I realize I'm a controller but need help

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2003
I realize I'm a controller but need help
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 4:08pm
This is my relationship style in a nutshell. In the past I have been in controlled relationships. Either I was the controllee or the controller... Now I'm in this realtionship with this guy I love very much. He doesn't control my behaviors, or my ways... He doesn't allow me to control him, which I find frustrating. You see, my parents controlled me to the point that would make a prisoner in prison feel free! So I guess I associate that with love. They love me so much, that they worry about EVERYTHING I do. And if someone doesn't question everything I do, then they don't give a shiot what I do! So I am constanstly questioning if my boyfriend loves me and when will he fall out of love with me. I'm constantly looking over my shoulder, and worrying about another women taking him away from me... Also, I met this guy who I KNOW is totally obsessed with me, and if I were to date him I could easily control him and not have to worry about him leaving me or cheating on me or not loving me anymore... Also, he's not as good looking as my current boyfriend or as outgoing (he stays home most of the time), so I wouldn't have to worry about other women checking him out or flirting with him. I don't feel as strongly about this guy though, but at least I won't have the fear of getting hurt and looking like an idiot to all the people around me. Right now, I feel because I allow my current boyfriend to be himself, that people think I'm a fool. Like, why do you allow him to act goofy? Why do you let him play pool so much? Where is he at? You're not with him ALL THE TIME? These are the interrogation questions I get from strangers (not even good friends)... I ignore them, but it still builds up in my head, like "Yah, why don't I know where he is 24/7? Why am I not with him all the time? Why do I let him act silly?" ETC.... Help, any input?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 4:34pm
Hello and welcome to the board. I just saw your post down below earlier today actually.. sorry for the delay in responding.

I used to think just like you do. Exactly like you do! I would have rather either been alone, or "settled" for a guy/situation that I could control.

I decided I needed to do something about finally, a couple of years ago. I read a few books, and then decided to seek therapy. This was very helpful, because she helped me realize that we want to control things out of FEAR.

Take some time to figure out what you FEAR. Fear losing him? Well - okay. Can you REALLY control that? no. And - would it be the end of the world? no. Try to look at things for what they really are.

Wouldn't you rather be with this guy that you really like???? Sure. Dont' trade him in for someone you don't like as much. This guy & you could work out PERFECTLY :)

There are no guarantees in anything in this life. Trying to control things really doesn't work. It only hinders things.

Try to separate your parents relationship w/you from your adult relationships. I know that can be hard. But even though we carry things with us through life from them, they really are SO different than love relationships between man & woman. I mean, really - parents do control their children to some degree. That's normal. And necessary. They are children.

As far as the people asking those stupid questions? Don't even dignify them with an answer. Tell them to mind their own doggone business! ;)

Hugs, Julie


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:16pm

You know what you've done?

Do you?

Lol. Ok. You can let out a sigh of relief, what you've done is a good thing. Do you know what it is?

At first, I couldn't believe it, because, if it's true, it's probably about near-impossible. I'm still highly suspicious that your message must be a prank, but I'm putting that aside, because, if you are for real, you really ought to hear this: Congradulations! Do you know how hard it is for a controller to admit that they are, in deed, a controller??? Pat yourself on the back!!

Our CL here is right, people control out of fear. They fear out of control in their own lives, so to ease that fear, they have to control everyone else around them. And, unfortunately for both the controller and the controllee, this behavior (and submitting to this behavior) makes all involved miserable. That's right: Even the controller ends up feeling miserable.

Ok, your urge to date the guy you don't like as much... That's because in dating someone you can't control, you're moving out our your normal comfort zone. Do you really want to be a controller? If you did, you wouldn't have posted here, I'm assuming. My advice - stick with the boyfriend you actually have feelings for; a healthy relationship with him is what you want, so go for it. You won't be happy in the long run if you don't. But, you already know that.

Will the fear associated with moving out of your comfort zone ever? Yes. As you get used to having healthy relationships, over time, having healthy relationships will become your new comfort zone. You just need to relax. Tell yourself you deserve it and that there really isn't anything to be afraid of. (Well, except the life you'd lead if you did continue controlling - that I'd be afraid of...) Part of loving is letting go. If you really love someone, you allow them to be who they really are. Otherwise, you aren't loving them at all, but some image you created in your head. To truly force yourself on another, you drown their spirit. Is that unconditional love? Nope. And, I bet you know that. Wow. Congradulations. (I really mean that, I'm not being sarcastic, honest!)

I wish you the best of luck.

Julie (#2 Lol.)