Now you may not of asked yourself this question specifically but I’d put money on you having wanted to do something, and your partner has made it very clear that they don’t want you to do it.
It could be a night out,
It could be a holiday with friends,
It could be an item of clothing they don’t want you to wear,
Now before you read on I want you to put yourself in your boyfriends shoes,
Why? why the fuck should I do that? He’s the one that is trying to control me…
Well hold up there princess, lets take a step back for a second and ask yourself, how would I feel if I was my boyfriend and this situation was him and voluptuous Vicky?
lets use the story of ‘I don’t want you to spend time with , communicate with or follow on social media *insert name’ as our universally triggering point of reference.
So you work with this lad, lets call said lad Finch.
He’s smooth, mysterious, handsome and left Stifflers mum in a pool of her orgasmic fluids craving more of the D.
You drop into general conversations with your boyfriend, how Finch said this, and done that, and without being consciously aware of it, the name Finch leaves your mouth and travels into your boyfriends ears more than ‘what shall we have for dinner?’
You begin communicating with ‘ol’ Finchy boy outside of work, and one evening while laying on the sofa with your boyf (I hope that you managed to swallow that vomit the word boyf induced) tucking into Doritos and dip, your phone lights up with the name FINCH…
Your boyfriend by now has been used to hearing his name, seeing your facial expressions when you talk about him, and is aware that you are communicating outside of work but now your boyfriend asks you ‘who is that?’ knowing full well its the finchmiester.
You casually tell him ‘oh it’s just Finch’ and put your phone on the arm of the chair away from you instead of messaging back.
A few of your work colleagues invite you out for a drink one Saturday afternoon.
You mention to your boyfriend ‘A few people from work are going out for a drink Saturday afternoon do you mind if I go?’
‘No that’s fine but can we do something together in the evening?’
‘Of course we can :)’ <<< Yep I just attempted a nokia 3310 smiley on a blog post, I know criminal really!
Saturday comes and as you are doing your make-up and getting ready your boyfriend pops his head in and asks what time you will be back…
you tell him you’re meeting them all in the pub at 13:00 so will be back no later than 16:00.
16:30 – ring ring, ring ring *insert boyfriends name lighting up your phone.
16:45 – sorry babe (or whatever pet name you call your beloved) do you mind if I stay for another half hour? xx
17:00 – No i’ll see you about 17:00 xx
17:20 – Hey are you on your way home? xx
17:30 – What time are you going to be home? xx
18:00 – Sorry leaving in 5 mins just saying bye xx
‘I thought you were coming back at 17:00 how come it’s now 18:35?’
After the argument you’ve just had you decide that your boyfriend is being controlling and have now stumbled across this blog to find some validation for how victimised you feel.
Ok so this is all very tongue and cheek as I write this but it’s an example of how things can start and how feelings, boundaries and communication can all go up in flames.
First of all I want to bring you back to the proverbial deal we made at the start of this…
You promised to put yourself in your boyfriends shoes and ask yourself, how you would feel if this whole situation was flipped, and you were at the hands of your boyfriend and voluptuous Vicky.
Is your boyfriend being controlling saying he doesn’t want you spending time with, communicating with or following Finch?
Or is your boyfriend now setting clear boundaries in order to keep himself safe and whole (https://mark-groves.mykajabi.com/boundaries an awesome program on how to set clear boundaries in your life and relationship)
I can’t answer this for you, but what I will do is give you my own interpretation of how I see this situation and what feelings it would bring up for me, based on where I currently am in my journey.
At the start if I was hearing my girlfriend speak about a certain lad she was working with more and more, and then seeing the message pop up on her phone and her not answering it, followed by the Saturday afternoon and the lack of communication, I would feel uncertain, I would be questioning things like what is it about this lad that she likes, why did I not get an invite on that Saturday and would probably make me feel a sense of jealousy.
Now that does not by any means indicate that I am right and she is wrong, in fact I would be much more inclined to see these internal triggers as an area I need to work on and somewhere I need to start getting curious as to why these feelings are coming up, and how I could turn them into growth, BUT before growth, pain and uncomfortability will lead the way.
Thing is, in relationships we all have this incessant need to be right, that need only disconnects us further from eachother and in the fight for righteousness we lose sight of what’s actually important…
Creating a bond that meets all our needs, BUT the paradox to that is we have to be willing to receive criticism when we act out of alignment with what we actually say we want.
in order for you to create a bond that meets all your needs you have to open yourself up and understand that you, your partner, and the relationship are 3 different entities, you can’t just expect all your needs to be met without putting effort into meeting your partners needs and if your needs are never being met or your partners needs are unfulfillable by you, then you have to be honest with eachother.
Truth is, relationships are fucking hard and we are always learning through our triggers, the magic happens when we can lovingly navigate these triggers with our partner, instead of pointing the finger and trying to take the moral high ground with phrases like ‘I wouldn’t do that to you’ (we’ve all used that line as a form of self righteous manipulation), because all that does is again create defensiveness and will NOT enable you both to move forward.
I think instead of trying to constantly be heard in our relationship maybe we should take a birds eye view and ask ourselves ‘how could I hear my partner right now, and show them that I acknowledge what they are saying?’
This way of communicating is far less self aggrandising and will yield far better results (as long as the results you want are a more loving relationship)
So back to the initial question,
Am I in a controlling relationship?
Is your partner telling you how to look, how to behave, who to spend time with (or more so who you can’t spend time with)
Are they communicating consciously with you about how they feel, why they feel that way and how you can both work through a specific trigger together?
Remember neither are right or wrong, relationships aren’t about that, after all we’re on our own individual journeys, and are only doing our best with the tools (awareness) we currently have available to us, in any given moment.
What I will say though is if you think leaving a relationship and trading it for another, in an attempt to avoid these triggers, you will be massively disappointed, your partner may be shining the light at parts of yourself you don’t like looking at, and leaving them to be with someone else is merely just changing the hand holding the torch, the same triggers will still be there, and it is your responsibility to welcome the torch of surrender and begin leaning into your triggers while learning how to navigate them consciously in a healthy loving relationship.
My current work in my relationship is exactly that, learning how to hear and listen to what Charis is saying, instead of listening and then trying to have my say in order to be right.
We will always have areas we can grow and with awareness, zero judgement, love and compassion you really can cultivate the relationship you truly want, first you just have to be willing to look in the mirror instead of pointing the finger.
Would love to hear what you are currently working on to improve yourself and your relationship…
^^^ What fortunate initials I have to play on 😉
Yes Kelly, I had to end on that!
If you struggle with communication or want to really deepen your relationship then I hugely recommend my friend Dr Eva Brown https://www.facebook.com/eva.brown.96 and her amazing 90 day program (just hit the link to see if it’s for you and your relationship) https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Frelationshiprevolutionaries.com%2F90-days-to-renew-restore-and-revolutionize-your-relationship-connection%2Ftribe%2Fyourbestself%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0igCxHlShaEXRu9ubiZAMrwwXWz6vOBPpmTfKdlhsDqV4k0Kf0CoINH24&h=AT1FacYbiFvPZtC1eZPvo2NT7WoWlkfdRnbON3jMlplUTC2pgWd6C8iXyq70mgTd4RZhuIO9kSPFUXlJEVh1IockkhgM4Tr1LigmGMPpqGtia284trUj9ljkkJecZhIVOlJf7w