Although you might believe that your partner is affectionate, considerate, and genuinely concerned about your well-being, manipulative individuals often employ subtle psychological and emotional tactics to manipulate and gain dominance over their partners. Identifying the warning signs that your partner is attempting to exert control over you as early as possible is crucial to extricating yourself from such a situation.
1. He Gets Mad When You Go Out With Friends
A supportive partner will always promote your friendships and social life, whereas a controlling one will attempt to isolate you from your close friends. This could involve criticizing your friends or forcing you to pick between them and your relationship. It's important to bear in mind that a person who genuinely loves you will never try to separate you from those who genuinely care for you.
2. He Isolates You From Your Family
A partner who seeks control understands that outsiders can easily identify their manipulative behavior, and will therefore attempt to isolate you from your family. They are aware that those closest to you may call them out on their behavior and encourage you to break away from the relationship. To prevent you from leaving them, they may cut you off from your support system and maintain their hold on you indefinitely.
3. You're Always the Butt of the Joke
A controlling partner may disguise their emotional and verbal abuse as "jokes." If you voice your concerns, they may dismiss you as lacking a sense of humor and being overly sensitive. In an attempt to endure the mistreatment, you may try to ignore it, giving them more opportunities to engage in verbal abuse. Over time, this can erode your self-esteem and confidence, leaving you feeling defeated, all because of your partner's controlling and abusive behavior.
4. He's Overly Jealous
While jealousy is a common human emotion, a controlling partner can take it to an extreme level and become obsessively jealous. They may demand to know your whereabouts at all times, who you're spending time with, and who you're communicating with when they're not present.
5. He Makes You Feel Guilty About Everything
A common strategy employed by a controlling partner is to establish an emotional connection with you in the initial stages of the relationship. They will then leverage your emotions to make you feel guilty about minor issues. As a result, you may gradually relinquish your power and do anything to avoid the overwhelming feelings of guilt. This is when a controlling partner realizes they have gained the upper hand in the relationship.
6. He Pressures You Into Bad Behavior
A controlling partner will often try to sabotage your efforts to improve your physical and mental well-being. For instance, if you initiate a new workout regime, they may urge you to cancel your gym membership. If you aim to quit drinking for a month, they might stock up your fridge with alcohol. Similarly, if you mention your ambition to pursue higher education, they may provide countless reasons why it's a terrible idea. This is because a controlling partner prefers you to be vulnerable, making it easier for them to maintain their dominance in the relationship.
7. He Can't Take No For an Answer
Be mindful that a controlling partner may try to manipulate you into thinking that they're encouraging you to explore new experiences and be more daring. However, the reality is that they might continually push you beyond your comfort zone and coerce you into things you're not comfortable with. This is because their priority is not your feelings, but their own desires and needs.
8. He constantly criticizes you
Initially, a controlling partner's criticism might seem minor, such as offering advice on your hairstyle or makeup. However, gradually their criticism will extend to every aspect of your life. They might criticize your laughter, your housekeeping skills, and even the television shows you enjoy. You'll constantly feel the pressure to please them, but it will become an impossible task when dealing with a controlling partner.
9. He Dismisses Your Feelings
A controlling partner may dismiss your attempts to express yourself by diverting the conversation, accusing you of overreacting, or even resorting to the silent treatment. Eventually, you'll learn to keep your feelings to yourself as they make you feel insignificant and unheard.
10. He's Threatened By Your Success
While you may believe that your partner is your unwavering support system, the truth is that a controlling partner is often riddled with insecurities. They will go to great lengths to bring you down to their level. When you achieve success in your life, they will struggle to be genuinely happy for you. Instead, they'll try to downplay your accomplishments to make themselves feel better about their own lack of achievements.