In part one of this three part series, Control Freak, the Family, we discussed parents attempting to overly control children. Part Two of Control Freak deals with how we may inflict our old issues on other adults, specifically on our spouses. We are all products of everything that has happened to us, how we were treated by parents and others when we were children, and how we have been helped (or not) to grow through both the minor and major traumas of life.
If we were made to feel bad about ourselves as children, often by a critical or overly controlling parent, we may grow up to try to handle the fear of not being good enough, that self-doubt, even self-hatred, by attempts to make our spouses and children, be a certain way. Controlling behavior is an endeavor to quiet some fear and gain a sense of well being, (happiness?) by putting ourselves… well… in control! Continue reading
Arrogant, self righteous and disrespectful are the words that come to mind when we watch someone in control mode. A trait that is extremely difficult to deal with, the need to control is born from fear. Fear of not being okay, of what people will think, of self doubt. Old childhood stuff, often unresolved rage at controlling or demeaning parents, can result in a need to dominate. Sadly, the fearful and angry child often becomes a controlling adult and perpetuates the cycle of dysfunction. He (or she) may find a spouse who allows him to “run” the family, dominate the marriage and the children, the money and everything else. If you do what he says, his fear is temporarily assuaged. If you do not bend to his control, he becomes increasingly angry, a consequence of his fear of not being in charge. Continue reading
Infants in most families learn to trust that Mom, and other adults and older children in their lives, are responsive. Sense of security develops as discomfort is removed, needs are met and life is predictable and safe. Infants who are fed, changed, and loved thrive. Studies done long ago prove that the last ingredient, love, that ill-defined component, is essential for normal development. Simply meeting the physical needs of food and shelter is not enough for infants to grow and mature normally. Failure to gain weight, serious developmental delays and deficits, even death, are the consequences of severe emotional deprivation. Human beings, as well as other animals, need each other and that nebulous element, love. Continue reading