Control is a natural given power.
When you are born, you are given the power to control what is yours.
Your thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, actions, attitudes, time frame, personal space and belongings are all yours.
Your most basic human right is to have control over these aspects of your life.
If someone tells you what to do, what to wear or what to think, they already steal a basic human right from you.
Now, when you partner with someone within a relationship, something new happens: you start calling someone else “my partner”, “my husband”, “my wife”, “my boyfriend” or “my girlfriend”.
This is where the problem rises at first.
It creates a natural “sense of belonging”.
Now, what does this partnership mean?
Does your partner say something like:
“From now on, you are the one who tells me what to do and when to do it. You have the power to direct my thoughts and feelings and I surrender my own will power to your will”
Of course not!
What you partner says is:
“We partner in a space of mutual respect. I stay master of my life but we create a new entity called “us”. I transfer part of my individual power to our relationship so that we can live and evolve together in harmony”
The moment your partner believes he has the right to tell you what to do and how to do it, he crosses the line.
He can suggest, he can guide and he can propose you alternatives but you stay in charge of your actions no matter what.
Your attitudes, beliefs, time frame and other aspects of your personal integrity stay yours, always.
The moment someone steps in your territory and steals your right for self determination from you, you react and fight back.
You fight for your freedom of thought and action.
You are and stay in charge of your life!
Of course, it works both ways.
The moment you tell you partner what to do without him giving you this right, you are already abusing your power.
You can say that you do this in the name of your relationship or in the name of protecting your children; you still take away his power for self determination.
If you end up fighting, it is the sign that a part of him reacts and does not want to give you the right to control any part of his life.
Control is a very powerful force.
It is useful and needed in society.
Now, it is as well a weapon which can turn against your relationship.
Most relationship fights and break ups happen because of control issues.
When a couple breaks up or divorces, all they are saying is:
“This relationship became too limiting. I need space!”
The moment you fight with your partner, you are saying something similar:
“I am loosing control and I don’t want to. I will fight to stay in charge of my existence and express my will power”.
Of course, you work together in a relationship and this means sometimes that you accept someone else’s opinions and ideas and even put slightly aside your individuality in the name of the relationship.
You will see later how to still make it work.
The first goal here is to unveil these power dynamics and understand why conflicts happen.
Control issues are in the core of most relationship fights.
Can you see how it works?