You may believe you're supposed to be the tough one in the relationship, right?
How on earth can you talk to your mates (or someone else about your situation) and work out if your wife has controlling behaviors or you are being "too sensitive"? No doubt you will have considered that you're at fault.
You may feel wrong and you're the one who is "losing it" and your partner isn't a controlling person, which leads you to feel guilty. Does this sound familiar?
Believe it or not, you are not alone, and more men consider their partner to be a control freak than you'd imagine! There is "no shame" in admitting you have a controlling wife, and there's no shame in asking for marriage advice and support!
Many controlling people don't know they are doing it, your wife included. Just know that when the dynamic within your relationship changes and your partner starts to criticizes every little thing you do, it's because they're losing control within themselves.
They are experiencing fear.
It may be fear of you leaving them and meeting a better person and they don't believe they're good enough for you. Maybe they're stressed and overwhelmed in life and the more they feel emotionally out of control, the more they have to control their external world to feel okay, which includes trying to control you. They fear losing control.
The irony is, people with a controlling personality have less control than anyone. They need things and people to be a certain way to feel safe and secure; a sense of control. However, life is unpredictable and their fear of change, or you leaving them, etc., causes them to have a greater need to control. The root of your controlling wife's behavior is her fear! When you understand this, you are more likely to respond to your partner with compassion rather than fear, distrust, or even anger.
Most people will automatically think of an abusive relationship when they hear of a "controlling partner."
Just because someone is controlling, it does not mean they're physically or verbally abusive.
Like everything, behavior is on a sliding scale and may be very subtle from little snide comments and innuendos, for instance, "I took the trash out because you forgot, again," to full-on (in your face) demands such as, "Where've you been? If you don't tell me I want a divorce!"
Where your relationship sits on the sliding continuum scale of a controlling partner is determined by you and the impact it has on your mental health, and emotional well-being.
“Controlling behaviors are actions in which an individual likes or "needs" to be in charge and manage the actions of another person or group...Although controlling behavior is not necessarily bad...it is often used in a negative manner. Controlling behaviors are typical in abusive relationships in which one individual likes to be entirely dominant to their partner and manage their actions and behaviors.”
The definition of emotional abuse is determined by the impact your wife's behavior has on you.
For instance, people will not consider a person who drinks five beers a night to have a drinking problem if it doesn't impact on those around them. However, if another person has five beers at the weekend and becomes angry and obnoxious to their partner or others, they will be considered as having a drinking problem because their drinking causes an issue to those around them.
How much of an impact does your wife's controlling behavior have on you?
The impact your wife's behavior has on you will determine if it is considered emotional abuse or not.
Over time, your partner's behavior may impact on your mental health and emotional wellbeing. It is important that you see the signs and take the first step towards developing trust within yourself and to make the right decisions, for you.
You may want to know more about setting boundaries and read a related post by clicking the button below.
I have identified five different patterns people use because of their need for control in relationships.
Many controlling relationships have different experiences but the reasons for control remain the same; control is a competition for power because of fear.
When your wife is in the Heroine power archetype, she will see herself as the "good" person in the relationship. She wants you to need her, which makes her feel superior and valued. She has an uncanny ability to do things without being asked, and as a result, you feel indebted and obligated to do things for her in return, even if you never asked for her help! Your wife can make you feel "guilty" for all the things she does for you.
When your wife is in the Needy Nag power archetype, she has a sense of anxiety and worries that you will leave her or that you do not love her anymore. Everywhere she looks, there is confirmation that you do not care about her. You can tell her that you love her until you're blue in the face, but she won't believe you. To gain a sense of power and control, she will pursue you, constantly questioning, judging, and criticizing. She will test you and push you to the limit to see whether or not you care for her.
When your wife is in the Boss power archetype, she "has" to be in control. She believes she is superior and more entitled to dominate and control you. She tends to adopt a domineering and authoritarian position when she competes for power with you. She gets your attention by using forceful, loud, controlling, and sometimes threatening outbursts. This is the most aggressive power pattern to control in a relationship.
When your wife is in the Damsel in Distress power archetype, she feels powerless, helpless, resentful, and unable to change her situation. She gains power and control by making you feel a sense of obligation to do things for her through pity. She avoids taking responsibility for doing things for herself and relies on you, her partner, to meet her needs. She fears not being good enough for you and believes you will criticize or ignore her when she does not meet your expectations. Your partner may use "sickness" or an "injury" to gain your sympathy to control you.
When your wife is in the Ice Queen power archetype, she gains a sense of power and control in the relationship by withdrawing and closing down. She believes she is calling the shots—when she will engage, or not engage with you, and how much information she will share. She values her freedom, and she fears she will lose her identity and you will consume and smother her, which is why she withdraws and become emotionally unavailable.
If you would like to discover different ways to connect with your partner that is less confrontational, consider relationship coaching. Why not click the "Let's Connect" button below to organize a free 30-45 minute consultation with me?
I look forward to connecting.
Until next time
Coach 2 Connect
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