Controlling Husband and Loss of Self Part 2

By Dr. Coach Love


In Part 1, I talked about the individual rights we all have and do not lose in marriage or

an intimate partnership. Compromise, collaboration, cooperation, and negotiation are

important processes between spouses/partners when a conflict of rights occur. Control

is an unhealthy dynamic in all intimate partnerships.


Controlling relationships generally have the impact of:

1. Disrespecting, discounting, or degrading a partner in order

    to get one’s way.

2. Destroying a partnership and creating a parent/child relationship.

3. Triggering the loss of self for the “lower rank” partner

4. Fostering a climate of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse

5. Building distance in the relationship

6. Creating a “partnership of one”


Partners who yield to the control often:

  1. Are fearful
  2. Have low self-esteem
  3. Practice a pattern of conflict avoidance
  4. Focus habitually on pleasing others at their own expense
  5. Lose self-confidence
  6. Feel isolated or depressed


In relationships where the controlling partner has the self-awareness to acknowledge their control tendencies and expresses the willingness to change, the prospects for a healthy partnership are excellent. When both spouses agree on the problem definition—a controlling dynamic— it becomes less of a challenge to find a mutual solution to create change. With highly motivated partners, self-help materials are available as well as the opportunity to engage professional services from a marriage and family therapist or other mental health professionals.


Check back for the discussion about when the controlling partner is in denial of the impact of the behavior on the relationship.


What do you think? Review the table of contents below for more information and Q&A on controlling behavior in this blog.


That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.



Dr. Coach Love




v      I invite your comments below.

v      E-mail your relationship coaching questions to

v      Questions selected will be edited as needed to reflect privacy,

            brevity, clarity, and general interest.

v      Sorry, Dr. Coach Love is unable to offer any personal advice through this blog. This blog is not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you suspect any mental health problems, please seek immediate direct professional services as appropriate.

v      Check out relationship coaching services at



©       Copyright 2009 P.H. Pickett, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

            Contact for permissions.

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About drcoachlove

Dr. Coach Love is the author of the multiple award-winning book, The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight, published by MSI Press, a traditional publisher in California.

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