Posts tagged ‘control’

July 20, 2015

He watches like a hawk…..

by Rod Smith

“My husband insists on access to my phone, Facebook, emails, and watches my spending like a hawk. I understand some of this. His last wife was apparently unfaithful. His suspicious ways are driving me crazy and driving us apart even though I have NOTHING TO HIDE. How do I get him to trust me more and to give me a little freedom?”

You cannot get him to trust you more. That’s his load, his burden. He has to face his problem and his challenge.

His “suspicious ways” are his issue. The harder you try to appease him the more he will make you work to prove you are trustworthy.

People do not desire privacy because they have something to hide. People desire privacy because it is a deep, profound human need.

Love and control – these are desperate attempts to control you – cannot live side-by-side in the same relationship.

Submitting to his immature acts of control will be helpful to neither of you.

If possible, meet with his previous wife. I am sure you will discover that his controlling ways played a part in the demise of his past marriage.

Stay out of control – change your passwords, and refuse.

Love loves freedom and you will never know it while you attempt to appease a controlling man.

June 24, 2012

Before you say “I do”……

by Rod Smith

Planning a wedding? Resist engaging a wedding planner until you take a look at these pointers to see if you think it’s worth proceeding….

  1. Examine finances. If money is an issue with one, but not for the other, turbulence lies ahead. Nothing can stir love woes like money woes. If both are financially challenged, and I don’t mean poor, I mean poorly equipped at managing money, run a proverbial mile. All the love in the world won’t impress the bank or keep a financially stressed marriage going.
  2. Assess the source of the energy behind the wedding plans. If the bride is the powerhouse and the groom is tagging along because it is “her” wedding – guess what is unlikely to change? If it is his or her mother, run hard, fast, and soon.
  3. Honestly assess the bedroom (metaphor for sex and all things intimate). The person who least desires sex, is the one driving the relationship. Note, I said, desires. I said nothing about acting on the desires. Also, many a really hot pre-marriage bedroom cooled to polar temperatures soon after the honeymoon. If intimacy is used to gain power, it will soon cease.
  4. Examine integrity. Cheats, liars, and addicts can change, but usually not very much.
June 21, 2011

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that a modified perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationship: There is no element of either winning or losing; it is not a game. It is free of tactics, ploys, moves, and agendas.

February 18, 2008

He makes fun of me and minimizes our relationship…

by Rod Smith

“I’ve been with my partner for 8 years. When we’re fighting he phones old girlfriends, won’t answer his phone, is extremely verbally abusive, and minimizes our relationship (because we’re not married). He mocks and makes fun of me if I cry. He has destroyed my belongings and stays out all night. He calls a woman behind my back, and faults me for not trusting him. He stayed at her house on one of his ‘all-nighters’ (I found him there). He calls me controlling and says he won’t be told who he can speak to.” (Very minimal edits)

Here we go again! You are an expert in HIS behavior, yet seem blind to yours. Apparently after all this trauma, conflict, jealousy, snooping around, raised voices and humiliating behavior performed by each of you – YOU keep going back for more!

Let the man go on his immature, pathological way. Don’t hold him back. Oh, I know. I am going to get letters telling me I am blaming the victim, that moving out is not that easy, and love will prevail – but this “relationship” (actually it is nothing more than furious-fusion) will never survive. The sooner you pack your bags (or dump his out the door) the better.

February 2, 2008

Getting ready for Valentines Day…… going beyond romance…

by Rod Smith

“There are two potential tragedies in life and dying isn’t one of them,” wrote Ronald Rolheiser, the Catholic theologian. “What’s tragic is to go through life without loving and without expressing love and affection toward those whom we do love.”

What great thoughts to ponder and then motivate us to action beyond romance on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s not fall victim to either of the tragedies — not today, tomorrow, not forever.

One of the great things about life for most of us is that we get more than a few chances at most things, even things we fouled up in the past. Failing at love yesterday doesn’t mean we have to fail again.

While the holiday is Hallmark-driven and its history buried in 5th century Rome, it’s up to us to push love to the limits, to go beyond Valentine, beyond Hallmark, beyond Cupid, beyond Eros, red balloons and red sweaters and candy. It’s up to us to take Rolheiser’s caution to heart.

Let’s express love in tangible ways to all those whom we love.

Loving is more than breakfast in bed. Say what you want to say without leaving it to another day. Don’t wait, don’t avoid it, and don’t run from it. Act upon the love you feel in measurable ways, express it in ways that are new and unique for you.

Love your family by encouraging the expression of the unique voice of every person. Enlarge their freedom, oust all jealousy.

Listen, and wait to speak. Try to hear even the things you’d rather not hear. Learn things about members of your family even if it has been so long that it is hard to remember a time when you did not share life.

Loving people celebrate strength, encourage freedom and admire the talent of others.

Then, in loving and being loved, compromise yourself, your talents and skills for no one.

True love will never steal your voice, your brain, your heart or your body.

Minimizing who you are in the name of love will not make you more lovable or make your family a happier or healthier place. It is never worth it. It is never loving. It is those with dark motives, who seek for you to be less, minimized, diminished or silenced. Reject such small-mindedness, such evil, even if doing so is very costly.

In your loving, deal a deadly blow to love’s bitter enemies of resentment, anger and bitterness. These close cousins, if permitted, will hold hands within your psychology and dance a woeful dance. They will make you blind to all things beautiful. Angry, bitter and resentful people, no matter what their justification, become increasingly unreasonable and difficult to live with.

Bitterness will have a soul for breakfast. It’ll chew you up, spit you out, and then get you some more. That’s its nature. It has no regard for you, except in your destruction.

Make the most powerful decision a person can make and forgive everyone, everything. Forgiving others completely for everything real or imagined done against you, will give you a degree of personal liberation heretofore unknown. Such forgiveness, offered from and within our human frailty, releases the spirit beyond comprehension.

When people forgive each other, they wear divine clothing, and the prison doors of their own hearts become unlocked and the miserable trio of anger, bitterness and resentment are set free to do their work elsewhere.

“There are two potential tragedies in life,” wrote Rolheiser, and today we each decide the extent of their power in each of our lives. Happy Valentine’s Day.

December 26, 2007

He needs sex to maintain any kind of decent mood…

by Rod Smith

“I love my husband but he is sending me into an abyss. He’s become more and more jealous, insecure, and needy. He requires sex to maintain any sort of decent mood. I pay the emotional price if I don’t have sex every two or three days. He never admits to being controlling and I don’t think he believes he is. I have lost most of my sex drive. I am constantly fearful of crossing his moods. He says his mood cannot improve without sex. I feel it’s abusive to submit to something sexual when I am feeling hurt, sad, and exhausted. Are we in a catch-22? Is it unusual to have one’s libido destroyed by a requirement to provide sex?” (Edited)

Until you, not your husband, govern your internal (emotional, sexual, spiritual) life, things won’t improve. Control and love cannot co-exist within the same relationship.

Your husband’s belief that he needs sex (from you), more than you need kindness (from him), demonstrates his distorted, immature understanding of sex. It is this very misunderstanding which reduces sex into something cruel, divorcing the act from anything resembling love.

Of course your libido is diminished: you’re in an abusive cycle that won’t improve until you find and use your voice. I don’t doubt you THINK you love him (you believe you love him and cannot, at this point, conceive of NOT loving him) – but can you love him enough to stand up to him? His controlling behavior (and your submission to it) does neither of you any good.

October 15, 2007

Do you think like a victim?

by Rod Smith

I’d suggest that if two or three of the following ring true you might want to get some professional help (or coaching, or peer supervision or whatever is available to you):

1. You think someone has more power over your life than you do.
2. You think your future is not primarily in your hands.
3. You think other people’s needs are always more important than your needs.
4. You feel surrounded by eggshells and therefore monitor everything you say.
5. You live as if someone close to you is carrying a big stick and looking for opportunities to punish you.
6. You generally think you deserve punishment.
7. Everyday you have a sense, a conviction even, that you are going to lose a little more, that another shoe is about to drop, or more unwelcome news is coming.
8. You feel guilty on the rare occasion you are moderately happy.
9. You lie to friends and say you are busy or unavailable when the truth is you are afraid to make plans that might upset your partner or family.
10. You find it difficult to receive favors especially favors you cannot repay.
11. You are suspicious when people enjoy each other and wonder what is really going on.
12. When people are kind to you, you wonder what they really want.

March 15, 2006

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

TUYL

Stay OUT of control...

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationships: There is no element of either winning or losing; they are not a game of chess at all and are free of tactics and agenda.