It is not hard to find someone telling their partner what to do, where to go, and how to behave. In fact more often than not, you’d realize you’re noticing that in your own relationship! The dilemma is whether two people can ever overcome this conflict and develop a genuine bonding.
Has He/She Always Been Dominant?
If the person has always been the more controlling and dominant one, then it is a strong part of his/her personality itself. As a character trait, dominance need not be overpowering. However, if your partner uses this as an excuse to get away with saying or doing unacceptable things, then it is a serious concern.
Trust and faith are the most important aspects in any relationship. If your partner has faced betrayal in the past, chances are that he/she will be apprehensive about trusting anyone again.
These experiences could be with anyone close to them; their previous partner, family members or even trusted friends! With these trust issues and conflicts targeted towards you, you would tend to be frustrated.
Here, there’s a good and a bad side. The bright side is that your partner will not hold out on you forever. He/she is scarred from a previous relationship; with enough love, compassion and time they are sure to overcome these feelings of insecurity and betrayal. The not-so-good side is that even after being extremely patient and understanding, it may take them extremely long to start trusting you.
Constantly Seeks Love and Approval
People, who are extremely dominant or controlling are undoubtedly the biggest attention seekers. With such a partner, your life is bound to circle around his/her needs and priorities. On a subconscious level, they seek someone’s approval and praise. This could be because of a childhood trauma, the feeling of not having accomplished much in their life, or their fear of abandonment.
How to Deal with them?
Talk to your partner; assure him/her of their value in your life. Let them know that you are willing to go an extra mile to help them, even if you have to make some personal sacrifices. Talking can take you a long way in resolving this issue.
Remember that your partner could be truly hurt and disturbed by a certain issue — from the distant or recent past. He/she might find such instances too personal to be shared. Don’t get hurt and disheartened. To sort this, you will have to be tremendously patient.
Just saying things will not truly affect someone. Let your actions reflect your thoughts. Take that extra effort to show them you are faithful; be honest and completely transparent about each detail of your life. Remember, trust is a subconscious phenomenon. If they feel that genuineness, then it is just a matter of time before they let go of their insecurities!
Always Have Options
Don’t give in to your spouse’s demands just because he or she is dominating. Ensure that you always have an option in every argument or decision. It cannot simply be their way or the highway.
Learn to Say No
The first step in standing up to the bully in a relationship is to say “no.” Tell them when something is unacceptable and irrational. This is crucial because it lets the other person know that you are going to take a stand for what you believe, no matter how much they undermine your opinion, or belittle you.
Such people get desperate when things don’t go their way. They will try manipulating or threatening you so much that unless you agree, they might do something rash. Don’t fall for any of this irrespective of how much they intimidate, or emotionally blackmail you. One instance of weakness will eventually mean giving in to their demands always.
Put your foot down whenever he/she crosses a line; like telling you to behave in a certain way or commenting on your clothing. Unless you respect yourself, no one out there is going to respect you. So it is important to stand up for yourself and never give in to irrational demands. Don’t let him or her trample over you time and again and get away with a mere superficial apology.
As the submissive one, you need to introspect as to what you seek from the relationship. If you are looking for a faithful and long-term commitment, then is your partner looking for the same goals as well? If yes, only then it is sensible to invest so much effort in improving things.