7 Signs You Have a Controlling Partner: You Need To Flee!
It’s always never easy to walk away from a relationship, especially one that you have so poured yourself into. The feeling is almost like someone crashing into the reality that you’ve built for yourself, only to give you broken pieces in return, expecting you to build a breath-taking empire out of it. And right there, in the middle of this new reality, you have now found yourself, you’re left wondering how you never noticed the signs of a controlling partner earlier in the relationship. You begin asking yourself “how did I get here?” But maybe you never really knew what exactly to look out for in a controlling partner.
You begin to realize how you so drowned yourself in the “good times”, that your eyes failed to see the makeshift prison that was being erected, with you as the prisoner and your partner as the prison warden. You noticed the attitude changes here and there but nothing you ever saw prepared you for the mountain that was waiting to come crashing on you.
But the reality is no one is ever really prepared for these things. This is because the relationship wasn’t always like this. Controlling partners never start out relationships showing their dominating sides. But if in spite of all the breath-taking chemistry, you pace yourself, you’ll realize that all that you needed to see was there before your eyes.
The Fireworks Pattern
Just the way every rom-com begins, the romance always starts as perfect. There are endless all-night talks, which most of the time involve completing each other’s sentences. And in the weeks (maybe days even) that follow, you’re thinking to yourself “where has this guy been all my life?” At first glance, you never suspect that this sweet guy willing to go lengths to get you to say yes to dating him would turn out to be the villain of your love story.
Like fireworks, the facade soon dissipates and then you’re left with a black empty sky, with no color at all. A realization like this can feel very crumbling, especially when you have both synchronized at an inseparable level, when it seems like you share everything in common, bonding over nearly identical values, spiritual beliefs, and dreams for the future.
…but you need to flee!
In situations like this, letting go seems tougher than ever and so you find it rather convenient to stay believing that one day, he’ll somehow return to his old self and your relationship would go back to the good old days. But really, would he?
People easily confuse the fierceness, speed, and intensity of the “romance” are almost always interpreted as attentiveness. But one dominating characteristic of controlling partners is their unwillingness to slow down. As though if they gave you time to pace yourself, you’ll find out what it is they’re doing. It then helps to make sure you pace the early part of your relationship as it is so tempting to get swept up. In a healthy relationship, the early stage is a critical time to ask yourself the tough questions and take an objective inventory. Because really, the red flags are almost always glaring us in the face.
Signs You Have a Controlling Partner
It’s not always easy to distinguish true love from a controlling relationship. You might find yourself thinking it’s all just in your head and maybe this is just your partner’s way of showing care. But if you begin to feel like it’s too much, then it probably is.
The signs to look out for in a controlling partner include:
As is often the case with controlling partners, they tend to cut you off from the rest of your support system. They isolate you from your friends, family, or anybody else you are close to. This is usually done with the defense of wanting to spend quality time with you.
While the craving for the other person’s presence is normal, even for healthy relationships, when this becomes excessive almost to the point of obsession, then you should be concerned. Usually, controlling partners find problems with your friends’ behaviors and keep giving you tons of reasons to stay away from them.
Controlling people tend to be manipulative in such a way that makes you codependent. You start having a hard time making decisions, even simple ones like what to wear on a casual night out. When you deal with a controlling partner, they make sure you always feel indebted to them. You have to work hard to earn their love. They keep score and make you feel guilty if you fail to indulge their whims.
They watch you like a hawk
For some reason, controlling partners tend to get paranoid when they don’t know where you are all the time. As a result, they have a strong tendency to put your entire life under surveillance. Your life becomes guided by rules you didn’t remember signing up for, boundaries become nonexistent.
Controlling partners tend to infringe on your privacy; be it your Facebook password to your bank account details. They demand complete transparency in the name of love, doing as much as they can to ensure you stay in the house and limit your outside activities to specific areas that they choose. They keep snooping on you and blow up your phone whenever you are at places they don’t know.
Most of the time, you’ll find that controlling partners say negative commentary on your character, habits, appearance, friends, aspirations, and lifestyle, delivered with a holier-than-thou attitude: “You’re not even getting the right nutrients from your diet, but whatever…”
Most of the time, these derogatory words are spewed with very hurtful labels. You are in danger of getting tagged a flirt for giving your friends hugs. And when you stand up against the unwarranted jealousy, you’re given the “overreacting” label or you’ll be told it was just a joke.
Body Shaming Tendencies
Controlling partners tend to complain about every slight subject, including your body. They make comments like you’re too fat (or too skinny) and ugly. If you have personal fitness goals, they tend to dismiss them and impose what they want on you. This is usually under the guise that they need to constantly find you attractive. They even go as far as threatening to get sex from somewhere else.
Related: How NOT To Be A Boring Partner
You’re apologizing all the time
In a controlling relationship, you regularly find yourself saying “sorry”, even though you’re not entirely sure what you’ve done wrong. Controlling partners often turn their own faults on you. They make you feel like you’re the one who’s too critical, not committed to the relationship, or even a bad girlfriend. This messes with your mind and soon, you begin to find yourself saying “I wasn’t being empathetic enough or patient enough”. You begin to develop a constant feeling that you’re always messing up.
Your opinions get dismissed
If your boyfriend is confident, charming, and persuasive, you might think you’ve hit the jackpot. After all, these are probably part of what makes him attractive. But they could also make him a more controlling partner. It is quite normal for your partner can at some point, make certain decisions without first consenting to you. However, if you notice he always shut you up when you attempt to speak about this, then this should be a concern.
Okay, so now what?
Your partner could have a moment of weakness where they exhibit one or two of the signs above. You should begin to become concerned when this becomes recurring and when you begin to get “that feeling” in your gut.
Having identified the signs of a controlling partner, there comes the question of “what do I do?” If you’re in a low-risk controlling relationship, you can talk to your partner and straighten things out with him.
However, if you notice, the controlling relationship has gone past this level, then you need to find a way out. Look for a means to get back in touch with your support system, your family, friends, confidants, or therapist. Create a safety plan for yourself too as controlling partners are more prone to physical abuse. Give yourself time to heal, take back control of your life, and prioritize self-care.
Thank you for reading. Kindly drop a comment if this post resonates with you.
Also Read – Tips For Handling Arguments In A Relationship