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How to deal with a controlling micromanaging husband

controlling micromanaging husband

Do you find that your husband tends to greet you with questions of why one household task or the other has not been achieved? Does he forget to give you a kiss because he is more concerned about why the vacuuming has not been done and a meal not been cooked? If so, it is possible that you have a controlling micromanaging husband on your hands. How do you deal with a controlling micromanaging husband? There are some behaviours and attitudes that signal that your husband may be a micromanager. We will look at some of them below. First, however, let us consider what micromanagement is in a marriage. 

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Micromanagement in marriage: What does it look like?

It is not always easy to identify micromanagement within a marriage. That is because there is no defined role of “boss” in a marriage. There isn’t one party within the couple that is in charge of all aspects of their Iives together. Or at least, there should not be.

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In a marriage, micromanagement is one spouse taking on the role of overseeing and attempting to control as many parts of the relationship as possible. It does not always come from a place of bad intentions though. Your spouse might not be setting out to harm you but micromanaging can have harmful effects. There are certain characteristics that you will find in a controlling micromanaging husband. 

How you know your husband is a micromanager

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  1. You feel tired when he is around. You go from feeling normal to feeling like your energy is being sapped when he comes around.
  2. He is always on hand to remind you of something that he would like you to do. Some might call it nagging. He will tell you to do something not once, twice or three times, but at least ten times because he does not understand why you cannot get it done immediately.
  3. He appears to listen to you but always does exactly what he wants anyway. He will seem to be taking your feedback on board. You find yourself feeling like your concerns are validated only to realize that the same things you expressed concerns about are still happening. 
  4. He is always taking organisational tasks around the house upon himself. You might see some signs of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). He likes things a specific way and cannot seem to cope if things are not the way he likes.  
  5. He always seems to be giving you a lecture about how something should be done. 
  6. He worries about the smallest details when it comes to certain things. 
  7. He asks you for something and yet is always nearby to tell you exactly how he wants it done. 
  8. Constantly gives you advice you never asked for.
  9. He frequently says he is leaving decisions up to you but you find that he always goes with his own preferences. 

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How to deal with a controlling micromanaging husband

The key is to protect your peace and mental health while also knowing when to be empathetic towards your controlling micromanaging husband. 

  1. Understand that you are two different people. You were raised in different homes and by different people even if you have similar backgrounds. It is impossible for you to have the same viewpoints in everything. It helps to remember this when you are frustrated by your micromanaging husband’s difference of opinions. 
  2. Pick your battles. Do not bother trying to stand your ground on everything. Think about the different ways your husband tries to micromanage you. Which ones upset you the most? In the interest of protecting your peace, choose only a couple and decide not to give in on only those.   
  3. Attempt to see things from his point of view. Empathize with your husband. His micromanagement could very well be coming from a place of insecurity. It could also be because of how he was raised and/or socialized. Trying to understand why he is the way he is will make you feel less annoyed.
  4. Let him know how you feel. Communicate to your husband that you feel micromanaged and do not like it. Provide him with real examples in recent days of times when he has made you feel this way.

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  1. Be two steps ahead of him. When possible. Apart from a few specific scenarios where you can predict that he will try to control things but you do not mind (see point 2 above), try to pre-empt your husband. Think about situations where he might find problems and try to solve them before he notices them. 
  2. Encourage open communication. Make sure he knows that he can ask you for things without you getting angry or annoyed everytime. If he has to bottle things up because he does not feel that there are clear lines of communication between you, it will affect all aspects of your marriage. 
  3. Seek counselling. Therapy helps, and not only as a last resort. You can seek therapy or counselling as a couple or individually. It is true that therapy is not for everyone but you can give it a shot. It may be helpful to have an impartial third party hear you two out and give you the tools you need to understand each other better. 

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Unfortunately, there are situations where a resolution simply cannot be reached. Your husband may be unable to change any of his controlling, micromanaging ways for the sake of your marriage. You might find as a couple that there is no way for you to co-exist and be happy. However, before you get to that point, you have to exhaust all other options. 

Do you have a controlling micromanaging husband? What techniques have you found most useful for maintaining your relationship and avoiding problems?

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10 thoughts on “How to deal with a controlling micromanaging husband”

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  4. My husband drives me insane. To the point I want to just die sometimes. He is such a micromanager and an asshole it hard to tell which it is.

    1. I hope you found some helpful tips on how to deal with him here. It can be such a fine line between micromanager and asshole when you’re fully unaware of what you’re doing! He really might have no clue!

  5. I inserted the word wife where it says husband and it completely sums up my entire marriage. Being an enabler of this behavior does not work. I get the pick and choose concept but it’s still enabling behavior that puts someone down for no good reason. This article is very well written but it should address women that do this as well. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this is a male only behavior trait.
    I would love to share something that works. Regardless of every article on this subject, none of the advice slightly helps. No person should bow down to demands and expectations no person can make especially the person making the demand. While they may not have harm intended, they do not see harm though their spouse is stuttering and sobbing after being tore down to the title of useless. I would label this behavior as toxic. And counseling only works when it addresses each both people and when the micromanager agrees to counseling. People don’t generally agree to counseling when they see no harm in their actions. The do get very offended when mentioning couples counseling.

    1. I do agree Makari. Counselling is unlikely to work if both parties are not happy to do it. Also, yes, this article applies to micromanaging wives too. It is possible, however, to have a micromanaging and controlling spouse who is willing to do the work to get to a better place. In that case, some of these tips might make a difference. In the final paragraph, I do concede that sometimes none of this works and a resolution simply cannot be reached.
      Thanks for reading!

    2. Most articles I’ve seem on micromanaging in marriage ARE about women micromanaging husbands, & usually to do with how they control things regarding childcare & domestic duties.
      It’s refreshing to finally see an article addressing a situation where women are the ones being micromanaged, & not just with regards to domestic duties.

  6. Thanks for the article. It is definitely insightful. I believe this also works for micromanaging parents as well.

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