Love or Control

Love or Control? Can you tell the difference


Love is about give freedom and power, not gaining control or possession.



Love vs. Control.


I noted and always amazed by how many people not able to distinguish these two terms.



What is True Love?


In my philosophy, if you love and care a person, you should let them think and do whatever that fits and align to their core value.  If you really love a person, you don’t force them to agree or follow your path.


Many abused survivors learned unhealthy / toxic relationship from dysfunctional / abusive family.  We don’t know how to identify what’s right / wrong and the best for us. It took me years to understand the truth of love.


Previously, I watched TV / movies or reading inspiring books, I can’t stop to take a deep breath for myself….wow…..that’s what normal people do in a healthy relationship? It’s so different from what I learned from home.  Kind of like living in another planet and hard to find people understand me.



The Mask of Control


Many abusers / toxic parents / abusive relationship tend to trap targets by using an incredible word “love”.  They brainwashed you this is a form of “love” but in fact it’s masking their hidden insecure / intention – to control / manipulate.


Many moms LOVE their kids so much so they take care everything for them, e.g. cooking, dressing and arranging everything for them.  People think this is Love, but it’s not, instead, it’s a control in a subtle way.


Manipulative people usually make you become dependent on them until you lost your independence, you can’t think and feel in your own way, or survive according to your own wish, rely on manipulative people’s existence completely.  That’s what we found common from co-dependent relationship.


No joking, my ex-boss rely on her husband unreasonably, though she’s the boss but we all know who’s controlling everything behind in the company.  She’s so dependent at many aspect, can’t manage even a small task at work or her personal life.  Messy, disorganized and called her husband for help almost every hour, 20+ times daily.


Her husband kept all passwords and operation procedures in his hand.  Although he’s not physically at the office but he checked every email we sent, watched us via CCTV frequently.



Seriously, this is not Love



My ex-boss’s claim “this is love” while we all feel sick for those manipulative behaviors, she is so happy because she thinks her husband doing all these because he’s really love her.  Wow! That’s a delusion.


Many abuse survivors may assume the person who control us, plan everything and direct us to do things according to instructions is LOVE.   Many of us learned from toxic family that there’s no point to stand up for ourselves.  It seems easy and more peaceful if we just follow what we were asked.


Very soon, we lost the control of ourselves and hand all the power to others’ hands, at worst, many of them tend to attract abusers / narcissists / controllers to manager their lives because at the end, this is what we get used to.


We thought this is normal!  This is Love, right?



Wrapping Up


Hope more people can bring this topic for discussion.  So many times I want to scream when I found out someone trapped or being naive for their so-called loving relationship.


Frustrated to see when people don’t realize the truth behind.


How about you? Are you loving others or controlling someone? Or  you are “loving” by someone?


Please share your thoughts.






Photo credit : Pixabay – NatKar26


5 thoughts on “Love or Control? Can you tell the difference”

  1. Dear Goat, 😉

    I’m can only partially agree with you. You know how it is being a scapegoat. You keep trying to find love from people you ought to be able to trust to love you, but they don’t. Then you exhaust yourself trying to think of ways to explain to an abusive person exactly what love is. The abuser doesn’t care, and doesn’t even have enough decency to directly address this important topic. Instead you get played and given the run-around… and that’s when they are being nice. Anyway, I want to describe some of my own perception on how to discern when we are really being loved. I hope it isn’t too long. I’m not trying to cause problems.

    Your main point was what you stated right at the beginning : “Love is about give freedom and power, not gaining control or possession.” I think that grabbing control of a person is objectifying, and so it’s clearly not love. I do have a hard time making this the bottom line though. I think there is more to it.

    You gave the example of your ex-boss who was controlled by her husband, and that was a good and accurate depiction of the problem. However, we end up needing more wisdom and perception in less obvious situations.

    Take raising teenagers for example. Parents are frequently doing it wrong. Just ask the teenagers. Clearly the parents will make mistakes, and other times be right. Teenagers, unfortunately, often don’t see things in that light. Even a really good teenager might see the parent as controlling when an unpleasant or restrictive situation arises. How do we explain to our teenagers that it is love and not control? How do we *know* that we are right?

    This kind of “fuzzy” situation constantly arises with my wife, who projects controlling motivations on me all the time just for trying to lead the family. I *really* struggled with that accusation — and still do because the smear job is universally believed out of hand. Husbands and dads who try to lead are easy to cast suspicion onto. I may not ever be able to set things straight and recover. I do at least need a way to be sure that the accusation is wrong, and identify the abusive behavior.

    I have tried to find the measure for discernment that is not just supported by a scripture here or there, but by all scripture (a life-long task), and is the same in all cases. I took a long time to be able to just formulate these things in my mind. At this point, it seems like they should be so obvious. But as a scapegoat, they really weren’t obvious to me. If these things I say about love seem so simple as to be condescending, I assure you that is not my intent. I really hope it just helps other people in the FOG of abuse to hear basic things stated directly so they can think about it more clearly.

    At the broadest level, I think love consists mostly of three main parts: Value, Loyalty, Goodwill. I currently think that, even if I have missed some other core component of love, any unloving action will violate at least one of these three love basics.

    Value is violated by arrogance (“I’m/We’re worth more than you/y’all”), or contempt (“You/y’all are worth less than me/us” — or even “You/y’all are worth nothing”). They often go together. This is the foundation of objectification, in my opinion.

    Why does the example of the ex-boss and her husband work? It’s because the husband’s role is so over-the-top by way of control that the ex-boss’ value as a human and a wife was clearly violated.

    In the case of parenting teenagers, we are often responsible for putting boundaries and limitations on behaviors that they may believe they are righteously entitled to cross. How do we differentiate our boundaries and inquiries (“where will you be? how long? who will you be with?”) from the kind of contemptuous, objectifying control above? It’s partially about value (“I value my kid enough to do the hard and unpleasant parental duty of showing, defending, teaching the limits where wisdom ends and folly begins”), and partially about goodwill.

    Goodwill is the part that a loving person is exercising when they show empathy, or when they look for ways to contribute to a person’s happiness. But it’s also what we are doing when we follow Leviticus 19:17 (“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall surely rebuke your neighbor and not allow sin to remain on him.”) This is what we are doing when we correct our children. Goodwill is what keeps us from being jerks to someone and then saying it’s love. And, lying about such a thing is clearly a violation of goodwill and value as well.

    As I have tried (unsuccessfully) to find help from pastors, elders, christian counsellors, and others, I have found that most of them simply think love is about being nice, not being angry, and automatically forgiving. This is not only inaccurate, it is very destructive — and most destructive precisely where real love and help are needed most.

    1 Corinthians 13 is a wonderful chapter about love, but it is an overview. Most Christians have a terribly difficult time squaring what they have been taught about love with Leviticus 19:17, or with Psalm 55 (and a lot of others called “imprecatory Psalms”). They often conflate rebuke with judging. They may have trouble understanding Jesus’ remarks about hating father and mother, et cetera (Loyalty is the primary issue there). Seeing love in the light of Value, Loyalty, and Goodwill has really helped me find clarity in understanding scripture, as well as navigating relationships. Violating those “love basics” is sinful. All the law and the prophets hang on those two laws (loving God, and loving your neighbor), so even the law becomes a lot more insightful and helpful. Violating the love basics on an on-going basis is where sin becomes abusive.

    That was even longer than expected. I hope that’s not a problem.


  2. It IS so hard to tell. The controllers manipulate until you don’t realize what they have done. You don’t realize that their love is just a manipulation and then you have to save yourself from their so called love. Most of the time it is such a slow process you don’t even know when it turned from love or the premise of love to control. was probably control all along.

    Liked by 1 person

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