Who’s In Control

“You can tie my hands, govern my actions; you are the strongest, and society adds to your power; but with my will, sir, you can do nothing.” – George Sand

When it comes to relationships it’s all about power and control; who has it, how is it expressed, and what is the end result.

The infant screams and that gets he or she what they want, usually.

The toddler yells, bites, and says, No!

If the parent needs to be in control they can exercise it in a number of ways, including force.   The child has to fight harder or give in. This sets a pattern for later life.

Adolescence is particularly tenuous, and the teen can do a whole mess of things to get their way and infuriate their parents.

As adults rebellion can continue, and the young adult can proverbially slap the parents in the face with a whole ream of things. The ultimate is when a child chooses values diametrically opposed to their parents, as in marrying someone that the parents really disapprove of.

There is no winning with a child in the end and in the real end the parents have a role reversal and need the child more than the child needs them. In some cases, the parent holds on to control with money or other means including withholding approval and love.

Many times, the parent has a need for control and power that keeps the child, even as an adult, in a childlike position, and the child is not strong enough to risk being a grown up with the parent.

It can be a tragic situation.

When these people get into love relationships they are ready to give up control usually as that is what their role has been in life OR some go to the other extreme and finally have a chance to be the boss. They can then wield power in many forms including bad ways.

There is always the matter of control in life; from real bosses at work, boards of directors, and then, of course, laws, and government rules.

No one is completely free and to be a free spirit takes a lot of doing.

Within close romantic relationships the idea of power is certainly a factor.

As a counselor, I get to see who sets the rules in any relationship.

It can never be fifty-fifty. In mature relationships couples discuss things and arrive at a mutually agreeable decision. In some there are categories and lines drawn. He takes care of the finances, while she decides how they are spent. She takes on the responsibility for most of child rearing practices, while he takes care of the cars etc.

How time and money is spent are the usual big areas for control. Some couples however, argue, or even have huge fights, over what might be considered minor decisions or ways of behaving.

The choice of friends, how relatives are included or not, and so on can be major areas of disagreement and tussle over who’s in control, and who gets, their way.

The patterns are usually set early on and continue for the life of the relationship, but they can sometimes change when an individual decides to take a stand. Then it’s up to the two of them to see where the path leads.

What is especially interesting these days is the shift with women having leadership roles outside of the home and then continuing that at home or reverting to being taken care of.

Changing and shifting gears is not easy.

Being the strong one and having the loudest voice, or the ability to not give in takes energy.

Now when it comes to the bedroom, control is also seen here.

Who makes the first move? What happens next?

Basically, women decide when and for whom they will open their legs. They have that control; notwithstanding rape of course.

Men are subjected to the females lead here and they are also sort of at the mercy of what the woman knows and will enjoy or tolerate or want to experiment with. Interestingly many women feel that when they have total control over a man they lose a certain respect, if you will, and do not feel the same toward them. On the other hand, many powerful men outside the home really like to be the ‘weak’ one in bed and like their woman to take the lead and let them relax in that way.

Power can be used for good or not so good. The abuse of any power is not a goal.

At the crux of it all the giving up totally, with the orgasmic response tells the entire story.    Being satisfied physically also includes being satisfied emotionally.

How many really accomplished men are there that are fearful, almost petrified, of displeasing their partner? They have the fear of God in them.

How did that happen, I wonder?

“I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.” – Thomas Jefferson

Who is in control in your life?  How do you get what YOU want?

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