Control Issues

Old 11-11-2008, 12:25 PM
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Control Issues

I found this in my archives and thought it might be good to share. I believe it came from something of Dr. Phil's...

Dealing With Control Issues

Is control a problem in your relationship?

• Start taking responsibility for your actions. It's time to examine how your behavior might enable your controlling partner.

• Negotiate boundaries with your spouse — not when you're arguing, but during "peace time." Agree to have a consequence if these boundaries are crossed. For example, if your controlling partner starts to dominate a discussion, call a time-out. Revisit the conversation only when you're ready.

• If you're being pushed to your limit every day and you think about giving up, you will someday cave in. Giving up cheats you and your partner if you haven't both made a concerted effort to improve your relationship.

• Ask yourself, "What is it costing me to be in this relationship?" If the answer is your dreams, identity, or dignity, the cost is too high.

• Controlling people often participate in emotional extortion: "Agree with me, or else...." For the good of your relationship, sometimes it's best to agree to disagree.

• Look at all of your options. You don't have to engage in explosive arguments when dealing with a controlling partner. Refuse to participate when your partner is trying to control you.

• Suffering in silence isn't love. By not dealing with a controlling partner's behavior, you're only enabling it to continue, and are therefore cheating the relationship.


I struggle with control. No, actually, I struggle with controlling people. I lived in that environment for a long time, and my radar is pretty finely tuned. I know people who are blatantly controlling. They're easy to spot. I also have some of the more passive/aggressive controllers around me. Those are the ones who don't come right out and tell me what they want or need, but rather try to lead me down a particular path, punishing me in some way if I make a "wrong turn".

My angel sponsor told me this: if I ask someone to do something, I should ask him/her one time, maybe 2 if I think s/he didn't hear me... and then I should let go of the outcome. IF I ask again, then I am trying to control or manipulate the outcome.

What do you think?
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:28 PM
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I would click on that "Thanks" button 10 times if I could for this one!

I think the statement from your sponsor sounds good - but, as with many things in life - nothing is truly black & white. Outside of a zebra...piano keys...or a referee's shirt maybe...

Our talking & listening skills with other people is always challenging - even for those people who claim they have no problems communicating with one another; I would bet that someone (like a Dr Phil maybe) could find many instances where one person was "asking" the other person for something - but the other person "didn't hear them".

My point is - I don't think asking someone for something 1, 2, 3 times or more necessarily makes you controlling or manipulative. There are probably some circumstances where one person is not being heard by the other. Or the person being asked to do something doesn't want to - and hasn't communicated it.

If we could only hone our talking & listening skills - with ourselves & others - life - including our relationships, and those lives that are immersed in drugs or alcohol - could be so much better, in my opinion.

The last part - "Suffering in silence isn't love. By not dealing with a controlling partner's behavior, you're only enabling it to continue, and are therefore cheating the relationship" - is a good statement. I don't deal with what could be considered a controlling person - and suffer in silence - because I fear the potential outcome could be negative or push that person away. Darned if I do, darned if I don't, or at least, so it seems to me, right now. I'm working on that.

Very good points in that post though...thank you!
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:11 PM
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Controlling people often participate in emotional extortion: "Agree with me, or else...."
Oh boy, so many times I have agreed to something just to keep the peace...that was the old me. Today I refuse to be manipulated by this kind of behavour. Today I would choose "else" and let them live with their own behaviour.

Good oldie you dug out here, Cats, I need these reminders often.

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