Are you in a relationship with a controlling man?
Controlling men exhibit some typical behaviours. Do you see any of these behaviours in your man?
1. They demand what they want.
If they want to do something and you don’t — too bad for you. If you want to do something and they don’t — too bad for you.
Their desires, needs, and decisions trump yours (unless they simply don’t care), and if you try to argue or press your case, you’ll get an ear full.
They will bully you, pout, try to make you feel guilty, or refuse to acknowledge your request. They will make your life so miserable that you simply give in.
Over time, you learn to just go along, which unfortunately trains the controlling man to tighten the reins.
2. They criticize you constantly.
They don’t like what you’re wearing or how you speak. They make “jokes” at your expense. They always find the error or flaw in your successes.
You rarely feel good enough around this person because they always have something to correct, something you could be doing better.
Often a controlling man will try to deflect their critical comments to make you feel overly sensitive or whiny. “Why do you have to make such a big deal about it. I’m only trying to help you.”
Over time, you feel unloved and always lacking.
3. They try to isolate you from others.
By using subtle negative comments or overt criticisms, these men attempt to put a wedge between you and the people you care about and who love and support you.
This bully wants you to rely only on him and him alone so you become dependent on his decisions and demands. Without a support network of friends and family, you only have this man to turn to, and he wants to make sure you pay full attention to his needs.
4. They attach conditions to love and affection.
A controlling man uses love as a tool for manipulation. He knows you crave love and affection, so he doles it out based on what he wants from you.
He won’t say “I love you” unless you give in to his demand for a new car. He withholds sex because you spent the day with your sister. He gives you the cold shoulder and the steely-eyed glare because dinner was served too late.
He uses these methods to train you like a puppy. When you obey, you get a treat. When you disobey, you get nothing — or worse.
5. They are master guilt-trippers.
Guilt-tripping is a favorite tool of controlling men. They find your emotional Achilles heal and play you like a fiddle once they do.
Caring, sensitive people don’t want to feel like they’ve caused someone pain or anger, especially someone they love. They want to get back into their loved one’s good graces. This is fine if the guilt is merited, but with a controlling man it rarely is.
They will find a way to make you feel bad about something you didn’t do or have no responsibility for, and you’ll do just about anything to escape that guilty feeling.
Controlling men have a masterful way of making you believe you are responsible and that only you can make things right by doing his bidding.
6. They constantly snoop and check up on you.
They want to know where you are going, when you’ll return, who you are texting, what you are saying, and every plan you are making.
They will look through your purse, snoop through your email, sneak peaks at your phone, and rifle through your stuff. They feel they have the right to know everything about you, and believe you have no right to privacy.
They are looking for ways you might be exerting control over your own life. If they find something that potentially undermines their control, you’ll hear about it.
7. They are possessive and jealous.
Part of their snooping and isolation efforts come from feelings of intense jealousy. At first their jealousy is appealing because it shows how much they must love you, but over time it turns darks and twisty.
They are constantly suspicious of your motives and actions and view the most innocent interactions as flirting.
They want to control any interactions you have with others because they are paranoid about your straying away.
8. They don’t care about your point of view.
If you express an opinion or belief, they will shut you down or ignore you. Nothing you say is relevant unless you echo your controlling partner’s exact opinions or thoughts.
He will dominate a conversation, interrupt you, or make snide comments about what you have said. If you try to point this out to him, he’ll dismiss your concerns or turn the tables to make you feel guilty or wrong.
9. They have little respect for any of your needs.
If you want to be alone, he’ll barge in and demand your attention. If you want to talk, he’ll turn on the TV and ignore you. If you’re tired, he’ll complain he’s hungry and needs dinner right now. If you need a hug, he’ll tell you to get a grip.
The idea that you have individual needs beyond responding to his needs rarely occurs to him. If it does, he uses your needs as a tool for manipulating you.
10. They wear you down to a nub.
Controlling men can be relentless in their tactics. They will argue until your eyes roll back in your head. They’ll steamroll you with their demands ad nauseam. They can turn the screws of guilt so tight you’ll beg for relief.
Most controlling men have much more stamina for their shenanigans than you have energy to put up with them. Eventually you go belly up and allow them to have their way 24/7. This is the perfect scenario for the controller. All me, all the time.
If any of these behaviors are familiar in your relationship, and you see them happening on a regular basis, well, I’m truly sorry. It’s hard to have your hopes and dreams dashed by the insidious poison of controlling behaviors by the man you love.