A relationship should be a two-way street. You should respect your partner and receive it back in return. In a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t see these signs of a controlling relationship.
The same goes for trust, love, and the general way you are treated. If you’re constantly being questioned, distrusted, and nothing you do is ever good enough, how can that be a happy situation? No matter how much you might love them!
The need to control is part of human nature, but only to a degree. Some individuals have this need on hyper levels. They use manipulative tactics to twist everything around and control everything you do. As a result, you’re right where they want you… completely under their control.
[Read: 14 common traits of controlling people and how to deal with them]
The bottom line is that a controlling relationship is not a healthy relationship to be in and it will only end in a very negative way.
If you’re concerned that your partner is becoming a little needy or might even be moving towards controlling, arm yourself with the knowledge you need. By doing that, you can make changes in your relationship, or choose to leave it altogether.
Signs of a controlling relationship
If you notice just one of these signs occasionally, don’t panic! We’re all a little difficult to deal with sometimes, we’re human after all. That might mean your partner has a bad day and says or does something on this list, but it doesn’t mean they’re controlling. Perhaps you do the same sometimes!
[Read: 15 questions to reveal a controlling personality instantly]
What you should be concerned about is if you see several signs of a controlling relationship on this list and immediately recognize them as happening to you on a regular basis. If that’s the case, think very carefully about your next move.
Here are the 9 strongest signs of a controlling relationship we all need to be aware of.
#1 They’re insecure in general. While some people are naturally insecure, that doesn’t mean they’re controlling. What you should worry about is if your partner is insecure. It seems to only spring up whenever you go out somewhere or you mention something about another person. In that case, they’re likely paranoid too, which could lead to controlling behavior and other elements of this list. [Read: 18 signs you’re slowly being coerced into a controlling relationship]
#2 They always point out negative aspects. If your partner is always criticizing you or pointing out your negative points, they’re dragging you down. A person who loves you isn’t supposed to highlight parts of you which you’re not keen on, they’re supposed to build you up. If they’re always criticizing you, it could be to damage your self esteem and keep you in their grasp.
#3 They’re manipulative in general. If someone is manipulating you and they tell you they love you, they’re doing it for a negative reason. This is a classic narcissistic move, and it’s done to control. Look out for gaslighting with this point in particular. [Read: 16 signs a narcissist is subtly abusing you]
#4 You’ve become quite isolated from family and friends. If you’ve found yourself isolated recently and not sure why, the chances are that your partner has manipulated you to move away from them. Now you’re feeling the results. Isolating you from others means that they can keep you all to themselves.
#5 They’re always watching you. If your partner is always around, always watching, or always checking your social media feeds, they either don’t trust you for a good reason, or they don’t trust you because they’re insecure. As a result, this turns into controlling behavior. [Read: 15 signs of a controlling boyfriend most girls don’t notice until it’s too late]
#6 They make you feel like they give you everything. A controlling tactic is making you feel like everything you have, is down to them. This is also designed to sap away at your self confidence and make you feel like you can’t achieve anything by yourself.
#7 They’re a score keeper. We all make mistakes. We all say or do things we wish we hadn’t; we’re human after all. If your partner is always keeping score and reminding you of things you said or did, they’re controlling you. This is a classic sign of a controlling relationship. It can also be via them doing nice things for you and then using them as a bargaining chip at some point in the future.
#8 They make you feel guilty all too easily. If your partner uses guilt tactics to get what they want, they’re basically using your guilt to control your future actions.
It might be that you have nothing to actually feel guilty about. They will somehow twist things and cause the emotion of guilt to rise up. It might even be a look they give you. As a result, you drop everything and do whatever they want. It’s still control either way. [Read: How to stop feeling guilty and finally start living for you]
#9 They make you feel inadequate. Do you feel generally inadequate around your partner? That’s not a good sign! You’re supposed to feel raised up and wonderful whenever they’re around. It’s their job to make sure that happens.
If you feel the opposite, e.g. far less than you actually are, it’s one of the big signs of a controlling relationship. It’s basically about keeping you “in your box” and refusing to let you shine. [Read: 12 toxic double standards in a relationship]
In any guise, control is unhealthy
Relationships aren’t easy. Sometimes we do things we regret. It’s about compromise and knowing that sometimes we mess up, but we forgive and move on. If you notice that your partner is using every small thing against you, that you can never do anything right and that for some reason, you’re finding yourself isolated from those close to you, it’s a huge red flag.
While it’s normal to feel a little insecure occasionally and worry about your partner leaving you, it’s not normal to allow that tiny issue take over your life. It’s normal to have these thoughts. If you allow them to control your actions, you should wonder what’s going on underneath the surface.
If you notice your partner showing a few of the signs above, sit down and question what is really going on. If the control doesn’t seem too severe, could you sit down with your partner and talk about things, explain how it makes you feel? Hopefully, that will sort the issue out. Perhaps your partner isn’t aware of how they’re acting.
On the other hand, if they become defensive, angry or turn things back around on you, it could very well be that you are unfortunately in a relationship with a controlling individual. If that’s the case, seriously take stock. Question whether this relationship is worth the agony now, and whatever may come in the future.
The need to control another individual isn’t healthy. Sure, we all like things to go our way. We should never use manipulation to ensure that happens, especially with someone we claim to love and care about. Someone who controls you isn’t someone who has your best interests at heart.
[Read: How to understand the difference between controlling vs caring]
These signs of a controlling relationship might seem normal to a degree when looked at individually. Remember, there is no room for control in a healthy relationship.
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