I think that if you are strategizing about relationship control, you are probably not in a great relationship to begin with.
I mean, I guess I get it at work and in business.
For who would not want to use any ethical means at their disposal to persuade others to agree on a higher salary or signing a career-making contract?
But in an interpersonal relationship?
Well, this is not healthy.
It is not pathological to attempt to gain control of a relationship, we all do this, but when one attempts to gain that control while denying it, then such a person is exhibiting symptomatic behavior. In any relationship that stabilizes, such as that between a husband and wife, the two people work out agreements about who is to control what area of the relationship…. A relationship becomes psychopathological when one of the two people will maneuver to circumscribe the other’s behavior while indicating he is not. The wife in such a relationship will force her husband to take care of the house in such a way that she denies she is doing so. She may, for example, have obscure dizzy spells, an allergy to soap, or various types of attacks which require her to lie down regularly. Such a wife is circumscribing her husband’s behavior while denying that she is doing this; after all, she cannot help her dizzy spells. When one person circumscribes the behavior of another while denying that he is doing so, the relationship begins to be rather peculiar. For example, when a wife requires her husband to be home every night because she has anxiety attacks when she is left alone, he cannot acknowledge that she is controlling his behavior because she is not requiring him to be home—the anxiety is and her behavior is involuntary. Neither can he refuse to let her control his behavior for the same reason. STRATEGIES OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, JAY HALEY, 1963
-Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War