Faith Filled Family Magazine January 2017 - Page 74

that they need to work on . They will tell their partner that couples don ’ t have secrets- which couples shouldn ’ t- but their “ lack of secrets ” usually ends up invading privacy .
If your spouse is requesting access to your emails , all of your passwords , or texts , control probably exists . The spouse may say they fear that you are “ cheating ” without any proof . While secrets should not be kept , a certain amount of independence in a relationship and privacy is normal . You shouldn ’ t have to give up a certain amount of healthy independence to be in a relationship .
4 . They Say They Are Trying to Protect You . Controlling spouses often take over your “ mess ” saying that they are trying to protect you from a negative outcome . The result is that you are removed from making your own decisions or learning because another person is making all of your decisions for you . A healthy relationship is about helping another person by making suggestions , reading books , and pointing you in the right direction so that you are empowered and you grow . Control takes this away and makes you reliant on someone else for things you should learn yourself . It is another way the person gets you to rely solely on them .
5 . They Make You Question Your Perceptions . Many controlling people use a technique called “ gaslighting ” to keep their partner off balance . Gaslighting is used to make your partner question whether things really happened or not to the point where you don ’ t trust your own judgment .
The person may distort facts / events , or say that certain things never happened . You may know that an event happened , but they will tell you that it never occurred . They may additionally throw out one of your favorite possessions and deny doing it , or plant false ideas in your head about other people that are negative . Again , this is all done so that you are dependent on them in all things .
6 . They Become Angry When Confronted . When push comes to shove , anger emerges . If you question what this person is saying , they feel threatened in any way , or challenged , they will become very angry . What you are witnessing is a person losing control . A controlling person must remain in control at all times- and it ’ s usually an absolute control .
If you avoid doing things out of fear or to avoid an argument that you once found enjoyable , or cannot express your opinions , then there is usually a red flag .
IS THERE HOPE FOR THE MARRIAGE ?
There may be , or may not be . It depends on the individual . Most controlling people deny that they are this way since they firmly believe that they do things out of love- not control . No one wants to believe they are controlling , and it is difficult to get someone to accept in themselves .
Don ’ t believe that you will try to change them because you won ’ t . Only God can do that . You may end up enabling them or becoming discouraged . Pray over your spouse and ask that God open their eyes to the truth . If you choose to speak to them about this issue , do so out of love- not anger . Anger will spark into a fight every time , and that anger can escalate . Controlling people are usually happy when they are in control . Feeling a loss of control tends to spin them into panic mode as they feel they are being questioned .
If you are able to in your relationship ( assuming a lack of abuse ), set defined boundaries and adhere to them . Learn how to say no , and if necessary in the case of an argument , be prepared to walk away . You can use the phrase , “ I love you , but I think that we need to take a break and discuss this when you / we aren ’ t quite as angry . They we can resolve the issue rationally .”
Doing this removes the emotion out of the equation , and allows you to feel empowered . It established that a boundary has been crossed , and their behavior is unacceptable . It is hard to argue with someone who doesn ’ t want to argue back . If they leave , allow them to cool off . They will assuredly return in most cases .
Learn to trust in your judgment again . Ask someone that you trust for their opinion on a matter , but never dismiss valid concerns from your spouse as you will cut them off from ever communicating to you . You don ’ t want to cut off communication , just set appropriate respectful boundaries .