National Association of Marriage Enhancement

10 Things to Stop Controlling in Your Spouse

16737_22098_5Are you a control freak? Do you love micro-managing your spouse? Some of us have a tendency to sin this way. Yes, I did say sin! God did not put you in your marriage to force or control the other person into a “better way” of living life. There is a big difference between being a helpmate and a control freak. Dominating your spouse does not cultivate a comfortable atmosphere in which love can grow. Grace, understanding and appreciation cultivate love. Whether you identify yourself as a control freak or not read through this list. Are you guilty in any of these areas that you need to stop controlling your spouse?

  1. TV hog—this one is simple. Do you force your spouse to constantly watch programming he or she is uninterested in? This one could be pretty easy to incorporate into every day life.
  2. Financial Decisions—it is important to both be in communication about budgeting and expenses, but if it is your word that goes on each and every decision, it can be very suffocating for your spouse.
  3. What Your Spouse Eats—believe it or not. This can be a big fight in some relationships. It is one thing to encourage your spouse toward healthy eating; it’s another to order for him/her at a restaurant.
  4. How Your Spouse Dresses—dressing can be a part of one’s creative expression. Changing their style might feel like you are trying to change them.
  5. When to Hang with Friends—checking calendars is totally okay, but refusing your spouse to hang out with good friends based on purely selfish reasons is very controlling.
  6. His or Her Job—your spouse’s career is not your career. It is great to voice concerns or insert helpful wisdom in career choices, but the ultimate and final decision is not purely yours.
  7. The Weekends—generally one spouse likes relaxing more and one spouse likes being busy more. If you are constantly forcing your spouse into your weekend agenda and almost always ignoring his or hers, they could be growing in resentment towards you.
  8. Kids—often, one parent likes to be more hands on, but this can also lead to bossiness over the other parent. Are you forcing your spouse to follow all of your parenting decisions or do you parent together?
  9. Sex Directions—are you a dictator in the bedroom? Do you constantly command in order to enhance your own sexual enjoyment? Sex is not about control. It is about giving and receiving.
  10. Driving—yep, backseat driving is a marital issue. It shows lack of trust, and also comes across very nagging to your spouse. It’s simple but can be a real battle area for control.

Were you convicted? Did God make you aware of any area that you need to act more gracefully in? If so, share your realization with your spouse, apologize and make an attempt to loosen the reigns. God gave you your spouse to be your helpmate, your equal. If you don’t allow them to contribute, you rob them of their God ordained ability to help. Remember you are not their parent, mentor or savior. Great marriages glean wisdom from one another and make decisions together!