Saying Good Bye to Control


The following letter originally published at is a must read for any woman who has resorted to practicing unhealthy control measures in order to block out the effects of a husband who has violated the terms and intimacy of their marriage.

The letter writer actually begins the missive with Dear Control as though Control is some sort of alter ego that resides within her. He husband was a sex addict whose issues extended far beyond surfing internet porn. She became a neat freak probably as a way to deflect her mind away from her husbands dirty deeds. She also mentions how control usurped her spontaneity and made her become irritable over petty trifles.

Finally her letter creates finality on her commitment to NOT let her own controlling behavior paralyze and ruin her life. What is not clear is whether she ever left her husband? I hope she did is far too many women stay with men who abuse and treat them like dirt.

Dear Control:

Oh dear friend how I hate to see you go. You’ve protected my sanity for 15 years, but I can do it on my own now. You remind me of Santa Claus — I knew you weren’t real, but I still believed in you. I trusted you would work for me when I set you free on any situation.

It took me only a few brief years of marriage to learn that my husband was a cheat and that’s when you took a stranglehold on me and started to grow and choke me out like a weed for the following 7 years. I didn’t realize my husband was a full-fledged sex addict and had done much more to betray me than just view a few sites on the computer. I felt like things were not right, but could never put my finger on it.

You enabled me to get a handle on the chaos of my life by making me neat freak in cleaning the house and staying organized. You fooled me into thinking that would make everything okay, especially if I really controlled other people and things. So the more I controlled, the more disappointed and crazy I felt when things didn’t work out. Even you were letting me down at that point. You caused me to become unhappy, bossy, fussy, irritable, particular and you made me lose my spontaneity.

The more I controlled to gain happiness the unhappier I became.(Alan Watts called this the law of reverse effect)

You caused me to fight with my step son and my husband. I think you even contributed to two people getting let go at work because of how you infiltrated my management style. You made me miss playing with my kids because I was too busy keeping order. I always hosted family events so I can control the menu and not have to interact by staying busy in the kitchen.

So in 2009 I decided to let you go. I let go of fighting with my husband about our sex life. I let go of things around the house. I let go of disciplining my step son. I seemed happier for it. You would rear your ugly head from time to time, but not like I used to let you.

And then you came back with a vengeance on the night I caught my husband sexting another woman. I used you in those early days yet you failed to get the truth out of my husband. You put me back into your clutches and I didn’t let go until I separated from you in my authentic recovery and recognition of what had been done to me.

I now feel the weight of the chains you placed on me as soon as it happens.

No more! I shake the chains off immediately and pray to God they stay off.

At the time I thought you were my friend, but all you were was an evil distraction. You take many forms and often disguise yourself as being helpful, but now I know better. You caused me to be critical both silently and verbally. When the small controlling tricks didn’t work, they became compounded until I was so wound up by everything that was chaos. With you, control, I hurt my husband, my family and even maybe some colleagues at work. I am grateful to how you did attempt to protect me at a time I needed it most, but I am now grateful to have let go of these terrible traits. I am aware control takes many forms and I have to be on alert for the rest of my life as my husband gets better in his recovery I get better too. Control will be a distant memory! Goodbye and thank you.



2 comments on “Saying Good Bye to ControlAdd yours →

  1. Sheri & Bob Stritof wrote an excellent piece on the marriage destroying effects of varying libido. Sometimes the man wants it more, sometimes the woman. Sexual addiction knows no variation but high speed and you must exit a relationship with a sex addict.

  2. Hi,
    I’m sorry I’m just coming across this post now now after all this time. I wrote this in 2012 and posted it in 2013.

    To answer the question about staying with my husband–I absolutely did. By the time I wrote this he was already 2 years in full recovery and our marriage has only gotten better since.

    As a professional life coach, I don’t advise what someone should do as I believe we are our own best expert. As a partner of a recovering sex addict, I like to share the hope that anything is possible. Xo

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