Thursday Thought — When Control Becomes Abuse
Many people — perhaps most — have some “control issues.” Almost anytime you hear a woman talking about her partner, you are going to hear her describe times when he gets irritable if he doesn’t get his way, where he insists that things be done in a specific way, or where he turns rigid and unreasonable.
So you are faced with the question of which parts of his behavior are symptoms of life’s normal problems and which ones are signs that he is abusive. By exploring the following questions, you can sort out the difference:
- When you tell him to stop controlling you, does his control grow even worse instead of lessening?
- When you point out the problem, does he blame it on you instead of accepting that it’s his issue? Does he say that your objection to his control shows that something is wrong with you?
- Does he retaliate against you for complaining about his controlling behaviors?
- Does he justify his controlling behaviors by saying that he has to control you because of your faults? For example, does he say that if he didn’t tell you how to do things, you would mess everything up?
If you find yourself answering yes to any of these questions, your partner is crossing the line away from “control issues” and into abusive and domineering behavior. And that means that he won’t change — except for maybe a few days or a few weeks at a time — until he accepts that the problem is his, not yours.
[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Daily Wisdom For Why Does He Do That?* p143-144]
***IMPORTANT NOTE: While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns.