Protection or Control?

There is a big but also sometimes subtle difference!


OK  I know there are some people whose only ‘operating method’ is out and out control.  They don’t and won’t consider anyone else’s point-of-view other than their own, and by and large expect everyone around them to fall in with their map of the world!  They want to be in charge of every situation that remotely impinges on their life.

But what makes them this way. After all they can’t have been born like that!  Now I realise I could say that all people control through a position of fear.  Maybe a fear so deep rooted that they don’t recognise it as such but fear none-the-less. But that would be a generalisation and a sloppy use of language. Also a statement based on no proof.  I haven’t met ‘everyone’ so how could I possibly know!

Then there are the subtle changes that turn some people into controllers.  Again is this fear that does this – some of the time or all of the time?  It’s an interesting thought and one I’m enjoying exploring.  What motivates people to take on these stances.

There is also the point that controllers can only control if the one they are wanting to control decides to feel controlled and allow themselves to be controlled.  If they decide not to feel controlled or be controlled, then control cannot happen?  Presumably!

Alex accused me of controlling him.  I didn’t think I did at all. But in his eyes and with his map of the world I did. I know I was scared I’d lose him and so very likely behaved in ways that just made the situation worse!  In protecting what we had did I become some dreadful,  controlling harridan?  I hope not!  But maybe that’s how he saw me.  Did I make him feel powerless to change everything around him apart from running?  I muse on this!  Why?  Well it’s important stuff.  After all in my quest to become a good Life Coach it’s important to see and understand behaviour patterns and what triggers them in each of us and understanding me gives me the metaphors to use to help others.


For me, the feeling that the person in your life is there for you, supporting and looking out for you. That they will always be there for you but making sure you have the freedom to be yourself.

I know what I wanted in life from ‘my man’ was to be protected but not controlled.  There is a difference and the difference is so important. I have a sneaky suspicion though that I didn’t allow him to protect me.  I know he wanted to!  But for some reason I blocked him.

The point is when does protection become control and are we blind to the subtle changes until it’s too late??

I’d love to hear what you think…………

4 thoughts on “Protection or Control?

  1. Oh this is a difficult one. I guess behind it all is what is the intention. Sometimes protection can be masked as control. I suppose if the intention is positively about the individual rather than our own agenda then it is more likely to be favourable. If however the agenda (in either protection or control) is our own then the other person is at a disadvantage. Not sure if that make sense, but I hope you get my meaning. Interesting post.

  2. I agree it has a lot to do with intention and who that intention ‘belongs to’, and as you say, what if the intention is masked by the behaviour. It is complicated!

    I think understanding where the intention comes from and why, maybe is the key.

  3. Now I think that maybe Alex saw you as controlling, but what does it say about him that he let you do what he perceived? At what point did he start to see you like this? Why did he harbour his impression for so long? I don’t think he did. I think he hoped to find himself through you, and for most of your marriage he did. He was mostly content; a situation most of us find ourselves in and are happy to carry on with because nothing is perfect. Then unsettling things started to happen. The loss of a parent certainly throws one into turmoil, and maybe drastically so that one needs time out to think. Unfortunately, a new kid on the block coincided, and the ‘grass is greener’ scenario kicked in. When one goes for the G-is-G option, the lure is strong and must be persued. But then when the cross over is complete, the novelty starts to wear thin, and the precious relationship has been lost. Alex needs to know that isn’t necessarily the case. But not necessarily yet. At the moment you need to assess where you are, have some time to yourself. Sit back and concentrate on yourself. Absorb what YOU want from life. When you feel comfortable, put out feelers.

  4. Alex probably only saw you as controlling when he was wanting to break away. He would then interpret all your actions as trying to stop him, hence control him, so what once would have been a caring and considerate comment or question, suddenly in his eyes is an inquisition. This stems from the fact that he then had something to hide.

    The more we think we are going to loose something the more we fight to hold on to it. It is this very fighting that in the end will often be the final straw.

    As the saying goes:

    “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it dosent, then it was never meant to be.”

    And that is hard

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