“Why Do Husbands Control Their Wives?”- 7 Eye – Opening Reasons

A marriage is meant to be a partnership between a man and a woman.

It is a beautiful union that melds two into one, and this intensely intimate relationship may look like total paradise.

However, it may also sometimes seem like a prison, especially for females.

In this generation, with a great majority of females embracing the knowledge that males and females are equal, there is an increase in the number of ladies who question the traditional system of marriage, which sets the man up as the head of the house (dictator, depending on how you perceive it).

The fact is, the idea of marriage as instituted by the Bible places the woman in a position of submission to her husband, but it doesn’t put him in the position of being a dictator over her.

A man isn’t expected to control his wife; he is supposed to involve her in every household decision.

So, why does it appear that many husbands attempt to control their wives, all in the name of fulfilling their roles as heads of the family?

There are many reasons why husbands are so controlling of their wives.

We will be exploring these reasons and some things wives can do when they find themselves in this situation.

“Why Do Husbands Control Their Wives?”- 7 Reasons Husbands Control Their Wives 

1. Fear

why do husbands control their wives

This is the most common reason husbands try to control their wives.

Most control freaks actually live in a perpetual state of fear.

You would agree with me that if you are afraid of something happening, the first you attempt to do is to control the possible outcomes.

This is the most common response to fear except when it is mortal fear, and in such cases, people would most likely freeze.

In the case of controlling husbands, the fear might come from different sources.

For some husbands, their fear is fueled by trauma from the past.

When something really terrible has happened to a person in the past, it may rule and control their decisions in the future.

For example, if your husband once had a car accident in the middle of the night, he may begin to associate traveling late at night with accidents.

Due to this, he may attempt to control the movement of all the family members to ensure that no one has to travel late at night.

This attempt to ensure the safety of every family member may be evidence of how much he cares, but for the most part, it portrays him as a dictator who just wants to control everyone.

There is also the fear of being abandoned.

If your husband was abandoned as a kid, he probably never wants to be left alone again; because of this intense desire to never be left on his own, he may attempt to control his wife.

He may not want his wife to do certain things on her own.

He always wants to be there.

In this situation, he is not only controlling, but he is also clingy.

2. Low self-esteem

why do husbands control their wives

Society has constructed specific roles for males and females, which differ to varying degrees from culture to culture.

For the males, the role of being the providers and head of the family almost never changes except in some exotic cultures.

Right from childhood, the awareness of this role has been steadily engrained into the males’ subconscious.

However, things are rapidly changing.

With feminism and women’s empowerment on the rise, women now have equal access to education and opportunities to the same jobs as men.

Suddenly, the male has to find other ways to be valuable to his family.

Being a provider no longer cuts it, especially when he is married to a “High-Value” woman.

When a man is married to an extremely attractive and successful woman, it is very possible for him to start comparing himself with his wife, trying to see if he measures up to her.

Marriage is not a competition, and there should never be a reason for couples to compare themselves to each other.

Happily married couples don’t compete with each other, they complement each other.

Many husbands who control their wives actually feel insecure, and by consolidating control, they try to make up for their feelings of insecurity.

So, a controlling husband wants to dictate to you which opportunities you should take and what you shouldn’t.

He wants to control your movements and who you interact with.

And while your spouse should have a say in whatever decisions you are about to make, they don’t have the final say.

Suppose your husband always wants to have the final say in every decision-making process. In that case, he is controlling, and his controlling tendencies may be fueled by a deep sense of inadequacy and insecurity.

3. Perfectionism

Have you ever been in a relationship or friendship with someone who can never be wrong?

If you have been in such a relationship or friendship, you will realize that being with them can be a chore.

Many husbands are trained to believe they can never be wrong in their marriage and family.

Thus, they tend to make every conversation seem like a lecture, and every attempt to get their opinion on something ends up looking like you just took orders from your drill commander.

There’s also this level of perfectionism that most controlling husbands exhibit.

A perfectionistic husband may feel the need to do things right… especially in public.

He is constantly plagued by thoughts of what the public thinks about his marriage, and because of this, he will attempt to control his wife.

He does this because he is basically pressured to present an ideal marriage to the public.

One sign that your husband is a perfectionist is that he always criticizes you, but you can’t criticize him because he can never be wrong.

4. He doesn’t know any better way to show that he cares

why do husbands control their wives

For some husbands, the fact that they are controlling isn’t because they have a negative mindset toward their wives.

It is just that he cares so much and doesn’t know how to express this without sounding like a drill sergeant during a parade.

For the most part, males are trained to be unexpressive of emotions like love, care, and compassion.

Because of this, they grow up into adults who can’t express care in the normal way.

They express theirs by being controlling.

For example, I may want to go out at night, but my father would insist that I carry an actual flashlight rather than rely on my phone’s flashlight.

He does the same to my mother.

I used to think he was a control freak, but growing up, I realized that he really cares but doesn’t know how to express it rightly.

5. You think he is controlling, but he isn’t

This is one thing you must also consider.

Being assertive is different from being controlling.

So, many ladies mistake the fact that their husbands always express their opinions as being controlling.

Everyone has opinions in relationships, and the main goal of effective communication is that everyone expresses themselves without anyone feeling like they weren’t allowed to.

A controlling husband always tells you what to do, while an assertive husband only shares his thoughts.

6.  Learned patterns

I once read a quote that “children are like sponges; they soak up all that’s in the environment.”

One thing that this quote establishes is the role of family and environmental factors in shaping a child.

If your husband grew up in a family where his father was a dictator, he may have hated growing up under such circumstances, but don’t be surprised if he repeats this pattern.

He may have learned wrong patterns from his father, and thus, the cycle of control and hurt continues. 

7. Unhealthy ideas of love

why do husbands control their wives

Recently, I was with a group of guys discussing marriage dynamics and hierarchy.

Before I go on, I must emphasize that these guys are all university graduates with excellent school grades.

One of them said that men must always control the household because women lack the capacity to think rationally.

I was shocked that he not only expressed such a controversial view but that the guys agreed with him.

I argued against this ideology and stated that many females are even more rational and logical than males.

I also stated that despite the biblical instruction for women to submit in marriage, it was also a partnership.

Submission didn’t make the man a dictator over his wife.

The discussion soon deteriorated into an argument, and I ended up walking away.

Many men have this unhealthy idea about women, and because of this, they attempt to control her… “For her own good”.

Women are good decision-makers, and a man who would truly enjoy a successful marriage should never forget that.

4 Things To Do If Your Husband Is Controlling

1. Discuss with him

why do husbands control their wives

If you realize that your husband is controlling, the first thing you should do is talk to him.

The odds are he doesn’t even know that he is controlling.

Express yourself calmly and tell him respectfully how disrespectful his attempt to control you is.

Ensure that you allow him to speak as well.

This may be a great way of actually discovering what is the root of the matter.

He may be afraid that you may leave him or that something bad may happen to you.

Understanding the cause will help you determine the best way to approach matters.

2. Setting boundaries

why do husbands control their wives

Boundaries are very important in any relationship.

After discussing with your husband, you need to set clearly defined boundaries to make him realize when he is beginning to act like you are a robot in the relationship.

This will serve as a check for him, and gradually, with the conscious knowledge of those boundaries, he will learn to control his controlling tendencies.

3. Be firm and kind

There are times when you need to be firm and stand your ground.

However, you should ensure that you are never unkind when you do this.

If your husband doesn’t want you to go to a business meeting with a client, you need to be firm and state the obvious… If you don’t attend the business meeting, you will probably lose your job.

You are responsible for your behavior, while he is responsible for his.

Focus on what’s best at all times.

4. Evaluate your relationship

There are levels of control and if your partner is narcissistic or physically abusive, you may want to consider separation even while you both explore therapy to navigate the issues if you so desire.

After all is said and done, you need to evaluate your relationship sincerely to determine your next course of action.

I hope this helps. 

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