The following signs he is too controlling should never be ignored if your boyfriend is exhibiting them. Whatever reason he may have for continuing the behavior should not be accepted. Controlling people will typically have an excuse or justification for their behavior and you are expected to tolerate both the behavior and the excuse. The excuse may even seem reasonable initially. However, the excuse is often false or even an outright lie but is sold to you as the truth.
They see no reason to change their behavior and the excuse is simply used to continue to control and abuse you. The trick is to separate the behavior from the excuse and deal with the behavior on it's own. I will explain more with examples throughout.
The following items are in no particular order...
1. He is the life and soul of the party when he is at a party. He is happy, friendly, chatty, charming when in public and at home he is grumpy, irritable, demanding, and may ignore you for hours at a time.
2. Going into the party he often starts a fight so you are upset when you are there. You end up not enjoying yourself.
3. He controls the money. He will spend yours first leaving himself with money to do as he wishes.
4. He tells lies. A lot of lies. You may not recognize how many lies there are.
5. He can make you feel amazing and he can make you feel absolutely awful. He may do this in very quick succession.
6. He blames you for everything that goes wrong.
7. He takes credit for anything that is good or that goes well.
8. He does what he pleases. Even when he knows it upsets you (because you have told him, over and over...)
9. You spend a lot of time trying to please him, trying to make him happy, trying to make sure that you don't upset him.
10. He comments on your clothes, your hair and your shoes to the point where you dress to please him, and sometimes that is still not enough. He criticizes something anyway.
11. He disturbs your sleep and you feel tired a lot of the time. He may wake you when you are trying to lie in, or he starts arguments late at night so you cannot sleep for hours afterwards, or he never gets up to look after the kids during the night and you are the one who is sleep deprived.
12. There are few holidays for you, no time for hobbies or leisure time starting shortly after you met him.
13. You feel the need to run things by him before making decisions, going places or buying things. You know you will get into trouble if you don't. Even if he is not present, you mentally check how he will react if you do something, and you don’t do it if you think he would not approve. If you do anything without checking in with him, he gets upset and complains about your making unilateral decisions, not including him in the relationship or not considering his wants or needs. This is one of those times, as mentioned above, when the justification seems somewhat reasonable and he makes you feel bad for not including him. The real reason he insists you talk to him is that he basically wants you to ask for his permission before doing anything. This is what domination and a power imbalance looks like in a controlling relationship. You absolutely should not have to check with him, even mentally, before doing every single thing.
14. There are frequent arguments. You often argue about the same things, over and over and over again... You may think that you can't get through to him, or you are not communicating well, or he just doesn't get it, or he is not hearing you, or he doesn’t understand something. The thing is that he's not stupid, is he? He gets it, he just has no intention of seeing things from your perspective. He just doesn’t care. He will keep going until you give in and stop asking for what you want and/or give him what he wants.
15. He seems to enjoy the arguments, or seeing you suffer, or lording it over you.
16. Whenever you are successful, or have a nice time, or buy something you like, he ruins the moment one way or another. He criticizes you or the object you bought, he belittles your achievements or points out how he does better. Or he just straight up starts an argument.
17. Your opinions are ridiculed and you are expected to take his on board. Every time!
18. He tells you that your decisions are just wrong and you are expected to let him make decisions.
19. Your beliefs are stupid, again according to him, and you have to agree with his.
20. Your perceptions are frequently questioned and you may have started doubting yourself.
21. He often redefines things for you. "When you say this it means..." or "I only did that because of something you did, I was just responding to what you did to me". He may even define what particular words mean: Marriage means you have to serve me and look after me, Love means you never look at other men, or even talk to them. "If you loved me, you would never do that!" "We are a family now, that means you have to..."
22. He calls you names, makes you feel stupid, worthless, inferior, and there are lots of insults and criticisms.
23. The criticisms make you feel bad, not about your behavior or what you said, but about yourself. They level their comments at your identity, your personality, not your behavior. So instead of saying, "'that was a stupid thing to do," it's "you are stupid for doing that."
24. You feel that you have lost yourself in the relationship. You don't know who you are anymore. Other people even say that you are not yourself since meeting him. This is a fundamental part of the whole change of personality that happens in abusive relationships and cults.
25. You may have been strong, independent and easily able to make your own decisions before, and now you feel 'less than', worthless, you doubt yourself, you can't do anything without him, in fact, you can't even imagine a future without him. You are afraid that you would not be able to manage without him.
26. Your friends don’t like him. They may even tell you so. Initially you defended him, saying that he is really a nice person, they don't know him like you do, he loves you, and so on. Now you still defend him but you have lots of doubts. You may even lie to protect him.
27. You don't discuss the relationship with many people. Sometimes you just hide things from your friends because you are afraid of him, or you feel ashamed or you are afraid of what he will do if he finds out you were talking about him.
28. There are lots of rules. Many were never spoken out loud but you figured out that if you said or did certain things he got upset so you 'learned' not to do these things.
29. He makes the rules. His rules for him and his rules for you. His rules are different from your rules. He changes the rules whenever he likes. He often doesn’t even tell you he has changed the rules. You only find out when you get into trouble for having broken the new rules.
30. You are not allowed to change your mind. He changes his mind about lots of things when it suits him.
31. He does not forgive you. He will remind you frequently about your mistakes, sins, slippages, wrongdoings and make you feel bad all over again for them.
32. You are expected to forgive him everything.
33. You found out lots of things, not good things, about him only after you were committed to the relationship.
34. He has you doing things that you would never have done before. Or you put up with things that would have been a deal breaker for you in the past.
35. At the start of the relationship, you thought you had met Mr. Right, the perfect man for you, the man of your dreams, your soul mate. That all changed after some time, often after there was a significant commitment on your part. That person you fell in love with rarely appears. More often than not the person who comes in the front door to you is selfish, cold, demanding, lazy and very critical of you.
36. Thinking about leaving is very difficult. When the idea first came to you, you dismissed it very quickly as not really an option. You may think about it but it terrifies you. You are afraid that you won't be able to manage without him, or you are petrified by the thought of how he will react if you say you want out.
37. He talks about you to others in front of you, and it's not all nice. You, however, are never allowed to mention any of his faults to others. You are expected to be loyal and supportive of him, even when he is lying to others.
38. He makes you feel guilty about many things, your family, your past, your work, your hobbies, your thoughts, your actions, your ideas, your feelings, your perceptions and especially about yourself.
39. He keeps you busy, mentally as well as physically, so that you never have time to sit down and think about what exactly is happening in your life. He gives you errands or paperwork to do. Or you spend time on the computer for him. And there is so much chaos in your life that you are going around in circles in your head,bouncing from one crisis to the next, and it all seems like it's never ending.
40. He seems to be always around. He tells you that he loves you so much he can't be without you. Even if you are out with friends he is texting you. Your friends say he is controlling. He tells you he is worried about your safety. Your friends are right. This is just another example of his trying to give you a valid excuse for his domineering behavior.
41. He steals your stuff, or breaks it, or loses it.
42. There used to be lots of rewards. Now, there are lots of punishments. Initially you did things to keep the good times going, now you act to try and prevent bad times.
If after reading these signs he is too controlling you are thinking, 'Yep, that's me!" then you really need to learn more about mind control, psychopaths, narcissists and understand the nature of emotional abuse, the stages of abusive relationships and what to do about it.
Would you like to talk to someone about your situation?
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.
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