Hi Brokensmile322....I wish I could refer you to one concise location to learn how a person can use control and the motivations behind it. actually, wish this was a conversation couples on SI could share while BBQ in our back yard.
Control has been a common thread throughout my journey. $$$$$$ in IC with control as a focus, time in books and prayer, even retrouvaille weekend disected control.
Here is what I have gleaned from that work.
1. Parents can be PHYSICALLY present but still abandon you. Abandonement completely robs a child of a sense of order...replacing it with a chaotic, unsettling, out-of-control state. It stands a good chance of that child trying very hard to regain control of their lives...the role healthy parents fill and that a child simply cannot. So we cope. We do a good job and friends and family compliment us on how "resilient" we are....further confusing an already confused child. "If I am so resilient, how come I feel so.....naked, exposed, unsettled?" TRUST. Trust is tied to control. I enjoyed the compliments from others as I survived my childhood heart wound, but I didn't trust they were warranted. I went about trying to prove they were warranted, but by doing so I denied that I was hurt and in pain. FOO issues are born.
After my parents D I was physically taken care of but Dad was completely gone and Mom withdrew a lot...finally physically abandoning my youngest brother who was still in highschool when she went out of state to go to college. No discussion, just a reporting what she was doing. My wife is a COA...suspect she has abandonment issues too. pretty common. My older brother and I are tight...as are my wife and her sister. They helped us survive...but it was kids raising kids. We grew up fast and missed some steps along the way....emotional and spiritual steps.
2. Control takes many forms...and can be very subtle in nature. You don't have to look like the typical Passive Aggressive person nor the Tyrant to reach for and use control.
3. Control weaves into lots of life. I have read books on sexual sin, forgiveness, codependency, parenthood, business, and intimacy....all speak to control and repeat the same message over and over and over. "You can only control yourself. Try and control anyone else and you will achieve less." Trust is the counter to control. The more you trust, the greater the potential to achieve.
I have two main focus areas within me....both surrounding fear.
Fear of intimacy.
Fear of abandonment.
To keep this on point I will just discuss my sexual sin and how control was a factor.
As I explored my sexual sin I wondered why it is I never took advantage of my GF's in HS....one in particular was very cute and VERY willing to do it all. I wondered why I didn't use woman after woman. I wondered why I wasn't the wayward spouse in my M. Sex for sex is false intimacy. Affairs are false intimacy. Porn is false intimacy. Why did I not choose a real life partner to sexually sin with? Therapists have told me it is because my fear of abandonment was greater than my fear of intimacy....but both worked together to keep me from taking the physical step with a RL person.
For my twisted mind I could use porn openly with my wife and by myself and be fine with it. No intimacy with porn.....and I had total control over when it starts and stops. Click on, click off. Physical intimacy meant I would bond with a real person. A formal step to a deeper relationship. Which meant I would get hurt when they abandoned me. So I didn't do it.
A teenage boy ripped with hormones who used porn was so afraid of intimacy and abandonment that he did not get past the petting stage with his GF's. That is how strong these fears are within me. 2 therapists have worked with me and came to this same conclusion. I wanted full sex badly!!! but did not choose it. WHY?!?!
My last GF in HS told her friends that we did all this crazy sex stuff together after a formal dance. I was soooo embarrassed. It hurt. I broke up with her. And this was my pattern....have a GF up until the point where real physical sex was going to happen, then I would break up with them. It DID confuse me as my buddies were having no trouble...and I was. But I didn't look into it further....chalked it up to a high moral standard.
Yes....some moral compass was working in me too....but fear was the bigger player. Fear controlled me. It was from fear that I tried to control my environment.
I witnessed my parents marriage go from what I percieved as "normal" to "non-existent" over night. That f'ed with my safety, with my bearings of how relationships worked.
I thought if I could plan for everything I would never be abandoned.
I love my wife...knew it early on. We DID have sex before we wed. She was my first to orgasm with. Wife had some orgasms with other guys but not full intercourse. I was so sure she was the one I took that chance to be hurt. I was still unhealthy...but my soul desired to bond with her. I did the best I could, so did she. I chose some unhealthy choices....and it limited intimacy...but it was the deepest intimacy I knew to date and it felt good.
I wanted more...she did too. Neither of us knew how to do it. Both have intimacy issues/fears.
So I did what I thought I needed to do....plan, plan, plan. I thought if I just tried harder to make things smooth she would not leave me.
Here is how I used aggitation to control;
If my wife failed to come through on a promise I would get aggitated. My agitation would cause her to give in and comfort me. I would feel better....kinda. Grossly unhealthy. It was because it was laced with fear and resentment....both within my wife and myself. I would fear her motivations were not pure (trust issue), she would resent me for "making" her engage me. She would fear sharing her concerns with me, and I would resent her for holding back.
See how ineffective this pattern was to building a truly healthy, interconnected marriage? I do. I also plainly see my side of that pattern.
A horrible way to live....and one that resulted in me having terrible sleep patterns. Summer of her A I sought therapy for my anxiety. Didn't suspect my wife had abandoned me then...just knew my gut was torn up.
NOW......reality is setting in.
I realize my own weakness and am working on facing it and processing through it.
I realize my wife did abandon me and my 3rd DD confirms she is still willing to do this.
I realize I am going to be fine without her engagement in our M. Our M won't survive that, but I will.
I realize I don't need my Dad's approval or desire to be a part of my life (or his granddaughters).
I realize how my wife could chose as she does...because I chosse destructively too.
I realize I don't have to do as I always have.
The motivation for this post was to display in a small way that I AM choosing differently. Even as small as it is....it tastes great!
Its like I have a choice between eating chips and dip till I am stuffed or an apple as "we" tend to a turkey in a smoker....ready to eat later that day.
I have faith that someday I will be in a healthy relationship, eating that smoked turkey, and holding hands with the one who helped me prepare it.
Right now...I am celebrating eating that apple!