An “I-It” relationship is where the one makes all efforts to control the other. So what goes on in the mind of a controller? The “I” person in the relationship considers themselves superior to the “It” in the relationship and believes he or she needs to be controlled. Some have a need to dominate others because it makes them feel strong and powerful. Many try to control their partners because they’re afraid. They fear, for example, that their partner will leave the relationship for someone else. If a person has been cheated on in the past, they might try to control their partners in an effort to prevent being cheated on again. The problem is that this behaviour is counterproductive.
Most people don’t want to be controlled or told what to do or how they should conduct themselves. But there are those unique people who want to be controlled in a love relationship. These people thrive in the arms of their controllers. To them, being controlled by their lover is a sign that their love is strong. The following true story illustrates this point:
One day, Chris and Mary were out driving. Suddenly, an argument erupted.
“You are not tough enough,” Mary yelled. “I can’t be with you. I need a strong boyfriend.”
Chris was stunned.
A few days later they went to the supermarket. When they arrived home, Chris got out of his car and said, “Hurry up and get out of the car, and bring the groceries with you!”
Mary batted her eyelashes and smiled at Chris.
“Is this the way you want me to talk to you?” Chris asked.
“I appreciate it,” Mary replied. “At least you’re trying!”
How to spot controllers
Just as cheaters can be spotted, so can controllers. The secret to spotting a controller is to look for certain signs. Some of these are, when you are in a relationship or marriage and are required to call your companion frequently to apprise him or her of:
- When you will be leaving to go somewhere, such as the store or work
- When your shift has ended
- When you leave work for home
- When you will be arriving home.
The above are red flags signaling big problems ahead!
How else can you know if you’re involved with a controller? There’s a good chance this is happening if your partner asks you questions like:
- Where have you been?
- What were you doing? I have been calling you but getting no answer.
- Who were you talking to? I called but your line was busy.
- Why didn’t you answer the phone when I called a few minutes ago?
- Where were you? I came by your house, but you weren’t there.
- Who were you with?
Do you notice how the controller makes accusations without any evidence at all? For example, “Who were you with?” There’s a good chance you’re involved with a controller if your partner comes to visit you in your home and tells you that you should move the loveseat, move the TV, etc. If you pay attention to a controller’s words, you will notice that they smack of intrusiveness, suspicion, and presumption. What the controller is really telling you is that you can’t think for yourself and need him or her to think and make decisions for you.
It’s difficult to change a controller’s behaviour because most controllers fail to realize (or refuse to accept) that they are what they are. Why put yourself through all that pain? Recognize the signs, listen to your intuition and choose to avoid the controller altogether. Controlling your companion can kill your relationship.