5 Signs You’re a Controlling Wife
5 signs you’re a controlling wife. Are you a controlling wife? If so, why? That is the question that I really want to address here, and help you set yourself up to be the best wife instead of a controlling wife.
Why are you a controlling wife? If you suffer from any (or all) of the 5 signs that you’re a controlling wife, there is a reason(s) behind that, and it may not be what you think.
- You always have to do things your way.
- You freak out if things don’t go as planned.
- You struggle with anxiety.
- You get upset if people have a different opinion than yours.
- You are never wrong.
Why You’re a Controlling Wife
I didn’t trust my husband
Now there was no true reason for not trusting my husband. It was all based in my background. I grew up in an extremely abusive home, being raised by a classic narcissist. I spent the first thirty years of my life living in survival mode, and breaking that cycle to transition from surviving to thriving was a serious struggle.
Trust is a very difficult thing when you’ve been abused in any way in the past. Turning into the person in charge and doing the controlling is a survival technique. Because when you were abused, you were the weak one who was being preyed upon by someone bigger or stronger who saw you as weak and an easy target.
If you’re in a healthy relationship, you don’t need survival techniques, you need to thrive. You deserve to thrive.
It is still a struggle even today, simply because I am still healing from years of abuse that were ingrained in my head. Old habits die hard, and I have to focus on breaking them daily. Cycle breaking is difficult, but certainly not impossible.
Lack of humility
It is really easy to think you know best and your opinion is the only one that matters when you are a controlling wife. For me, part of this stemmed from being raised by a narcissist and not trusting my husband.
But here’s the thing… Marriage is a partnership, a team sport. If you’re controlling, you aren’t even allowing for compromise. Or to hear your husband’s opinions. That isn’t a partnership, that’s a dictatorship.
My anxiety was from constantly living in survival mode and waiting for shit to hit the fan and explode constantly. From an early age, I never knew what would set my mother off on one of her angry hate-driven rages aimed straight at me for something I said or did wrong.
It is also significantly easier to think about what could go wrong instead of what could go right. I think that is easy for every woman out there.
When you start feeling anxious, stop and do two things. One, list three things that you’re grateful for. Gratitude is just good for your mental health, no matter how you look at it. Two, for every one thing you think can go wrong in a scenario, list off three things that can go right in comparison. This is a great way to train your brain to see both good and bad and how to evaluate them, instead of just being completely focused on the negatives.
Does giving up control mean you’re a doormat?
Are you going to have to give up opinions, become submissive, let go of dreams and goals, just to avoid being a controlling wife?
No! Say that with me, no!
Giving up control does not mean you’re handing over control to your husband. Read that again. That doesn’t mean you have to make any kind of sacrifice in your life. Remember how I said that marriage is a partnership and not a dictatorship earlier? Giving up being a controlling wife means you’re willing to transition from being a dictator to being a partner, and nothing bad can come of that!
Control is abuse
Control is a form of abuse, and it doesn’t matter who is the one trying to control the other. I will never control my husband’s life or his choices, but that certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to submit and allow him to control mine either.
Just because you give up control doesn’t mean you start allowing yourself to be controlled instead of being controlling yourself. As I said, control is a form of abuse, and it is worth repeating.
When I realized that I was a completely controlling wife and wanted to change that, it meant that I made a conscious effort to talk to my husband, and listen even more than I spoke. It required problem solving, and not simply giving directions.
When I gave up control, it meant that I made the effort to find compromise when I disagreed with my husband. No more “my way or the highway.” Or, “happy wife, happy life.” Those phrases were coined for controlling wives.
Look In the Mirror
If you are a controlling wife, you need to look inside at yourself. Which isn’t fun, I’m going to be the first to admit. But you have to answer for yourself why you’re a controlling wife.
For me, this was an easy question to answer. I lived in survival mode and didn’t know how to love myself or to trust my husband.
Once you answer that for yourself, it is time to start making changes. You can’t change anyone’s behavior, actions, choices, or responses but your own. You are absolutely in control of your own actions and choices. It is time to start making a conscious choice to take positive actions within your life. I strive to be the best woman that I can be and love myself.
By striving to be the best version of myself and loving myself, I don’t need to be controlling. Because I’m not an easy target for someone else to abuse me ever again. I refuse to allow myself to ever be a target again.
I wasn’t the only person my mother abused. She abused my dad and tried to control him when he was alive. He submitted to her and remained quiet simply to keep the peace. I realized that wasn’t the kind of wife that I wanted to be and it was time to break that cycle.
I still have opinions and voice them
Giving up control didn’t mean submitting to my husband and doing what I was told. Far from it! Because I’ll never be a well behaved woman, in that regard, and I’m perfectly happy with that.
It meant that I voiced my opinions, but I also gave my husband the opportunity to do the exact same thing, then find the happy medium that makes both of us happy. In a marriage, both partners need to be and deserve to be heard. I’m not married just to smile and do what I’m told. There was a shift into my marriage becoming a partnership when I made the choice to stop being a controlling wife.
Making that shift also meant my husband had more of an opportunity to thrive. It built trust and made him feel safe to voice his opinions and start working with me to find compromises when necessary. He knew that he could have a differing opinion than I did and feel safe to voice that.
Realizing when I got older that my dad never had that opportunity when he was married to my mother made me sad. But at the same time I’m extremely proud that my own husband has those opportunities and doesn’t have to stay quiet and submissive just to keep the peace in our household. That was a pretty big step in breaking that cycle of being a controlling wife.
Signs you’re a controlling wife and how to change that
You always have to do things your way
You’re not perfect or always right. Understanding this and being willing to hear other options and alternatives is the key here. If you’re passionate about something, fight for it. But know when to pick your battles and when to listen and find a compromise.
You freak out if things don’t go as planned
I was once the person who wanted to do everything in a single day. I would plan three days worth of outings and activities to cram into a single eight hour day. Then I had a full meltdown when I failed to do everything.
If I planned it (because I was always right and we did things my way), I was dead set on accomplishing it, and it felt like I was a total failure if I didn’t do it all.
Being flexible is part of learning your own limitations and working with it. Things will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean they are miserable or that you’ve failed. This is a shift in mindset, and with that shift comes the ability to be more flexible.
You struggle with anxiety
I struggled with anxiety until I became a prepper. Emergency preparedness is focused on having a plan and the skills to put that plan into place when things happen. This allowed me to shift how I responded to things happening in my life, which is absolutely something I can control. Controlling my own responses through prepping is also far easier than trying to control another person.
When I learned how to control my response, I found my anxiety went down. I also focused on gratitude and a much more positive attitude. One of my favorite phrases is, “what you focus on grows.” What do you want to focus on and grow? Anxiety and negativity? Or something more positive? You have your answer, so you know where to shift your focus!
You get upset if people have a different opinion than yours
Everybody is going to have a different opinion than you do. That’s okay! The world would seriously be boring if everyone agreed with me, or you.
When you are controlling, that differing opinion feels like criticism or a personal attack on who you are at your core. Which never feels good, I know. It is hard to hear without taking it very personally.
Being willing to hear other opinions (you don’t have to agree, we can all agree to disagree when necessary), is a sign of strength and confidence.
You will also start to realize which opinions matter and which ones don’t. An example is, my husband’s opinion means everything to me and I want to hear it, even if I may not like it. My favorite person’s opinion matters because I know that just like my husband, he’s looking out for me. Everyone else, well, they really don’t matter and I have come to understand that. Knowing which opinions to really hear and which ones to ignore is also important.
You are never wrong
Forgiving people who think they’re never wrong has always been a challenge for me. Because it means they lack the ability to take any kind of responsibility for their actions, and I have no respect for that.
I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong and you should be doing the same. Because it makes your words that much stronger and more impactful. It also builds both trust and respect, because you have the capability to admit when you are wrong and be humble about it.
5 Signs You’re a Controlling Wife Discussion
Are you a controlling wife, or were you once one and have changed? What steps did you take to change? Is it time to start making those changes within yourself? Did these 5 signs you’re a controlling wife help you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!