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How you deal with a controlling partner really depends on the amount of inappropriate control that is present in the relationship. Many relationships have an ongoing power struggle running through them. Each partner may be trying to be the dominant partner within the relationship. Experts have thought this power struggle is caused by blurred gender roles in today's society.
One way to deal with a controlling partner is to find out the reason they are exerting this control. It may be due to the parental examples they were shown as a child. If one parent was seen to be more dominant than the other, this model may become ingrained in the child. As an adult, they may be unconsciously mimicking this type of control.
Another possible reason for the behavior of a controlling partner may be found in previous relationships. If a previous relationship ended due to a lack of trust or some form of deceit, this can continue on to the future relationships. A controlling partner may not realize that they are being controlling to the extent that it is harmful to the relationship.
There are many ways that a controlling partner can exert his or her control. It can take the form of simply phoning the partner continually to check up on him or her. It can take the form of verbal abuse and constant arguments. If left unchecked, it can often lead to physical abuse and domestic violence.
The first step to take with a controlling partner is to establish communication. Your partner should be aware that this form of control is not acceptable to you. This should be talked about early in the relationship to enable the controlling partner to realize his or her behavior will not be tolerated.
Unfortunately, in many cases the controlling partner will not accept that he or she is behaving in any way out of the ordinary. Previous partners may have accepted this form of behavior; if a controlling partner has not been confronted about his or her behavior before, he or she may not see anything wrong with this type of behavior. When talking about the problem, the controlling partner may become angry and defensive. The anger he or she is showing is also a form of control, as he or she wants the conversation to stop and not be discussed any further. If he or she is unwilling to discuss the issue, there may be no alternative than to step away from the situation until your partner is willing to discuss it.
The problem of controlling behavior within relationships is widespread. A relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. If one partner is trying to control everything that the other partner is doing, it is an unhealthy relationship. The behavior can have consequences in future relationships and, if children are involved, can influence they way they view relationships in their adult life.