I need help for my controlling behavior

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Alright this is the first time i have sought any help for my problems. To get a little background on me i am 24 and basically raised an alcohol/drug addicted mother with MS from the age of 8-15. My father was around but not if you know what i mean. I have never had serious relationships until recently (4 years ago).

My problem is this, i am fairly controlling and untrusting. I know that my previous short relationships played a role in my failing relationship now but not how much. My girlfriend and i met 4 years ago and the first months were great, i trusted her completely with no issues of control. After about 6 months things started down hill. I got suspicious of not knowing any of her friends or hearing anything about them and started digging. What i found was that she was being quite flirtatious and even sexual in nature towards other men in messages, mail etc. I confronted her on this but could not break it off as i love her.

This started the spiral to me catching her kissing another man. At that point is when i became controlling and did not trust her at all. I would demand that she call me all the time and be specific in the details of what, who, when, where, why etc. Even to the point of demanding pictures being sent to my phone for proof. I HATE THIS ABOUT MYSELF!

She however has done these things or attempted to do them. But my problem is that she doesn’t think it is necessary or that she should have to provide a comfort (which is the meaning behind the control) after the things that were done. We have been fighting on this for 3+ years now and to the point i lost a lot of feelings for her and my trust is gone completely. I still love her and would like to make her happy but don’t think i can. What to do?

A: Actually I don’t think your primary problem is about control. Your main problem is in knowing how to find someone who can be worthy of your trust. Instead of letting go of someone who has repeatedly disappointed you, you hang on and try to MAKE her be a loyal, warm, faithful person. For some reason of her own, this woman puts up with your controlling behavior. Whatever is going on between you isn’t love. I have a guess that the two of you are playing out what you learned in childhood about what a relationship between a man and a woman is like or you are repeating patterns of relationship you each had with your parents. Sadly, the model you are using is highly destructive for both of you.

Please. 3 1/2 years is more than enough fighting to find out that a relationship isn’t going well. Either call it quits or get into couples counseling to learn how to love each other without fighting and control being a central part of your lives. You both need to learn how to work out differences without turning you into a control freak. You’re young. Do the work you need to do to get this right and you can have 50 years or more in a fulfilling and loving relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I need help for my controlling behavior. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/07/i-need-help-for-my-controling-behavior/