- Gender and Relationships
Five Signs You Are In A Controlling Relationship
What Comes To Your Mind?
What comes to your mind when you think about a person that is in a controlling relationship? Perhaps a woman stuck under a man's constant ridicule? A man that does anything his partner tells him to that society often labels as "whooped?" When I personally think about a controlling relationship, an endless list, which include men and women, begins to form.
I wanted to point out above, that it is just as easy for a man to be the target in a controlling relationship, as it is a woman. The same with physical and emotional abuse. You hear more cases of women being a victim than you do men, but the problem still exists none the less. With that being said, I'm in no way bashing men with this hub. I can only deliver my advice through a woman's perspective since I am, well you know, a woman and all.
Experiences make the best learning tools, but I strongly believe that there are certain life lessons we could all live without learning. A controlling relationship is within the top five of my list. What about yours?
The Situation (No, not Jersey Shore)
All characters used in this hub are fictional.
Controlling Clay and I have been dating for almost 6 months. We have a great time when we're together, and he makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He's charming, attractive, and really listens to me. We get so lost in conversation sometimes, that the sun is starting to rise before we even realize it, and he has told me multiple times that he thinks I could be "the one."
So far, there's only one thing that bothers me about Controlling Clay. He sometimes starts asking questions about my close guy friends who are on my Facebook, or ones that occasionally text message me, just to say hi. He wants to know if I have ever had a relationship with any of them, how often we talk, or if any of them come on to me. Once or twice he has went as far as asking if anything sexual has ever taken place between any of them and me. He appeared mad while I was answering his questions, and it made me feel uncomfortable, as if I was being interrogated.
I became upset each time, and tried to explain to Controlling Clay that they were strictly just friends. He alleged that he has taken notice at how I look at these so-called friends, and said it made him feel as though I might have feelings for them. I became even more upset, but he continued by saying that it looks bad for a female to have male friends, especially when she is dating someone.
By that point I was in tears, and ready to call it quits before Controlling Clay had a chance to subtly call me a tramp in any other way. When he saw how hurt and angry I was, he quickly changed his mood, and pleaded for me to hear his reasoning. He confessed that he sometimes became jealous, but he was only looking out for me and my reputation. He went on for several minutes expressing how much he cared for me, and the potential he saw in our relationship. He asked repeatedly if I did not agree, and said that he wanted me to do the same for him, if he was making himself look bad. I started feeling guilty for becoming upset so quickly, and not realizing he was only trying to help.
Before we knew it, Controlling Clay and I were right back in our routine of deep conversation while the sun was rising. All night we talked about friendships between men and women from a man's point of view, and how people look badly upon it. He told me he had never cared for anyone like he did me, and that he was terrified of losing me. We finally decided it was best that I delete several of my guy friends from my friends list, and out of the contacts in my phone. It isn't that I truly wanted to delete any of them, but after my talk with Controlling Clay, I knew I would feel guilty if I didn't. I apologized to him one more time for making him so upset, and not realizing sooner that my actions were hurting him.
Signs To Look For That Your Partner Is Trying To Control You
There are many characteristics and signs to look at and consider when trying to decide if your partner is indeed a controller or attempting to gain control of your relationship. The list below showcases only 5 of the possible hundreds of situations. Even if you cannot relate to one of the signs below, it does not mean that you are not in a controlling relationship.
1. They want to know every detail about any friends of the opposite sex.
- How you met.
- Have you ever have anything more than a friendship with them or would you.
- Do you find them attractive.
2. Asking you to cease contact with any friends or family members.
- Convincing you that the person is damaging to your relationship.
- That they are judgemental of them because no one understands them like you do.
- Trying to make you feel like your friends or family don't care about you anymore, and that they are the only one who loves you now.
3. Becoming angry quickly, even over little things.
- You talked to someone they did not know.
- You were 15 minutes late arriving for a date.
- You were in the shower and missed their phone call.
4. Making you feel quilty if you do not spend all of your free time with them.
- They convince you that your hobby is insignificant or seen as wasting time.
- They make you feel bad for "leaving" them to be spend time with anyone else.
- They act hurt when you ask to do things alone or with friends.
5. Telling or making you feel like your efforts are not good enough.
- Criticizing everything you do, even in a joking manner.
- Constantly correcting you whether alone or in front of others.
- Making you feel like you're not putting enough into your relationship.
Understanding What You're Dealing With
What To Do?
If you are in a controlling relationship the best advice I can give is to leave quickly. It will not get better, and you will never be able to change this person. Most will tell you that it will in fact get worse the longer you allow it to continue, and can literally drive you to a point of insanity. People like Controlling Clay need psychiatric help before they can be in a normal and healthy relationship.
I've heard people say "but I fell in love with them before they started acting this way, and it's hard to just walk away." I agree that any breakup is hard, and I am the first person that tries to see the good in everyone, but this calls for remembering the bad times. Make a list if you have to, just make sure the controller does not find it before you get out, and list all of the ways your life has changed, people you have had to give up, and all the ways this person has hurt you. Read that list to yourself, and imagine it doubling or tripling. A growing list is exactly what will happen if you stay in a controlling relationship.
More times than not, the relationship will eventually turn violent, and those chances increase if they already have a temper, or violent background. Soon, destroying walls, doors, and dishes won't be enough, and that will leave you in harms way next.
It's a hard road, and one that isn't easy, but the longer you put off leaving a person that is trying to control your life or relationship, the harder it'll become to get your life back on track, and to regain the supportive people that you lost due to this damaging person. You may feel some embarrassment or shame once you're actually away from the controller, but don't let that bring you down. Use your new life lesson as a tool to be able to recognize future controllers, or even help someone else that doesn't even know that they are potentially in a dangerous and controlling relationship.