Be Out of Control
I had an epiphany today about these words.
You are out of control.
In the common meaning: you are acting in a way that is not ok;
i.e., too aggressive, too wild, too selfish, etc.
But a deeper cut is that you’re not in my control–
and I don’t like it.
To be out of control is dangerous to a society based on order and civilized behavior.
But it’s also dangerous within a relationship that is based on one or both partners conforming to each other’s expectations.
An abusive relationship is marked by one partner trying to control the other partner. I would argue that some form of control exists in most relationships. This is why the concept of unconditional love is extremely difficult to achieve.
You can’t have unconditional love when your love requires your partner to act a certain way for you to be happy.
Control, especially when subtle, can be extremely difficult to spot. And, if you dare to point out someone trying to subtly control you–be it a lover, husband/wife, sibling or parent–you may be hit with a variation of the following in response:
You’re being too sensitive.
Permitting these seemingly innocuous words to stand uncontested in your relationships is far more pernicious than I can possibly convey.
You see, much of life is becoming accustomed to a baseline of behavior, which becomes the norm. And once we buy into the baseline of you’re too sensitive, you’re selfish or you’re out of control, etc., it can be extremely difficult to reverse the tide of controlling behavior without severing, destroying or transforming the relationship.
(Of course, the latter takes a ton of work, most likely in the form of therapy. Because it will require one partner/person to change their whole view of you, as well as how they relate to you. And most people can’t or are just unwilling to do that.)
And once a baseline of control is set and you allow your partner/parent/sibling/friend to exercise control–notice I used the word allow–because it can’t happen without your permission–the other party is most certainly going to keep doing it. And when “love” is involved, it will most likely only get worse, as they will naturally desire more control.
So, what can you do?
Be on guard for subtle forms of control.
Be out of control.
And if your partner doesn’t like it, don’t conform.
By the way, this goes for everyone–not just women. Men are often controlled in their relationships, as well. And this goes for all relationships, not just the romantic ones.