This is a very important and critical topic. It seems to be a topic that many avoid. So does having control mean to you? How do you attempt to control what your partner says or does? Lao Tzu states that, “He who controls others may be powerful but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” When you look at your relationship with your partner, can you see where you may be trying to control? Let’s take a look at this example:
A couple comes in for relationship coaching. Let’s call them Joe and Trish. Trish sets the appointment and comes with Joe. Greetings are made and Trish tells me about herself. I ask Joe to tell me about himself. Trish proceeds to tell me about Joe. Joe sits quietly. Trish then tells me that they are there because they want to have more fun in their relationship. She then goes on to explain to me that their children are grown and life with each other is boring. Joe still doesn’t speak. I go on to ask Joe again about how he sees their relationship at this time. Again, Trish speaks for Joe.
Now I look at Joe and ask him to tell me the story of how the two of them met. Trish begins to talk. I stop her. Again I ask Joe how the two of them met. He begins to talk and tell the story of how they met. While listening intently there is a sudden loud interruption from Trish to correct Joe.
There are so many occasions when this kind of situation happens. Trish wants to be right and she wants to be heard. Joe is at a place where it is just easier to let Trish speak then engaging with her. Are you and your partner at this place? That is control.
Intimacy is not possible with control. Controlling another person is all about your ego. Needing to be right is also about your ego. This kind of control of another person builds resentments and tears down the foundation of love in a relationship. Learning the skill of listening to your partner and valuing what they have to say to you is vital to having a great relationship.
At times people make statements like:
Well if I don’t say anything she will just keep doing the same thing. She needs to know.
He won’t do anything that I need him to do if I don’t tell him all the time.
If I don’t give her the right information then she won’t know.
He needs to learn what makes me mad or hurts my feelings.
Or how about these classics:
Well if you don’t know why I am angry then I am not going to tell you?
What do you think you did to make me angry?
If you wouldn’t say such stupid things then you wouldn’t make me angry.
Why do you always try to tell me what to do?
I can never do or say anything right for you!
All of these types of statements and questions are about you controlling your partner. Freedom from control takes work. Freedom from control takes love, compassion and understanding.You can learn how to practice protecting your love for one another. That kind of freedom brings vulnerability and a lifetime of trust! Just ask me how!
The Relationship Reigniter
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