Different ways I’ve tried to control Stu

July 18, 2022

I'm jess!

Life and leadership coach for women, mental health maven and soul guide.

I support women to do LESS people-pleasing, perfectionism and over-working ... and experience MORE ease, joy, vitality and confidence.


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For someone who prides herself on being warm, loving and open, I sure did have a big ol’ bag of tricks when it comes to trying to control my loved ones.

With Stu’s blessing (thanks Met), I thought I’d out myself on some of the ways I tried to control him before I knew better:

  • Repeatedly telling him how he should be speaking to/comforting/responding to/disciplining Orla

  • Purchasing a changing careers book which I lied was for my clients and leaving it strategically on our kitchen bench for weeks

  • Kicking him under the table when he told funny, true stories about our relationship to our friends

  • Telling him why and how he needed to renegotiate his salary

  • Speaking over him when he was talking with friends (not enthusiastically enough, I felt) about his new business venture

  • Telling him he should be getting out on his bike more

  • Telling him how he should be responding to his own family members

  • Telling him what to pack in Orla’s lunchbox

  • Telling him what to wear to certain events

I could go on. Can you see the pattern? A seemingly well-meaning desire for him to improve or to meet what I feel is an important standard.

Disguising a very shadowy need to control and manipulate him into falling in line with my agenda.

To override his personal preferences, knowledge and desires with my own.

With a very self-righteous subtext: I know what’s best and right for you and for our family. 

(Thank god Stu has been willing to courageously hold up a mirror for me over and over so I could identify and gradually let go of this default pattern.)

It’s my hunch that you might recognise yourself in one or two of these examples too.

How do I know? Because I speak to many women who are feeling exhausted, depleted and overwhelmed. When we discuss why they’re not leaning more into support from their partners, the answer almost always sounds something like: He doesn’t know how / doesn’t do it right / doesn’t ask / doesn’t want to / all of the above.

When we delve into it further, a deeper story emerges: I want it done a certain way / I know best about (parenting/health/fashion/social skills/xyz) / he needs to change.

Trying to control our loved ones is one of the most common safety mechanisms we default to as women. It’s what most of us observed in our families of origin, and so we subconsciously, innocently continue this pattern. And it costs us, and our families, and our relationships, so very much.

Our pathway to liberation and juicy intimacy begins with learning how to express our desires without demands and expectations, to honour and respect the masculine, and to love without conditions.

I'm Jess, mind whisperer, mama & ocean lover

I'm a former lawyer turned women’s leadership and life coach. 

I guide women who have created their success largely through driving, pushing and controlling, to reconnect with their intuition, vitality and radiance.

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