The Relationship Code: Women who control their men

Once upon a time after a training session someone in the class decided that we should all go out for dinner. All the single guys who weren’t otherwise engaged said “yes” and all the married men said “no”. It struck up an interesting discussion about married life verses the single life. Most of the single guys didn’t have anything good to say about being married and for the record the married guys didn’t have anything good to say about it either. After a lot of insults the married men were challenged “Are you a man or a mouse?” Two of them decided that they were men and came with us. The mice men went home in shame. One of the married men spend most of the evening on the phone pleading to the wife that he had just left. The other guy said “You know I’m going to pay for this when I get home don’t you” he went on to tell us about his situation. When the other guy eventually got off the phone he joined in the conversation. This is what they said.

Husband #1

“My wife doesn’t like it when I go out with my mates. In fact she doesn’t like it when I do anything other than what she wants me to do”.

She says “Why do you have to always go out with your friends”…”Your friends are a bad influence on you”…”You never have time for me” “Why don’t you want to be with me”

Husband #2

“In my case my wife criticises everything I do and everything I don’t do. According to her she is the only one that contributes to the family and I am worthless”.

She says “You never help out around the house…with the kids…”“You never listen to me…” “You’re useless” “You should have told me you were going to stay out late” “You’re always working”

My turn…

You say that both your wives are ‘control freaks. Both have different methods of controlling but the results are the same. They want to control what you do…where you go…who you talk to and how you feel. The ultimate goal is to control your emotions. If they feel stressed …frustrated …or disappointed with their lifes… they want you to feel the exact same. They achieve this by nagging, complaining, criticising whining, sulking, judging everything you do, in order to make you feel bad about your abilities. They may use manipulative behaviour such as withholding intimacy -sex basically – to manage you and make you feel bad about the relationship. They personally attack you or patronise you so that you feel bad as a person. They accuse you of stuff you haven’t done and have no intention of doing which makes you feel paranoid. So when you say to me “I am going to pay for this when I get home” Already your mind is in overdrive worrying what’s going to happen to you. What are your wives are saying is that they don’t trust what you do… where you go and who you are. That is not the basis for a strong and meaningful relationship.

Controlling behaviour stems from your wives insecurities and low self-esteem. People who suffer from low esteem feel bad about themselves and they want people around them to feel bad too. The reason why people feel the need to control is because they feel things are ‘out of control’. When people feel out of control they use controlling behaviour to get people to conform to their way of doing things. In this way they make their world predictable.

No one is born a ‘control freak’. According to Eric Berne, Psychologist and developer of the theory Transactional Analysis all controlling behaviour is learnt during childhood. It is learnt by observing first and then copying the behaviour of parents and people in authority…lock stock and barrel. If you need to understand your wives particular brand of controlling behaviour. You need look no further than the behaviour of her parents. Are her parent’s still together? If not, what were the circumstances of their separation? If they are together, how do they interact with each other?

My guess is that wife #1 comes from a broken home and that she feels that her husband is going to go out and never come back. Wife #2 on the other hand comes from a family where she had harsh parenting. They probably had high expectations and criticised her relentlessly. She’s only doing what she knows.

Wives lend me your ears…

Your controlling behaviour is unconscious. You act in that way, because you have swallowed whole your parents controlling behaviour on how to handle relationships and life. It is your default behaviour. What you need to realise is how damaging your behaviour is to your relationship. What you are doing is chopping your partner’s balls off. Slowly but surely. When you try to control your man, he acts in one of two ways:

‘Rebel man’ He reacts to you and you argue but underneath he is deeply disappointed by your behaviour. It isn’t what he sign up for your. Your attempts to control him will eventually put distance between the both of you and he may become defensive, secretive and uncommunicative.

‘Yes man’ He reacts to you by doing anything you say just for an easy life. You are turning him into a blob with no opinions of his own. This is not what you want because at the end of the day you will lose respect for him and he will lose respect for himself.

Dear wife #1

Men need to go out and it should be encouraged from time to time to do so. When they hang out with their mates, they get: a) A shot of male energy from the interactions…banter…humour. b) A male perspective on things. c) To let their hair down and not have to worry about being offensive or crude. d) To bond with others and maintain healthy relationships. Also your partner had a life before you and it is not fair to expect them to give it up. e) They learn from other male role models how to be partners, fathers and how to be men. Where else are they going to learn?

Dear wife #2.

Logically you can’t expect to criticise someone and then get the best out of them. What you want is an equal partnership were the two of you sit down and discuss things together. Your job is to develop a team. A team is strong because people have different skills and abilities and they learn to pool their resources. You need to learn to accept differences. Praise your man. Big him up. Even though he may make you roll your eyes to heaven from time to time… he brings a lot to the table and eventually …they it’s all for you!

I’ve got way more to say on relationships
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