#2. The Need for Control
In my own life, I have strict ways I like to do things. The clothes have to be folded a certain way. The ones that go in the closet have to be hung in a specific order. Table settings and knickknacks have to be centered and symmetrical. My leather gimp suits have to be polished and pressed at all times. I know it's a personal problem, so for years I've done those chores myself. I had to have that control, or it drove me crazy.
Where it gets bad is when a perfectionist pushes his habits onto another person and doesn't accept any behavior or chore that doesn't live up to his standards. In that instance, he becomes a control freak. "This Darth Vader fan-fic isn't nearly as erotic as it can be. You'll be staying home from school and rewriting this until it gives me a boner by Page 2."
"That's not bad. I like the reference to his flesh saber."
We've all seen these people before. A husband who takes the paintbrush out of his wife's hand and says, "Christ. Just let me do it. If I let you paint, it'll be next spring before we have the living room finished." The wife who complains, "You're not wearing that outfit in public. Go put on the nice pants I got you. And if you fart even one time at the restaurant, we're going straight back home, and I'm wearing my ugly 'don't touch me' pajamas to bed."
Why It's So Hard to Fix:
Because my job requires quite a bit of time, I've had to give up some of my own control to my wife. It was extremely difficult at first, because I wanted to walk behind her and redo everything she touched to conform to my specific rules and standards. Not just the quality of the work, but right down to the specific order that she performed it. I've got issues, I know.
"I'm telling you, that cat is wrinkled. Just let me- OK, I'll sit down."
What got me through it was realizing that if I do that, not only am I not thanking her and appreciating her help, but through my actions I'm openly chastising her. What kind of bullshit is that? You don't punish someone for doing positive things. That's some Game of Thrones shit right there, and it has no business outside of a show about fucking and decapitation.
The only way around it (at least for me) was to take those tasks completely out of my grasp. To give them away like the world's shittiest gift so that I had no more ownership. I had to convince myself that stepping in without asking or being invited would be treading on her ground. Obviously, you can't do that without a discussion or you look like a giant asshole. "Honey, here's all my chores. I'm going to go sit in front of the computer now. You're welcome."
Time to write some sweet, sweet dick jokes.
Giving up that control is like taking away the net below a high wire and replacing it with a single person whose job it is to catch you if you fuck up. It requires an immense amount of trust that they can do the job just fine without your input. Just keep in mind that we're talking about tasks here. Controlling a person is a much larger issue that could very well require professional help or severing the relationship completely. Speaking of which ...
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Far and away, jealousy is the most horrible, destructive personality flaw I've ever seen. I'm not even comfortable calling it a flaw. It's more like a scar. Or a tattoo of a wounded dick flopped across your cheek. There are so many things that need to be fixed, it's almost impossible to plot out a defined starting point. It's all tightly wound around a core of trust issues, control, fear, codependency, anger ... it's like trying to change the course of a river by digging at its banks with a spoon.
Jealousy is such a complex problem, people who see a relationship that's infected by it will view it as literal insanity. "Do you see how rock-fuck crazy that dude is? Why does she put up with that? If she's not within eyesight, he just loses it. Is he in the witness protection program, and he's just afraid she'll blow his cover? That has to be it, because no sane person would live like that. Keep watching. If he tries to fuck a rock, we'll know for sure."
I like big rocks, and I cannot lie. You other brothers can't deny.
Why It's So Hard to Fix:
Let me just say to recipients of jealousy that unless you've injected something huge into your relationship like cheating or murder, you're not at fault. Your partner most likely had problems with jealousy long before you ever came into the picture. But you also have to understand that if you're dead set on staying with this person, it is extremely difficult for them to overcome it. It's not an insurmountable problem, but the success rate of that prison break is somewhere between fuck all and jack shit.
It took me years of conscious effort and retraining my mind, but I eventually got past my own jealousy issues. In my case, the solution was learning how to genuinely trust another person. Understanding that, when she leaves my sight, she's not immediately going to the dick store and trying them all on. I know some of you are wondering what you can do to make this easier on the person who's trying to change, and the honest answer is: nothing. Just live your life without cheating or purposely hurting them, and you're doing everything you can. Giving in to their jealous demands (call me every half hour -- let me go through your phone -- let me smell yo dick) only tells them that their actions are acceptable. They are not.
For the people who are battling their own jealous impulses, if your significant other gives you legitimate reasons to mistrust them, maybe you're with the wrong person. But if they don't, you owe it to yourself and them to make an effort to change. To accept that this person is your partner and an individual and doesn't deserve to be caged by your insecurities. And neither do you. Learning to trust takes buttloads of time, but it's so worth the work. And seriously, you have to stop smelling dicks. It's just weird.