The 4 Signs of A Controlling Spouse
Marriage – in fact, any love relationship – is a two-way street. Partners need to be equal if it’s to work; one partner can’t be under the control of the other.
If there are control issues, though, a marriage is probably in big trouble. “In marriage, our goal is to kindle, not douse, love. Trying to control your spouse is an immediate love-killer,” says Karen Budzinski, author of the newly released How to Build An Enduring Marriage, a guide on Building Better Relationships.
“Your daily actions in marriage are bringing you closer to total extinguishment or total acceptance and love. Every moment, you choose which way you will act and respond. Budzinski points out that beginning to realize a control problem, and changing that pattern, will give a substantial boost to your relationship. “When you take control out of a relationship,” she says, “good things follow.”
Here, Budzinski outlines some signs that a spouse is controlling. Take a look and see if he (or you!) fit the bill.
MAKING PLANS AND COMMITMENTS FOR A SPOUSE WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING WITH HIM OR HER.
Budzinski says that pattern indicates that a person is “used to having things go the way the way you plan or the way you want them to more often than not.” Instead, she says, spouses should be courteous to their other half and ask them beforehand whether they want to participate in the plan.
PICKING, PICKING, PICKING.
Whether it’s incorrect grammar, “bad” table manners or “quirks,” just stop pointing it out. “Instead, work on a good level of tolerance,” Budzinski says. “Love is not easily provoked. The problem is with acceptance and patience.”
SPEAKING TO A SPOUSE IN A DISRESPECTFUL, ANGRY OR OTHERWISE INAPPROPRIATE TONE.
Remember the Golden Rule. Budzinski says the controlling spouse should “calm down and communicate with the same respect and honor with which you would like to be spoken to. Listen to your tone and tweak your style if you have adopted some bad habits.”
NEEDING TO BE IN CONTROL OF EVERY SITUATION.
If a spouse needs something done and regularly insists it be done in exactly the way he or she wants, without taking into account his or her partner’s needs and schedule, there’s a problem. Ditto, Budzinski says, “if you find that you are so limited in your choices that it cuts out any other opinion.” Instead of being angry that nothing is going “the way it’s supposed to,” a spouse needs to “step back and instead examine why you expect your spouse (and probably others) to adjust to your wants instead of accommodating their ideas. To reverse this tendency, practice going with the flow and letting others make choices when they are with you.
HAVING SUCH STRONG OPINIONS THAT THEY NEGATIVELY AFFECT OTHER RELATIONSHIPS.
“Although strong people are often respected, when the feelings and opinions of others’ are not considered, it gets old, “Budzinski says. She recommends that a controlling person “back off to allow others’ input.”