Avoiding The Urge to Control Your Partner

Love_wheelHow can you avoid the urge to control your partner?  You love being with your partner and doing things with them, and when you are apart, it feels like everything might unravel.  Do you have difficulty trusting that your new love will sustain itself? Do you complain, accuse, and manipulate your partner into stopping doing the things they enjoyed before they met you? If so, you are ensuring that your relationship will unravel.

One of the quickest ways to kill romance is to try to control your partner’s decision-making. If you are both adults, you are both presumably capable of navigating life’s decisions independently. I see the destruction caused by over-controlling partners in my therapy practice every week. People leave relationships because they “feel smothered” or “lose themselves” or “don’t have time to be themselves” any more. If your partner has used any of these phrases with you, this is a warning siren. Pay attention, or risk losing everything.download

If you don’t trust your partner, ask yourself if this is a pattern for you. Do you tend to smother people? Self awareness is not always easy. You may want to ask for feedback from your friends. If this is truly your issue,  you need to check yourself when the urge to control is convincing you to nag, check up on, or simply demand your way. Manage your anxiety through healthy behaviors: exercise, hobbies, investing time in your friendships, etc.  If you still feel the urge to control your partner’s decision-making, you may benefit from seeking professional help. Even if your partner has given you reason to doubt their honesty, nagging and controlling will only bring an end to the relationship more quickly.  “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

anxiety-cycleYou can’t fix your anxiety about being separate from your partner by nagging or controlling them. Whatever the root cause of your anxiety is, you need to work on healing those issues. If you can’t do this on your own, seek professional help. Get healthy within yourself, so that you can offer your partner a healthy attitude. You can’t make anyone stay in a relationship by controlling them. Love is only love when there is freedom to choose.

“Darkness can not drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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