My post on Gate-keeping last week was the lead in to this series on controlling. In that post I said, “Gate-keeping has no place in a healthy marriage. If you think your gate-keeping is justified, that indicates there is something wrong with your marriage, your wife, or you.“
There are a couple of important caveats in those two sentences, and they apply to both gate-keeping and being controlling.
First, I said in a healthy marriage. In an unhealthy marriage it may be necessary to do things to protect yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or sexually. Think of this as similar to the limiting of rights that occurs during war time. It is not what’s best or what should be, but circumstances may make it necessary. Even then, the limits are unhealthy and can cause problems of their own.
Second, if you think gate-keeping or controlling are justified, you need to give some serious thought to why. If they are justified, it means there is a major problem with your spouse and your marriage. Alternatively, your actions are not justified, but you think they are because something is wrong with you.
By the way, this is another place where your family of origin can be a big issue. If your parent’s marriage was a war zone you grew up under the equivalent of martial law, and it seems normal to you. If your parent’s marriage wasn’t healthy and happy, assume your understanding of marriage is skewed.