Free Marriage Advice
Your e-mail address
is never rented, traded or sold... period.
Is He Trying To
By Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.
"My husband is always telling me what to do. How can I
keep living with a person who tries to control everyone?"
Gail was so frustrated she was almost in tears.
How often do you fume about someone's attempts to control
you? In some relationships it happens way too often for
comfort-especially in "co-dependent relationships" where
both partners are in agreement that one partner's needs are
more important than the needs of the other.
If someone else seems to control your life now, try looking
at the bigger picture.
*Did someone else manage to control you before?
*Have you had at least one person like this in your life for
as long as you can remember?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, the real
issue is to discover how you are cooperating in maintaining
such an unproductive relationship-and to explore your
options for changing.
Changing may be a lot easier than you think if you take it
in baby steps.
WARNING: If you are in a relationship where you are being
physically or emotionally threatened, this will help you
change the way you think, but you must still take steps to
insure your own safety. If you are in danger, your safety
must be your first concern.
First practice changing the way you talk about your
complaints-especially the way you talk to yourself about
them. You must learn to stop seeing yourself as a victim.
Your goal here is to see yourself as a fully functional,
mature individual who is participating in the discomfort of
Since you are probably sure that the other person needs to
change first, this may be a difficult task. Stick with it.
You need to stop blaming anyone and change your attitude
Notice how you and the controlling person have played out
some agreements that you may have never recognized before.
These examples may help. You probably won't like the
restatement, but see if it rings true anyway.
*"My husband rules our house with an iron hand." This could
turn into "I have agreed to be ruled by my husband in our
marriage. I have done this by doing what he has told me to
do (probably) since the beginning of our relationship. I
have also taught our children to follow his instructions
directly or by setting an example for them."
*"He makes all the decisions. He tells me what I will do."
This could be:"I ask him for his guidance before I choose to
do anything. When I want to do something on my own, I ask
permission;then when he refuses, I do not do what I would
like to do."
*"How can I learn to live with a person like this?" could
become: "I choose to live with this man because he provides
things for me that I want and need, even though I sometimes
resent the cost. I am afraid to stand up for what I want
because I feel I'll risk losing the emotional and physical
security he has provided for me all these years. I am also
not sure I could make it on my own without him. I have very
little confidence in my own ability to take care of myself
and our children."
Each restatement is another building block to move to a
position of responsibility.
You may feel very strange and unfamiliar with this new
perspective, but the more often you focus on thinking this
way, the more quickly you will reclaim your own power.
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., Master Certified Coach, internationally
known therapist, consultant and author, has been helping
people create conscious, loving relationships for over 30
years. Learn more and claim your f*ree copy of 24 Tips for
Having a Great Relationship at
http://www.BeingHappyBook.com . Email