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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What are your views on control in romantic relationships/marriages?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38963points) May 22nd, 2009

1. Is it important to you that both of you have the same amount of control when it comes to decisions

2. Is it important to you that you control some aspects of your parenting/household/finances more than your partner

3. Do you not actually care to be in control and like when your partner takes control

4. Or is control not something you think about

To me, we have to share information with each other always, we have to make decisions together, especially affecting our children or future…I don’t mind, though, when he takes control of finances as I feel that he’s more knowledgeable and I don’t mind taking control of our kids’ educational trajectrories…

I know many couples where things are one sided…‘oh she’s the mother, she parents’...‘he brings money, he can spend it’...and what about sex? I want us both to control when and how that happens, instead of just relying on him or myself

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21 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m all about equality, in all aspects. I mean… It’s not a matter of one of us possibly being better at something specific than the other one, because if that’s the case, naturally we’ll be inclined to handle whatever we’re better at. That said, I don’t view that as control, because if one of us wanted to, say… Learn to be better at something, we would have no problem teaching the other one, thus we could share the burden/task.

I see control as something a person isn’t willing to give up. Something someone is reluctant to share with someone else. And I wouldn’t personally be in a relationship with someone who actually had the desire to truly control something, because it points to other issues, on a broader spectrum.

GAMBIT's avatar

Control is a big word. Since my wife is home and I work there are certain duties I have and certain duties that she has however we are not bound by our roles and it is a joint effort to keep our household and relationship in order. I have been married for 15 years and what I found out is that our relationship has grown into taking things one day at a time. When I come home we talk about our day and then begin to make plans for the evening. Some nights I spend with our children and other nights I spend the entire time with my wife. When we first got married we were more regimented in rolls which sometimes lead to stress. Now we put less expectations on each other and try to enjoy our time together the best way we know how.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

We discuss almost every decision and have equal control. I think it’s important, because you can’t respect someone who bullies you or kisses your butt. In situations that one of us have greater knowledge than the other, we step back and let the one who knows what they’re doing take control, but with the other’s approval still. Thankfully, we see eye to eye on nearly everything, so keeping equal control doesn’t lead to long drawn out discussions on what to do, b/c we immediately agree usually.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

People are exceptionally weird about the notion of “control”.
Some people love to have all the control and some people are all too willing to give it all up.
Once a person takes control over another, the relationship no longer has parity and that can be unhealthy for one or both parties.

Zaku's avatar

I think control is an illusion, and the idea tends to come from fear and mistrust, and can lead to suffering. In a romantic relationship, I think it should be dispelled or confined to areas of each person’s perceived needs until the illusion can be dispelled. People need loving safety where they are afraid, and so it can work to give them a sense of control over the areas where they feel unsafe or needy. But my goal would be to have the perceived need for the illusion of control dissolve in the safe embrace of love and acceptance.

Facade's avatar

I don’t really think about who has control in our relationship. Things are pretty balanced naturally.

CMaz's avatar

In the bedroom. I am in control! Yea baby! The rest of the time, I tend to take a back seat. TIll I need to take control.

wundayatta's avatar

I wouldn’t say either of us are in control. One might take the lead at something. We have areas of division of responsibility, but we help each other out when necessary. Last year when I was sick, my wife helped do a lot of the stuff I usually do.

Control implies being able to make the other person do what you want, and neither of us can do that. Neither of us is in the driver’s seat, because there is no driver’s seat for a relationship. In fact, if there were control in a relationship, I’d think that was an unfortunate couple.

CMaz's avatar

daloon – I totally agree with you! Could it be that the word “Control” is just a play on words.
It is not control but unity? I mean, control is the act of “mastery” or “proficiency”. Two individuals enhance one another, each having a unique skill to put on the table. To feel controlled (in a relationship) would imply the feeling of weakness to that “controled” partner. Instead of feeling complimenting.

justwannaknow's avatar

I am the BOSS in this family and the wife gave me permission to say so.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@justwannaknow hey, whatever works for ya and for your wife

brettvdb's avatar

I’m in control – I exercise it by always letting my Girlfriend have her way.

basp's avatar

We never really think about it. In our thirty years of marriage there have been times when he was captain of the ship and times when I was. For us, life circumstance seems to be what decides who should have ‘control’.
And, in the end, I believe it all equals out.

mammal's avatar

control sounds so strict, but sure, an appreciation of each others strengths is healthy

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My grandfather would say, “I’m the head of the family.” And my grandmother would chime in, “And I’m the neck!”

casheroo's avatar

I feel like, in my relationship, we let the other take the reins with certain things. It doesn’t mean one is more dominate though. And neither one of us has more control than the other.

It was difficult though, for both me and my husband, when I began staying home with our son. It’s hard in today’s society, because women, it seem, aren’t expected to just stay home anymore and that’s what I feel should be expected, at least for the first year of a child’s life. And it was hard with money, and dealing with the fact that I wasn’t earning anything and I felt like I was spending my husbands money…but it’s our money, which took time to get used to.

DarkScribe's avatar

It is like the weather – it varies. We don’t have rules – all just happens and usually without angst.

cak's avatar

1. Is it important to you that both of you have the same amount of control when it comes to decisions. It’s that a good decision is made, and if that means that one of us has more control than the other, then so be it. Example: My husband is a mechanic. If we have a car issue, he’s going to take control – he knows more. It just makes sense to do things that way. In general, we work together, neither of us try to take the lead.

2. Is it important to you that you control some aspects of your parenting/household/finances more than your partner. Parenting, no. Absolutely not. Been there, done that. My first marriage was that way, I wanted a partner in parenting, not a shadow. When it comes to finances, we are a bit different, when it comes to big decisions, they are always together, but overall, I am more of the financial planner of the two. That is not by design, it’s just my nature. It’s not a huge thing to him, but he’s not a saver or planner – when it comes to money.

3. Do you not actually care to be in control and like when your partner takes control. I gotta admit, when he takes control, I like it. We’re generally pretty equal, but I do like it when he steps up and takes control. I have a more dominant personality, when it comes to control, so I have to be careful not to be a major control freak. there is something refreshing about him taking the reigns.

4. Or is control not something you think about. It’s not something we focus on. We go with the flow and where one of us is stronger, that when that one steps up. We compliment each other, so it’s not really an issue of trying to be in control all the time. We just yield to the person that has more expertise in the matter – but we do discuss it and make sure we’re on the same page.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@cak thanks for a really good answer

cak's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You’re welcome! It’s an interesting question. :)

shf84's avatar

To me it has to be 50 50. No one should control any thing completely even if they have a talent in that aria they should be empowering their partner not running things in a given aria.

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