The core pattern is the enemy, not your spouse! This PDF provides an in-depth look at Controller-Victim Core Pattern. It includes a circular diagram of this Core Pattern, explanations and all applicable interventions to exit this reactive, destructive dance. (Does not include audio).
The Controller never feels completely in charge as the smallest things threaten their sense of power. To lose control would mean feeling vulnerable and weak as they did as a child. The goal of control is to keep vulnerable childhood feelings from ever surfacing. Over time, insecurities about losing control increase. To lower anxiety, the Controller exerts more power.
The Controller believes in getting their needs met, they will have to violate, exploit and manipulate others taking what they want or have nothing. Any feelings of weakness or vulnerability are loaded with humiliation and shame and quickly submerged under anger.
The Victim submits to the Controller believing they will otherwise be left alone with no one to meet their needs. Accustomed to high anxiety, they accept mistreatment not fully recognizing the seriousness of the abuse. As kids, Victims learned to tolerate the intolerable. In adulthood, the unbearable relational pain seems normal.
In the cycle of abuse the tension builds, the Controller rages, and then goes through a period of regret, apologizing and promising not to lose control again while minimizing the recent outburst. For a short period of time, the Victim may have the power until they give in and decide to believe the Controller once again. Tension builds and the cycle repeats again and again. At times the Victim may take their anger out on the children when the Controller is not home. Drugs and alcohol are often used to sooth pain and anxiety adding to the chaos and unpredictability.