Self Help

Control

Control issues are the thing that can make or break a relationship.  Any kind of a relationship including parent/child, boss/employee, friends and romantic.  (Yes, I know that is not a sentence!)

Here are the three basic control struggles in romantic relationships:

  1. Money
  2. Sex
  3. Children

We all want to be in control to some extent and we do not like being controlled.  That two people can come together and get along at all is truly a miracle.  There has to be not only give and take but a willingness to give up control.

Being a control freak by nature like I am gives me a great deal of understanding about control issues.  Learning how to be in control by not being control is an art that is not easily learned.  Let me say that again; the best way to be in control is by not being controlling. 

I think it takes a little bit of faith to make it all work.  For some that means having a general belief that things will work out for the best if we leave them alone and just let them happen.  For me that means having a belief in God that He will work all things out for my good. But here is the kicker:  you can’t have it both ways.  If you want God to work it out you have to let Him.  If you believe things will just work out you have to be willing to accept that things could go either way.

We all talk about blessings in disguise or the silver lining to a cloud but do we believe it?  It is pretty tough when you are in love with someone and they walk away from you.  We write songs about, “God bless the broken road that led me straight to you”.  I’ve heard it said that if someone is supposed to be in your life you will not be able to get rid of them, and if they are not supposed to be in your life you will not be able to get them to stay.  Just let them go.

Every lost relationship is an opportunity to learn some new, to grow, a renewed chance to succeed the next time around.  I know with great certainty that I have learned far more from my many failures in life that my successes.  Relationship failures are no exception to that. 

The greatest lesson I have learned from failing is to control by not being in control.  There are a couple of different ways to look at that concept.  The first is that we can only control ourselves, how we think and how we react.  The second more profound way is to see that you are far likely to get what you want out of a person if you don’t try to control them.  That includes any kind of manipulation, coercion, pressure and persuasion.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten what I wanted by leaving people alone to decide for themselves what they way.  Try it.  It really works.

At the end of the day control really is a bit of an illusion.  A very long time ago a dear friend told me that I had to stop being controlling and that I could only control myself.  He even informed I could not control my children which I did not understand at the time with two small boys ages two and four.  He was right.  Any illusion I had of control was completely shattered by the time my daughter came around.  She was and still is a force to be reckoned with!

Control yourself.  Let God or the Universe take care of the rest.  You will be much happier in the end.


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