Ana Morante, LMFT
What should you do if your spouse becomes controlling? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that, most likely, when the person becomes controlling, it is because there is a fear inside of them. There’s something that they are afraid of or that they don’t feel very secure about. So that is one of the first things that you need to talk about.
Let’s say that your spouse doesn’t want you to go out with your friends. What’s going on? What is it that they think is going to happen if you go out with your friends? First of all, sit down and listen to what your spouse has to say. Pay attention to what your husband or wife has to say. They probably have pretty good reasons to feel insecure. When you hear where they’re coming from, the next thing is for you to be able to tell them and reassure them where you are and what are your thoughts are. Tell them what it is that you need as well.
It’s important that you set your boundaries, because, if you allow them to control your behavior, the two of you are going to enter into a type of relationship that, in the long run, is not going to work out very well. The person that is controlled is going to feel almost imprisoned. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to rebel and escape from that box.
Listen to the person who’s having the issue, see where the issue’s coming from, and understand what it is that they need in order to feel reassured. Then see for yourself, what it is that you’re willing to do and what you think is going to be okay with you. At that point, you may have to say, “Well, I understand where you’re coming from, but this is what I need for myself. It’s very important to me to have my time with my friends.”
Once again, communication is the key, and letting each other know where you stand and finding a common ground where the two of you can feel secure and feel okay, knowing that the best deal for both of you is a situation where both of you feel respected, feel acknowledged, and feel that you’re having a win-win situation, is what’s best for the strengthening of your relationship.
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