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How to cope when your partner is a control freak?

Do you love your partner but are at your wit’s end trying to cope with their controlling behaviour? This one might just be for you then.
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When your partner is a control freak

Controlling people are difficult to deal with in general but the problem becomes much more specific when your partner is a controlling one. How on earth do you cope with it when your lover tries to micromanage you? It can be exhausting and boundaries are often broken when your partner is a control-freak. When you love someone and don’t want to give up on a relationship because they are controlling, you also need to find ways in which you can make sure that the bitterness doesn’t become a third party in your relationship.

Tell them to stop

Most often control freaks don’t know that they’re controlling the other person until you point it out. They feel that their supervision and advice is needed and sometimes consider this behaviour an act of love and care. Pointing it out that their controlling behaviour is making you uncomfortable won’t change them overnight but it will force them to notice their behaviour.

Boundaries are difficult for control freaks to understand.

They want to help, care be there for you and don’t always come from a place where they’re only trying to get their way. While this behaviour can be suffocating for people unless underlined control-freaks will not realise that they are indeed overstepping their role. This doesn’t have to be a radical confrontation, neither a retort in the middle of a fight. Having a calm adult conversation with your partner is the best way to keep this behaviour in check.

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Related reading: Why lust is important to understand love

Don’t lose faith if they get defensive

Your control-freak partner has lived most of his/ her life in a certain way and you can’t expect them to change overnight. Expecting them to be able to take this as constructive criticism and not as an attack is also difficult. You are asking them to change and change is difficult for us humans. The natural response to being called out on being a control-freak is to get defensive and things can get really ugly if you end up having a fight over this.

You must not lose your patience and take the bait when they start getting defensive. You can have this conversation over time and point out things in a normal way instead of getting angry. Not fighting and taking your time with this conversation is crucial.

Related reading: Signs when a friendship becomes a ready ground for an affair

Set clear boundaries

This is a difficult yet necessary step that you must take if you find yourself in a relationship with a control-freak. Setting clear boundaries will also help you and your partner identify the controlling behaviour that you get so upset about.

It is difficult for someone to be controlling when you push back and tell them to stop crossing a certain line. Again this doesn’t need to come down to a fight but can act as a preventive measure. For example, if your partner insists on making comments about your work and gives unwanted advice you can set up a boundary there. You don’t talk about work unless you want each other’s advice. Things like this will help you get a definite picture of each other’s behaviour.

Empathise with them

I know this is going to sound unpleasant, especially when your partner’s behaviour is infuriating you and making you feel suffocated but you’ll have an easier time dealing with it if you try to empathise with them. Most control freaks operate out of fear. They are afraid of being abandoned, being mistreated and being wrong. Imagine going through this kind of fear all the time. While this certainly doesn’t justify them imposing their control on others it is often a coping mechanism. This may not stop their behaviour but may provide you with insight into why exactly they do what they do.

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People who are in relationships with control freaks often get exasperated because they don’t know how and why their partners keep controlling them and everything else. Trying to find out about their childhood, possible issues that could have contributed to their insecurities can be helpful in trying to empathise with them. Knowledge is power and knowing your partner’s insecurities can help you tackle this problem from a place of love and not frustration. Loving someone is easy when you understand them and while controlling behaviour cannot be condoned, trying to change it by having fights and angry confrontations seldom works.

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