Don’t be a puppet or a puppeteer in your relationship

I was in a joint session with a couple, when the wife gets a phone call from her outstation friend. She excuses herself to speak to her right in the middle of a session. She wanted to prove a point to her husband. The friend was inviting her to visit her for a few days. The phone was put on speaker and she responded to the invitation by saying her husband wouldn’t “allow” her to get away from home. While my eyebrows were raised, the husband appeared nonchalant. The wife precisely wanted to prove how controlling her husband was.

While I find fault with the husband to hold the controlling strings, I also find fault with the wife for putting the controls in his hands. Why would she want to seek permission to go? Or why would she want to presume, she wouldn’t be allowed to go? Of course, the statement must be based on some past experiences. However, controlling behaviour on part of either of the spouses is damaging to the relationship.

Wives who are not financially independent normally let their husbands rule the roost. It’s as if an unwritten law that the provider is the decision maker. It’s a given that he rules. Just because one of the partners doesn’t earn, doesn’t mean he/she is inferior to their partner. Marriage is not about a power battle, based on some financial benchmark. Both partners should be able to breathe equally and freely.

The partner who is not the breadwinner need to see him/herself in a poor light. A stay at home wife or a mother has tons to do in terms of running the house or bringing up a baby. For some reason, the significance of a person staying at home is always underestimated. It’s easier said than done. Wives of controlling husbands have no say. They are in constant fear of distress and hence end up being controlled and act as puppets.

It’s high time the situation changes. Both the spouses need to realize that both are doing a great job in their own capacity as either the provider or the nurturer. Trying to dominate or control your partner will only bring you a lot of contempt and resentment in the eyes of your partner. False superiority based on gender or financial discrimination leads to frivolity and inequality. Believe in equality and see your relationship reflecting alacrity.