The desire for control is normal. From a very young age, children want to have control over their bodies, their surroundings, and their lives. We spend a great deal of time, energy, and money to be in control. Unfortunately, this leads to a tendency to try to control beyond what is good, sane, or healthy. When a man or woman wants to control their spouse, the resulting relationship is not the kind of marriage God intended.
The difficulty with this is it’s very hard to draw a clear line and say “this is okay, that is not”. For example – it’s normal to want to know where your spouse is, and who she is with. It is certainly not good if your spouse is unwilling to share such information. However, taken too far, needing to know every detail, all the time, is neither loving nor caring, it is abusive. Another example – wanting things done or arranged in a certain way is understandable, but getting upset when you bride does it differently is a problem – especially if her way works just fine. In both of these examples, it’s impossible to make a clear line. If two husbands are the same on one of these issues, it’s possible one is fine and the other is being too controlling.
Many men still have enough of the “King in my own house” mentality to push too far with control and not see anything wrong with what they are doing. Try this – imagine you and your wife traded places: she treated you as you treat her, and expected you to do all the things she does. How would you feel about that? If you find that idea appalling, something is wrong, and you need to deal with it. If you find it more than a bit upsetting, you may have some things to work through.
Of course some will tell me that God made men and women differently (I agree) and as such they can do – and enjoy doing – things we can’t do or would not enjoy. There is some truth to this, but it gets used to justify some bad behaviour. No one likes being controlled by anther, and no gender difference makes controlling okay.