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A member asks:

“My biggest problem arises when I don’t know whether to tell someone something I believe will set them free, but it might not, since they are stuck in religion. It’s terrible to sit there and listen that my beloved friend doesn’t believe she can braid her hair or wear pearls, or that she is equal to her controlling husband. This particular example is a 65 yr old woman who wants to wear some foundation or make up like mascara, but her hubby says no. & she is asking me as a professional, what kind of tinted moisturizer can she use as a compromise, and tinted chapstick. So, obviously, she does believe that she is equal & able to make her own decisions, & she wants to find the loophole.”

I answered:

This is a delicate subject for sure. If a person is controlled by their partner, then those of us who exercise our freedom sometimes feel compelled to help them get free themselves.

It’s one thing for a partner to give in… compromise… for the sake of the their partner. I mean, many of us do this every day. Small little compromises… agreements… that just help our relationships flow smoothly. Nothing invasive or self-sacrificing to a damaging degree. Just small adjustments we all make to make our relationships work.

But for a person to tell their partner “No!” is another thing. This is control. It is not only difficult to live under. It is difficult to watch. Especially over something we might consider petty… like makeup.

When I’m talking with someone who feels trapped and controlled, I might say something like this, “Well, what would happen if you DID do that?” Then, after they answer that, I might ask, “How would that make you feel?” Or, “How would you respond to that?” Or, “Could you live with that?”

The thing is, most people really don’t know how their partner would really react if they did something against their wishes or demands. What I might try to do… if I feel I have that trust level with them… is to imagine what their lives would be without this trap or control in their lives.

Just getting people to think about possibilities, options and dreams is an incredible first step.

So launching a conversation down that road is just a question away and can open up new vistas of possibilities for your friend.

*** If you want to ask me a question, just email me!