How Control And Being the β€œFixer” Is Keeping You From Real Love And Connections

Oct 21, 2022


At the end of the day, the skills that make Superwomen so successful in the boardroom and running their businesses are actually a huge disadvantage in the bedroom and in relationships.

Being referred to as “controlling” has a negative stigma attached to it which is why it’s something that Superwomen never want to admit. But hear me out, because I’m a recovering Superwoman at heart, too.

It’s important to talk about the impact control and being “fixers” has in our lives because it’s a hidden compulsion that we need to bring to the surface if we ever want to experience the fullness, radiance and freedom that come from true intimacy, great sex and connected relationships.

Before I go over some tips to stop controlling in your day to day life, let’s start by addressing the two types of control I see show up in the bedrooms and relationships of the thousands of Superwomen I work with.


Types of Control Affecting Your Relationships

  1. Overt Control

 Overt control is going to look something like this:

  • You need your laundry folded in a certain way so you always do it yourself
  • You don’t let anyone else clean your house because you need it cleaned in a certain way
  • You reload the dishwasher if someone else does it because you like it placed in a certain way
  • You have to pick up groceries yourself because you don’t trust the produce someone else will pick

Essentially, overt control is when you need to do everything yourself or you fix things that have already been done because you like it a certain way. You don’t want to be let down and for things not to be up to your standards, so you do it all.

I’ve lost count of how many CEO Superwomen I’ve worked with who don’t think twice about delegating a task in their company, but struggle to delegate at home and in their relationships. 

  1. Covert Control

This is the sneaky way we control. It’s the way we’re not honest with ourselves about the fact that we’re controlling so we disguise it as other things. 

Covert control might appear as always fixing things for people or trying to help someone even though they didn’t ask. 


Signs You May Be Controlling More Than You Think

 Here are some signs you may be controlling and fixing more than you think:

  • You find yourself telling others “you should” or “what you have to do next is…” 

  • You offer or give help before you are even asked. Or someone asks for help with A, but you provide help with A, B, and C because you just know they need it. 

  • You’re not happy with support and help from others unless it is up to your standards - you have to reload the dishwasher, you have to give your opinion on how the diaper should be changed, etc. You even have to control the way you receive help instead of just enjoying and feeling grateful for it.

  • You feel hurt when others don’t take your advice or make different choices from what you suggested.

  • When new people come into your life (family, friends, etc.), you find yourself annoyed that they don’t do things the way you would. I.e. they don’t show up 15 minutes early, they don’t do the dishes at your house after dinner, etc.


How Control Is Affecting Your Relationships

Oftentimes you do it because you think you “know better”. And the truth is, you probably do know better. Our conditioning as girls to keep the peace in our homes made sure we’re always ready to fix whatever problem comes our way. We can think ten steps ahead for everyone and all the possibilities.

These skills are why Superwomen are CEOs, entrepreneurs of 6+ figure companies, managing huge teams, etc. And sometimes it’s good to have your Superwoman cape on.

But this is where you’re also going wrong.

Essentially it comes down to this. Do you want to be right? Or do you want to have great sex and more connected relationships? You may very well be right about how to do things and seeing problems coming from a mile away, but this erodes the fabric of a good relationship because we are trying to control.

We like to tell ourselves we’re just really helpful and we pride ourselves on being there for others, on being the first one to show up in a crisis, on stepping up and helping out. Even when no one asked us. But if we’re not mindful about where it’s coming from, that can just be a sneaky little hint of control too.

We’re really good at convincing ourselves that we have to help. That our intuition is telling us:

“He’s not ready yet” 

Deep down she knows, she just can’t communicate those feelings” 

“I know it in my heart” 

This is the definition of self sacrifice and control. We are deciding for someone else what is best for them. And in turn, we are
minimizing our true needs and over-functioning. But what is this over-giving, over functioning, over-helping really giving us? A sense of control and a messed up mother/child relationship dynamic.

The problem with control in your relationships is that it’s taking away agency from the people you love. And I know you’re not intentionally trying to make them feel useless, incompetent, or reprimanded. But you will if you don’t let that control go because it’s stopping you from loving them from who they really are because you can only love a version of them that you can control.

As a recovering Superwoman, I know that letting go of control is easier said than done. Especially when we’re often doing it without realizing it.

I know it’s scary when you’ve never trusted anyone and never trusted yourself to be ok even if your worst fears do come true. But that’s where the work is – trusting yourself enough to know that no matter what, you’ll find the joy, connection, and love you seek. And trusting others enough that they will still show up for you even when you’re not over-functioning for them all the time.

The hard part is actually allowing other people to show up for you. The part where we surrender.

The part where you have no control over how the people you love are going to act and show up for you or disappoint you. We fear giving them the space because we fear they won't show up the way we want them to. That it would hurt. That waiting and trust is hard for Superwomen because we have such a belief people will leave or we’re not good enough unless we are earning love, providing value, and over-functioning for everyone all of the time.

True love in relationships (romantically and friendships) is free from fear and is selfless. Real love gives without expecting anything in return. 

That true acceptance for yourself and others is what is going to fill the hole that has always felt like you weren’t good enough. Because people will show up for you. And you will help people from your genuine heart. 

And it will feel so much better.


Tips To Stop Controlling In Your Everyday Life

 If this resonated with you, here are a few tips for dipping your toe into a world where you aren’t in control anymore. A world where you are only responsible for you and you can take the armor off and connect authentically like you know you’ve been craving.

  1. Get honest with yourself. Do you really want to fix/control all the time? Or do you want to be cared for? Admitting this is hard for Superwomen – We have been conditioned that we don't need anyone else and can do it ourselves. But don’t you want to be in a relationship where you can take off your cape sometimes and let someone be there for you? 

  2. Work toward a mindset reframe. For example: “If they ___________ (load the dishwasher, fold the laundry, clean the house) 70% correct or up to my standards, is there any real harm being caused?

  3. Before jumping into fixing things, offer advice if asked. Ask questions like “What do you think you should do?” or “What feels like your most aligned next step?” If they don’t ask, don’t interject.

  4. Ask yourself if you can let this situation ride for a couple of days to see if you still feel the same about it. For example, when I’m PMSing everything anyone does feels like a 2/10 so it’s best for me to wait.

  5. Ask yourself: Do I want to be right? Or do I want loving, connected relationships?

  6. Ask questions! If you find yourself in a situation where you want to give advice or directions when you weren’t asked, take a step back and ask the other person WHY they want to do it that way. You will probably find that they already have a well-reasoned plan for their choices and you didn’t need to step in in the first place.

  7. If you want to show your love, try thoughtful surprises that add extra to your loved one’s lives – not surprises that control how they think, behave, or live. This is the difference between cleaning your teen’s room as a “surprise” for them, and getting them a little something after a long day or making reservations at their favourite restaurant.

  8. Remember, you can’t control someone’s response. Stop doing anything where you are expecting or requiring some action in return. No one owes you a thank you card. Is it nice when you get one? Of course. But if you’re finding yourself frustrated or annoyed when someone doesn’t respond in the way you wanted, for help they didn’t ask for, it wasn’t coming from the goodness of your heart in the first place. 


I Think I’m Controlling/Fixing. What’s Next?

Of course, a few tips in a blog article aren’t going to undo the years of conditioning and patterns you have been living with for your entire life. 

But it’s the first step and a great place to start – noticing and feeling how these patterns affect your day to day life. I also recommend listening to episode 70 of The Pleasure Principles podcast where I talk about this topic more in-depth.

And then when you are ready to do the real work, the work that will change your life.. that’s when you get in touch with me, a feminine burnout and intimacy coach. If you are interested in learning more and working with me to start undoing these patterns that are holding you back and keeping you from real intimacy, apply here.


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