Anyone who’s been in a serious relationship understands the need for trust and the subtle balance between give and take. Sometimes, however, control issues crop up. A person feels insecure, threatened, jealous, and possessive, and all of a sudden, control issues surface. The person feeling all those negative emotions suffers as much, or more, than the person whom they challenge, or try to control.
Even people who aren’t usually controlling can struggle with a feeling of loss of control. This loss of control can be triggered by an internal emotional state or an external event that makes them feel the need to exert an unnatural power or control over their loved one.
One of the most unattractive emotions a person can feel is jealousy. I say unattractive because of the types of behaviors that emerge out of jealousy, as well as the nasty attitudes and words that can surface. When a spouse gets jealous, he or she may say things they’ll later regret. The green-eyed monster can really be viscous and actually cause a person’s perceptions to be marred.
When a person feels jealous, all forms of control and power plays are exerted. From making statements like, “I don’t want you to ever talk to that guy again,” to “If you love me, you won’t go out with those friends of yours anymore!”
The worst thing you can do is to put your spouse in a position of choosing between you and someone or something else. Even if they choose you, they will resent you for exerting control over them.
Possessiveness is a sign of emotional immaturity. It can stem from childhood issues as well as past issues in bad relationships. The best way to deal with any control issues that surface in your life is to follow these five steps:
1. Practice a little detachment
2. Communicate the facts
3. Ask yourself how you would want to be treated if in your spouse’s shoes?
4. Ask your spouse how he or she might feel if in your shoes
5. Tenderly and kindly ask your spouse to help you feel better about yourself though you know it’s not their problem.
It’s important to note that though number five is on the list, the responsibility for your emotions are your own. Still, if your spouse knows you’re feeling low or having self-doubts and self-esteem issues, they may be more sensitive to your needs during this time