Tip of the Day: Signs of Power-and-Control in Relationships
Problem: In relationships, sometimes couples struggle with trust and power-and-control issues. A partner’s own self-esteem issues and self-doubt-their past trauma stories-can be the influencers on current controlling and abusive behaviors. There is underlying fear of being hurt, abandoned, rejected and alone.
Signs that Power-and-Control Issues may be in Your Relationship:
· Physical intimidation, violence, threats.
· Sexual violence; both emotional and physical; exploitation
· Chronically questioning partner's whereabouts
· Preoccupation with trust of partner
· Controlling freedom of partner making it hard for partner to spend time away
· Suspicion of partner's intentions and loyalty
· Attempts to control finances
· Stalking, tracking, checking, snooping, videorecording, invading partner’s privacy
· Attempts to control influences of partner
· Attempts to control partner’s confidence in self
· Gaslighting behavior
· Withholding affection and praise
· Self-serving behaviors
· Yelling, verbally attacking, withholding communication, ignoring, name calling
· Respect partner’s safety, both physically and emotionally. Get help if you’re the abuser or the abused. Control yourself.
· Anger management counseling, mental health evaluation and treatment, addictions help; often abusers have underlying mental health issues as well as active addictions that alter healthy behavior.
· Give your partner freedom with mutually agreed upon boundaries to protect your relationship and to foster intimacy in your relationship.
· Trust your partner until there’s evidence that partner is not trustworthy.
· Fill your life with your hobbies, friendships, community affiliations so that your partner is not the only one with whom you are focused. No one person can fulfill all of your needs.
· Give often, put your mate before your own needs (not in place of self-care, but to offer unselfish love to partner-unconditional and without expectation of anything in return).
· Serve your partner; fill their love tank without being asked.
· If you have anxiety in your relationship, the answer is not stalking, checking, or controlling; get help, give freedom. Share your fears with your partner, ask for reassurance. If this fear or behavior is chronic, this is your work to do. Seek counseling to discover what is driving your fears and behaviors. It can be better.
· Heal and let go of past hurts. Seek counseling if you’re stuck in the past. You’ll never experience healthy relationships if you are stuck in past hurts. There must be full forgiveness, restoring of trust and respect. Otherwise, your relationship is toxic.
· If you’re the partner who experiences power-and-control by spouse, see a therapist to help you navigate the path to healthy relationships and self-worth.
· Agree mutually on supportive financial planning where both partners are given trust and freedom. If there are spending issues or issues of managing money, support partner and work together to restore trust. Seek counseling if you need additional help.
· If you’re not sure whether you’re in a power-and-control based relationship, reach out for help. A trained therapist can help you navigate your own healthy journey; if you’re healthy, you will not accept maltreatment. We can help you navigate this journey.
Call (815) 707-4806 if you’re in a power-and-control relationship. We can help you to navigate better outcomes. We care and change can happen.