Why Women Are Control Freaks

Why Women are Control Freaks

If you’re a guy, and you’ve always thought, “my wife is a control freak!”, read on. And if you’re a woman, maybe share this with your guy!

I’m writing this not to excuse women, but to help men understand why women are control freaks. I write lots of posts for women on how to improve their marriage. Here’s just a little insight into the female brain for the men:

As I’m writing this, my family is preparing to depart for two weeks on vacation. I am desperately tending to my email, ridding the fridge of any stray produce, washing all the laundry, heading to the bank, and somewhere in there I’m packing. And I’m managing to pull it all off while still barking orders at my kids. I am the very model of a modern wifely drill sergeant.

Few can issue orders as effectively as women when we are in control freak mode.

We want the house cleaned because company is coming, and even though we’ve ignored the mess for two weeks it is now absolutely imperative that everybody drop what they’re doing and polish something. We want to get to work early, so everyone must hurry up and grab breakfast and by the way has anyone seen my purse? We have our agenda, and everybody had better get into line.

What men may not realize, though, is that when women get into control freak mode, it’s not because we particularly want to control people.

Let me get psychological for just a moment.

A woman’s biggest fear is that she’s going to lose those things that she loves most.

She wants to feel like her family is close-knit, her kids are safe, and everyone is secure. When something threatens that—because the kids are pulling away, or everyone’s too busy, or you’re distant—we feel out of control, and start issuing orders to compensate. Or, even worse, if we feel that we’re not doing a stellar job at caring for the family, then we really lose it, because we’re afraid that if the family falls apart, it will be our fault. We may imply again and again that it’s yours, but it’s only to deflect the blame we feel. We’re afraid we’re not good enough.

We’re not control freaks; we’re just scaredy cats! Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a big improvement, but it is, because once you understand that, you can help us bridge that sanity gap and end up in relational bliss once more. For you men in a relationship, here’s the key to helping your beloved relax and calm down: realize that when she gets stressed, it’s not because her primary goal in life is to stifle you.

It’s because she’s scared things are falling apart. And the more scared she feels, the more she tries to clamp down.

That creates this strange situation in many homes where the wife starts running everything—the kids’ schedules, the doctors’ appointments, the educational plans, the finances, the housework—while the husband pulls away because she so obviously doesn’t need or want him involved. Don’t look at the situation logically, though. Look at it lovingly. Sure she’s doing everything. Sure she’s got a to-do list for you a mile long. But this doesn’t mean she wants to run everything; more than likely it means that she wants you to start taking more of the reins.

Don’t react to what we do; react to what’s going on inside.

And then step up and be a man. Start talking to us about decisions. Get involved in the family. Listen to our concerns. And then develop your own opinions about what you think is best. Show us you care. Show us you’ve thought about it, too. Relieve us of the burden of messing stuff up, all on our own. That’s what we really want you to do, regardless of what it may look like.

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  1. I’ll admit that insights such as Sheila’s today didn’t occur to me naturally. Of course, I’m a product of the ’70s, when the liberators’ message of equality took the form of sameness, and those who didn’t begin life with a Biblical understanding of male and female were left wondering why men and women couldn’t just strive be more alike.

    • It’s called counseling. That fear of losing things comes from somewhere. Saying, “well just understand why I am controlling” is like saying, “Just try to understand why I am an alcoholic.” You need to deal with your need to control and leave your family alone. If women are busy working on themselves they will not have the time, energy or desire to control others.

      • I completely agree.

        This reminds me of the story of the mother who complained that “nothing in this house works without her”, but when she had a 2 week vacation and just father and son were at home everything worked perfectly fine.

        Then she got angry because everything worked perfectly fine while she was gone.

        I understand what you want to say with the text, but as Tron pointed out it reads more like a text of an addict who can’t let go.

        Also understand that men often have a lesser desire to control. So what you want from men – to take the reigns – is often not possible, just because men don’t see the necessity of any reigns to be taken.

  2. Sheila,
    Wow! On the nail head sistah!

    • Understanding the problem is half of the battle. What is the answer to fear? control?
      I know we can do better than that.
      Our North American society has spoiled us so that men have given up and women have taken control. There are pockets of wonderful relationships, but most have no faith or spirituality or purpose other than “get things done”.

      I look to other cultures for wisdom on how to show up to relationships, how to deal with fear, how to love – and common wisdom is to love others, to give to others, and you will in turn receive. I also look to other cultures for partners for relationships, as the problem you are so correctly describing is being used as you use it – to ask men to understand rather than fix the problem. Of course, we men have many problems too, and the wise ones seek help.

  3. Yes, I agree. So much to do – there is a fear of failure that rises up. Fear cripples us so we grasp for control before all hope “seems” lost.
    Michelle recently posted…Mom Brag Moment: Pre-Reading SkillsMy Profile

  4. Stephanie says:

    Never realized it myself, but this is so true. Maybe women realizing why we are acting a certain way can help us make different choices.

  5. Loved this article. I always feel like the bad guy “controlling” everything. It was once suggested to me to behave as though each parent is the CEO of their company and have regular board meetings. It’s helped!

  6. word to the wise, those that seek total control end up with none. men by nature are not supposed to be controlled, and will instinctively fight it. thanks for the insight

  7. Great article. Explain my situation. First,No kids to deal with. Luxurious trips for my wife. Complete support.

    I get yelled at for giving my opinion when asked. For the record, I do not interject my opinion without being asked. I learned if I do, the verbal lashing will be more painful for me. Even if my opinion matches my wife, I am targeted, name called, controlled, and called defiant regardless of any question I have or positive feedback communicated.

    To get this straight, as a man, I must give input. I do kindly. If I have no feedback, I receive the same scolding as if I did give an answer.

    What’s my wife’s problem? Is she is an out right bully and control freak to the core. How do I fix this?

    This article may apply to some people, man or woman, but it does not apply to all people.
    Is my wife power tripping or is she out right insane?

    Much insight is needed. My last resort is divorce and I would rather resolve arguments like adults, not children that kick and scream when they don’t get their own way with everything in life. Bad hair cut or color, my fault. A-hole cuts her off in traffic my fault. Co-worker irritates her, my fault. Is she capable of accountability? Is this what people do? Why set a standard of living that no human can live up to? Is this how all women treat men that support their hopes and dreams?

    What is a woman’s responsibility? This article tells us men what to do, but where is the advice for women to lighten up and not knitt-pick the smallest of things? Why can’t my wife suggest resolve in an argument? I do every time and get yelled at further for wanting conflict resolution that doesn’t emotionally hurt or insult the other person. And when she is done cleaning the floor with me, she claims that it is my fault and tells me to shut my mouth or quit giving her lip. Does marriage mean the man an only the man must change, compromise, resolve, and automatically be at fault for everything in his wife’s life even if he is not present?

    Most recently, I was put down for asking my wife the price of a product her spa carries. She threw a fit and called me defiant. The defiant remark spun me around like getting hit by a car. How is it defiant to ask a question about something that in the end financially benefits her. I would say us but her money is her money and my money is her money. I am ok with that even though I earn 10 times her earnings. I give and give everything asked and ordered of me. What am I doing wrong. My friends have commented on her behavior and mine. Ironically, her friends ask me why I allow my self to be a doormat. I can only answer them one way. ” if I don’t let her treat me like a doormat, the other option is being treated like toilet paper?

    Please help. How do I sit through a bitch fit without ripping my hair out. During any argument, I ask to find resolve. She does not. In fact the mention of resolve triggers her to start playing a blame game that only confuses me more. I am exhausted with this. I love my wife, but something has to give and I have given all I got without complaining.

    Also for the record: I never go to bars, do guys night out, drink alcohol, and insult my wife ‘s passions. When I do a random act of kindness, I get yelled at for not charging money. I was raised to give and I shouldn’t get interrogated for helping a man or woman. I received a day long scolding for opening a door for a man in a wheel chair. My wife said his hands work and he can press the button that opens the door. Even when I explain the button was broke, I was called a liar. The next day she walked up to the door and said in a mean voice as she pressed the button,” it’s that easy” even when the door didn’t open and the clerk explain it has been broken for a week, my wife did not apologize for calling me a liar. She actually told me she didn’t have to apologize and if I want to avoid this type of argument don’t spend 10 minutes wasting her time to open a door for someone that can push a button. Seriously…….this was said to me minutes after the clerk explained the open door button was broke. I’m going to avoid the feeding the homeless fight and the fight about me doing charity.

    • manlyman223344 says:

      Steve, I am sorry to say but you are part of the problem. You are not acting like a man. Sorry. A real man does not allow themselves to be treated like nonentities.
      You need to call out your woman more often. You’d be surprised how she will begin to respect you more. Stop being her doormat. If she yells at you for any reason, tell her she needs to stop pronto, or walk away from her and refuse to subject yourself to her abuses. If she wrongly calls you a liar, refuse to even talk to her until she apologizes. You must teach people how to treat you. And that includes your wife. You have allowed her to get away with too much for too long. Grow a spine, brother.
      And, no, divorce won’t fix it for you, because you’d encourage the next woman to treat you exactly the same way.
      This is time to man up, and put a stop to childish behavior from your wife.

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  1. […] Why Women Are Control Freaks<<I’ve been told I could run a small country, but that doesn’t mean I want to. This post by Sheila is excellent and helpful for both husbands and wives to read. […]

  2. […] case of marriage this is super important, because, as I’ve said before, most women do have control freak tendencies simply because we feel responsible for everyone, so we want to make sure they act the right […]

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