Are You Living with Someone Who Demonstrates Controlling Behavior -- Warning Signs
What is Controlling Behavior?
Controlling behavior can diguise itself as many different types of emotional and "power playing" monsters. The bottom line is it is unhealthy behavior, for you and for your partner. It is the quickest way to destroy a relationship, and lead to other behaviors within the marriage that are unhealthy. Most of the time the person being affected doesn't realize just how much they are being controlled. This is because they are too busy being compromising all the time. The end result is always the same....the person wakes up one day and discovers they are completely miserable. Where did they lose their individuality? Where did they lose control over themselves? Do they even know what they like or who they are any more?
Here are two examples of many different types of controlling behaviors:
Most of the time money is pooled in a relationship to help pay the bills, or buy things that are needed for the good of the common household. Warning signs should spark when your partner takes out life insurance policies, 401k plans, IRA's, checking accounts, etc... but throws absolute fits when you try to take your money and do the same thing. Other warning signs are: you work, but never seem to have any money. Maybe you have a joint account that keeps going into over draft, and you realize your paycheck is the only one ever deposited into that account. Things like this should never happen. What your partner is doing is setting you up to depend completely on them financially. If thoughts of leaving are in your mind, they are one step ahead of you because they have created a situation where your money is being "used" up in some manor. If you don't have any finances, most likely you won't leave. They will get extremely angry with you if they ever find out you have hidden any money, or decided to set up a different account somewhere without them. This is because they can't see what you are doing. They have no control over it. If they can't control it, they can't take it from you, or manipulate the situation.
This could be an entire article all by itself. In a healthy relationship, you feel good about yourself, your surroundings, your body. You get turned on just holding your partner's hand. You enjoy spending time with your partner. In a controlled relationship you talk yourself into being happy. You look over your shoulder all the time, and worry. You don't like your body, you don't like your surroundings, and at some point you really hate having sex or any contact from your partner. This is because your partner has spent many hours grooming you into something they want and you loose yourself along the way. They make you feel like no one else would want you but them. That you can not survive outside the bedroom without them. Usually this takes the form of "things you aren't doing right" during sex. There are lots of ways to control this situation, but the worst is intimidation. They will tell you things like "If you don't do it, I'll get it someplace else", or try to pressure you into doing things you don't feel comfortable doing. If you don't want video taped, tied up, or swapped out, you shouldn't have to do these things. They should respect you as a human being. However, a controlling person doesn't see you as a human being. You are their object. It is worse if your partner has a sex problem. Then you are just a piece of "meat". A person should be able to get hugs, or other human contact without fearing every time their partner touches them, they want sex and that's it. Signs of this are constant grabbing in the private areas, but nowhere else ever seems to be touched, and never in a loving, unthreatening manner. It's a grab. You should be really worried if you discover your partner is drugging you or getting you drunk on purpose to perform this act. Either with you or with someone else behind your back. This is truly disturbing behavior. You should never feel this unsafe or used.
There are many reasons a person becomes controlling. Maybe they are insecure, or extremely jealous individuals, maybe they were raised this way, maybe they are just monsters at heart. A person should not be monitored like a prison convict. You don't need to explain where you've been or what you've been up too constantly. You should not have to explain all your shopping receipts, or who you have been hanging out with. The basic point is a person should not put up with this sort of behavior. You have the right to be happy. You have the right to do things on your terms. You have the right to make your own choices.
Take a look around you. Are you miserable? Do you see truly disturbing habits aimed toward you? Chances are you are right. Take action to remove yourself from the situation. Believe it or not, there are people out there who want kind, loving relationships. All mankind is not "just like" your partner. Be weary though of people you thought were your friends. Most likely they will fail you in the end, or in sickening cases condone what your partner was doing to you. You do not need friends like this. There is nothing acceptable in the truly sickening cases. You need to re-evaluate your life and the people in it. You need to start on a path that makes you happy. It won't be easy. There is no reason why your cell phone should be tracked or your computer imbedded with spyware so they can see what you are up too. You are an individual. You had a life before you met your partner, you'll have a life after.
True, some things in a marriage are going to be conflicts. However, there is a big difference between having conflict that in most cases can be resolved and being controlled. It's up to you to decide what is worth working out, and what is controlling behavior. A couple should be congratulated for longevity of their marriage, however they worked together to get there. A Person should be congratulated if they are in a controlled marriage, for leaving. They were brave and took steps to improve their life and well being.