Is Your Partner a Control Freak?

Published: 02nd February 2008
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In a balanced marriage, the man is traditionally supposed to go out to work every day. He is supposed to earn enough money to provide for all the needs of the family. The father is also expected to give overall guidance to the children in life matters and maintain discipline.

The woman on the other hand is traditionally home-oriented. She is supposed to stay at home and take care of the kitchen and laundry. She is the fulcrum around which life of the kids revolves. The mother is affectionate and full of tenderness for the children.

In an ideal family, both the partners fulfil all their duties and obligations to the best of their ability and with utmost sincerity. Such marriages where the man and wife complement each other are destined to be a long-term success. In these, the partners sustain and support each other emotionally and the kids grow up to be productive members of the society.

However, not every marriage turns out to be like that. In quite a few of them, there is an element of emotional abuse involved. One of the major inflictors of such abuse is domineering partners who want to control in detail every aspect of their spouse's life. They are like a tiny dictator whose kingdom lies within the four walls of the house, with the family members as subjects.

Control freak partners make the relationship so difficult that their spouses find it almost impossible to continue. Many choose to suffer silently and submit quietly to their authority to save the family at any cost from turmoil and disintegration.

Controlling partners can exert their authority over the family in various ways and bring down family members to their knees. One of the most common ways is to have an absolute stranglehold over financial resources. The controlling partners monopolise all the income of family. By denying money to others or asking explanations before every single expenditure, they manage to control every activity of family members since it is almost impossible in today's world to do anything without cash.

Often, the control freaks resort to plain bullying and intimidation to control other's people lives. Some exert control over their spouse and children by stripping them of all dignity and self-respect. They cannot even bear the thought that their family members may have their own tastes or point of view that is different than their own. This to them is a sure sign of rebellion against their authority.

Control freak partners often have the following behaviour:

1. There is no aspect of your life that they will not try to control

2. There is no decision or plan of yours that they will not try to overrule or modify

3. They cannot tolerate you going out on your own or with your friends. They hate you for leaving them behind when you go on an outing.

4. They will often order what you should do in a given situation and brook no delay or tolerance

5. They are jealous of your need for privacy and cannot tolerate any area of your life in which they feel left out or uninvolved, such as your relationship with your friends

6. They always pretend as if they know what is best for you regardless of your own views

Control freak partners have a devastating effect on the psyche of the family members. The latter live in a state of insecurity and depression and lose their self-confidence and assertiveness. The children particularly are badly hurt emotionally and grow up learning to suppress all their feelings and aspirations. They learn to follow orders blindly and not use their own brains in taking life's decisions. The family members who live their day-to-day lives under the thumb of a control freak partner soon lose their self-esteem and develop a deep inferiority complex.

Control freaks do not make any compromises regardless of how much you complain to them about their behaviour. Quite a few of them are also suffering from some psychological disorder. Everything they do is designed to fulfil their own needs while ignoring your personal views and aspirations. This is a very serious and suffocating situation that calls for drastic surgery. You should either tell the control freak partner either to take psychiatric help or see a counsellor, or you should give an ultimatum that unless his or her behaviour changes, the marriage is hurtling straight toward divorce.

The alternative is to spend your entire life in misery and see your and your kids' personalities get twisted and deformed over the years due to the suffocating atmosphere in the family. Divorce in such situations can do wonders to your mental health. Most victims of control freak partners make rapid emotional recovery once they put some physical distance between them and their spouse.

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorce see

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