Is Your Partner a Controller?

January 30, 2013 — 2 Comments

It’s challenging sometimes to know what’s wrong in a relationship. If you’re like most people, you probably want a loving relationship more than anything else. Maybe you’ve tried and tried and tried to make your relationship work and yet somehow you just seem to be going back over the same old arguments again and again.

Is Your Partner a Controller?

Maybe you have already suspected that there is control in your relationship, but you find it difficult to find a clear definition of the issue. If you’ve been searching for clarity, here are some questions you will want to consider.

Signs of a Controlling Relationship:

  1. Does your partner always monopolize the conversation?
  2. Does s/he always need to be right?
  3. Does s/he regularly judge or criticize you for things you do and say?
  4. Does s/he blame you for everything that goes wrong?
  5. Does s/he interrupt you regularly or override what you’re trying to say?
  6. Does s/he order you to do things or make demands of your time and energy?
  7. Does s/he use sarcasm, put you down or make jokes at your expense?
  8. Does s/he make you feel stupid, uneducated or not good enough?
  9. Does s/he tell you how you SHOULD think or behave rather than collaborating with you on joint issues and decisions?
  10. Does s/he regularly make you doubt yourself or try to pull the rug out from under you when you have new ideas or plans?
  11. Does s/he undermine your friendships with others so that you have no support system left?
  12. Does s/he expect you to always be available for her/his needs and wants?
  13. Does s/he have angry outbursts when you don’t do or say what s/he wants?
  14. Does s/he deny or minimize what s/he has done to hurt you?

The ‘Control Freak’

If your partner is a ‘control freak’ he (or she) will regularly find something that you are doing wrong to criticize or blame you for. If you are careful to do everything right that a control freak has been upset with in the past, he’ll still find something new that you are doing wrong today.

The control freak never deals with the deeper issues that are causing his current anger. Their angry outbursts are like the steam being released from the top of a pressure cooker. Being angry with you today allows him to release the immediate pressure, but his real issues that are boiling deep inside never get resolved.

Dealing with Relationship Control Issues

Control in your relationship is very confusing and destructive. I regularly see clients in my office who have lived with relationship control issues for many years and never understood what the real problem is. Possibly the most confusing thing about a controller is that he will generally accuse his partner of controlling him. This makes the partner doubt herself and wonder if she is the problem.

Unless you are educated and aware of control issues, you could easily spend years doubting yourself and wondering if the problem in your relationship is actually you. Many people experience tremendous emotional pain before they realize the truth about the control in their relationship.

The most important thing for your to realize if your partner is a control freak is that his unhappiness is not your fault and that there’s nothing you can do to make it better. Your job is to take better care of yourself and start trusting your own intuition. Overcoming the control issues in your relationship will be a challenge, but with time and patience you can absolutely become stronger and healthier.

Coming Next Week

Next week we’ll discuss how to overcome control issues in your relationship. Just fill in your name and e-mail address in the blue and white box on the right column and we’ll be very happy to notify you when the next post is ready!

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More Information

For more information, you may also want to read:

The Verbally Abusive Relationship

Stop Tolerating Abuse

21 Questions to Avoid a Painful Divorce

Help the Man You Love Express His Feelings

100 Best Psychology/Self-Help Books

2 responses to Is Your Partner a Controller?

  1. Kari, you always present information about relationships in such a simple and easy-to-understand way! You make what seems complex, transparent. This is so encouraging to empower the possibility of making changes in our own lives. Thank you!

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