Denise Wade Ph.D.
Every human being on the planet wants control over their own life. This is empowerment. The trouble comes in when your partner also wants control over you, or you over them. Are you a control freak? Is your partner? Each time you or your partner set your energy, focus, or attention on the other party or in the name of care taking, rescuing, or fixing, whether unsolicited or invited, you are breaking healthy relationship boundaries. Believe it or not, these are all low level forms of control. Here are some other subtle forms of attempt at controlling another person: playing the victim to gain your partner’s sympathy or attention, manipulation, intimidation physically or intellectually, blaming your partner, temper tantrums, using guilt, making decisions for “us” or “we”, over helping your partner so they will become dependent on you either financially, domestically, physically, medically, legally etc.
The most successful, thriving relationships all have one thing in common: both parties have control over their own choices, decisions, and actions. Now I understand that there are some relationships that function just fine with the Alpha and Beta complimenting each other. For most couples though, such is not the case. In most relationships one party will consciously or unconsciously feel the need to “fix”, “control”, “rescue”, “dominate”, or “care take” the other. To visit the animal shelter and rescue our furry little friend is great and admirable, rescuing your partner, not so much.
Understanding the balance of control will result in a happy, healthy relationship. All human beings are driven by the need to be loved or the fear of not being loved. This simple awareness alone, can free you up from unwanted control, the need to control, and balance out an unfulfilling relationship. Locus of Control, formulated originally by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, is where you voluntarily place your power, to influence how you feel, think, act, and love another or attempt to gain someone else’s love. Most importantly it influences how you feel about yourself. Locus of Control is either external or internal.