Do you think that your husband might be controlling you?
Have you not picked up on it until now?
Do you want to know to react in this situation?
If so, read on. This is the ultimate guide to dealing with a controlling husband.
However, before we dive into this guide, it’s important you read the next few sentences carefully.
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Table of Contents
There are several reasons why a person may become controlling, and it will differ from person to person. Generally, one of the main reasons that cause someone to have controlling behavior is that they have suffered from some kind of trauma earlier on in their lives. For example, they might have been abused or abandoned as a child. At the time when this trauma happened, they might have not been able to control the situation, but now they are older, they feel a need to control everything so that they don't suffer anymore hurt. By being controlling, they think they can protect themself.
Another reason that a person might become controlling is that they may have extreme levels of low self-confidence and self-esteem. This person might have been put down by someone a lot during their life so far, or they might have a personality disorder that stops them from being able to have confidence in themselves. Therefore, they will try to control anyone they can, to prove in some way that they are above them. They boost their confidence by putting others down, and they feel important that they have power over someone.
If you want to figure out the root cause of your husband's control problem, it's important to take a look at his life before you were around. Has he suffered some type of childhood trauma? Does he struggle with mental health issues? Does he have incredible amounts of low self-esteem? Once you have figured out the root of the problem, you might be able to better understand why your partner feels like he needs to control you, the relationship you're in with him and others around.
We're going to take a look at 12 signs of a controlling behavior. Each one is a red flag, and therefore if you notice that your husband does any or several of these things, you should be concerned that he is controlling you.
One of the most obvious sign that your husband is trying to control you will be if he constantly criticizes you. They will not only be trying to put you down so that they feel like a better person, but they will want to ruin your self-confidence so that you feel like you need them. Your partner's criticism might start subtly - maybe they will start by criticizing the way you do the housework, the way you talk or your point of view on non-important subjects. However, these criticisms will start to get worse over time, and he won't just have a problem with one or two things you do - it will be an array of things. You might find that your husband starts to criticize your appearance, the way you dress, the work you do or even the way you have sex. You might end up feeling like you can't do anything right in your partner's eyes, and you will get criticized for everything you do.
Controlling people will make you feel guilty for anything you do that doesn't make them happy. They are trying to manipulate you into doing everything the way they want it to be done, and therefore by using guilt when you do something they don't like, they will be wearing you down. For example, if they don't like the fact you catch up with one of your best friends once a week when you come home from seeing them, they might make you feel guilty for not staying home and spending time with them. If they do this every time you come home from seeing your friends, you might get to the point where you find it easier to stay at home with them, and so you give in. When this happens, they have won.
Isolation is one of the most manipulative ways a controlling person can get their grip on you. A controlling person wants you all to themselves, therefore they will make sure you are isolated from everyone around you, even those you are the closest with. They might slowly turn everyone around you against you, or they will put distance between you and other people. Much like the criticism, they will start to isolate you slowly, and it will get worse over time. For example, they might start to tell you that your friend is a bad influence on you and that you should stop seeing them if you want to become a better person. As it gets progressively worse, they might even bad mouth you to your own family, or create some kind of drama that means you indirectly hurt your family. They want to be able to control you fully, without anyone realizing it. So, from an outside perspective, they might look like the perfect partner, and therefore no one will realize that they are controlling you. Once you have no one around you to look out for you and support you, they have won.
Controlling people will often buy you gifts for no reason or go out of their way to help you with something. It might sound like a nice thing they are doing - but don't be so easily led astray. Controlling husbands will regularly treat their wives to presents, or they will make a special effort with housework jobs so that they can use it against their partner. You might think that a beautiful piece of jewelry is a lovely present, or coming home to a freshly trimmed lawn is wonderful, but it will come back to haunt you. After they have done something nice for you, you will have to be extra nice to them. Therefore, in a controlling marriage, this means you might have to spend time away from your friends for a while, make sure you give them your time 24/7 or get them something too. In fact, a gift from a controlling person never comes without strings attached - there will always be a price.
A controlling person is also an incredibly jealous type of person. Your spouse will be verbal and open about their jealously, so you will definitely be able to tell. They might feel jealous about others checking you out, or even that another guy liked your post on Facebook or photo on Instagram. If you notice your husband acts jealous one time you might not mind - surely if your husband acts a little bit jealous because you probably think that it just shows how much he loves you. However, over time you will start to realize that the level of jealousy your husband is showing towards others around you isn't normal - it's controlling and possessive. He also won't just be jealous of others checking you out, but he will be jealous of any person that is spending time with you when he isn't.
Someone that wants to be in control doesn't only want to be in control of your emotions and what you do, but they also want to be in control of your finances. In a controlling relationship or marriage, your partner will keep track of the finances, and might even block you from knowing about them. He might start to take over the finances slowly, but it could end up with him having all of your account information and checking how much your spending, and what you're spending your money on. He might criticize the way you spend your money and make you feel guilty about it. In some controlling relationships, the person in control might even give their partner an amount of money per week or per month to live off.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, and a controlling person may use this technique, to allow them to have a full grasp of their partner's emotions. If your spouse causes you to question the things you have done or the feelings you have, he could be gaslighting you. For example, he might completely change the way a situation happened and make you feel crazy because you swear it happened differently. He will challenge your sanity and question you so much that he will eventually wear you down to a point where you don't even believe yourself anymore. You might end up in a state where you have to rely on your partner to tell you how you feel and what happened in situations because you feel like you're crazy. If it gets to this stage, then the controlling person has won - you have to rely on him, and it makes you even easier to manipulate further.
Controlling people have threatening behavior a lot of the time to make you feel like you have to do what they want When you think of threats, you might think of someone threatening to hurt you or even kill you. This can happen in a physically abusive relationship, but in a relationship with a controlling husband, these kinds of threats aren't likely to be used. Instead, a controlling husband might threaten to hurt you in other, more emotional ways. For example, they might threaten you any one of these things - they will spread a lie to your family and friends, they will take custody of your children and leave, or they will cancel a holiday you were supposed to go on. A controlling partner might even threaten to hurt themselves - this is used a lot of the time, especially if you are going to leave them. A lot of people will stay in controlling relationships because of the fact they think their husbands will harm themselves if they leave. This is a form of extreme emotional manipulation.
In a controlling relationship, your partner might only show you love in return for something. In a normal marriage, you shouldn't really have to put too much effort in for your husband to love you - he should love you simply because he loves you. However, when you are married to a controlling man, he will ensure you know that he will only show you love when you are doing something he wants you to do. For example, he might show you no love or affection if you haven't spent time with him all day, but as soon as you take care of him, he will shower you with love. He might also make you work for his love and affection by saying things like, "I would love you so much if you took the kids to school in the morning instead of me." You want him to show you love, so you will probably oblige. He is always making you work for love and this isn't the way a healthy marriage works.
If your spouse is controlling you, he will want to know where you are with every move you make. He also probably won't trust you, so he will spy on you, follow you or constantly ask you where you are and what you are doing. If they are spying on you you might not even be able to realize - they might be tracking your movements physically, or they might have even put spying software on your phone. They might look at your search history, look through the contents of your phone or log in to your social media on their phone. All of these things aren't typical husband behaviors - he is invading your privacy. If you do find him in the act of either spying on you or looking on your phone, he might try to cover his back by giving you a sad story about how he was once cheated on and wanted to make sure you weren't being unfaithful. This is wrong. He should trust you.
If your husband is trying to control you, he will shut his mind off to anything you say. He won't let himself listen to you or even try and understand your point of view, especially when it comes to conflict between the two of you. If you try to speak to him about his behavior, he will probably brush it off and try to change the subject pretending that he didn't even hear you, or he might get extremely angry so that you feel like you have done something wrong by trying to bring it up. Even in normal conversation, he will probably talk over you and not let you express your opinion. This might be relevant when you're around other people too. He might try to belittle you in front of others, and dismiss your opinion. This will make you feel uncomfortable and unsupported, leading to lower self-esteem.
The goal for someone controlling is to wear you down so much and lower your self-confidence and self-esteem so much that you feel like you need to rely on them. They will make sure they are the only person left in your life, so you will have to put up with their manipulation and do as they say, otherwise you will be alone. So, if you have a controlling husband, you will notice that he constantly criticizes you, make you feel like you're not good enough, threatens you, takes you away from your friends and family. If you don't catch on to the situation quickly enough, you will become so worn down by it that you give in and you act in the way that he wants you to.
Now we've taken a look at some of the signs that will be showing within your marriage, and some of the personality traits that your husband might be exhibiting if he is controlling, it's time to take a look at how you can deal with controlling people.
When you think that your partner is trying to control you, it's crucial that you reach out to the people around you. Your husband will be trying to distance you from your friends and family, but you need to make sure you keep them close, even if your husband doesn't know about it. If you feel comfortable speaking to someone you're close to and trust, it's a good idea to open up to them about the situation you are dealing with. They might be able to offer advice or at least a comfortable and safe space for you to express your feelings at this time. Don't let your spouse ruin the relationships you have spent years building, and especially not your relationship with your family members.
Although your partner might not listen to you or take your opinion into account, it's useful to be open with them. You need to tell them, while you still have self-esteem and you're strong, that you won't stand for this kind of behavior. You can tell them how they make you feel, and maybe it will break through to them that they are hurting you. It might be useful to suggest that the two of you attend marriage counseling. Tell your partner that you want this relationship to work and you want to help him.
If your spouse is still listening to you, or their behavior has got better after therapy together, it's useful to set boundaries. You need to clearly state the kind of things you will and will not tolerate from your partner. Your partner might be able to understand what is suitable, and what things he shouldn't do. Try to come to a mutual agreement of how the marriage should be - it will help. If your partner isn't cooperating with you and doesn't want to listen, you can internally set these boundaries yourself. You can decide what you won't stand for, and as soon as your partner shows this behavior, you know that he's gone one step too far.
If your partner's behavior isn't improving, and he isn't willing to seek help from others, then you need to make a decision. Do you want to be in a relationship with this person anymore? If you're not sure, it might help to set a time limit, to see if things are improving or getting worse.
If you are worried that your partner will be, or is becoming increasingly emotionally abusive or physically abusive, it's best for you to leave. You shouldn't have to deal with an abusive partner. In a more serious abusive situation, it can help to speak to a professional that can help you to leave the relationship with the support you need.
I really hope this article has helped shed some light on the issue of controlling relationships, and how you can tell if you are in one. If you are struggling, ask for help, and do not let this person take control of you. You have the strength to get through this.
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