My Partner is Very Controlling – Marital Problems
Control issues can cause marital problems and land a couple in divorce court. The reason for this is that most people don’t want to be married to someone who tries to control their every move.
It’s also almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone who always has to have their way. Very little good can come from feeling like you have no control over your own life and are at the mercy of your spouse.
Identifying a Controlling Spouse
If your wife or husband does any of the following, it is likely that he or she has some control issues.
- Controls your finances and makes all the financial decisions to the point where you can’t spend any money without conferring with them
- Decides when, where and with whom you socialize
- Always has the last word about your kids
- Dismisses your complaints regarding their controlling behavior.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list because there are very many ways in which control issues can manifest themselves in marriage. While some people use anger and sarcasm to control their spouses, other’s act superior and criticize every move their spouse makes.
However, the bottom line is that anyone who tries to have power and control over every little thing that happens in their marriage is probably too controlling. And if controlling behavior isn’t dealt with in good time, it can turn into abuse and other more serious marital problems.
Dealing with a Controlling Spouse
The first thing to do when you are dealing with a controlling spouse is to stop enabling them. Don’t turn their control issues into some sort of tug of war or battle of wills, or resign yourself to suffering in silence. A controlling spouse will see the former as a challenge and want to “win” even more and the latter as a “win.” Either way, their behavior stays the same.
What you need to do is to calmly but assertively negotiate new boundaries with your spouse. Let them know why the current situation isn’t working for you and then work together to come up with a compromise that works for both of you. In addition, agree on some consequences for crossing your newly established boundaries. For instance, agree that you can call a timeout anytime your spouse tries to use anger to dominate and control a conversation. It’s important to follow through with the consequences every time your spouse crosses a boundary.
Being married to a controlling spouse is difficult but using the above tools, you can get out of the cycle of control and marital problems and get back to having a good marriage.