One of the tricks to resolving control dramas in relationships is to see “control” as the illusion it really is.
Control is completely made up in the minds of the people involved.
Here’s the thing…
Control dramas in relationships come in all shapes and sizes but at their core, they look the same.
If you think someone else is trying to control you, they are wanting you to think or act a certain way that they think will make them happy or is best.
The drama comes in when you want to act or think it should be another way that’s counter to what the other person wants.
Or maybe you think your way is better than someone else’s and they should do what you think is right.
Maybe you don’t see that as “control” but the other person does.
However the drama looks, it’s always a clash of wills–either as an overt argument or covertly as passive aggression.
When you step out of the control drama in relationships for a few moments, you can see what’s going on a whole lot more clearly than when you’re in it.
You can see that what you’re looking at is two people looking out at the world in very different ways–and that’s it.
When we were at a store the other day with Otto’s mother, Susie had a very interesting conversation with a woman as she was sitting and waiting on them.
The woman had a conversation with her husband and then he walked away. Susie hadn’t paid attention to their conversation but when he left, the woman laughed and said something like this…
“He’s controlling but I love him.”
She went onto explain that she’d had cancer twice in the past and he had taken care of her. Now that she was well, he was still “taking care of her” even though she didn’t need it.
She was making a choice to see his “controlling” as love for her which probably in his mind, it was.
Although Susie didn’t know the particulars of the relationship, what she did see was that this woman did love her husband.
As Susie got up to leave, the woman laughed again and said she thought she’d just let him take care of her.
Now in telling this story we’re not saying that if you feel like you’re being controlled by someone to just roll over and let them do it.
The beauty of this story is in the choice.
If you feel like you’re being controlled by someone, you don’t have to argue about it.
With love, you can get curious about seeing what might serve both of you without making the other person wrong.
If you want someone else to act or be a certain way and they are bulking at it or ignoring you, you might explore whether this is really any of your business or not.
A lot of times it isn’t any of your business.
When you see that they want to live another way than you want, you can make a choice whether to stay in the relationship and love them or if it’s a deal breaker, leave the relationship.
When you see that the control drama you’re in is just two people trying to get their way, you can see the futility in the fight.
You can see the choice and opportunity underneath all the drama that are always there.