Are you with a controlling girlfriend or do you think it might be you? Are you being unreasonable or have your expectations changed or are you getting more demanding? It can be difficult to be clear about what's going on while you are in the midst of it, so let's have a look at what it's like to be in a relationship with a controlling girlfriend.
At the start everything was fantastic. This girl was giving you a lot of attention and what guy doesn't like that?! She was fun to be with, attentive, caring, sexy, intriguing and confident. She was very easy to be around. She made you feel good about yourself. She wasn't fazed or put off by anything about you. She made it clear that she fancied you and she wanted to spend time with you. She may even have initiated the relationship. Perhaps you had known her in the past and there was nothing between you but then something happened and she was different towards you and you saw her in a different light.
You started a relationship quite quickly. It became a sexual relationship quickly. She was adventurous and confident in that area and things were very enjoyable! You felt safe, happy, loved and you believed you had found someone that understood you.
Then a couple of things happened and you felt that what she did or said was a bit out of character, but hey, things are really good between you so you let them slide. Or you point them out as odd or upsetting, but she has an excuse that seems ok so you accept that and then let it slide.
And then, in a way that you hardly noticed, the rules of the relationship changed. Things that were acceptable initially are no longer so. There are certain things that you cannot do or say because they upset her. And she has reasons and justifications about why she is upset. And it can be difficult to argue against these reasons and justifications.
I know that as any relationship develops there is a honeymoon period and then a time when people settle in and find out more about each other's likes and dislikes and there are compromises made to make the relationship more pleasant for both sides. But this is not what happens when you are with a controlling girlfriend. There may be times when you find yourself doing things that you didn't before and you don't know when the change happened. Or you do something that you think is innocent and all of a sudden there is a major incident over it. You are let know by your controlling girlfriend, in no uncertain terms, what is expected of you. You may object but things get so heated that eventually you back down and fall into line.
But then it all settles down and you have nice times again. But before you know it, there is another episode. And another episode. And then some good times. And time passes...
And then you realize that there are a lot of bad times and some good times, and during the bad times you wish for the good times. And during the good times you breathe a sigh of relief that things are back to normal, you try and forget the unpleasantness and you are glad that you are with the nice person that you know she is. But then the tension begins to rise and you know something is about to happen, and despite your best efforts to keep her happy, she explodes again.
However nice she can be, she does have a foul temper. She can lose it for the smallest of things and it's incredibly unpleasant to be on the receiving end of it. And just like that, it's gone again. You are left feeling shaken and stirred and she acts as if nothing happened. And then she says that you are overly sensitive, you are too emotional, that you take things too seriously and that she didn’t really mean it. And that leaves you wondering, because the things she said were very personal and you have heard them before, many times, and yet she says that she didn't mean it. That doesn't make sense. So not only are you left in emotional turmoil for some time but you also spent time afterwards busy in your head thinking about what happened and trying to understand it.
At this stage there may be name calling, criticism, insults, challenges to your manhood, belittling, contempt and lots of blaming you for things that go wrong. Your opinions and ideas are challenged to the point that it's just easier to go along with her. You will be given the silent treatment on a regular basis, sex is used as a reward and withheld as a punishment.
Your friends and family are criticized or you are criticized for hanging out with them and for an easy life you may choose to spend less time with them. If you complain about anything your controlling girlfriend turns it around on you and makes you feel bad instead. There may be all sorts of threats, including threats of leaving you, if you don't go along with what she wants.
Your controlling girlfriend will have no trouble spending money, including yours, all for the good of the relationship, of course. There may be lots of dramas where you are expected to come to the rescue, many emotional ups and downs and lots of discussions and arguments over the same issues.
Your controlling girlfriend will be very good at playing the victim but not helpful when others are in trouble. She will be very critical of others but intolerant of criticism of her, especially from you! She has strict rules for you but a different set of rules for herself. Her excuses are always acceptable, yours never are. She will be good at getting you to apologize but won't do it herself. And if she does apologize she doesn't actually mean a word of it, no matter how convincing she may sound, because she will be doing the same nasty things again very soon after having apologized.
She may appear to be very emotional and sensitive sometimes and cold hearted and callous at others. She can turn on the tears when needed and she can seem to be made of ice at other times.
She will let you know how much better she is than you, how much more knowledgeable and wise and she will insist that your ideas are inferior, stupid or just plane wrong while your expectations are unreasonable and unrealistic. Her expectations are always good and at the same time unattainable for you. And when you don't fulfill her expectations you will be criticized and made to feel bad about it. Regularly. Sometimes even in public.
You may or may not be aware of the amount of lies that this controlling girlfriend comes out with. You may or may not be aware of the extreme imbalance of power in the relationship that goes with this type of dating and violence.
The reason you may not be aware of these things is because the controlling girlfriend has changed you in many ways. She has changed how you perceive the world, how you think, what you believe, how you make decisions, how you act. If any family member or friend told you that you had changed since starting with her, which you may not have believed, they were talking about this 'new you' that she was creating.
This new personality is created to look after her, to put her wants and needs first, to believe what she says, not to criticize her, to be dependent on her, to follow her instructions and to make her the center of your life. If anyone told you that you were hen pecked, whipped, or being led by the nose by her, they were able to see her influence on you. They noticed that you were being changed by her, although for you it was almost impossible to notice these changes because of the way she was influencing you.
This new personality is a false personality or pseudopersonality that is imposed upon you without your knowledge or consent. It is a way of programming you using mind control techniques to behave in a way that the manipulator wants. It's actually the same thing that happens to members of a destructive cult. They are changed without understanding what was done to them. In the same way that they will deny that they are in a cult or that the leader is a bad person, a person with a controlling girlfriend will often deny that there is anything wrong and will defend the controlling girlfriend if anyone tries to criticize her.
You can read more about the pseudopersonality here.
What kind of people set out to control others for their own nefarious reasons? People with personality disorders do this. Psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. Because of media portrayal of such types, people often have a somewhat distorted idea of what this means.
Basically these people have no conscience and a big ego. These two things give rise to a whole host of characteristics that result in disordered relationships because of coercion, manipulation and outright abuse.
These types have no conscience, no inner policeman that stops them for doing wrong. They do know the difference between right and wrong, they just don't care. They can do horrible things and not feel bad about it.
Add the big ego and you get a sense of superiority and a huge sense of entitlement. They believe they are better than others and so they deserve to be treated differently. They consider that they should have what they want and they should have it how they want it.
This means that they take advantage of others, fooling them, deceiving them, conning and lying to them and generally abusing them. They do this for their own benefit and without the least consideration for the welfare of their victims.
If you haven't considered your controlling girlfriend as being in this category before, then it's a big step, but a very important step. There is a world of difference between being in a relationship with a girlfriend who tries to control things because she is a bit unsure of herself versus a controlling girlfriend who is a psychopath or narcissist.
Read more about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists.
If you are in a relationship with a controlling girlfriend who is actually a female sociopath or a female narcissist and she has been using mind control techniques to install a pseudopersonality and control you, it's fair to say that you are in a bad situation.
This woman has taken over your life. She is controlling every aspect of it. She is using you to make her life better with little or no consideration of the damage she is doing to you. She is using you as a personal plaything. She is sucking the life out of you to better her own. Unless you do something about it, she will destroy you and put you in a state where you cannot function very well as a human being, if she hasn't done that already!
You may not want to accept that you live with a controlling person and are actually in an abusive relationship and that's completely understandable. No-one wants to think that someone that they loved, and that they thought loved them, was actually lying, manipulating, taking advantage of and abusing them. It's a big thing to get your head around. But if you are in such a situation, get your head around it you must.
Because the only way to get out of the situation is to understand what exactly was done to you and how it was done. You need to learn what techniques were used against you, why those techniques were used, what effect they had on your thinking, your decision making, your emotions and your actions.
You need to undo the beliefs that were imposed on you. You have to undo the behavior patterns that you were manipulated into. And you must replace these things with others that are actually beneficial for you. You have to learn to make your own decisions and take back control of your life.
What will not work in situations like this is to leave her and try to forget all about it and hope to find someone who is more normal the next time around. This won't work, because the controlling girlfriend changed you at a very fundamental level, the level of your identity, your personality, and you were changed with very strong influence techniques. Because you were tricked into thinking that you were making your own decisions, these changes will last for years unless you deliberately work to undo them. And while these effects are in place they will cause all sorts of problems, from sleep problems to difficulty with memory and concentration, mistrust of others and even yourself, relationship difficulties, emotional problems and so on.
But even more importantly, if you do nothing, the next time you meet another psychopath, sociopath or narcissist, they will instantly recognize that you have been in an abusive situation before and they will know that you are an easy target and they will go after you. You may think that you know how to recognize controlling people and that you would spot a controlling girlfriend in the future, but they are not all the same. The next psychopath may be very unlike your current controlling girlfriend and you won't recognize the signs until it's too late.
Thinking that you will know other abusers without studying them is exactly why people get caught in multiple abusive relationships.
Do psychopaths know what they are doing?
These situations are complicated and it's worth working with an expert in the field. Beware of working with someone who does not understand psychopaths and mind control, they won't be able to provide the help and knowledge that you need.
Getting out is not easy. You have to deal with the dependency of the pseudopersonality, not wanting to believe that your controlling girlfriend is actually a psychopath plus the fact that this controlling girlfriend has spent time and effort getting you to where she wanted you and she won't let you go easily. You need to be prepared for all sorts of emotional manipulation, threats, promises and even more abuse when you tell her that you are finished with her.
Coping with all this is much easier when you have an expert to guide you through it, helping you to avoid the pitfalls and speed up your recovery.
The following links will provide you with more valuable information on dealing with a controlling girlfriend, dealing with a sociopath, how to divorce a sociopath, healing from emotional abuse and preventing dating violence...
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If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
You have the theory but how do you actually apply it? This book spells it out...
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