I often hear someone in a relationship say that their partner is too controlling. And when they say this, they are usually pretty irritated, because they don’t like it one bit. But what does “controlling” really mean? Do they not listen to you? Do they demand things go a certain way? Do they always want to know what you’re doing at all times?
I think there are many varying degrees of controlling behavior. I imagine that if I consider my own forceful behavior at times, even I could be considered controlling. I know when I get certain about something that I want my husband to do what I want him to do. When I don’t listen to him and just push my thoughts onto him, well I guess you could call that controlling.
Often when I meet a couple for the first time I hear one or both say something like, “If he or she would just do (something goes here) then everything would be great.” I think this is so common that most people don’t even realize they are living in a relationship of dissatisfaction. That’s just the way things are for them.
When we are wishing for something to be different, we are dissatisfied with the way things are. This dissatisfaction leads to discomfort and disappointment, and that is how I meet most couples I have a chance to work with.
A friend of mine suggested there is more to the fairness issue than just understanding you are always looking for something to be even. I thought about this for a moment and realized that I agree, there is more. Here is more.
When we are looking for something to be fair, or we are disappointed because things are not even, we come from a place where we have been hurt. Our hurt helps us see right and wrong in a very visceral way. It’s everywhere. It always exists. That’s how we evaluate whether we are treated properly, we ask the question, “Is it fair?”
There is something about fairness that we all consider in our lives. We decide if something is right or wrong. We often determine if we didn’t get enough of something and if someone got more, and then we say to ourselves, “that’s not fair”.
Humans like things to be even. And we really feel this equation when we are in a relationship with our person. You might ask yourself, am I doing more than my mate? Does my partner do more than I do? Do we have an equal arrangement? Am I the recipient of more than I give?