Controlling Relationships

Being engaged to a controlling person sometimes causes you to lose
control in every aspect of your life. Passive people like myself usually find
controlling partners. Controlling people like my ex-fiancé usually find passive
partners. We are "perfect" for each other. Being passive, I\'m quite happy to
be left alone. I sometimes don\'t have much to say, and I have to admit I
sometimes can seem to be deaf when you try to discuss problems with me. While
on the other hand a controlling person makes constant demands on their partners.
They have much to say, and they can act like they think they\'ve been elected to
tell everyone else how to live their lives. They are seldom content, and they
seem to resent anyone who is. Since both controlling people and passive people
have poor relationships, they experience a whole lot of loneliness. After a
long while, all of this loneliness adds up and makes them realize they can
survive on their own! Then they can stop trying to change their partner and
simply enjoy them as they are. Unfortunately, both people need to learn from
their loneliness-so they can grow into people who want each other instead of
people who think they need each other.
It is often very hard to end a love relationship even when you know it
is bad for you. A "bad" relationship is not the kind that is going through the
usual periods of disagreement and disenchantment that are inevitable when two
separate people come together. A bad relationship is one that involves
continual frustration; the relationship seems to have potential but that
potential is always just out of reach. In fact, the attachment in such
relationships is to someone who is "unattainable" in the sense that he or she is
committed to someone else, doesn\'t want a committed relationship, or is
incapable of one. Bad relationships are chronically lacking in what one or both
partners need. Such relationships can destroy self-esteem and prevent those
involved from moving on in their careers or personal lives. They are often
fertile breeding grounds for loneliness, rage, and despair. In bad
relationships the two partners are often on such different wave-lengths that
there is little common ground, little significant communication, and little
enjoyment of each other.
Remaining in a bad relationship not only causes continual stress but may
even be physically harmful. An obvious harm is the physical abuse that is often
a part of such relationships. In a less obvious way, however, the tensions and
chemical changes caused by the constant stress can drain energy and lower
resistance to physical illness. Continuing in such bad relationships can lead
to unhealthily escapes such as alcohol or drug abuse and can even lead to
suicide attempts.
In such relationships, individuals are robbed of several essential
freedoms; the freedom to be the best of themselves in the relationship, the
freedom to love the other person through choice rather than through dependency,
and the freedom to leave a situation that is destructive.
Despite the pain of these relationships, many rational and practical
people find that they are unable to leave, even though they know the
relationship is bad for them. One part of them wants out but a seemingly
stronger part refuses or feels helpless to take any action. It is in this sense
that the relationships are "addictive."
There are several factors that can influence your decision to remain in
a bad and controlling relationship. At the most superficial level are practical
considerations such as financial entanglement, shared living quarters, potential
impact on children, feared disapproval from others, and possible disruption in
academic performance or career plans.
At a deeper level are the beliefs you hold about relationships in
general, about this specific relationship, and about yourself. These beliefs
may take the form of learned social messages such as "You are a failure if you
end a relationship," "Being alone is terrible," "I\'ll never find anyone else,"
"I\'m not attractive or interesting enough," or "If I work hard enough I should
be able to save this relationship."
To end this never ending cycle of a controlling relationship make your
recovery the first priority in your life. Become selfish by focusing on getting
your own needs met more effectively. Learn to stop being managed or controlled
by others; by being more focused on your own needs, you will no longer need to
seek security by trying to make others change. Find a support group of friends
who understand and will listen. Forget the broken engagement and share with
others what you have experienced and learned, even if it is your Critical
Thinking Essay Paper.