The issue of controlling in a marriage or long-term relationship is a touchy one for some. There may be issue of denial that this is happening, or that it’s done “only some of the time”. This may be something close friends and family members are constantly mentioning to you, and bugging you to address and fix – or prodding you to leave the relationship due to this happening to you. What do you do if your spouse is too controlling?
First is to take some time and truly assess the facts of the matter. Ask yourself the really hard questions. If you’re not sure of the questions to ask, this is when the feedback from those friends and family members who have been pestering you for so long come in handy: Ask them what they have observed, and find the questions in those replies for yourself.
Are your personal freedoms limited? Do you have to ask for permission for things that most people do without checking in with their spouse? Has your spouse provided you with a list of your friends that you are allowed to interact with, or a list of your friends he mandates that you avoid? Do you find yourself walking on eggshells when he’s in the house in fear that you may be caught doing something wrong according to him, and feel like you can finally breathe better when he leaves?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but you are being controlled.
Once you’ve accepted this fact, it’s time to put a plan of action into place to get out of this situation. Yes, separation or divorce may be a solution, but that’s not always the first step to take. Only in very extreme conditions, such as there being physical abuse involved, should you jump directly to that. Try listing out your concerns and presenting them to your spouse on a day where things are calm around the house. Let your voice be heard. Along with that list, have a resolution on each point ready to present that solves the problem for you. For example, if you have to ask permission from him to cook a certain type of meal that you really enjoy, suggest that this be a once-a-month regular that you have the ability to do without having to come to him first.
Yes, this is sort of a baby step, but doing this shows you how willing he is to work with you, not against you. If you get shut down completely after expressing your concerns and how you want things to change, more tough questions are needed to be asked of yourself.
If he’s so resistant to letting you be you, is this something that you can live with or is it slowly killing you inside? Don’t settle and don’t lie to yourself with the answer to this question! While you have a life with your husband, your personal being is equally important. Provide space for your own personal growth and happiness.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Friends and family may gripe and complain to you about your personal limitations due to your spouse’s tight reigns, but you have to ask the hard questions and make the even harder choices. You know what you need to do, but it’s your choice as to whether you do them or not.
Have you been faced with this situation in the past? Or are you facing it today? Share your experiences and story with me below in the comments.
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