What is the difference between control and respect? If you’re on one side of the equation, respect looks like control. If you’re on the other side of the equation, control looks like respect.
Control: to exercise authoritative or dominating influence over (from TheFreeDictionary.com)
Husband #2 accuses me of wanting to control him. From his vantage point, my wanting him to close the kitchen cabinet doors, pick up his shoes, and organize our business files in a certain way are all for control.
In my eyes, asking him to do these things is about respect.
Respect: willingness to show consideration or appreciation (from TheFreeDictionary.com)
Show consideration by picking up your shoes, otherwise someone could trip over them as they sit at the base of the staircase. Show consideration by closing the cabinet doors, otherwise someone could bump their head on the sharp corners as they work in the kitchen. Show consideration by following an organizational flow so that we can both find the business files we’re looking for when we need them.
Control vs. respect…. I don’t want to be told what to do vs. I don’t care about you…
I felt controlled as well. He wanted me to praise him in a certain way, one that was foreign to my nature. He wanted me to cut ties with my male friends because he couldn’t handle his insecurities. He wanted me to conduct business in a certain way, because it was his way of doing things.
From his vantage point, I didn’t respect him. I didn’t tell him how great it was for him to provide for us. I didn’t recognize that he had scars from previous marriages where his wives left him for other men. I didn’t notice the slight variations in our business output because of my process.
I didn’t want to control him, I wanted him to respect me…to recognize that there is more than one person living in the house…that we all have to do little things to benefit the greater environment. He didn’t want to control me, he wanted me to respect him…to realize his efforts and contributions.
In the end, we both felt controlled and betrayed and hurt when we were just fighting for respect.