As I said yesterday, we all have a natural desire to be in control. We want to be the master of our own destiny, so to speak. We want to do what we want to do, when and how we want to do it.
We understand marriage means we have to let go of some control, but more often than not there is something left after husband and wife have both given up as much control as they are willing to give up. The usual “solution” is to do everything we can to keep as much control as possible. That can look like any of the following:
- Not giving necessary information to our spouse. If knowledge is power, then keeping knowledge to yourself means more control.
- Not telling your spouse things common courtesy says you should. This is much like the above, but in “minor” things like never letting her know when you are running late, or that you are making an extra stop on your way some place. As above, the reason is the less she knows, the less control she can have.
- Passive/aggressive behaviour, including refusing to answer her questions. Again, it is trying to limit control by limiting information.
- Making decisions without discussing it with your spouse. Some men become very adept at arranging things so a decision is needed when she is not around.
- Spending money without discussing it. Not small things, but things big enough it matters to the budget.
- Keeping some money your spouse does not know about. Not pocket change, larger amounts.
- Committing your spouse to something on her behalf, or as a couple, without discussing it with her.
- Being intentionally unavailable when you know she needs something from you.
- Holding out on some critical element of a project your spouse is doing – holding her up because she needs your part before she can move on.
- Redefining things so you are right, or more important, or your way is superior.
- Promising the kids something without discussing it with your wife – especially if it commits her to doing something.
These are just a sample – you get the idea. Most of these are not direct, they are “sneaky” and frankly, dishonest. What are you doing to gain control?