Controlling Relationships often hide in plain sight and come as a surprise to most. Learn the Warning Signs here.
Whether you are involved in a Controlling Relationship or you are simply observing, this information will provide you with a better understanding.
Here's an Example Everyone can relate to:
When gas prices skyrocketed, everyone felt the painful bite on their pocketbook. The people rallied and protested against it, but felt increasingly helpless as the gas prices continued to go up.
Professionals estimated there would be more severe increases, sometimes one to three dollars higher. The people worried they would not be able to afford to buy gas. Their way of life was at risk. Their pocketbooks were already strained by the increase.
The people felt so thankful for the slight improvement, their way of life was no longer at risk.
Their outrage at the gas pumps was replaced with a sense of relief.
They had been so afraid of the projected "worst case scenario," that most people did not realize that the current price was still the unacceptable price they had protested against. They thankfully accepted that which was previously "unacceptable" to them.
This is a form of control which is common in Controlling Relationships.
This example most likely applies to you. However, if you were in a relationship with someone who used this as a form of control, it could eventually apply to every angle of your life.
Without realizing that it's happening...
The controlled person is forced into many compromises, accepting what they consider "unacceptable." It is usually a gradual process, she usually is unaware that she's in an abusive relationship. If this continues, she may have a sudden realization that her life no longer resembles what she finds "acceptable."
It is much more difficult to take back that which has already been surrendered.
The key is to recognize this early and stand your ground.
Prologue by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT
Signs of a Controlling Guy
By MARIE HARTWELL-WALKER, ED.D.
Letters like these come in to our “Ask the Therapist” column every week:
“My boyfriend freaks out if I go out with my friends for an evening — even though he hangs out with his friends almost every day,” says Angela. “I love my boyfriend to death but he’s always putting me down,” says Katie. “Every weekend we have to go see my boyfriend’s mom but he doesn’t want to spend any time with my family. It’s gotten so I have to lie if I’m going to see my own sister,” says Kieshi.
Angel’s letter is only a little different: “I used to have lots of friends but my boyfriend wants all my time. I used to think that was romantic. Now I’m scared I’m losing most of my friends.” And Melody echoes several other letters when she says, “My boyfriend is always accusing me of coming on to other guys when we’re out. Guys do look at me but I don’t invite it. It’s gotten so I don’t want to go out any more cuz we always end up in a big fight about it.”
It’s almost as if these young women are in relationships with the same guy who just zips himself into a different outer suit to appeal to the woman he’s with. In the name of romance or commitment or love, he increasingly limits his girlfriend’s life and chips away at her self-esteem. This is what is meant by a “controlling” boyfriend.
Why do some guys act like this?
Generally it’s because they are scared of the vulnerability that comes with loving and trusting someone. They may have been betrayed by a former girlfriend and fear being hurt again. They may have grown up observing relationships where the man held the upper hand by controlling the woman. Their self-esteem may be so low that the only way they can be sure that someone will stay with them is to make the girl’s self-esteem even lower. Whatever the reason, it isn’t good for them or for the women who had the misfortune to fall in love with them. Relationships built on distrust and control are unhealthy. Relationships where love is held hostage don’t last.
There are some common signs of a controlling guy.
If you recognize your boyfriend or yourself here, you may want to take a step back from the relationship. But please be careful not to jump to conclusions based on a list. It’s not at all uncommon for people to have some of these characteristics some of the time. When people get scared, they often try to get things back under control.
Signs like these become a problem when they become a pattern.
If your guy shows some of these behaviors but will talk about them with you and will work consistently on making change, it may be worth it to hang onto the relationship.
Part of becoming a couple is negotiating how you will manage different tastes, different opinions, and different ways of operating in the world. It’s the guys who regularly behave in a number of these ways (especially those who get physical) and who see nothing wrong with it that you have to be concerned about.
"My Way or the Highway"
A guy whose standard operating procedure is “my way or the highway” is someone who is more interested in being in charge than being in a relationship of mutual respect.
7 Warning Signs of Men Who Need Too Much Control
If you’re in a relationship that is more about control than about mutual respect, mutual support, and mutual care, do something about it.
If you believe that there is real love underneath all the drama, by all means try to talk it out and work it out.
But if your guy can’t make the compromises that go with treating a partner as an equal; if he needs to control you to feel like a man; it’s time for you to take back control of yourself and your life. Do what you need to do to extricate yourself safely. Hold out for the kind of love you deserve.
If you are afraid to end your relationship, you need help and support to stay safe. Call the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at 800-537-2238 or visit their website at www.ncdsv.org/.
Link to the original article:
Prologue written by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT
Pictures and formatting arranged by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT
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