Everyone Wins Mediation: Who Are You Trying to Control?
Relationships: Tips to Let Go of Control and Improve your Marriage
When life presents many challenges the desire to control can seem natural. There is the illusion that if we control events, ourselves, and others, we will be safe, successful, and secure. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The tighter we grip, hold on, and manipulate, the more out of control we become.
Especially in relationships, where people feel vulnerable, emotions are high and a great deal is at stake. The wish to control often arises at this point. At first, this may appear as possessiveness, wanting to know all about what a partner is doing, dictating what he/she can or cannot do. Possessiveness often intensifies. Power struggles erupt. There is the sense that the person belongs to you and you have the right to direct their choices and the way their life goes.
Unfortunately, this type of relationship is a lose-lose situation. Both the person dominating and the one being dominated lose freedom and well-being. Although the more dominant partner may say they are behaving this way out of love and for the good of their partner, the bottom line is that such behavior is usually based in fear and anger, manifesting as the desire to control. Love always honors and respects another. It gives a person space to be who they are, to make their own changes and discoveries. It does not seek to take over another’s life, but to enhance it.
However, some people very much enjoy being controlled. They feel that if their partners are possessiveness and controlling, it means they care. This is a dangerous belief. When one individual controls another, it is always to make themselves feel secure. And, control and domination can become an addiction. There is a rush that goes with control. It may make a person feel powerful, as though they are strong and on top of the world. Often, the one being controlled may also feel a rush of safety and security, feeling they belong to someone now. Sooner or later all of this has to collapse.
The need to control can be traced to not having a true sense of stability within. This happens when we do not live from our core. It is vitally necessary to contact and live from our true selves, the true source of security within.
Step 1: Who Are You Controlling?
A) Make a list of everyone you are controlling — or want to control.
B) Include yourself in this list. Write down the ways in which you control and dominate yourself.
Step 2: Work to Stop Controlling Others
A) Take one person on the list and try to let them be exactly as they are. How would you need to make changes if you were to accept them completely?
B) No matter how much you’ve tried to control them, have you succeeded? Write down what the result has been. How has it made you feel? What price have you paid for this?
C) Imagine that you simply allow them to be exactly as they are. How does this make you feel now? What happens to your relationship? What happens to your own energy and sense of well-being?
Step 3: Granting Freedom To Yourself As Well
A) Now do this exercise with yourself.
B) Allow yourself to be exactly as you are. Stop fighting, pushing, and punishing yourself for ways in which you function. Take the noose off your own neck.
C) How do you feel? What new ways of being may be open to you now? What has your endless desire to control yourself stopped from happening?