Feeling your partner is too controlling is a serious issue; often the warning signs are there very early on in a relationship but tend to get ignored. Possessive and jealous behavior gets excused, taken as a sign that your partner is so madly head over heels in love with you and they just want you all to themselves.
However, over time controlling behavior usually gets worse not better and can really undermine the good things in a relationship. Admitting there’s a problem can be painful; and difficult for both of you. But facing up to it is the first step to ending it and getting your relationship on a more equal footing; but how you might wonder?
People mistakenly think that a relationship is only abusive when there is physical violence or bullying. That’s a common misconception. There’s emotional abuse too; this takes many forms and feeling you are being controlled should be taken as warning sign. No one should feel scared or intimidated by the person they love.
One type of emotional abuse that a lot of people aren’t always aware they are a victim of, is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of abuse that includes behaviours designed to control you and distort your view of reality (to your own detriment of course). Read more about how you can identify and stop this type of abuse in this article by The Feminine Woman.
Unlike physical violence ignoring, denying or excusing behaviour is especially common when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical.
Feeling constantly controlled or manipulated will over time destroy your confidence, make you anxious and depressed, and often isolates you from people and situations that make you feel good about yourself. The first step to changing things is recognising when things have become abusive only then you can get the help both of you need. There are many signs that behavior has become too controlling. The most telling sign is feeling scared of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them or constantly watching what you say or do in order to avoid a row —then your relationship is in danger of becoming abusive. Other signs are that you partner puts you down or will try to control you what you do and who you see.
But it’s important not just to focus on the other person’s behavior; think about how it’s making you feel …..Do you feel less confident, isolated or unable to get through to them?
Think about how you would answer the following questions
How you feel
- Afraid of your partner
- You avoid certain topics because of their reaction
- Like nothing you do it right
- Powerless to change anything between you
- That there must be something wrong with you and you deserve it
- That you have to lie about who you have seen or where you have been
Your partner’s behavior; do they…
- Regularly put you down in front of others
- Shout at you
- Act badly around people you are close to so you avoid seeing them
- Belittle you when you have good news
- Blame you for their behavior
- Treat you more like a possession that a person
- Get very jealous or possessive
- Control where you go and who you see
- Stop you seeing family and friends
- Control things like money, phone or car
- Check up on you
If you have answered yes to some of these questions then you need to open up the conversation with your partner about how you are feeling and changing things for the better. Using some of the exercises and articles on thecoupleconnection.net can help get you started….. Try and approach things together.
Articles and exercises about improving communication and getting on better will help get you started. Sometimes overly controlling behavior comes from insecurity so make it clear to your partner you want to change things because the relationships matters to you.
If you have answered yes to most of the questions then you need to take action and may need to seek additional support to help you work through things together. The relationship forum is moderated by trained counsellors and mediators who can offer advice and signposting. But you may feel more comfortable having a private discussion by using the listening room.