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Get Back Together: Give Up Trying to Control Your Loved One

One of the biggest relationship mistakes people make is trying to control your loved one. What makes this an especially big problem is that we do it unconsciously, when we think we are helping and supporting them. Before you can get back together and stay together, you need to look for signs of a controlling relationship and deal with this issue.

Some people blatantly try to control their loved ones, bossing them around, telling them what to do, and so on. If you do that, you just need to stop it. Nobody with a healthy mind will get back together with you for long, if you blatantly push them around and try to control them.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the unconscious ways people try to control their loved one and how they make it hard to get back together and stay together. You may be doing these things without even knowing it, and without any conscious desire to control your loved one. You may think you are helping them when you’re actually controlling them. So what are some signs of a controlling relationship, specifically this kind of unconscious one?

1. When you are with your loved one you expect something from them. Instead of accepting them as they are and accepting whatever love and affection they may wish to share at the moment, you want something from them. At the crassest level, a guy takes his woman to her favorite restaurant for dinner, then is disappointed that she goes to sleep when they get home. He had expectations that he would be rewarded with sex in exchange for a nice dinner. Unconsciously, he was trying to get her to give him what he wanted in exchange for dinner. He was trying to control her, even if he didn’t realize it. This mistake is especially common when you are trying to get back together, as the stakes are so high in your mind.

When you have unconscious motives like this, it may not be obvious to either you or your loved one. But they will affect the way the two of you interact (and make it much harder to get back together). At some level, your expectations will affect the way you talk and act when you are with them. And at some level, they will know that you have expectations, that your gifts or attention, or time are not given freely and unconditionally. They’ll sense that they have to pay for these good things somehow. That’s not the basis for a healthy, happy relationship. These signs of a controlling relationship will get picked up and may make it impossible to get back together.

2. You help your loved one too much. Everyone needs and appreciates help from time to time. But everyone needs to be responsible for their own life too. If you are always helping your loved one, always doing things they could do themselves, always solving their problems for them, you are making them dependent on you. And when someone is dependent on you, you control them, whether that was your intention or not. Even if you do get back together, this dependency will cause problems in the future.

So how do you avoid trying to control your loved one? You need to be able to give to them freely without expectation of anything in return. You need to have faith in them and give them space and the opportunity to do for themselves, to solve their own problems, control their own lives. To do so, you’ll need to learn to be more aware of your own motivations and the implications of what you do when you are with your loved one. If you want to get back together and stay together, this is crucial.

If you can banish all signs of a controlling relationship from future interactions with your loved one, you have an excellent chance to get back together.

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Listed: July 30, 2008 1:53 pm