“…But He Wouldn’t Let Me”…
 Have you said those words?
 By Mickie Zada

“I wanted to spend this holiday with MY parents, but he wouldn’t let me.” “I wanted to go out with my girlfriends, but he wouldn’t let me.” “I wanted to replace our worn out couch, but he wouldn’t let me.” Have you ever uttered those words? Have you felt stifled by his control, always doing everything his way and on his terms? Many of us have and do.

Here’s the big question. Have you tried to discuss his control of your life with him? Some men were raised in a controlling environment and that’s all they know. I am told that, with some men, if you point out their controlling behavior, they are willing to change. In those cases, a healthy relationship can be built, a happy life together can be created. Have you tried having a conversation about his controlling habits?

It’s always best, for both people, to express their needs and to negotiate. If you want to change everything about your partner, he’s probably not a real good choice, do ya think? No two people are a perfect fit; discussion and negotiation are foundational in strong, healthy relationships.

I tried to discuss my abuser’s control of me, but it just blew up into a huge argument, every time. He wasn’t doing anything wrong…I was the problem. Does that sound familiar?

Those of us who buy into damaging, unhealthy relationships are generally not good negotiators. Rather than stand our ground and set solid boundaries, we give up. We accept negative behavior and we make excuses. We hear ourselves say “…but he wouldn’t let me.”

Eventually, there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back and we decided to create a plan to leave. And we do. And we begin building our own lives…healthy, safe, uncontrolled-by-others lives.

Here’s the Key:

If we don’t change, nothing changes. Wayne Dyer said “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

I encourage you, some time today, to grab few minutes and a piece of paper. Make the effort to write down what you are looking for in a healthy, safe relationship.

· What are the qualities you want and need in a partner?

· How will you feel in a new, committed relationship?

· What are some of the things he does that make you feel good about your relationship? (for me, I love that my husband comes up and kisses me on the back of my neck; just a loving, sweet kiss for no reason. It’s a tender action I wrote down, and I’ve got it!)

· Who is your new partner? List the qualities you most value.

· Have fun with this!

You have left your controlling guy, your abuser. Congratulations! You’re on new ground (even if it’s been years since you left!). You are headed toward living your life, on your terms. YAY!

Create in your mind, and on paper, your ideal partner. I once had a list of 100 things! One guy I dated had 97 of the 100…he still wasn’t “the one”. He had controlling tendencies (and didn’t kiss me on the neck for no reason!). Once we live in abuse, we recognize that energy and tendency. R.U.N. when you feel/sense those. That’s why being really, really clear about who you want to attract is vital.

Let me be clear, your new partner probably won’t have all the things you list, maybe not even half. The important thing is, No More Head-games! Until we change our mind-set, the way we think, we survivors of abuse:

· Are outstandingly talented at playing head games.

· We make a lot of things OK that are not acceptable to those women not attracted to abusers.

· We are professional excuse makers.

Until our internal conditioning, our Life Patterns, change, nothing changes. Until then, it’s important that we stay on guard, or we’ll choose another abuser.

If you’re dating someone now and find yourself saying “…but he wouldn’t let me”, you’ve got the wrong guy, again. Get out early. Being with controlling men still feels normal to you, but it’s not.

If you can’t discuss his control, or if he promises to change, but doesn’t…you’ve been there before. It’s time for more in-side work on your mind-set.

Remember, if you don’t change, nothing changes. You deserve better. You deserve a happy, healthy, safe relationship. Your personal growth isn’t always easy, but it can be fun and rewarding. Be dedicated to yourself and a safe healthy relationship. Don’t settle…please don’t settle.

You now have a litmus test: do you hear yourself say “…but he wouldn’t let me”?