A few days ago I came across a two-year-old email of a quiz I’d taken that asked, “Are You Controlling?” I’d taken it after assertions from my boyfriend at the time that I was trying to control him because I actually thought that he should be at my house when he said he would, or call if he was going to be late, or call me period. Go figure.
I took his charge into consideration for all of about a three-day weekend before I realized it was total BS. I had absolutely no desire to control him, what I wanted was accountability. Control is wanting someone to do X, Y and, Z simply because you say so—it’s about power (and sometimes insecurity). Accountability is about respect for the other person and your relationship—it’s not putting your partner in a position to question the validity of where you say you’ve been or what you say you’ve done. But sometimes you can’t tell a man (or woman) that.
I’m not sure where or when the fear that all women want to control men first originated, but it seems to be the first thing a man thinks of when a woman asks for or suggests anything to a man. I’ve had male friends tell me that they won‘t do something their girl asks them to do out of spite for their assumption that she only asked them to do it to control them. Or they’ll purposely wait and do it later to prove it was on their time.
I can be wrong in assuming most women are like me, but I have no desire to control a man. There’s actually something very unattractive (to me) about a man who will jump whenever I snap my fingers. I prefer that a man do something out of love and concern for me, rather than because I said so. I don’t want a robot or a puppet. I want a man who takes care of business because he cares.
But if I ask a man what time he’ll be home from work, it’s not because I’ll be doing drive-bys to make sure he’s there, I’m probably just making conversation or maybe I plan to call him when he gets in or meet him at his place later on. When a man tells me he’ll call me around 9pm and I don’t hear from him until the next day and I ask him about it, I’m not trying to check him. I’m simply inquiring why he didn’t do what he said he would do.
Perhaps it’s the male ego that’s threatened when women requests certain things, like a man not hang out with certain women or go certain places. We all know when things are forbidden, so to speak, we want to do them even more. But it’s important to examine the motivation behind these requests. Maybe the girl isn’t comfortable with her man at a strip club or hanging out with a woman who obviously has the homewrecker gene. While the woman may still trust her man, she’s asking that he not even put himself in certain tempting situations for the sake of the relationship. Call me crazy, but I think that’s valid.
More than their own ego, though, I think men are fearful that their friends (who are most likely single) will clown them for doing what their girl wants. Every man wants to wear the pants and be the head of the household, and if a guy’s friends have the slightest inkling that some woman might have his nose wide open, he will no doubt endure endless jokes and scrutiny. This is a whole other topic in itself.
Now there are some women who do feel the need to control their men, and I believe the basis of that desire is a lack of trust. They fear that if they don’t call their significant other every 30 minutes to see where they are and who they’re with, then they’ll slip up, or into someone else; that if they aren’t glued to their side, they’ll stray; or that if they don’t demand certain things, they won’t get done otherwise . If you have to constantly check up on your partner like that, they’re probably not worth being with. What compliment is a man to you if you have to constantly run behind him or you’re scared to go out of town because he might not be faithful? It’s not worth the headache and you’re likely not controlling him anyway. People find ways to do what they want to do regardless of the restrictions you may think you’re placing on them.
As women, we tend to take everyone into consideration when we make certain choices, and we also tend to think longer term into the future. I’d be willing to bet that nine times out of ten when a woman thinks a man should do a certain thing it’s for the benefit of the unit, not to fuel her inner control freak. There’s security in accountability and it serves both individuals. I wouldn’t ask anything of my partner that I wouldn’t expect him to demand of me. I want my partner to be just as concerned about when I’ll be home or where I’ll be as I am about him. Granted there is a fine line at times between control and accountability, but before I went around throwing out the “c” word, I’d check my partner’s motivation. I’m sure it’s not as nonsensical as it’s been made out to be.