Many people don’t realize what control looks like, or even if it is occurring in their relationship. Some behaviors might become normal and you might not even realize that the way your partner reacts is considered controlling. Below you will find a helpful diagram that a colleague recently shared with me. This is often used as a tool to help people realize that they are in a relationship where control and manipulation play a roll. As you can see from the picture excessive control and manipulation is considered abuse. However it doesn’t have to be physical or sexual to be abusive. Creating a relationship environment where either or both partners are competing for power and control can also be considered emotionally or economically abusive. Remember that in healthy relationships there is no need for coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, blaming, minimizing, and using children as leverage. Please look at the image carefully to find out if your relationship includes any traits of having issues with power and control.
If you feel that you use these tactics while fighting with your partner and would like to change that by learning a more effective way of communicating, call me! We can work together to build more effective communication skills to decrease hostility in your relationship, increase your ability to vocalize your needs, and increase the chance that your partner receives your clear message. If you find that your partner often uses these tactics we can work together to help you establish boundaries, identify your needs in the relationship, and also build communication skills. Phone or Skype appointments are also available for those who are out of the area.