This is tremendously important!
What distinguishes occasionally abusive behavior from an abusive relationship is the systematic attempt to control or dominate. Although control and domination are often used synonymously, they differ in motivation.
Control is driven by fear or anxiety. When motivated by fear, controlling behavior is an attempt to neutralize a perceived threat to self or relationship. Examples are nagging a partner to stop drinking, flirting, or yelling or continually criticizing his/her driving, job performance, or friends.
Control motivated by anxiety is an attempt to prevent discomfort. Examples are nagging a partner to do things the way you want them done, just because you feel uncomfortable if they are done another way. Not surprisingly, people with high temperamental anxiety are more likely to engage in this kind of control, as they fall into the trap by trying to regulate their anxiety by controlling their environment. They see their partner’s resistance to feeling controlled…
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