“You LET Him Do That?” The Problem With Controlling And Smothering Relationships

April 1, 2014  |  

They say that the best relationships have a great mix of “give and take.” If that’s the case, then why do some of my girlfriends give me a hard time about how much I “let” my fiancé do? After an argument with my fiancé, my girlfriends used to be the one I would call first when I needed to vent. They would ask, “Where is he?” and I would say, “He left.” Their response to his absence was always the same: “You let him leave?”

I can’t imagine how I’d force a 6’5″, 200-pound man to sit down and not leave our house if that’s what he wants to do. What’s even more hilarious is the idea that doing so would make matters any better.

The term “let” bothers me for the simple fact that it implies that I am in control over the actions of my fiancé. My girlfriends have asked me questions like, “Why would you allow him have his own bank account?” “You let him go out tonight?”

Good Lord, are we talking about a grown man I’m in a relationship with or is this a conversation about a pet, third child or prisoner?

I’m not a fan of blatant disrespect in relationships, but when a man wants a little space after an argument, I hardly think this is an act of disrespect. Some women would say that if he wants space, he could find it in another room – inside the house. I’m sure he could have, but he should still have the option to step outside of his home to cool off without me woman throwing ultimatums at him if he dares to leave “without permission.” We’re adults.

Those terms shouldn’t be commonplace in any intimate relationship, it’s uncomfortable and begging for a challenge. There is a difference between a man who is being controlled by his woman and a man who is aware of his limitations. A man that respects his lady but still wants to be himself away from his woman can step out with friends for a few hours and still be back home at a decent hour without having to be nagged to death by his wife to do so. Recognizing the boundaries individuals in relationships should adhere to when spending money or spending time away from home is always a win-win situation. Hubby gets to have an enjoyable night away with the fellas and the wife is pleased it didn’t have to take all night – win-win. Of course, a wife should have some say so over aspects of her husband’s life that affect more than him, but to completely be in control over her man sounds like a terrible idea.

On the contrary, when a man in a relationship carries himself like a single man still looking (i.e., a married man religiously hanging out in nightclubs until the wee hours of the morning without any regard for his wife), this is actually a symptom of an even larger problem that words like “let” and “allow” probably can’t fix. What I’m saying is, as long as he’s not doing anything to jeopardize the integrity of the marriage/relationship, there is no harm in letting your man do his own thing on terms that you both can agree on.

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