April 26, 2000
typical scenario: Controlling guy (could be a gal; usually a
guy) behaves awfully towards victim gal/guy (usually a gal). Victim takes
it and takes it and takes it...until something inside goes
"snap" and the broken, angry victim can take no more. Victim
leaves. Controller goes nuts and realizes just what he/she lost. Doug's recent email is an example of such.
I've gotten many complaints that
the site supports the victim more than it supports the abuser. Evidence: Look at the majority of the
letters on this site. They are from (mostly female) victims looking
for validation, information, and support to help them deal with the pain
they experience in their relationship. Every now and then, an angry person
will write in, but most don't.
Despite the fact that I've made
every effort to invite angry people to participate and get info and get
support, the ratio of victims to controllers is overwhelmingly in favor of
Why? My guess is that controllers, who believe it
is their victim's job to provide for their emotional needs and wants, are
relatively content as long as they get most of what they want and have
someone to dump their frustrations on when they don't. Most controllers
I've run across are not "bad" people; some are (but then again,
so are some victims). Nevertheless, in the victim-controller relationship,
it is the victim who is most unhappy and frightened. The victim is more
likely to seek support.
The controller, also an
emotionally-starved victim, who has been unwilling to give up any goodies,
typically doesn't "get it" until after his or her victim has
left. Many of these misguided individuals go their merry way wrecking
their havoc elsewhere. But others, much to their surprise, finally begin
to realize what they had - and lost - and why. Wake up call!
typically experiences relief. This individual has given and
given and given; put the controller's needs ahead of his or her own needs
for years. With community sympathy and support, this individual relishes
discovering who they are, what things they like, what they want out of
life, etc. The victim, who has spent his or her life sacrificing aspects
of the self to please the partner, begins to come into their own. Many
victims are what I call "relationship ready," that is, ready,
willing and able to get involved. Go for it!
about the controller? This article does not apply to the
controller whose denial is so thick, he or she can't see the tip of their
nose. I am talking about the controller who woke up! Where is
this person, without their victim, now?
Raw Deal. Let's be honest. Victims, in most cases, willingly
married their controller. Victims, from the outset, were the sweeter, more
loving and giving of the pair; and they loved to give to their
partner. The relationship-fearful controller entered into the relationship
getting much of what he or she expected. The victim accepted the raw deal
from the beginning, while the controller got the long end of the straw.
One of my recovering controllers
told me just this morning: "Can you believe this: I really, really
thought that once I got married, I was entitled to
unconditional love, understanding, sex, etc., no matter what! It didn't
occur to me that I had to do anything or give anything back to keep
Deal gets Cooked. When the fed-up victim leaves, the controller
is often left holding the bag. They watch their former partner blossom.
They have a hard time blossoming in kind, try as they might.
Because angry controllers, for the most part, are ill-equipped to deal
with life. They tend to have short fuses, be overly self-involved, have
poor insight as to how their actions impact other, and have little
understanding of their internal needs and how to meet them. They can't
blossom until they get a crash course in anger management, spirituality,
and empathy. Some also need to acquire social skills. This is in
stark contrast to the other-orientated victim, who has the relatively
simple task of learning that they deserve, that it's OK to feel angry, OK
to set limits, and OK to take.
Bad Habits. So, the poor controller (Yes, Poor
controller!) has quite a job ahead: Dumping bad thinking and behavioral
habits, learning to live and let live, learning that others have exactly
the same rights and entitlements as they have, taking responsibility,
learning to love and forgive the self, stay out of self-indulgent pity
pots, etc., etc. All do-able stuff, by the way - providing there is
sufficient motivation. Nevertheless, this is a much, much emotionally
harder road to trek than the path facing the recovering victim.
For the Victim. The controller often accepts help out of desperation.
The immediate goal is to win their victim back. That's an OK place to
start, by the way.
Meanwhile... This space is dedicated to recovering
controllers - to talk about anything... Victims may comment, but
controllers really need at least one place to call their own, even if they
are reluctant to use it.
Can you tell I love working with
I want to read the