KEY TACTICS TO DEAL WITH A CONTROLLING, JEALOUS OR DEMANDING PARTNER
You were born with the right for self determination!
When your partner tries to dominate you, they violate one of your most basic human rights: your right to choose!
You have the right to choose:
- Your thoughts, emotions, feelings and beliefs
- Your actions
- Your speech
- Your relationships to others
- Your social life
- Your time
- Your personal space
- Your career
- Your assets and belongings
- Your money
When your partner tries to control you, they try to control one of these.
When your partner tries to control these, they step in YOUR territory.
When you were born, you were given the right to control these various aspects of your life.
The legal system defends these rights too.
Even the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights says it:
Article 18 states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought..."
Article 19 states :"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression..."
These articles concern your thoughts and right to speak.
And of course, you can take this one step further and generalize to all aspects of your life.
This is essential to get!
This freedom is not some weird idea that pops in your mind when you feel challenged, it is YOUR right, ok?
Anyone who tries to control you, betrays this agreement that you have with life!
Why your partner decides that it’s ok to control you
They do that for a simple reason: because they believe that it’s ok.
Another element is that often nothing can stop them except you.
Their goal is to find security.
When they see you interacting with friends for instance they feel threaten by it because they have no control over what happens there.
You share intimacy with your partner.
You know a lot about them.
They are afraid of what you might say.
They feel threaten by your thoughts.
They might disagree with career choices.
The point is that because of what they share with you, they lose control over a certain aspect of their lives. It makes them feel vulnerable.
The impulse to control you comes from a need to secure their lives and gain full control over it.
Their efforts to dominate you are aimed at gaining back this sense of security and control over things that do influence them.
There is a profound misunderstanding when you step in a relationship.
Here is the misunderstanding:
When you decide to be in a relationship with someone, here is what you think:
“I enter in a relationship with you but I want to keep control over who I am. I am not giving away my right to make my own choices. I stay in charge of all aspects of my existence. Of course when a choice concerns us both, we will make decisions together…”
That’s what YOU might think.
Now, here is how your partner often interprets your commitment:
“Because we are in a relationship with me, from now on, this gives me the right to tell you who you can see or not. You are my partner! I have the right to influence or direct your thoughts. I have the right to know everything about you. We are partners. I want you to fit in my agenda…”
Your partner might not be that extreme, but you get the point!
There is a fundamental misunderstanding!!!
This misunderstanding exists because partners rarely sit down to discuss the unspoken contract of their relationship.
Boundaries = Limits
What is ok and what is not in your relationship?
Imagine taking a job and never discussing the conditions of your contract with your boss or with a business partner.
This would mean trouble because there would be no agreements and the terms of the unspoken contract is not on paper.
This is what happens with couples.
You tend to assume that your partner understands your needs and that you both agree on relationship boundaries.
In fact, if you would check before committing, you might unveil very fundamental differences!
For instance, if you are straight, you might be ok with still having active friendships with the opposite sex, whereas your partner might not.
If you marry someone from another culture, these differences might be even more extreme!
Why couples rarely discuss what’s ok and what is not?
It is because they don’t know how to approach such conversation.
They are not trained to discuss relationship issues in diplomatic ways.
Most of the times, when you have differences with your partner, you argue.
This means that engaging in a serious discussion about what’s ok and what’s not often leads to a fight.
Especially if your partner is intolerant, you will avoid the topic and simply react emotionally when you feel cornered.
You also tend to wishfully believe that harmony in your couple will happen naturally.
Very often it doesn’t and you end up trapped with someone who does not respect your freedom and rights.
What to do when your partner corners you
This is the situation you might face.
They have been dominating you in the past and assume that this is ok.
How do you change the status quo and rebuild your freedom when you gave it away?
You take small steps!
If you are not used to going out separately, you can watch out for opportunities to start doing that.
For instance, there might be an event at work you will be invited to.
Or a good friend of yours wants you to start training with them.
Or you decide to start training for a new career.
If you start with small steps, it is usually easy to reclaim your freedom bit by bit.
What if your partner opposes your idea?
Here are some arguments you can use:
- You want me to be happy, right?
- What bothers you? Tell me more…
- This will be fun for me. I need that.
- I don’t remember giving you the right to tell me what to do.
- I need your support with that one.
- I will do it but I don’t want this to put distance between us.
If your partner is potentially violent, you have to watch out of course.
In most cases though it is just a conflict of views.
And because your choices concern YOU, you are given the right of course for self determination.
This means that life sponsors your freedom!
Again, it is your basic human right to decide for yourself.
Many men and women will hesitate in affirming their choices because they can’t even tell if what they want is ok.
I am here to reaffirm this for you!
You were born with the right for self determination and no one has the right to rob you from that freedom.
If they do, they abuse their power and betray a very basic human agreement.
I am here to confirm this!
You are free!
It is your right to decide for yourself!
Very often, that’s all they are asking for.
What they fear is not so much what you decide to do, it is what could potentially happen.
Suppose that you are a woman and decide to go for a drink with a good friend.
If your partner forbids you to go, here is what they think:
- She will meet a guy
- They will connect
- She will have a crush
- They’ll end up having sex
- She will leave me for him
You just mentioned a drink with a friend and what your partner sees is not having a drink, it is whole cheating crisis.
How do you reassure your partner?
Here are some expressions that build up peace of mind in them:
- You can trust me
- I would never cheat on you
- I am committed to you
- It’s with you I want to be! For life!
- I love you!
- I’ll text you when I get there
- I’ll be back at 9
- She comes to pick me up – You will meet her
- Why don’t you join us later?
- It’s ok, no need to worry
These are expressions that you can use a lot when you feel that your partner is insecure.
You need to repeat them frequently!
Your partner needs to hear that a few times, 5 to 10 times at intervals over a period of a few weeks for the message to sink in.
You can say the same thing in different ways in the same conversation.
Or you can simply repeat the exact same expression a few times.
For instance if your partner says:
“I don’t really like you going to these clubs with your friends…”
“I love you”
If they argue again, listen and say again:
“I love you”
You can do that a few times.
Another way to program your partner to relax is to reassure them when there is no threat.
Suppose that you’re having a drink together in a public place filled with very attractive people.
You can say:
- “I am so glad we are together, I would choose you over and over again!”
- “You are so much smarter than most guys (or women) I see out there”
- “I love what we have!”
In other terms, you guide them to relax.
You can train them to stay calm and give you space.
This is what people worry about a lot!
Unless you are in an open relationship, cheating is not ok!
To reassure your partner in these cases, you can say:
- I would never cheat on you
- You can relax! You are the best lover I ever had
- It’s with you I want to be
When you are in public with your partner, you can let them see that it’s to them you give your attention.
Suppose you are a guy and your girlfriend is emotionally edgy.
You can flirt with her in front of others.
If a woman approaches you both, instead of giving that woman flirty looks, you can consciously give attention to your partner.
If you demonstrate affection to your partner in public you show them that you are not hiding your relationship and are proud of what you share.
Here is another example:
Again, party setting.
You are a woman and this man approaches you.
You can introduce your partner by saying:
“We are in love, engaged and getting married this spring! We have such a fantastic relationship!”
That’s again another very demonstrative way to say that you are not available.
Your partner would be touched by such demonstration.
Here are other ways to reassure your partner:
- If you want to check my text messages, I am ok with it
- I can call you around 10
- What bothers you? Tell me
- I love your body!
- You really know how to please me
You see… When you want to reassure a partner, there are simple ways to do just that.
It can take away their fears instantly.
These type of behaviours and attitudes are simple ways to build up complicity in your couple.
By the way, no need to be apologetic.
When you say “I love you” or “I trust you” to your partner, you can do this from a position of power and confidence.
Say these things with presence, power and confidence with a clear voice.
This is a simple way to stop your partner when they are about to unload their insecurities on you.
It’s 7 am!
You are about to take off to work.
You are in a hurry and this is the moment your partner chooses to start a fight?
Here is your simple answer to that:
If they insist, say it again:
If they keep coming, rephrase:
“I really have no time for that now, sorry!”
Take your stuff and leave!
If you want to be gentler with this, you can as well say:
“Look, I am in a hurry right now. I want to hear what you have to say but timing is off… Why don’t we seat together this evening with a glass of wine. I’ll give you space to share what bothers you…”
This “not now!” strategy is so simple and is a fantastic option to set up limits!
It’s a powerful way to be firm and direct without starting a fight!
If your partner micromanages you at home
This one will require in depth education.
If for instance you are a guy and your wife systematically tries to manage you with household, here is what you can do.
First, have an in depth feed back session on this topic.
You can sit down and ask her:
“We face some tension between us concerning household, want to share with me what’s up with that? It feel like something bothers you but I am not sure… Tell me”
If they start sharing, don’t interrupt them, listen!
Yes, write it down!
Ask them follow up questions like:
- So, if I get you right, you are saying that…
- How would you rather me do this?
- Are you saying that you don’t like the way I cleaned the kitchen last time? Can you tell me exactly what was missing?
- So, you are saying that the way you do it is better?
In other terms, you clarify until you know exactly what bothers her.
Here are more follow up questions.
These ones can be slightly more challenging for her but they will open space:
- Are you saying that there is only one way to do this?
- If I was micromanaging you, how would that make you feel?
- Do you realize that when you speak to me that way, it kills the sex drive and the attraction I feel for you?
- Are you saying that you don’t trust me with that?
If household is a serious sensitive issue in your couple, you will benefit a lot from entering in a dialogue and open sharing space.
The goal is for her to relax and give you space to do things your own way.
No one likes being micromanaged!
Even with household, you can be creative!
You can take initiative and start doing things around the house in your own way.
Another system that works really well is to use a white board.
How it works?
You get your partner to write things down on a board rather than saying them to you directly.
That way, you can check their feed back or what needs to be done in your own time.
Dealing with a jealous partner
When your partner is over jealous and too possessive, it kills your life force and inner freedom.
In fact, it destroys not only your life. It destroys your relationship as well.
Their emotional reaction is an uncontrolled instinctual response.
Part of them justifies it.
It is part of their mind set to believe they do the right thing.
This is a battle between two will powers.
It is yours against them.
They try to control you.
They try to limit you.
Do you deserve it?
Of course not!!
If you want them to stop being jealous show them they can trust you at 100%.
If they are simply obsessively jealous without reason, this is a fight between two powers: yours and theirs.
It is battle for control.
The alternatives are always: "fight or leave".
If you are in such situation, what you can do is truly assess the situation:
You can fight for your basic rights, freedom and space.
You can leave if it's a lost battle.
The way to fight is to educate them about your needs and how their jealousy makes you feel.
Couple coaching or counselling is an effective source of support as well.
If you want to work it out, the idea is to join forces and overcome the challenge together.
Don't confront each other.
Create a win-win relationship.
You both want the same, right?
You want harmony, love and trust to prevail.
The real battle is about the couple's victory.
Dialogue is a good place to start.
Get professional help with this challenge.
Trust, confidence and complicity are your targets.
These are the qualities you want to develop in the core of your relationship.
It is okay to miss a couple of skills when starting with a new relationship.
It is okay as long as you both want to do something about it.
Use your will power and determination to make it work.
If the situation is too draining for you and you see they won't change, you might have no other choice but to leave.
Jealous partner? When to give up?
If your partner is obsessively jealous and possessive, the question is:
Should you stay or should you go?
You have been living with a control freak for 2 years.
They make your life a hell.
They spy on you and get jealous about anything.
The problem? You do love them.
It is a battle between two forces: the desire to stay together and fight for your couple and the desire to just give up.
When is the moment to give up and simply leave?
Their jealousy is like an addiction.
They use their "weapons" to destroy what they care for the most:
You! Their relationship with you!
If you already tried therapy, counselling or coaching.
If you did everything you could to communicate or help them shift their behaviour and it does not work, you might be close to reaching a saturation point.
The more you wait, the more disempowered you feel.
The best with situations like these is to listen to early warnings.
If things already went too far, it is time to seriously consider your options and not let emotional abuse ruin your life.
No one has the right to limit your existence.
If you give love to someone, it is love you should get in return not emotional threat.
If all you get from them is an irrational controlling response, this drains your energy and destroys your life.
How to take off if you have to? Take small steps.
- Prepare yourself.
- Alarm people around you.
- Find out about your rights.
- Speak with a lawyer.
- Tell your friends and family.
In other words, get as much support as you can.
Breaking up takes courage and power.
It is always a challenge because you start a new life.
It can feel unstable for a while.
You need to rebuild a material base.
The second challenge is rebuilding your emotional and personal foundation.
This last step is about getting your full power back.
Stepping out of an abusive situation is an empowering step.
It is a claim for freedom and independence.
It is one of your most basic human rights.
You are not a victim.
The moment you bring an abusive or oppressive situation to an end, it can be a super empowering step for you!
Time to leave?
Is your partner verbally or physically abusive?
Do they make your life miserable?
When is the right time to say “Enough!”
The main challenge is to secure your exit!
You must be safe!
If you want to leave and know that your partner can be violent, you must seek help.
You don’t need to fight that alone.
You must check with friends, family, police, attorney or support organisations.
If there is no threat, then it’s really up to you.
There are many steps you can take before leaving.
Dialogue, open sharing, therapy or coaching are all options I would consider, especially if you have kids together or still deeply love your partner.
Get him to respect you
Suppose that you are a woman and that this guy verbally attacks you and challenges you.
He hurts you emotionally and puts you down any time he can.
You have 2 ways to go.
The first essential tactic is to remove yourself from abusive situations.
This can of course mean stepping out of your relationship but it can as well simply mean to leave the room or the conversation.
Sometimes, he will be upset because of work challenges for instance.
You being in his presence might trigger irritation in him.
So, a simple way to avoid conflict and attacks is simply to give him space.
You see him worried?
Leave him alone and let him get over whatever bothers him.
That’s the first strategy.
The second strategy is to educate him.
Here is what you can say:
“I want you to respect me!”
I know… So simple!
Very often stating the obvious and telling him exactly what he needs to hear will get him to stop or shift his behaviour.
Say “I want you to respect me!” with a calm voice with as little emotional load as you can.
Don’t scream, don’t get loud and don’t argue.
If he keeps going, say it again.
“I want you to respect me!”
People often need to hear the exact same sentence a few times before it takes root in their minds.
You might need to repeat the message a few times when he starts being verbally abusive.
And this process of educating him might take a few weeks.
You need to be consistent and persevere with using the exact same tactic repeated times until he gets it.
You can use variations like:
- “Your words are disrespectful to me! I want you to stop”
- “You are verbally attacking me! Stop!”
- “Respect me!”
Get him to trust you
Again, you are a woman and he gets easily jealous or imagines you are cheating on him.
Very often, all a man needs is reassurance.
- You can say things like:
- “You can trust me”
- “I would never cheat on you”
- “I am totally committed to our relationship”
- “It’s only you I love”
- “I have absolutely no intention of leaving you – It’s with you I want to be for life”
- And so on.
Again, you might need to repeat the same message a few times before it really sinks it.
You might be successful with him calming down one day and 1 week later you are faced with a new jealousy outbreak.
You want to be patient and simply repeat your message again until he gets it.
Another simple way to reassure him is to call him or text him when you are out with friends.
Imagine that you just went out for drinks and you know that this type of situation usually triggers him.
Send him a text message that sounds like:
- “Just thinking of you – Love you – Look forward to be back soon”
- “Kisses! Love!”
- “Look forward to take off travelling with you soon”
These are simple text messages that give him reassurance.
Here is another way to get him to relax in social situations for instance.
Imagine that he is prone to jealousy or bad mood when you are out socializing.
Here is what you can do:
If a man is hitting on you or interested in you, get your partner involved.
Say something like:
“Hey Jack, this is Paul. Paul, this is my husband. We have been married for 5 year and he is the love of my life”
See what you just did?
You created complicity with your husband and set up the newcomer as an outsider.
This is a powerful strategy.
You simply get your partner included and you give him a leading role in the interaction that you are having.
Why educate your partner
Because if you don’t they will keep repeating the same behaviours.
I agree with you:
Educating someone can feel like hard work.
You don’t want to be a parent, teacher or therapist to your partner.
You want to be their lover, right?
Yes! I totally agree!
And in a relationship, there is usually some room for teaching each other something of value!
The previous examples I give you earlier are often ways of setting up boundaries, protecting your space and emotions.
You defend your territory by teaching them how to respect you.
The option of stepping out is always there of course.
You can leave any time a relationship that doesn’t work for you.
But if you really like this man or this woman and feel this great potential together, giving them a little guidance will help you clear couple tensions.
Avoid these mistakes when educating your partner
Don’t smother them!
You are not speaking to a child!
You are not teaching them a lesson!
You are empowering them and gently guiding them.
You are helping them become a better person.
Don’t finger point or attack!
Each time you corner someone and accuse them, they always fight back.
If you say something like:
- “You always do that to me”
“Men! You’ve got a serious controlling issue!”
“Can’t you just stop being jealous!!”
All these will usually trigger a defence response.
Instead, say something like:
“I face a challenge in our relationship and not sure what to do about it. Do you think you can help me with that?”
“The other day, when we were in the car and you expressed your strong feelings, here is how this made me feel…”
“I love you! I love our relationship! What do you feel we should do about this?”
This second set of discussion openers are invitations to co create a solution together.
Instead of being angry, attacking them and being resentful, you ask them for help.
This changes everything in the discussion because it positions you as partners, not opponents.
It is like deciding to look together in the same direction.
“What do we both want and how will we get there?”
This is the message you really want to send out.
No more than 10% relationship processing!
What does that mean?
That you relationship must first be a juicy exciting space to enjoy!
Your relationship can only take so much educating and processing.
In my experience, I feel that this processing time can represent up to 10% of your interactions.
Imagine that when you meet, you argue half of the time.
You have a good night out and argue the following day.
One day good, one day bad.
That’s not good enough!
This creates too much tension!
You need a healthier space to be able to function as a couple.
The same goes with educating your partner.
If you love the strategies that I just shared with you and decide to apply them, make sure you stop pushing your partner before you reach their saturation point.
If you already asked him to respect you one day and he makes a small mistake the following day, just pose and look at him straight in the eyes.
Often you don’t need to speak, just get him to realize where he is going.
Educating your partner is like planting seeds.
If you plant the seed “I want you to trust me”, you need to leave it a lone a few days and not move the ground around that seed.
Give them space to integrate what they just got from you.
Getting it right is a very subtle play of energies and emotions.
It is an art and you need to experiment with it.
You need to feel the exact moment when he got enough educating and needs to digest.
Tell them when they get it right
Another common mistake in relationship dynamics is to systematically point out the negatives and forget the positives.
People will often find it easy to criticize but forget to validate and express gratitude when their partner gets it right.
If you want to empower your couple, start sharing what you like rather than what you don’t like.
Start telling your partner the things that you enjoy about your relationship.
- “You know, when we are out together, I feel really safe”
- “I love how you compliment me for what I wear”
- “I like how you love my body”
- “I really enjoy having these deep conversations with you”
- “You are the best partner I ever had”
- “You always smell so good”
- “I like how you care for those you love”
- “I like that you really take good care of our family”
- “I love how you talked to the kids yesterday”
You get the picture, right?
If all these positive things are true, how come they don’t get attention.
How come so much energy is invested in highlighting the flaws.
Think about what you like:
Do you prefer criticism or insults?
Do you prefer attacks or compliments?
What do you feel when someone gives you a compliment?
You relax, right?
You smile internally.
You feel valued.
You feel seen.
Very often when educating your partner you get entangled in the story that somehow, they are bad and useless.
In the process you might forget to tell about the progress they are making.
They feel hopeless, attacked and resentful and might fight back to try to regain control.
When someone opens up and accepts to be guided by you, they make themselves vulnerable as well.
They accept the fact that they have flaws.
They accept to work on these flaws.
Let them know you recognize their effort and acknowledge their progress.
Pointing out what they do right usually works better than systematically pointing out what they do wrong.
Why they attack your friends
When you enter a relationship, you are often on a close to equal level in terms of power.
Especially if you are dating or marrying an abusive person, you progressively lose your grip and control over your own life because of your partner’s constant emotional threat.
Here are a few things that tend to happen when you have a jealous or abusive partner:
You tend to lose touch with your friends.
Why? Because any form of external influence is perceived as a threat by your partner.
Your partner will challenge you, tell you they are bad influence, and trigger fights when you want to see them or when they call you.
Because of this constant harassment, you tend to give up these friendships simply to appease tensions in your couple.
It usually doesn’t stop there.
Once you guve up friendships, they will attack your career and creative power.
They will challenge the relationship you have with colleagues.
They will challenge you when you are getting new opportunities.
They will challenge you when you want to make positive life style choices.
Suppose that you decide to get healthier and stop smoking or socially drinking.
Your partner might challenge you in public over that.
What do they do that?
Here is what’s really going on:
Relationships are a lot about balance of power.
Your partner’s agenda is to get as much power as they can.
The less power you have, the more power they have compared with you.
This is a competitive pattern!
No one teaches you about these dynamics.
We talk about love and trust and romance but what is really ruling a lot of relationship dynamics is the desire to acquire more power.
It is competition for more power.
I believe that most challengesyou face in a relationship has to do with power dynamics, not love dynamics.
This means that you and your partner compete for power and control.
This is why your lover might use coercive tactics and emotional threat.
Emotional threat is a battle strategy to gain more power in your relationship’s equation.
Do you get that?
Can you see it?
Most of these dynamics are primal instinctual, animal reactions.
We have powerfully evolved as human beings but a lot of what we do is still ruled by simple animal instincts.
Take this example.
You have a tribe of monkeys.
Who gets to eat first?
Who abuses the rest of the tribe?
Who gets the best females?
It’s the alpha male in the tribe!
It is the strongest and most powerful one.
This alpha male establishes his position of power through threat and winning conflicts.
Here and there, another male might challenge the alpha for tribal supremacy.
The one who wins is in charge of the tribe and rules!
This domination touches all members of the tribe.
The tribe offers protection but you surrender as well part of your power and freedom by being in it.
In modern day relationships, the same type of dynamics applies.
A male or female will test you by submitting you to conflict, challenges and threat to establish domination in the relationship.
This is not even a simplified model!
Really! Check it out!
Why do you think your new partner might have this sudden urge to attack your friendships?
It is because they know that a friend is an external influence and that this gives you an external power edge they can't control.
A friend might be supportive if you are in trouble oroffer you a safe heaven if you need to retreat.
Your friends are a source of power for you!
They are a source of validation and energy!
Cutting you from your friends is a big victory in the conquest of power and control.
Don’t think that this is some evil conspiracy designed by your partner.
This is human nature!
It is animal nature!
It is part of our instinctual reactions!
Some people are able to tame these instincts and function from a place of respect and freedom.
The conquering instincts I describe are not the only instincts at play of course.
We are trained as human beings to manifest other sets of values like standing for each other and developing collaborative behaviours rather than competitive ones.
And in many cases, especially if your partner is dominant or abusive, these controlling instincts simply win!
If your partner is abusive, they are trapped in impulses they don’t control.
In their agenda, they want more power and they will fight to get that control over your life.
They will use a lot of emotional threat and sometimes even physical abuse.
Each time you let go of something that was yours, like a connection with a good friend, an independent source of income or a positive life style choice that empowers you, they gain more control in the relationship’s equation.
They gain! You lose!
They will come up will all sorts of justifications to get you to drop a friendship.
But these “reasons” are only there to feed an instinctual agenda which is to get you to drop that specific source of power so that they can score higher in the relationship’s power scale compared to you.
Do you see it now?
How to gain back control
So, you have this challenge with your partner attacking your friends!
What do you do?
Do you give up your friendships to get some peace of mind or do you sustain them and face constant harassment?
In my experience, giving up your friends doesn’t really solve the challenge because as soon as you do, your partner will usually come up with a new target to attack.
The tactic is very simple!
Don’t give up!
Don’t give up anything because of emotional threat.
Stand strong and defend what is yours.
Protect your personal space, your career options, your social circle, family connections, what you love, your mind, beliefs or life style choices.
Protect your time, privacy and destiny line.
Each time someone steps in and tries to control any of these, they are violating one of your most basic human rights.
You are born with the right for self determination.
This means that entering in a new relationship doesn’t give your partner the right to control your life!
If you give up any of what’s yours, you silently agree to release control and transmit that power to your partner.
By giving up a friendship or any thing else you care for, you give them the right to control you!
Certain things are not worth the fight!
Very often, the path of least resistance is to simply agree with your partner’s demands and let go of something that used to matter to you.
Yes! You might let go of an old friend because you are now married and in another place in your life.
In many cases, that’s perfectly ok.
However if you systematically give up a lot, you end up isolated and your power balance in the relationship totally drops!
If you want to fight for your freedom and independence on those levels, here is what you must do!
Yes, stand strong and don’t bend.
If your partner attacks or challenges you, stay silent, don’t argue, don’t fight back, let them vent and then go on with what you were planning to do.
Stand strong and don’t bend!
Your partner doesn’t own you!
No one does!
You are a free being born with the right for self determination and no one has the right to abuse you!
Repeat to your partner:
“I love this friend and it is perfectly ok for me to see them – I don’t give you the right to control who I see or not!”
“And I am totally faithful to you and committed to make this marriage work. All I am doing is going for a drink with a good friend”
“I know you are ok with that”
Stand strong and don’t bend!
Your strength will give them strength!
Your confidence reassures them!
Your attitude teaches them how to respond!
The power of your decision is a freeing energy.
If their controlling tactics get them no results, you will see them progressively shifting to a new attitude following your gentle, strong and clear guidance.
What’s important is not to enter into the conflicting zone!
Don’t fight back through emotionally loaded comments.
Instead, stand strong in the values you want to defend for your relationship.
Say these again when you are in this conflict zone:
- “I am not giving up my friends”
- “You and I want exactly the same”
- “We want a strong, loving and caring relationship, would you agree?”
- “I stand strong in defending these values”
- “I know exactly what I want and what I expect from us and this relationship”
All these examples are collaborative.
You are not opposing your partner.
You are pointing out collaborative mind sets.
Why they try to control you
They just want to use their controlling power.
It’s an energy they have inside of them and using that conquering force gives them a kick.
Imagine a warrior conquering new territories.
When your partner tries to control you, they are using this basic instinct which aims at expanding their control.
They use this conquering power in business, sports, relationships, shopping and anything that requires the use of that energy.
Yes! Even shopping often comes from a conquering drive!
Look at the way people often shop!
There is a whole channelling of conquering energy in buying a new asset.
There is a whole set of conquering dynamics going on in any price negotiation.
Look at this feeling of achievement and content when you see people coming from the shopping mal with a new tech toy!
This conquering drive is in all of us.
Some people use it to improve their lives.
Some others use it to make lots of money.
Some other will use that drive to control and dominate their partner.
What if your partner drinks or is a drug user
Drug, alcohol or smoking alter your partner’s perception.
It makes them prone to emotional outbreaks and makes your couple vulnerable.
A glass of delicious red wine at dinner is ok.
It can be a romantic experience.
5 beers when he comes back from work are not ok!
If your partner engages in this type of behaviours watch out for the controlling outbreak.
It usually boosts at one point or another in the evening.
Why does it happen?
It happens because alcohol opens the up and makes them emotionally vulnerable.
Dating or being married to someone who drinks a lot or uses drugs is like sailing a ship while your partner is constantly sabotaging the trip.
The key strategy is to protect yourself.
Remove yourself from the space they are in and limit the connection.
Encourage and support them in giving up alcohol or drugs.
Develop strength and stand strong in the face of emotional outbreaks related with alcohol and substance.
You don’t have to enter in the conflicting game.
When you see the causes and the triggers, you can consciously stay out of it.
If your partner gives no sign of shifting a drinking or drug problem, seriously consider stepping out of the relationship.
Frequent outbreaks can turn your life into an ongoing nightmare!
Stepping out is always challenging but imagine yourself 10 or 20 years from now in the same situation.
How does that make you feel?
Your partner projecting work related frustration on you
Your partner might face work related challenges.
They might be upset with their boss, colleagues or business partner.
They come back home and want to gain back a strong sense of control in the relationship because the work issue or frustration might be out of their hands.
They come back to you emotionally loaded and frustrated.
They project these emotional issues on you.
You might be at peace at home and see them rushing in like a storm of anger and tension.
They start getting that anger off on you or the kids.
When they are in that state, any little thing can trigger them.
Because they are already under attack with work related issues.
A small spark can trigger them and get them into the live spiral of emotional instability.
Here are a few tactics you can use when this arises:
Get them to share what’s happening at work.
“So, what’s happening with that deal?”
You see, the moment you get them to open up on that topic, it gives them a channel to release and share.
By asking them that question, you get straight to the point.
Another tactic is to nurture them.
“Come and eat, made this delicious fresh new salad recipe for us”
Give them a hug!
Say something sweet.
Another strategy is to be firm and direct:
“You realize your frustration has nothing to do with us, right?”
“It looks to me that something’s bothering you. What is it?”
In this last set of strategies, you avoid the snow ball effect and stop work related issues to negatively impact on your couple.
You hold your helm steady on the real challenge and keep this work related frustration in check.
You notice that when you give them space to vent about the real issue, tension causes are highlighted and tend to naturally dissolve.
How to train new ways of communicating with your partner
The answer is simple: role play!
That’s what I do with my clients!
I play your partner’s role, harassing you and you develop new emotional responses to this challenge.
In my experience, you can train whole new ways of relating to your partner within a month.
We zoom in on the very specific challenging situations.
We analyze what you say, the emotional content of your responses.
Once you are able to practice better optimized responses within a coaching session, you apply this to your couple.
In my experience, once you are able to envision a solution in a coaching session, applying it in real life becomes very natural.
We are bombarded daily by our direct surroundings, mass media and movies.
This conditions us in very specific communication patterns.
For instance, you see people arguing a lot in movies.
This creates a subconscious program in your mind.
What you see out there becomes your inner model of natural behaviour.
The problem is that a lot of these behaviours don’t really work in real life when your goal is to create harmony.
The harmony building codes are more challenging to access because less people express.
These positive communication skills aren’t main stream in the media.
Coaching, personal development and the ideas I share in this book are a new wave of communication skills aimed at teaching you new patterns that work better in getting rid of tensions and conflicts.
To learn these new patterns, you need to train them.
You can read books, in the way you are doing now, watch videos or listen to some audios on this topic.
You can go to workshops, or one on one coaching to get these new skills firmly anchored in you.
You can as well directly apply these strategies in real life.
That’s what most people will do without following extra live training.
That’s what I encourage you to do.
Apply these tactics in real life.
Practice in real situations.
If you need an extra power boost with that, you know where to find me.