A controlling partner in relationship affect their spouses in the most negative way, adding up to the anger, frustration, and pain in the life of the recipient of ill treatment. In some cases, a controlling relationship could easily pass as a toxic one.
It may not be abnormal to advice your partner once in a while, telling them what to do, where to go, and how to behave in a certain situation that would be beneficial to both parties. However, it becomes toxic when the controlling partner becomes authoritative, commanding and forceful.
Such a relationship can be choking. Though honest concern and protectiveness can also be misinterpreted for controlling behavior; there is a very thin line distinguishing the two.
Is Your Partner Controlling Your Life?
To be sure if your partner is taking over your life, or it is just you who is overreacting, ask yourself the following questions;
- Does your partner lose his/her temper at the drop of a hat?
- Do you feel like you have no personal space whatsoever?
- Are you afraid of telling your partner something because of his/her reactions?
- Are you constantly told to change things about yourself?
- Is it unacceptable for you to do several things that are perfectly acceptable for him/her to do?
- When you disagree, are you told that you are often ‘incapable’ of understanding?
- Do you constantly feel inadequate, like nothing you do is ever good enough?
- Are you frequently told by your partner that you are good, but not good enough at most things?
- Are you cut off during conversations as though your opinion counted for little or almost nothing?
- Is he/she always moody and inconsiderate about his/her radical behavior towards you?
- Do you feel distanced from your friends and family since you met him/her?
- Does he/she feel free to insult you irrespective of who’s around?
- Are your accomplishments belittled versus his/hers?
- Do your friends and family have a bad or rash opinion about him/her?
- Does your partner feel he/she is always correct?
If your answer is yes to most, or all the above questions, then your partner is most likely to be controlling you.
Signs of a Controlling Partner
Following are the signs of a controlling partner:
- Your relationship always loops around their importance
- They are abusive, either physically, emotionally, or both
- Short-tempered and moody to an extent that you might find yourself scared of their mood swings
- Commits the same mistake every time, only to relentlessly apologize later without meaning it
- They have no regards for your feelings, problems and decisions
- Willing to go to any extent to get their way
- They dislike the very idea of you being independent and self-sufficient
- Emotionally blackmails you into remaining in the relationship by breaking down as soon as you threaten to quit
Reasons for Controlling Behavior in Relationships
Being overriding could be a person’s character trait, but in some cases, such behavior is triggered, for a short or long while. Reasons why some partners are controlling includes:
Most controlling partners in relationships have an issue of insecurity or possessiveness. Before you start complaining about feeling controlled, try to understand the other person’s outlook. A man’s basic instinct and part of his makeup is to protect and control. They are programmed to take the leading a relationship. Women, on the other hand, usually make more sacrifices and mend their ways to build a relationship and hence are bound to feel ‘pushed over’ or mistreated at times.
So feeling insecure is natural in any relationship. One needs to be careful that it doesn’t turn to illogical over-possessiveness that suffocates their partners.
READ ALSO: Dealing With Insecurity in Relationship
The most important aspects of any relationship is trust. If your partner has faced betrayal in the past, chances are that he/she will be apprehensive about trusting again. With these trust issues and conflicts targeted towards you, you would be inclined to be frustrated, that’s logical. However, look on the bright side; the good thing about this is that your partner will not hold out on you forever. If they are skeptical from a previous relationship; with enough love, understanding and time, they are sure to overcome these feelings of insecurity and learn to trust again.
Has He/She Always Been Dominant?
If the person has always been the more controlling one, then it is a strong part of his/her personality itself. As a character trait, supremacy need not be intense. However, if your partner uses this as an excuse to get away with saying or doing deplorable things, then you might want to reconsider the relationship before it turns toxic.
Constantly Seeks Love and Approval
People, who are extremely dominant are the biggest attention seekers. With such a partner, your life is bound to revolve around their needs and priorities. On an intuitive level, they seek someone’s approval and praise. This could be caused by childhood trauma, the feeling of not having accomplished much in their life, or their fear of abandonment.
Tips on How to Deal with Them
Actions they say speak volumes than mere words. Just saying things will not truly affect your partner. Let your actions reflect your thoughts. Take that extra effort to show them you are faithful; be honest and completely clear about each aspect of your life. Trust is a subconscious phenomenon. If they feel that authenticity, then it is just a matter of time before they let go of their insecurities and trust you.
Talk to your partner. Let them know that you are willing to go an extra mile to help them, even if you have to make some personal sacrifices. Talking can take you a long way in salvaging this issue.
Your partner may be truly hurt and disturbed by a certain issue from the past. They might find such instances too personal to be shared. Don’t get hurt and discouraged. You will have to be patient and give them time.
READ ALSO: How to Date a Workaholic and Make It Work
Always Have Options
Don’t give in to your spouse’s demands just because he or she is dominating. Ensure that you always have an option in every argument, or decision. It cannot simply be their way or the highway.
Learn to Say No
The first step in standing up to any form of bullying or oppression in a relationship is to say “no.” Tell them when something is improper. This is vital because it lets the other person know that you are going to take a stand for what you believe.
Put your foot down whenever a controlling partner crosses a line. Unless you respect yourself, no one out there is going to respect you. So it is important to stand up for yourself and never give in to illogical demands like dressing improper to please them. Don’t allow him or her trample over you time and again and get away with a mere insincere apology.
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If you are in a controlling relationship, you need to be truthful to yourself. What do you seek from the relationship? Are you looking for a faithful and long-term commitment? Ask yourself if your partner looking for the same goals too. If yes, then it is utilitarian to devote so much effort in improving things. However, if you have invested so much time and effort and nothing seems to be working, then you should know what’s best for you.