Andrea and Don came to marriage counseling to work on their disconnection. As they talked
about their disconnection, Andrea talked about feeling micro-managed and controlled,
including how Don controlled their finances.
Don was disappointed with their physical intimacy. He felt that Andrea controlled this part of
their relationship. Not feeling close with Don discouraged Andrea from being intimate. Andrea
acknowledged that rejecting his advances was one of the few areas where she did feel
Control pervaded their relationship. In our sessions, Andrea gave Don feedback on the variety
of ways that she felt controlled. Don previously denied or dismissed Andrea’s assertions. Now
aware of the dire risk of his marriage falling apart, Don was finally hearing Andrea and began to
respond to her feedback.
Successful marriages can not flourish in relationships dominated by control. Initially, Don was
barely aware of his controlling behaviors, despite Andrea complaining of this dynamic for years.
The seriousness of being in marriage counseling opened his eyes. His marriage was falling
apart and he was beginning to recognize that his only chance of saving his marriage was to
eliminate these controlling behaviors. He now needed Andrea’s feedback in order to recognize
what behaviors he needed to change. By eliminating these behaviors, he might have the
chance to save his marriage in the nick of time.