The Struggle for Power and Control in Relationships - Couples Insight
Managing control issues is one of the principal challenges of married life (and other Partners who enter marriage with a need to have their own way on most. Some problems in relationships can be tackled as a couple: Not spending There will be times when your opinion on an issue is so starkly. It's often tough to spot potential relationship problems when you're in So, if you notice something that seems a bit off — maybe your partner is controlling, . to downplay your financial issues in the first few months of dating.
It is often about control. Attempts to "be right", to win, to have the last say, to prove yourself, and to bring your partner down so that your self-esteem supposedly goes up And they are all a facet of control in one way or another.
It wants to win and make your partner the enemy. Control keeps you in a one-up position where connection, trust, and understanding cannot exist. Control is often a safety-net You believe it gives you power, when really, it leaves you powerless.
Rationally, we must understand that -- even in the most extreme of circumstances -- we can never control another person. It is just not possible.
The Struggle for Power and Control in Relationships
If you're in a relationship with a controller, it is important for you to know that their control issues are actually not about you. The person who asks the questions feels entitled to an explanation, and the person who is accused feels obligated to provide good-enough answers.
The set-up is similar to a court-of-law where one person is the prosecutor, and the other is on the witness stand. Over time these angry self-righteous demands for explanations can make the other person shut down and feel less and less comfortable expressing their opinions or voicing their own needs.
Who’s in control in your relationship?
The accused may increasingly become docile and go with the flow, but will lose a sense of investment in the relationship and will become increasingly distant or passionless in the relationship. One person for example found himself abdicating his own desires and values in order to not upset his wife. He gave up his own first choice for a job in order to move with his wife to a different geographical region and support her career.
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Increasingly he found himself living a life in which he had almost no personal stake. Ironically, his attempt to appease and avoid criticism from his wife led him to become more emotionally absent and disinvested, and this would get him in trouble with his wife who would complain that he was not taking enough initiative and not helping out enough at home. Exercising control through non-verbals: Much of the time partners exercise control over each other through non-verbals such as laughter, tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.
Withdrawing affection by giving someone the silent treatment is often used as an unconscious power-play to get the other person to apologize or suffer to the point of caving in or making the first move toward reconciliation.
Facial expressions are another important way partners can try to exercise control. Showing contempt when the other person is talking can be a way to exert dominance. Contemptuous scoffs, sighs, or grimaces puts the other person down and makes the other person feel small, unworthy of care, and without value. Exercising control through conditions: Sometimes control is not so subtle. It simply is what it is. A partner may be trying to deal with their own fears of abandonment by becoming very rigid about what they require of the other person in order for that person to prove their worth.
One person, for example, would ask her partner to prove her commitment by asking her to develop an interest in his hobbies, commit to going to the gym to lose weight, and dress up for him.
He would try to change his partner, and would see any sign of change as a proof of love. Contempt is so bad, renowned marriage researcher John Gottman has identified it as the single best predicator of divorce.Anger Management for Relationships
Your partner is needlessly argumentative. There will be times when your opinion on an issue is so starkly different from your spouse's, you're downright shocked.
How Control Is Killing Your Relationship
Let it be and agree to disagree. As a couple, you need to recognize that no one wins when one of you always has to be right, said relationship coach Lisa Schmidt. Being in a relationship with a serial cheater is nothing short of exhausting. The relationship can be repairedbut only if the unfaithful partner is honest about what happened and fully prepared to leave the affair behind.
They realize that enough is enough. Your partner is distant or secretive about where they go when you're not around. While time apart is essential in any relationship, what your partner does with their free time shouldn't be some great mystery.