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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » "I feel like I'm controlling you"

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Author Topic: "I feel like I'm controlling you"
JordanGM
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My girlfriend says that she feels like she is controlling me because she gets nervous when I go places and wants to know who I'm with, if I'm safe and when I'm going and all that crap. When she isn't happy I try too hard to help her, and I sort of forget about what I want.

How can I stop this? Especially that she feels that she's controlling me. If I tell her I'll try to stop trying to help her out, I'm basically doing what she wants again..

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Heather
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It might help to get a better idea about if there IS controlling going on.

For example, when you go out, beyond asking where you're going and with who, does she do anything else, like call or text a lot while you're out? Try and keep you from going out in the first place?

Just FYI, if someone is asking a partner for help in being a better partner, I really wouldn't frame it as that partner being asked for help as "doing what that person wants." Supporting one another in being good to each other, in not enabling anything dysfunctional, is a healthy, reciprocal thing that people do for each other.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JordanGM
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She doesn't call or text, but I don't have a cell.. She does get upset when I talk to her after sometimes.

She tells me she cares about me and wants me to be happy, but that's all she really does, tell me. She apologizes for not "giving me what I want" and says she'll try but it doesn't happen. I love her and want to stay with her, so I don't know what to do.

She works 35 ish hours a week and she's really busy, so I don't blame her for being tired and stuff, but still..

As for her actually controlling me, yeah, to a certain extent I agree.. What can I do about that..

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Heather
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I'm still a bit confused. I'm not hearing any controlling so far. It's hard to talk about how to deal with controlling if I don't understand if it's happening, and if so, how it's happening.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JordanGM
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I talk to her on the phone every night, she says she can't fall asleep if she doesn't hear my voice.... :/

If I'm with friends and she wants to go to bed, she makes me feel really bad either on MSN or by calling my friend's place or something.. So I usually end up going home and calling her. She says things like "You'd rather be with them than talk to me?"

She does control me a lot, but I don't think it's on purpose.. She makes me feel really bad, like what I did is wrong for some reason even if it isn't..

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Heather
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Do you want to talk to her on the phone every night, or are you only doing so because it's something she wants?

With the stuff with your friends, that's starting to sound like control. Same with any manipulation to try and make you feel bad.

So, do you enjoy being in this relationship, and is it one you want to stay in? If so, is this something she's going to get some help with working on, like with a counselor? If you've been enabling any of this, there are things you can also do -- like setting firmer limits and boundaries -- but she's also going to need to do some work on her own.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JordanGM
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I don't want to talk to her every night.. But I kind of set myself up for that.. We've been doing it since the beginning..

Right now I really don't enjoy this relationship.. but I want to try and work out our problems so we can stay together. Counseling isn't going to happen, and I'm guessing she would at least try to change and make things better..

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Heather
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Well, in healthy relationships, there should always be flexibility so we can change things as we need to, especially hen it comes to improving precedents that aren't working for one or both people or which aren't healthy.

Is there a reason she wouldn't consider seeking out help? Because when someone is controlling or codependent -- you seems to be saying things that suggest it may be some of both -- they usually need outside help to work on that, and doing so will make them feel better about themselves AND improve their relationships.

You can't do that for her. You can support her in that. What you can also do is start setting some limits and boundaries, like telling her you don't want to talk every night, and you need her to start learning how to get to sleep on her own sometimes (something she clearly did before you met). You can also set limits on things like needing her, if she has hurt feelings because you spend time with other people in your life, to process those feelings herself, like in a journal or with a friend.

Another thing you can start with -- ideally until she can get some help for herself -- is to ask her to replace "I need" with "I want" with a lot of these things. Like I said, she doesn't likely NEED you to get to sleep unless she never slept in her life before she met you (in which case, she needs some treatment for a sleep disorder). She doesn't "need" to know who you're with or where you're going, she wants to know. Making wants into needs is one way people can try and assert control or manipulate, because it suggests something that someone just wants is essential to their survival or emotional well-being.

[ 08-15-2010, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JordanGM
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It's not that she wouldn't accept help if she believed she had a problem, it's that there's no way I can tell her she needs professional help with her agreeing.


You've helped me with a few other posts and it's kind of obvious that this relationship has a lot of problems.. Problems I want to solve and she seems to want to solve too, but we just aren't getting anywhere..

I admit I have my own problems too; I'm really jealous ( I try not to be and try to hide it but I still am ) and I'm really quiet and shy with other people... but I don't want to see a councilor, and I've been trying to solve those problems on my own but it's not working.

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Heather
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One thing I like to remind users here of when they say they don't want counseling is that y'all tend to often come here for just that. But we can't do as good of a job online in this venue as a qualified counselor could in-person, or even in private, online counseling.

If we have problems, and try a few ways to fix them, and can't seem to get any changes, that often means we need some help. There's no shame in needing help, and it's something we all will need from time to time. It's really trying to avoid help that's problematic, not seeking it out.

So, if you are pretty sure she will not be willing to get some help of some kind, the hard answer is that it's very unlikely things will change, and likely things will get worse. If you have jealousy/control issues of your own, same deal. And if both of you have those issues and are in an intimate relationship, those issues are likely to become more and more cemented in your relationship and for each of you as people. That's just kind of how it works, just like if and when two people with a shared addiction connect, their addiction tends to get worse. Know what I mean?

As well, if she refuses to believe this is a problem -- not sure that's so, though, since she seems to have voiced she is aware she is being controlling -- then until that changes, again, this is probably pretty hopeless.

So, what are your basic options? Well, you can leave this relationship and do your own work to take care of yourself, scale it back so it's not so full-time/serious, stay in it and probably have things stay the same or get worse, or you both can seek out some outside help, and see if that does the trick.

[ 08-15-2010, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JordanGM
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Thanks.
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Heather
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Sorry it's not mostly good news if you're trying to avoid getting help or she is, but unfortunately, sometimes not getting help is pretty much bad news. [Frown]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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