"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)


My Husband 'Knows Best'

by Devika K
(Melbourne, Australia)

My question is about, broadly speaking, how to deal with controlling relationships. In my case, my husband seems to want to control, via the decisions we make, and I am finding this frustrating...

"Relationships Q&A with You, Me and Paula Renaye"

QUESTION: What do you do when your husband thinks he knows better than you?...


MORE FROM Devika...

My husband is a lot better than he was before with his attitude towards my opinion on matters. He still either ignores me or disagrees when I suggest something like I know a good dentist or painter.

He wants to be in control.

As long as he comes up with the idea or suggestion, it's all good and he will make decisions without any problem. But if I suggest we do something or go somewhere, & he doesn't want to then that won't happen.

We have a great life and our relationship is improving but I can still see this attitude in him. We do a lot together and go many places because they are all his choices and decisions.

And this is wonderful. But on little daily matters, I am noticing that he still dispels me until and unless he decides.

I believe this to be a common problem. What is your advice?

Devika




STEVE'S ANSWER

Short relationship question so I have a short answer for you...

"Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough."
-- Dinah Shore

There are many reasons why people try to control others, but (I believe) most stem from some kind of insecurity, from some kind of fear. So, for example, maybe your husband feels he should be the one to make the important decisions at home otherwise... otherwise what need do you have of him?

Whatever the reason for this control - and he really might not see it this way, let's be honest - I think approaching your husband, calmly and fairly about this subject is the only way to go. Just be prepared for his answers, I guess...


Comments for My Husband 'Knows Best'

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Conflict Resolution
by: Anonymous

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STEVE COMMENT:
Sounds interesting, indeed! I'm just not too sure about the notion of 'right' and 'wrong' (sounds too 'black and white' to me - and relationships are usually about 'grey')

Control Issues
by: Paula Renaye

Devika,

You know you have to talk to him about this, right? Why are you afraid to? Presumptuous of me, but I am speaking from my own past experience.

I had a similar situation and I was absolutely terrified to say anything about it because I was afraid the relationship would fall apart if I did. I wouldn't ask for what I wanted--be treated as an equal and respected partner--because deep down I thought I knew how the conversation would unfold and I wouldn't like the outcome. So, I complained to my friends, but I didn't have the courage to talk to him about it.

That may not be your issue at all, but the bottom line is still the same: If we have a problem, we have to face it head on--and be okay with whatever happens.

It could be, as Steve said, that he doesn't even realize he's doing it. Or, he could be having issues at work and feeling he doesn't have control there and it is spilling over into your relationship. Ultimately, the goal isn't to balance the power, it's about communicating lovingly and effectively.

I didn't realize how much competition there was between me and my husband or...wait for it...how much *I* tried to control him!

I would have sworn it was the other way around, and it was, but I also had my own control issues. I didn't think I could overtly ask for what I wanted, so I manipulated things covertly to try to get it. I *was* trying to control him. He wouldn't willingly give me what I wanted so I tried to find ways to make him. Not a good plan.

I hope the dialogue here on the site will spur more thoughts and you will post them!

Paula.

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