get and the dreams they want to pursue?
- YOU KEEP TELLING YOUR PARTNER TO CHANGE: Have you become fixated on changing your partner by telling them how they can improve or what they need to do? If you are constantly trying to talk him/ her out of things or get him/ her to act or be a certain way – it’s a clear-cut sign that you are being controlling in the relationship. Even done with the best intention; trying to tell your partner what to do and how to live their life is manipulative and destructive to the relationship. Nobody has the right to tell us what we must do, wear, say, feel or not feel. We can motivate our partners to change through love, encouragement and following the right strategy – telling or yelling rarely works for lasting change.
- YOU QUIZ YOUR PARTNER INSTEAD OF OPEN & INVITE: Do you always ask your partner where he/she has been, what they’ve been up to throughout their full waking day, including who they’ve seen and what conversations they’ve had? Could it seem to verge on the obsessive side? Obviously taking an interest in their day and asking questions is perfectly normal but if it’s becoming too many and too often, it could be seen as a way you are trying to control your partner. Perceived control can do just as much damage to the relationship, so want to make sure we are avoiding it.
- YOU ACT OUT YOUR JEALOUSY: Everyone gets a bit jealous from time to time. It’s completely normal. Acting out jealousy in an aggressive or controlling way is not a way to get the reassurance you are underneath seeking. With jealousy, it’s important for the jealous and insecure partner to get support for this and learn the techniques to take control of their thoughts. We can never fully 100 % trust anyone risk-free and so trying to control them by constantly checking their phone or where they are is pointless. All we can do is trust ourselves that I will be okay if I trust and take this risk.
If you are in a relationship where you are either being controlled or you are aware that you are controlling your partner then the first thing to do is be honest. Be honest with yourself and with your partner. If you are the person who is controlling your partner, ask yourself why you think you are doing this? Don’t be too judgmental or hard on yourself but make sure to give it some thought as awareness is the first key to changing your relationship for the better. Too often partners are controlling but they simply don’t mean to be. It’s not always intentional. Perhaps it was how they were brought up, perhaps it was just something they learned in a previous relationship. The beauty with this scenario is that it can simply be un-learned. Many relationships can be transformed when the person who is controlling simply decides to let ‘it’ go. Start with trust. Trust your partner, believe the best in them and simply allow them to be who they are, after all, they are the person you chose to spend your life with. Only when you really trust them can you let go of control. Lastly, remember that we all make mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s whether or not we are committed to learning from our mistakes and fixing them that really counts. I firmly believe that close relationships are there for us to learn and grow.
From my heart to yours, Nicola
P.S If you are struggling in your relationship right now or things are going great but you would like to feel closer – download my free meditation forgive, be free & let go meditation here http://www.savemymarriageprogram.com/forgive/
Or check out my podcast show on Itunes by searching “Nicola Beer” or clicking on this link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-save-your-marriage-nicola-beer-i-relationship/id1159253732?mt=2
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