When there’s a control freak in your marriage
There are control freaks everywhere. You will find them in your family, in your neighbourhood, at the mall, in the bus, train, flight and even in your marriage. That is where it does the most damage. In marriages of the earlier generation it was the unwritten rule that the man has to be lord and master, though invariably some women would beat the system by having the upper hand in the bedroom. That would then invisibly hold the reins in every aspect of the marriage. In more recent marriages I see that men and women have an understanding that this will not be tolerated by either of the sexes and thus they seem to work on an even plane. The personality Type A seems to slip in to the controlling behaviour patterns more than the laid back chill type person. Lets take a look at the tell tale signs of the manipulative control freak.
1. The socially accepted control freak
My father had to just clear his throat or click his tongue in slight disapproval for all of us in the family to go on alert mode. This was because he was the head of the family and his approval was a must. He would just look at my mother and she would go into submissive mode. This was not too often because she adored him anyway and he was a gentle giant. But we as kids knew not to cross him. He never raised his voice, or voiced any complaint – we just knew what his command was through his body language.
2. The quiet steady hand on the whip
I have seen this in my sis-in-law and her husband’s peaceful relationship. All went well, until there was a large family gathering, and there was general excitement, laughter and merry making. The minute she saw the menfolk getting ready to go out, presumably to a pub, she would gently call out to her husband in a loving manner and no one ever saw him for the rest of the evening. She claimed that he was pretty useless in bed after he got drunk.
3. The financial controller
My husband was not a miser. In fact he would go berserk buying the best in the market. He never hesitated in paying massive bills for his friends’ booze in pubs and even loaned people money. However, his generosity did not extend to me. I used to walk around with zero money and once he refused Rs. 40 to buy me sanitary napkins. His logic was that I should have planned for it in advance.
4. The alarm clock
This husband will raise a hue and cry if you are late by a minute, to wake up or to go anywhere, or to get dinner served. It does not occur to him that he can extend a helping hand or share chores. These are extremely dominant people who will fly into a rage if things don’t go their way. They may also be very successful perfectionists. An extension to this is when they are also clean freaks and find dirt in places that you’d never dream of. A friend of mine used to call other people “dirt blind”.
5. The career wife
This is a mix of Type A, OCD and a perfectionist personality. You see these control freaks in most high-ranking MNC career wives. I knew of one who would rush to breast feed her 3 month old infant instead of taking an extended maternity leave, just so her career would not get adversely affected. I always wondered if her need for a child was also only an ambitious project that overtook basic maternal instincts.
6. The know-it-all husband
He takes great pleasure in putting his wife down, both in private and in front of his friends. It is a sad state when friends join him in this depraved behavior. If you are a wife who is silent in the face of this control freak, soon things will escalate into domestic violence, because this kind of manipulator needs to feed his insecurity with higher levels of atrocity. He starts of by being dominating but if he is not stopped starts believing his own lies and power and may not know how to stop.
If you see any of the above personality types in your partner then you must start talking to someone, a friend, a counsellor, or a parent. You may be walking into the gravest dangers of losing your freedom and independence and all expectations of enjoying a loving relationship. Control freaks are always suffering from a deep psychological damage or distrust, and need professional help.