If someone holds so much power in your life, that you end up losing control of important facets of your own existence and happiness…
We’re talking today about controlling people and their impact on how we live. Here’s something that you may not realize when dealing with someone who has controlling tendencies. This person can grow to hold so much power in your life, that you end up losing control of important facets of your own existence and happiness.
This is something easily ignored while it’s happening. But yet, when you compare your life now to what it was before you hooked up with a controlling individual, you may notice that you’ve given up many things that are precious to you.
What areas of your life may have been impacted by the influence of a controlling partner, family member, or other people you may be relating with? What should you come to grips with and resolve so you can move on to the part where you leave?
If you find that your finances are being taken over by the controlling person in your life, then this is the first thing you should rectify before moving ahead with your plan to sever ties.
Finances are a tricky thing. The closer we feel to a family member or partner, the more likely we are to share financial responsibility with them. We permit them access to our bank accounts, and either lean on them or support them financially as needed.
This can be especially dangerous if you are dealing with a controlling person who makes you feel unsafe. Finances can be used to trap someone in life. A classic example of this is the stay-home mom who has dedicated herself to raising the kids while her husband or partner goes out to work and financially supports the family.
When all aspects of the relationship function in a healthy way, there should be no problem with this. However, if a partner who is also controlling takes over the money aspect of your life together, this can become a slippery slope situation. The more time that passes, the more difficult it is to get out of it.
Step one in securing your financial freedom from a controlling person is to establish or re-establish separate bank accounts. Create a side stash that allows you to accumulate some savings – a safety net, while making a plan to break away from this unhealthy relationship.
In addition to the usual monthly expenses, you’ll be needing some extra funds to help you make the transition to living without this person. Things like a security deposit on a new place if you rent; a new, safer car if this has gone neglected in your controlling relationship; lawyer fees; mental health support; and moving expenses can potentially factor in.
Step two is to secure paid work. Again, the more entrenched you have become in family life, the more dependent on your partner, and the more time has passed since you held a steady job, the more difficult it will be to get yourself back on solid financial footing. However, if you’re soon to be a single mom, you can look into various forms of government assistance that may be available to you.
If you are unable to make this change due to constraints put on you by your partner, you might look into taking out a loan in order to initiate steps toward divorce.
It is important to log any abusive behavior that you may be subjected to by the controlling person. You might also seek the support of mental health counselors and transition coaches who can guide you through this confusing time.
Another way that controlling people can create dependence is through control of your religious beliefs, and related activity around these. There is a huge emotional component to this because religion, after all, is based on duty and obligation… and potentially if misused, guilt.
If your controlling partner or family member uses religion to trap you in a situation, you will likely experience a yucky emotional reaction to what could be considered love turned inside-out.
The good thing about this is that once you recognize that you are being manipulated emotionally, you can take steps to make a positive change in your life.
Religion is something that people feel deeply about which bonds individuals to their family and social group in a very powerful way. This can be used to accomplish amazing things for individuals, families, and society at large. But the flip side is that belonging to a powerful group may also obligate you to that group.
A controlling partner or family member who is deeply entrenched in their religious beliefs and life can take this to an inappropriate level and turn your commitment to religion and involvement with a religious group against you.
If this is happening in your life, remember that religion should be based in love and offers of support to members of the community. If you feel that religion is being used as a tool of manipulation to control you, then you must stand strong and make a plan to escape the controlling individual or group.
Medical and health matters
Another area where it controlling people can seep into your boundaries and manipulate you into doing what they want you to do or what they think is best, is matters of health.
As we age, most people develop some health issues that must be attended to by a medical doctor. It should always be your own prerogative to choose the type of care that you receive. As long as you are of sound mind, the decision as to what medications and treatments to undergo, and what sort of preventive care you may take in an effort to prevent chronic disease from developing as you age, should be your own.
Control often comes disguised as help and gifts. If your controlling partner or family member has slipped into the role of your medical advocate, you may decide that this is not something you wish to have in your life.
Your health may have become the focal point of said controlling person’s nagging and persistence in trying to get you to do a variety of things. They may attempt control over which doctors you see, what health-related matters you’re attending to and how often, what treatments to receive, and the ways that you choose to live.
The fact is that this is your life. To take command of your own wellness, including your own happiness as part of this, you’ll need to make some changes that put you back into the driver’s seat of your own existence.
Develop a voice
Have a say in your own personal care and medical treatment. Start by talking with your healthcare providers (while not in the presence of your controlling partner or family member), to obtain information and advice that will best assist you in making smart decisions about your health. Do your homework and increase your knowledge and awareness.
Depending on the type of relationship you have with your partner or family member and the level of control they exert, it may be possible for you to have a talk with them. Let him or her know that you appreciate their support, but you would prefer to manage your health and medical matters on your own going forward. If the person becomes angry or begins to use stronger tactics in an attempt to prevent you from being autonomous in your own life, that is a huge red flag. In the name of your health, it may be time to move on to a healthier relationship or perhaps choose to live independently.