Author Topic: Thinking "control" is love  (Read 4655 times)

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2chickiebaby

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Thinking "control" is love
« on: October 29, 2009, 09:53:48 AM »
Son thinks control is love.  It's just the opposite, it's control and domination.  It's keeping a puppet off balance till they don't know which end is up and carefully do what is required to keep the relationship going. 

A mother and son bond can be broken so easily by a domineering woman. So can a daughter, if she is in an abusive relationship.  It is fragile by nature, all love is and when one is pushed and pushed like son is, the bond gets fractured. 

He hopes and prays we'll love her, I know he does.  I've seen this in his eyes.  We try and must continue the dance of the eggshells to make him okay.  The stomper, control freak makes it hard, hard, hard.  How can she live with herself? 

 

AnnieB

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 12:04:02 PM »
You know, there is a fine line between love and control -- and I think it is in the perception.

I've had similar thoughts, that my DIL is controlling my son.  But as much as I would like to think this is true (rather than that he is making choices I don't agree with or like), I have to give him more credit for being able to make his own decisions.

They may not be decisions I like or agree with -- they may be spot on, or they may turn out to be decisions he looks back on and thinks were mistakes (I have a huge pile of those myself!) 

When our children are small, we love them and make decisions for them because we love them.  They have to do what we say because we are the parent(s).   Are we loving them or controlling them or controlling them because we love them?

As they grow up, through adolescence - we are usually challenged.   Depending on the parent and child within the same family,  these challenges may be hard or they may be easy. 

Eventually we have to let go and let them make their own choices.  We have to give up our control -- with love.  It isn't easy!

It is tempting to put blame on the spouse our children have chosen for controlling them.

But I think that is unfair both to our children and their spouses if we lightly assume that.  We need to think deeply if our child is perhaps making choices we don't like, on their own.   Choices that may (for a little while, for a long while, forever) exclude us.  Are we blaming someone it is easier to blame because we don't love them?  And because it hurts so much to give credit where credit is due -- to our own child, making these choices, for reasons we strongly disagree with? 

Of course, I watch reality TV -- I see examples of cases where there really IS a spouse or spouse to be who is super controlling (Bridezilla's and Changing Spouses come to mind)-- I watch those shows and shake my head in wonder that someone would choose to marry someone like that and stay married to them....  I've never seen a case on those shows that fit my son and his wife, those personalities are just so extreme!

My son's wife does wear the pants in the family, as they say.  I think it is the rare couple where everyone is equal all the time -- someone usually is the leader.  She's the leader, he's the follower. That's his personality.  But I believe he chose her and chooses to follow.   It is a choice.  He is not powerless, he is choosing how to react.   I don't agree with what he's doing -- but he knows her better than I do.  Time will tell if he is right in handling this as he is choosing to do.  (I still don't like it)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 12:10:53 PM by AnnieB »

Ihopeuknow

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 12:13:19 PM »
You know, there is a fine line between love and control -- and I think it is in the perception.

I've had similar thoughts, that my DIL is controlling my son.  But as much as I would like to think this is true (rather than that he is making choices I don't agree with or like), I have to give him more credit for being able to make his own decisions.

They may not be decisions I like or agree with -- they may be spot on, or they may turn out to be decisions he looks back on and thinks were mistakes (I have a huge pile of those myself!) 

When our children are small, we love them and make decisions for them because we love them.  They have to do what we say because we are the parent(s).   Are we loving them or controlling them or controlling them because we love them?

As they grow up, through adolescence - we are usually challenged.   Depending on the parent and child within the same family,  these challenges may be hard or they may be easy. 

Eventually we have to let go and let them make their own choices.  We have to give up our control -- with love.  It isn't easy!

It is tempting to put blame on the spouse our children have chosen for controlling them.

But I think that is unfair both to our children and their spouses if we lightly assume that.  We need to think deeply if our child is perhaps making choices we don't like, on their own.   Choices that may (for a little while, for a long while, forever) exclude us.  Are we blaming someone it is easier to blame because we don't love them?  And because it hurts so much to give credit where credit is due -- to our own child, making these choices, for reasons we strongly disagree with? 

Of course, I watch reality TV -- I see examples of cases where there really IS a spouse or spouse to be who is super controlling (Bridezilla's and Changing Spouses come to mind)-- I watch those shows and shake my head in wonder that someone would choose to marry someone like that and stay married to them....  I've never seen a case on those shows that fit my son and his wife, those personalities are just so extreme!

My son's wife does wear the pants in the family, as they say.  I think it is the rare couple where everyone is equal all the time -- someone usually is the leader.  She's the leader, he's the follower. That's his personality.  But I believe he chose her and chooses to follow.   It is a choice.  He is not powerless, he is choosing how to react.   I don't agree with what he's doing -- but he knows her better than I do.  Time will tell if he is right in handling this as he is choosing to do.  (I still don't like it)

Well said Annie.  It is a choice.  Andif more MILs could see that then the fault would fall less on the DIL and more on the interaction between the son and his mother.

AnnieB

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 12:25:32 PM »
I don't know that there is "fault" -- or "blame".  It is human nature, how we are all struggling with changes and communication.   Or miscommunictions.

We "fault" and "blame" each other -- we get defensive and arguments escalate.

Of course it is not all on a DIL or MIL or son -- it is in the interactions between all of them with each other, and it is both more complex and more simple than we can figure out. 

The simple part would be if we could "all just get along" and "love one another"  and "share".  But we are all going through changes - boyfriends and girlfriends, fiancees become husband and wife, which is a BIG change (in my opinion).

And the new husband and wife find out despite their wanting to just go off and form their own family unit, they are still attached to their old family units.  (That's at least how I was when first married -- I was focused on my own new family, working, parenting -- I didn't need any family drama, though of course it was there).

Their parents may be struggling with their new roles (if they yet realize they HAVE new roles) plus issues with aging and their own parents aging. 

I hate being faulted and judged for being human, and I hate it when I fault others for the same.  The majority of the people we know are NOT evil or mean -- they are just coming from a totally different place than we are.   

If we could take the time to love each other and try to see from the other person's perspective, instead of assuming the worst, I think we would be a lot better off.  In the family and the world.   





 


2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 12:34:58 PM »
Yes indeedy; I do know what you mean.  What a gal. 

AnnieB

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 12:41:41 PM »
Yes, Anna - I remember that!

She sounds like one of the extremes.   

I just came from a friend's son's wedding where the bride's family is very hot tempered and expressive -- screaming and yelling to them is no big thing because they all do it!

My friend and I are Quakers -- in cases of emergency, we retreat into silence <-----Quaker joke!

For my friend, this is a huge cultural difference.   I could tell you stories about this young couple, which included the police being called because he wouldn't let her leave their apartment and she screamed and yelled and dialed 911 (this long before they were engaged).  It was "kidnapping" and because she called the police, even though she didn't want it, a domestic complaint was filed and is on his record -- making job hunting really fun.

And yet... this is the woman he has chosen, he loves her, he's aware and is now living with the drama and excitement her culture brings.

Now, my friend and  I do consider name calling and verbal attacks a form of abuse. 

However,  my friend's son and mine evidently do not.   (I have to wonder why these two young men whose mothers are from a quiet, reflective background picked such hotly emotional wives!)

Not to minimize your assessment of your DIL and son...   I just am aware for myself that I find screaming, swearing, loudness very upsetting -- for my friend's DIL and my DIL, it seems to be part of their culture.   

You have to do what you must to protect yourself -- for me, I would not want to be around that and just wouldn't invite the person into my home or visit if that was the norm.   

And I have learned from my experience this summer not to question their relationship.  It is what it is.  I am here if he needs me.   There is only so much I can do, my son has to do the rest.   (I am fairly confident he would not tolerate physical abuse of himself and very confident he would not tolerate physical abuse of their son)

2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 01:08:40 PM »
I think that when you're involved with one of these people, Anna, it often happens that you get freaked out trying to make them better and to calm them down. 

I have heard this about "contolling husbands and wives".

I have stated so much here that our DIL causes such a pall to come over the room, a great big cloud of doom to where everyone gets really quiet and son sits there watching to see what she will do.

Most of the time she will not answer the simplest question.  She pauses for about a minute while you are hanging in mid air. You are thinking she will answer and she does at some point but the waiting is nail biting. 

I have tried humor and I love your cards, AnnieB, where you use humor to diffuse things.  I think that's a great way to work through it. 

Just don't ever serve my DIL the wrong beverage.  SHE DOESN'T LIKE **** ***!!!!!  SHE'S TOLD YOU THAT A HUNDRED TIMES!!!! ARE YOU AN IDIOT? 

Don't you just totally understand this line of reasoning?  It's extremely hard to find any humor or any understanding of anyone who does such a thing.  At least it is for me. 

AnnieB

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 01:12:53 PM »
Just don't ever serve my DIL the wrong beverage.  SHE DOESN'T LIKE **** ***!!!!!  SHE'S TOLD YOU THAT A HUNDRED TIMES!!!! ARE YOU AN IDIOT? 

Don't you just totally understand this line of reasoning?  It's extremely hard to find any humor or any understanding of anyone who does such a thing.  At least it is for me.

I am gonna have to see if I can find some dark humor in this for a card  ::)   That'll be a challenge!

Ihopeuknow

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2009, 01:18:10 PM »
You know Chickie I was thinking a little bit about this "pall" that comes over a room whenever your DIL is around and I was wondering if maybe it's a result of her extreme uncomfort?  Like maybe she is so uncomfortable and feels so awkward around you and the family that that's her only way of dealing, to withdraw.  Undoubtly she knows that you and she are not close and she must know that other people don't like her, so maybe she's just using a defense mechanism to protect herself.  Maybe she feels she can't be criticized or ridiculed if she's just disinterested and withdrawn. 

I can't really comment on her beverage outburst because that seems ridiculous to me. 

2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2009, 01:30:39 PM »
She does this same thing no matter who she is with. 

The pall that comes over the room comes over every room she enters.  It comes over an outdoor arena. 

The only reason she has suddenly become uncomfortable with us is because when we're around, the focus is not on her. 

We are to blame for this whole thing.  We blame us. We handed him to her after he told us he could not marry her.  The little demon uses the "uncomfortable" thing to make son not be around anyone else. 

Close DIL said that because she's never been challenged, she's a bully and gets away with it.  Someone needs to tell her off. 

Ihopeuknow

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2009, 01:33:07 PM »
I doubt she's like that when she's around her friends or around people she's comfortable with.  But I can see how it feels that way when anytime she's around anyone you have contact with she behaves that way. 

I commend you for taking responsibility for your hand in your situation.  I wish for you and your son and your family you would do something with the acknowledgement. I leave you with this thought:

Value people on their potential, not on their history.
Bo Bennett

2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2009, 01:34:45 PM »
It shouldn't be too hard, AnnieB.  Just show an MIL working her rear end off and pouring everyone's glasses ahead of time to save time. 

Are you an idiot?  You knew she didn't like that beverage!!!!!!!!!!


2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2009, 01:37:50 PM »
"do something with the acknowledgement"   I don't understand what you mean. 

2chickiebaby

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 01:41:55 PM »
No one has the courage to tell her off.  I have friends who said they would but they don't understand.  We would only hurt son.

He doesn't deserve that.  She has made him feel like he was not loved here.  How dare her.  How dare she do that!

Ihopeuknow

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Re: Thinking "control" is love
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 01:45:51 PM »
It's a little thing I read by Dr. Phil.  I don't agree with everything he has to say but he has some great points and these are a few:

Life Law #2: You create your own experience.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life. Understand your role in creating results.

You cannot dodge responsibility for how and why your life is the way it is. If you don't like your job, you are accountable. If you are overweight, you are accountable. If you are not happy, you are accountable. You are creating the situations you are in and the emotions that flow from those situations.

Don't play the role of victim, or use past events to build excuses. It guarantees you no progress, no healing, and no victory. You will never fix a problem by blaming someone else. Whether the cards you've been dealt are good or bad, you're in charge of yourself now.

Every choice you make — including the thoughts you think — has consequences. When you choose the behavior or thought, you choose the consequences. If you choose to stay with a destructive partner, then you choose the consequences of pain and suffering. If you choose thoughts contaminated with anger and bitterness, then you will create an experience of alienation and hostility. When you start choosing the right behavior and thoughts — which will take a lot of discipline — you'll get the right consequences.

Life Law #4: You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn't working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results.


If you're unwilling or unable to identify and consciously acknowledge your negative behaviors, characteristics or life patterns, then you will not change them. (In fact, they will only grow worse and become more entrenched in your life.) You've got to face it to replace it.

Acknowledgment means slapping yourself in the face with the brutal reality, admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you are doing, and giving yourself a no-kidding, bottom-line truthful confrontation. You cannot afford the luxury of lies, denial or defensiveness.

Where are you now? If you hope to have a winning life strategy, you have to be honest about where your life is right now. Your life is not too bad to fix and it's not too late to fix it. But be honest about what needs fixing. If you lie to yourself about any dimension of your life, an otherwise sound strategy will be compromised.

Life Law #6: There is no reality, only perception.
Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world. Acknowledge your history without being controlled by it.


You know and experience this world only through the perceptions that you create. You have the ability to choose how you perceive any event in your life, and you exercise this power of choice in every circumstance, every day of your life. No matter what the situation, you choose your reaction, assigning meaning and value to an event.

We all view the world through individual filters, which influence the interpretations we give events, how we respond, and how we are responded to. Be aware of the factors that influence the way you see the world, so you can compensate for them and react against them. If you continue to view the world through a filter created by past events, then you are allowing your past to control and dictate both your present and your future.

Filters are made up of fixed beliefs, negative ideas that have become entrenched in your thinking. They are dangerous because if you treat them as fact, you will not seek, receive or process new information, which undermines your plans for change. If you "shake up" your belief system by challenging these views and testing their validity, the freshness of your perspective can be startling.


There are more but that's pretty much what applied to what I was saying.