10 Warning Signs Of A Controlling Man
Poisonous relationships can happen to anybody, usually without the person realising it. And when a man starts to get controlling, he can know zero boundaries.
The problem many of us have is recognising the warning signs. It’s easy to assume that a controlling partner is a grizzled, snarling, aggressive man who is constantly making demands, threats and ultimatums. We picture the typical bully who belittles everyone, and tells his partner how to dress. While these signs are obvious, there are many more subtle signs that get missed.
Controlling guys have a whole array of weapons up their sleeve. Sometimes they are slyly manipulative, and sometimes they make it look as they they are the victims here. Controlling behaviour can lead to physical abuse, and it can also lead to emotional abuse. Both can be damaging and lasting.
If you’re feeling a little unsafe right now and worried either about your relationship or a friend’s relationship, let’s take a look at the top 10 warning signs of a controlling man.
He Isolates You From Your Friends And Family
This is usually the first step that a controlling man takes. It might start with him complaining that you’re spending too much time with your family and friends, and maybe he’ll say that they don’t like him. He might even tell you that your friends don’t have your best intentions at heart and that he doesn’t like them.
His goal here is to rob you of your support network and to weaken you. You will have no one to turn to, when things get tough except him. So whenever you need to stand up against him, he will always win.
He Gives You No Support And No Encouragement
Maybe you wanted to change careers because you were tired of doing a job you hate. Perhaps you want to start doing a job you actually love. Naturally, you need the support of your man to do this.
Only, he doesn’t give you his support. Instead, he tells you that he thinks you’re delusional and crazy. You’ve not got enough ability to switch careers, he says. Besides, there are bills to pay. You can’t quit your job now. Dreamers, after all, get no where in life.
He Sets Rules For You And Rules For Himself
If he gets to hang out with his guy mates but doesn’t like you seeing your girlfriends – indeed, doesn’t let you see your girlfriends – it’s a really strong warning sign that he has a controlling nature. Perhaps he also flirts openly with other girls, while flips, if you just look at another man.
He’s Always Criticising You
Criticism of you might start out small. It might start out so small that you actually think he’s just trying to help you by making you a better person. Perhaps he’ll tell you that you need to start eating with more manners, or that you need to start speaking more clearly. Perhaps he’ll expand on this and point out that your poor communication is the reason you suck at job interviews.
A little bit of constructive criticism is healthy, but chronic criticism is not. If he is endless with his biting criticism, it’s a strong sign that he’s controlling you. If everything you do could be improved upon, it is not a sign that he values and loves you.
Nothing Is Ever His Fault
He is always absolved of blame. Everything is always YOUR fault. Any man who is controlling will always find a way to make his partner feel as though she is to blame for everything that has gone wrong, whether it be finances or an inability to have kids. If you point out how he is to blame, he’ll shout over you or end the conversation by storming out.
Adding Conditional Clauses Onto Things
If he says something like, “I love you so much more when you’ve got a job,” it’s making attraction condition. It’s as though he can only love you if you’re doing something that pleases him.
He might say something like, “You’ll be more attractive to me if you just lost some weight.”
This isn’t what love is supposed to be; it’s love that is based on a series of conditions that makes you feel as though you’re constantly falling short of his standards. And because you want to please him, you take action and lose weight, get a better job that pleases him and so on.
He’ll Commit Really Quickly
We all know that getting men to commit is really difficult. So why has your guy committed already?
If he says that it’s love at first sight and asks you to live with him after just a week or two, it’s a sign that he’s coming on too strong. It’s also a hint that he may have a very controlling nature.
He Puts You On A Guilt Trip
Controlling men love it when their partners are feeling guilty about something because it gives them power. If they can make you feel guilty about practically everything on a daily basis, it means that a lot of their work is being done for them. They’ve created a “system” that can work by itself.
Maybe you feel guilty for looking at other men or for texting a guy friend. Maybe you feel guilty for seeing your mom tonight instead of him. Whatever it is, this guilt is playing right into his hands.
You’re Indebted To Him
My boyfriend says he never likes it when strangers buy him a beer in a pub because it means they’ve got a hold over him. They’ve bought him a beer and so he’s now indebted to them. He feels obliged to talk to them, to laugh at their jokes and so on. If he doesn’t, he says he worries that they might get angry.
It’s the same when a controlling man comes on really strong at the start of a relationship with lots of extravagant gifts. Maybe he’ll buy you lots of flowers, pay for a weekend break together, and even let you use his car whenever you want. It all seems so kind, but eventually there is going to come a time when you’ll need to pay him back. He’s got a hold over you and you’re indebted to him. This sense of debt makes it hard for the woman to escape when things start going wrong.
He Is Self-Centred
He wants you to meet his needs but has serious troubles meeting yours. He complains about finances and bills and says this is the reason you can’t treat yourself this month. Yet he has no problems treating himself to a new video game, beers down the pub, and the soccer match at the weekend. “I make more money than you do,” he reasons.
This is a red flag.
Do you know other signs of a controlling man?