Mark Goulston, M.D.
In this Twoology video, relationship expert, Mark Goulston, M.D., shares effective communication tips for you to use to help you deal with a controlling spouse. Controlling people usually cannot be dissuaded with words; their actions must be countered with actions. Be firm with your partner, and make them understand that if they behave in a controlling fashion towards you, then there will be consequences.
How can I deal with a controlling spouse? If you have a controlling spouse, what do you do? Here’s a simple formula that can be applied to most cases: Actions do not respond to words. Actions respond to counteractions. Being controlling is an action. You can try words. You can request that they not be so controlling, but, if that’s not working, what you have to do is come up with a counter action. Another word for that is consequence. The key is come up with a consequence that is not overkill, which you have to take back, or under kill, which is ineffective.
So, for instance, if you have a controlling spouse who demonstrates their being controlling raising their voice when you’re not doing what they want or tell you to do, what you want to do in a calm period of time is to say, “Going forward, if you raise your voice to me and try and control me, I’m not going to enter into a conversation with you. Additionally, I’m going to ask you to leave the house, take a drive, or maybe stay in a hotel. If that’s not going to work, I’m going to always have the bag packed, and I will leave. I’m not going to a divorce attorney, but I need you to understand that when you act that way, I won’t tolerate it.”
In summary: Stand strong against controlling behavior. Show your partner that you will not stand to be controlled. Controlling people usually cannot be dissuaded with words; their actions must be countered with actions. Be firm with your partner, and make them understand that if they behave in a controlling fashion towards you, then there will be consequences.
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