Control = Fear
I have spoken many times during this Rules For Love blog series of my fear and it’s roots in trauma. Fear, if not understood and embraced to heal in a marriage, creates havoc. Trying to control my husband as a result of my fears and inability to trust, certainly created havoc.
Embracing freedom, this symbiotic yet autonomous flow in my marriage, was terrifying because “WHAT IF…” haunted me.
As a result of my history, I grew up with an inherent mistrust of men. My inner child belief that men are bad, men will cheat or hurt you was a deafening scream, woven into my DNA. One way I dealt with my fear of men was keeping my heart in a safe bubble, while remaining disconnected, aloof and fun-loving. My years of people-pleasing trained me with a know-how of the appearance of connection. When I started to truly open my heart, and try to connect – fear would flood me. Control, for me meant knowing exactly what my husband was doing and thinking at every moment.
Somehow, this would keep me safe.
What did this knowing look like? Craziness. My mind would create nothing into something. I wore lenses with fear filters. I was hyper-vigilant, and anxious. I was suspicious. I asked questions. I doubted. I panicked. I had nightmares. I could not relax.
It was just a horrible way to live and horrible for the marriage. If I was looking for reasons to mistrust in my marriage – I was sure to find it, because I was looking for it. If I remained hyper-vigilant, I would soon discover what I was looking for – you can’t trust men – prove that I was right – and be safe.
Allowing each other freedom to live, without constant interrogation of who, what and when was a skill set I did not know how to do.
As well as stepping out of all-or-nothing thinking from all men are untrustworthy to not all men are bad.
With the ongoing help of some amazing healers, I have been able to reconcile some of the childhood messages of mistrusting men that have been imprinted on my brain. I’ve learned to give some men a worthwhile chance.
Control = Need To Have My Own Way = Not Willing To Compromise
Then there is this.
This type of control, in my opinion, reflects a stubborn, inflexible nature. There is only one way to do something. It is my way or the highway. My way is the right way.
When I apply this to myself, I think of my need to have a place for everything and everything has a place – I’m a clean freak. I need order around me, because my brain is so chaotic. I can only sit and relax in a room that is clean, quiet, organized and spacious. If there is chaos, clutter, noise and everything is everywhere – I cannot relax.
I also think of situations where I am unable be flexible, because I spent so many years as a door-mat people pleaser – agreeing with everyone without any voice or opinion of my own. Now, I will not do something I do not want to do, and that is that. For example, I will not sit through a movie I have no desire to see.
Compromise is a Promise
Compromise is an art form. The word promise is in the word compromise.
I promise that we, Michael will be happy with an end result because we both have a right to be happy… with the end result. The art form of compromise is navigating to the end result with respectful communication.
So, when it comes to my need to have everything in its place and a place for everything, if I want it that way, then I work to have it that way. My husband helps, but a bit of him scattered about is what marriage is.
As for not doing something I really don’t want to do. I’m still working on this. This applies mostly to social situations really. My husband and I are are homebodies, who enjoy hanging out at home together. That said, I will not watch something on Netflix with him, if I really don’t want to watch it.
I am not watching The Outlander!!
Gawd, horrible acting at its best!!!
Control = Trying to Change My Husband
I want you to be more like this, more like that and do more of this.
There is a fine line between asking for my needs being met in my marriage and doing a personality overhaul on Michael.
Why would I marry someone, then try to change who they are to get my needs met?
My husband and I are opposites, as opposites do tend to attract. I’m openly expressive, impulsive and love to laugh.
My husband is covert in his expression, quiet and thoughtful.
We’ve had tug of wars with wanting the other to be more like ourselves, to either get our needs met or feel more comfortable with each other because we are more alike. As we accumulate a history, and settle into our marriage, we’re evolving to cherish our differences rather than try to change them.
Control is a slippery slope that feels more like insanity and disconnect, than two peaceful hearts moving together to deepen their loving connection.
Originally published: March 17th, 2020
About me: Stephanie Wells
I’m a Reiki Master Teacher of Usui Shiki Ryoho – the Usui System of Natural Healing. I was attuned in Levels I, II & IIIA in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. During a 6 week stay in Mararikulam North, Kerala, India I was reattuned in Levels I, II, & IIIA as well as acquiring my Level IIIB Master Teacher attunement.