When your partner is a control freak, it’s time to talk

If you find yourself always doing what they want with no reciprocation or compromise for what you want, ever, you're not their partner. You're their pet. If that's not the official agreement, if you find yourself living someone else's life and not your own, here are some suggestions.

Q: 

My husband of one year, whom I adore with every fiber of my being, controls my life. 

Before we were married, it was little stuff. When I would make suggestions on anything, he’d shoot them down. I got used to it. 

After a whirlwind courtship, including leaving my job, my belongings and my friends to move to his city, his control has evolved into his making every decision for both of us. He even approves (or more accurately, disapproves) each of my clothing choices.

He is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. I never thought I’d find one like him who was as into me as I am into him, but I did, and it’s often perfect. 

Still, I did upend my life. Now he has announced that his dream is to live in yet another city, and that he’s already landed a job there. We move in a month. I’m not ready to unsettle yet again. Then again, my devotion to him is non-negotiable.

Dear Submissive:

There’s a line between dominant personality and control freak. Your husband crossed it a long time ago. Control freaks are actually more about the “freak” than the “control,” and you already know where he stands on the continuum.

He’s been grooming you for this role, and you consciously or unconsciously agreed to go along with it as the noose tightened on your individuality. It’s a tough knot to loosen when it gets this far, as you already know, but not impossible.

On the surface, yours is like a classic dominant-submissive relationship. The Dom is in charge, and the Sub lets him call the shots. The difference is that Sirs and Boys have a predetermined agreement and adore their roles. Your relationship slowly morphed into something you would have never agreed to at the start.

You can either formalize your dom-sub interactions if you realize that’s what you wanted all along, or you can pull yourself up by the insecurities to change your situation. Either way, it’s crucial that you come to an understanding. You probably can’t fix it before you move, but try to sort out what you really want before approaching your husband.

Q:

We’re typical queers who eat out almost every meal, and every night is an argument about where to eat. None of us is ever down for the others’ suggestion, and everyone gets frustrated. Help!

Dear New Rule:

Set a guideline that neither of you can say no to a suggestion without making one of your own, and you each get two suggestions. Now agree to be reasonable humans and – gasp – compromise. 

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson.

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue below, and pick up a new edition around town each Wednesday.