Saturday, 30 April 2016

How Control Issues Can Affect Your Marriage

Control issues in marriages could take different forms, but whatever the type, it can frustrate couples' ability to build intimacy and achieve important goals in their relationships. It is one spouse's wanting this to his or her way all the time in the relationship.

Controlling spouses take charge, needing always to be right in their relationships. On the other hand, their compliant partners feel inadequate and avoid sharing their ideas, dreams, and aspirations.
Are you a controlling spouse?

In the long run, control issues hinder couples from developing intimacy in the marriage and could lead to the break-down in marital relationships. Here are five problems control issues could cause in marriages.

Stifles Personal Growth
One of the most distressing aspects of marriages with control issues is the negative impact it could have on the personal growth of the compliant partner. In healthy marriage relationships, partners have the freedom to express their own thoughts and feelings, and make autonomous decisions.

In controlling marriages, however, compliant spouses are not given opportunities to develop their own identities and potentials. The result could be shame, guilt and a sense of inadequacy in these partners. Thus opportunities for personal growth are stifled and so they are unlikely to achieve true satisfaction as  individuals and within their marriages.

Reduces Intimacy

In healthy marriages, each person accepts his or her partner as a total person, and the differences of partners are embraced. These differences could even be seen as strengths adding balance for a fuller relationships. But spouses with control issues want their partners to meet their own expectations and do not accept their spouses’ uniqueness.

In such relationships, intimacy which is the glue in the relationship suffer, thus hindering couples’ ability to understand each other's deepest needs and feelings. Unless intimacy is recovered differences and conflict are likely to escalate because of frustrated feelings.

Unbalances Financial Decisions

Controlling spouses usually feel that they must have the final say regarding how the family finances are spent. Compliant spouses are hesitant to make decisions because of their desire to please their partners, or being fearful of their wives or husbands’ ridicule. This could lead to feelings of inadequacy with respect to dealing with financial matters.

Submissive spouses usually withdraw or become superficially compliant to the wishes of their partners. In the end, the families’ financial affairs do not benefit from the creative ideas and expertise of both spouses in these marriages.

Divides Parenting Strategies

Child rearing responsibilities should be shared by both parents in the household. But where there are control issues in marriage parenting could suffer. Spouses with control issues find it difficult to accept the opinions and ideas of their wives or husbands on important parenting issues. So the common parental position that is necessary to teach acceptable behaviors and empower children for adulthood could be undermined.

Limits Spousal Support

Controlling spouses are usually unwilling to support their partners when they make important decisions, necessary changes, or adjustments in life. Also, compliant spouses might feel free to have friends and interests beyond their marriage relationships. This lack of affirmation and support could result in low self-esteem and general lack of confidence in the compliant spouses.

In the video below, life coach, Jennifer Frederickson, gives insights on how to deal with control issues in marriage. This includes the need for the compliant spouse venting his or her emotions and simply asking for what he or she needs without anger or hostility. In relation to this, the person with control issues needs to recognize that the spouse's expressions of needs should not be seen as an attack or reject.

In healthy marriage relationships spouses are comfortable with each other's differences. They are able to compromise when there are differences which strengthens their relationships. But this is not so in controlling relationships and could lead to marital problems and ineffective parenting.

 Image courtesy of  photistock at

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