It is important to note that a controlling person isn’t always overly threatening or aggressive. Sometimes, a controlling partner is emotionally manipulative and acts out of insecurity. How do you know you are in a toxic relationship? Well, by looking at the subtle signs of a controlling husband and controlling partner.
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. People of any age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status can be in a controlling relationship. And you can play either role. Some of the common controlling tactics include belittling, teasing, using guilt for influence, and more.
Do not worry, you are not to blame. An emotionally abusive relationship can sneak up on anyone. Today, we will talk about the red flags of relationships. You might miss them.
What Is A Controlling Behavior In Marriage?
Usually, controlling husbands do not start that way. In the beginning, they might treat you like a princess, like gold. But slowly, they start to criticize, disapprove, and overrule your actions. If your husband does any of that, you are in a toxic marriage.
Some of the characteristics of a toxic and controlling marriage include the following:
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Chronic criticism even for small things
- Veiled or overt threats
- Making acceptance, caring, and attraction conditional
- Overactive scorecard
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the signs of a controlling husband. Any healthy relationship and stable relationship should have none of these signs. If you notice just one of them, try to walk away as soon as possible. Staying longer in an emotionally abusive relationship might turn to domestic violence one day.
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Signs You Have A Controlling Partner
Talks Down To You
When you are in an intimate relationship with a controlling man, he will talk you down. He will tell you he is doing things for your best interest. In a way, he is trying to show you that you are not capable of making your own decisions. And that gives him the power to control your actions.
But you are a grown woman. You can do fine without his guidance.
Withholds Attention And Gives You The Silent Treatment
Usually, this happens if you do not do what he says. So, he is trying to punish you by withholding affection. Sometimes, he might even withhold finances until he gets his way. This is not a caring relationship.
If he cared for you, he would still provide you with the things you need to feel happy. So, walk away.
You Do Not Feel As Happy As You Used To Do
If you are not feeling happy and your intuition tells you something is wrong, listen to it. It is a red flag that you are actually in a bad relationship. You are no longer getting the caring behavior.
He Cuts You Off From Your Friends
The best way a man can control you is by isolating you. So, gradually, he starts cutting you off from your friends. An abusing husband convinces his victim to stop talking to family and friends.
Sometimes, he might even go as far as personally stepping in and ruining your relationship with your close circle.
Doesn’t Listen To You
A good guy listens to you. He wants to know what you think about certain topics. And he listens to know more about your day, your work, and things that matter to you. But if he is not listening, then you should run as fast as possible.
Uses Guilt As A Tool
Any good psychologist will tell you this is the oldest trick in the book. Or a relationship expert. They call it the guilt trick. A controlling person is a skilled manipulator. He makes your emotions work in his favor.
How does he do that? By manipulating you into feeling a steady stream of guilt about everything that happens. And everything that you do. Over time, by tricking you into guilt, he achieves what he always wanted. You do things that will not make your loved partner feel sad.
Creates A Debt For You
We said in the beginning, that usually, a controlling man will not start off like that. Nooo. He starts strongly with romantic gestures. But look closely, and you will notice any romantic gesture is actually a way to control you. He buys you expensive gifts, says things that show serious commitment, takes you out for a luxurious meal, buys you clothes, lets you use his car, and so on.
In many cases, this might be his way to create an expectation on your side. He now expects you to give something in return. Or just tries to create a sense that you feel beholden to him. After all, he has given you everything.
Spying And Snooping
Your controlling spouse feels that he has the right to know more about you than he actually does. So, he starts spying and snooping on you. He violates your intimacy and secrecy. This guy requires constant disclosure.
Sometimes, he might check your phone. He might log into your email. Or track your internet history and then asks you something about it.
Your sexual partner’s jealousy might go to paranoia. Yes, jealousy can be flattering in the beginning. Some view it as endearing, a sign of how much your romantic partner cares.
But when jealousy becomes intense, it can quickly get possessive. And a possessive partner will feel threatened by the people you contact with. This all goes back into that trying to isolate you from the world.
Doesn’t Respect Your Need For “Me Time”
We all need some time alone. But this is just another way your possessive husband tries to weaken your strengths. He does that by making you feel guilty for the time you spend away from him. He doesn’t allow you to recharge and make you feel happy in life.
He Tells You He Does This To Improve You
When you are in a caring relationship, you do not need to improve your significant other. And your controlling boyfriend doesn’t have to improve you. In a healthy relationship, your romantic partner accepts you for who you are.
People Have Warned You About Your Controlling Partner
Sometimes, you do not even need to look for signs of a controlling husband. Your friends and family have seen it and they will tell you. When your friends point this out, listen to them. They are only trying to save you from a toxic marriage.
Getting You Tired Of Arguing
Some controlling people get their influence under the radar. Yet, some are open and chronically aggressive. They are argumentative to the point they tire you out of arguing.
Unwillingness To Hear Your Point Of View
You are constantly interrupted and your opinions are quickly dismissed. They were never acknowledged in the first place. A dominating partner is not a listener. He doesn’t care about what you think. He just wants to enforce his influence and opinion.
He Has Done Scary Gestures
Your abusive and aggressive husband might even threaten you if you do not do what he says. This is domestic abuse 101. It is not caring. He might do scary and extreme gestures like faking divorce papers, taking the ring off, breaking things, and threatening to kill himself.
All of these signs of a controlling partner are bad. Don’t let that turn into physical abuse.
Makes You Feel Unworthy
Your husband will try and find subtle ways to make you feel unworthy. Or like you do not measure up. He can do this by making you feel less attractive than you are. He will constantly reinforce his professional accomplishment compared to yours. Or how much more money he makes.
This man just wants to make sure you feel grateful he is with you. Sometimes, he will even compare you with his exes. Controlling partners do that.
Sexual Interactions Feel Upsetting Afterward
Sexual intercourse with a romantic partner should feel pleasing. You want to be making love. But in this abusive relationship, he makes his way into the bedroom. And he cares only for his pleasure. Sometimes things feel wrong even at the moment.
Pressures You Toward Unhealthy Behavior
For example, he might pressure you toward substance abuse. He is constantly tempting you with cigarettes, drinks, and other unwanted behaviors. He doesn’t care for your fitness goals and doesn’t want you to look healthy and attractive.
Causes You To Question Your Own Sanity
As a result of all the abusive behavior, you will start questioning your sanity. How many signs of controlling behavior have you checked? Even one is more than you want. So, try to get out of it.
How To Get Out Of A Controlling Relationship?
There is no single answer on how to stop being controlled. There is no easy way to get out of an abusive relationship. It takes work. First, you need to understand why a person acts the way he does. If you can, you should suggest professional help.
But most importantly, remember this. Controlling behavior is not just unpleasant, it is a form of emotional abuse. Listen to yourself the moment you notice any signs of a controlling partner.
Being able to recognize the symptoms and name the issue is a huge part of the recovery. Speak with your partner. If he resonates with you, he might have the potential to change.
But if that doesn’t work, you need to leave the relationship. And be sure to talk and trust your family and friends. Seeking aid and the help of a therapist or relationship expert will help you work through the problem.