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What counts as "control"?

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catlover50 posted 8/5/2013 13:12 PM

This is not even about the A. My fWH has had fear of control issues since day 1. I addressed it with him over the years, but he could not see what I considered normal married couple interactions as nonthreatening. I now understand that this stems from his CSA, we have addressed it in MC and he is improving, but it still comes up.

I am determined to no longer "settle" for the way things used to be, and my H agrees. So, now when he fails to follow up on something he has agreed to do, I give it some time, but then ask. He still gets annoyed. Last night I asked him if he was worried about being controlled, and he said not as much, but followed up with, "well, are you trying to control me?".

Well, I guess, yes, in a way. But isn't it normal to expect to have certain expectations met? If I failed to do the laundry, which is my chore, and he asked me about it, is that controlling?

For years he would go off on call all hours and I never asked a question. Perfect cover for the LTA. He would spend hours playing X box in the basement and grumble if I asked to spend more time with him. Sex was always on his schedule. And yet he still carried a seed of resentment towards me for asking him to do anything, or pointing out when he failed to do something. I became very undemanding. He even thought it was none of my business that he went on antidepressants--he didn't even tell me he was depressed.

He is very much better now, tries so hard to please me, loves to spend time with me, etc. But still this issue.

I call it "accepting my influence", which experts say is healthy for relationships, and he does not hesitate to tell me how he thinks things should be done. But still the knee-jerk reaction from him.

Any advice? Thanks.

ladies_first posted 8/5/2013 14:19 PM

I call it "accepting my influence",

I doubt your talking about a parent-child dynamic, which is certainly controlling.

The premise that I found eye-opening was that (generalization coming) men need respect the way women need love. Disrespectful actions were often seen as controlling.

If you can overlook the strong religious overtones, the book "Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs" by Emerson Eggerichs gave us a great place to start a neutral conversation about needs.

I wouldn't buy the book, but I bought the premise 100%.

[This message edited by ladies_first at 2:20 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 8/5/2013 14:29 PM

Once an expectation is agreed upon by both parties it is no longer an expectation, it is a promise. What you are dealing with is broken promises not your expectations.

PolyGal posted 8/5/2013 15:12 PM

I think for some people, "being controlled" is equivalent to "being asked to deal with anything they don't feel like dealing with."

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