IN MARRIAGE, IT IS ABSOLUTEY ESSENTIAL THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BE BASED ON FAITH, TRUST AND FREEDOM - AND NOT ON CONTROL. Control is an evil weapon. God, on the contrary, never forces us to do anything, even when it is for our own good. God instituted free will and is unwilling to violate it. God said: "See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction." (Deut. 30:15) When someone wants to "control" someone else, the result is oppression. In this type of relationships, one of the parties might acquiesce and do what is being asked of, but only out of fear of upsetting the other person. The problem is that whatever we do out of fear and not love, leads us nowhere good. Nevertheless, in many relationships, one of the parties operates using control. How can we recognize a controlling personality? These are the symptoms: - is jealous, exhibits a possessive love - has a hard time accepting the other person's decisions - has unrealistic expectations about the other person - is always looking for a scapegoat when things don't turn out right - is dominant, obstinate - is boastful, likes to shows off - criticizes other people - is narcissistic - gets offended when others don't do what he wants - is vengeful when he doesn't get his way - he will even try to destroy you if you are a threat to his power and influence What are his weapons? - threats - raise his voice - physical or emotional or verbal violence - self-pity - likes to show himself as a victim so that we feel sorry for him and do what he wants - pretty words, gifts, which are not given freely, but expecting something in return - insistent behavior What motivates him? - is proud - cannot handle being wrong - is insecure - has great fear of rejection - has a great need for power and authority - and will do anything to get it - feels the need to be exulted, gives himself credit and titles - thinks he knows more than everyone, dominates conversations because of that - feels that no one can handle things better than him (not even God). He takes things into his own hands The controlling person is actually an insecure person and this insecurity leads him to want to control the people around him. For example, an insecure woman will become jealous, wanting to control what her husband does all the time, in order to make sure he won't leave her. On the contrary, a self-confident woman has no need to be jealous. She establishes rules in her marriage to avoid temptation, but she'll never "run" after her husband because her assurance is not based on what her husband does, but instead on her faith. She is confident that she is an attractive woman, that her husband is a faithful man, that her life is in God's hands, and that everything that He allows in her life is for her own good. And we know that "According to your faith it shall be done to you" (Mathew 9:29). In other words, whatever we believe, shall become true in our lives! Consequently, the controlling person is someone who doesn't have faith. Insecurity is synonymous with lack of faith. If we truly belong to God, we must operate under love, assurance, and faith. If you are in a relationship where you feel that your partner is trying to control you, to decide things on your behalf, to force you to do things you don't want to do, don't allow it. Allowing such behavior does not show love. It will only reinforce the bad behavior. Teach your spouse that he will not get his way by yelling, threatening, or having self-pity. Teach him that to get the best of you, he needs to do it through love, respect, and consideration. Exactly the same way that God does it. By the same token, don't try to control someone else. Don't yell, threaten, or play the victim role in order to get what you want. Even if it works short-term, it won't be a blessing. Because the day will come when the other person gets tired of that situation, rebels, or matures, and become aware that you are manipulating him. We cannot say that we are Christians, that we belong to God, and at the same time utilize evil tactics to reach our objectives. If you belong to God, learn to have faith instead of trying to control others. And if someone wants to control you, learn to stand up for yourself and be free!