The following signs of a controlling girlfriend are significant and serious. There is much written about controlling behavior occurring as a result of the controller feeling insecure. This article is not about such things. There are people who control for the sake of controlling. Their relationships are built on domination and exploitation. Initially, these people come across as charming, friendly, caring and helpful. However, this is a façade that they create at the start of relationships to hide their true nature.
They offer their victims exactly what the victims are looking for, whether this is a job, money, business partner or an intimate relationship. Once they have a certain level of commitment from their targets, their behavior begins to change and becomes more controlling. The unconditional love, for example, becomes dependent on the target doing what the controller wants. The sex that was frequent and fantastic at the start is used as a tool by the manipulator to reward or punish. The compliments, gifts and nice times are replaced by insults, belittling and extended periods of misery.
The following signs of a controlling girlfriend are things you absolutely should not justify or reason away under any circumstances.
When you first met her, you very quickly became enamoured with her. You felt like she understood you, you had lots of things in common and she seemed like Miss Right. Now, however, the relationship is very different. You spend a lot of time running around after her trying to please her. It seems like nothing you do is enough. You may still love her and care about her, but she sometimes seems cold, and even cruel at times.
She can make you feel amazing but she also makes you feel miserable. Sometimes you realize you are on an emotional rollercoaster.
She insists that anything that goes wrong is always your fault, whether you believe this or not.
Somehow, you have given up some hobbies or sports and she has become the centre of your universe. Your whole life is organised around making her feel comfortable.
You usually run things by her before doing anything different and you check with her before making any decisions or changing plans. Otherwise, there is hell to pay. You may even do this in your head without speaking to her directly. You ask yourself, "if I do this, how will she react?" If you think she will react badly, you don't do it. You pick something that you know she will like. And even when you do this, you still get into trouble because she finds something to criticize.
You may have noticed that you are spending less time with friends and family. In one way or another she makes you feel bad for spending time with them so eventually it just becomes easier to stay at home. She may criticize your friends, or criticize you for having picked somebody like that. She will trot out all the faults of your family members on a regular basis until she begins to change your perception of them.
She repeats some things a lot. These are the ideas she wants in your head. Very often these are criticisms of you. She will tell you that you are useless, pathetic, stupid and so on. The repetition is important here because the more often we hear things, even if we don't believe them, they start to have an effect on us.
It's important to recognise that 99% of these repeated things are actually lies. I know, you may believe that you have evidence that what she says is true, but she is setting you up. She does something that makes you angry, on purpose, and then when you get angry she tells you that you have anger issues. This is a trick of the manipulators.
She spends inordinate amounts of money, including yours, but criticizes you for anything that you buy.
She changes her mind a lot. You, however, are pushed into making a choice and then sticking with it. This choice is usually for her benefit and not yours.
There may be arguments about the same topic again and again. You may wonder why she doesn't understand you or you may even think that you're not getting through to her, that you are not communicating well. The thing is, she gets it. She just doesn't care what your opinion or want or need is and she's taking the opportunity to repeat her ideas to try and force you to accept them. Remember the repetition thing?
Your friends don't like her. Initially, you may have sided with her, telling them they don't know her like you do. Now, if you're reading this article, you are realizing they may have had a very valid point.
Whenever you have some kind of success, or you are enjoying something, or you buy something you want, she runs the moment. She tells a story about herself, she criticizes whatever happened, or she cuts the legs from underneath you in some way.
She questions what you say and what you do until you begin to doubt yourself.
There are many, many rules. Some of these are unspoken. But over time you figured out what some of them are and you dare not break them because of the price you will have to pay.
You are afraid of her. Afraid of her moods, afraid of her anger, afraid of the things she may say to make you feel bad. You may not like to admit it, but it's there.
She talks about many of your so-called errors and faults to others, often in front of you. It's humiliating, but even if you ask her to stop she keeps at it. You, of course, are never allowed to do that to her because there would be repercussions. You are expected to be loyal and obedient in public, even if you know she is telling lies.
And there are lots of lies in the relationship. Some you recognize, some you suspect and others you may have no idea at all. Even the idea that she cares about you or loves you is a lie but it's very difficult to recognize that one because the whole relationship is based on you believing that she loves you.
She redefines what things mean. "If you loved me, you would...", "When you do that, it means...", "Yes, I did do that, but I only did it because of something you did!"
When she criticizes you, she may be talking about something you did or something you said but she makes you feel bad about who you are. This is part of the fundamental pattern of destroying your personality and changing you into somebody else. You can read more about this idea of the false personality, or pseudo-personality, here.
Forgiveness is a one-way street in the relationship. You are expected to forgive her everything, but she forgives you nothing. In fact, it often seems like she keeps an updated list of all the so-called bad things you have done and she trots this out every now and then when she wants to make you feel bad, or guilty, so that you do what she wants.
You end up doing things that you would never have done before. You end up accepting bad behavior that you would not have tolerated in other relationships.
You're made to feel guilty about many things. At the start of the relationship there were many rewards. Now, it seems like there are only punishments. Sometimes you think that if she hasn't shouted at you during the day, then you're actually having a good day.
If you recognize many of the above signs of a controlling girlfriend, the next step is to figure out what you need to do. Let's look at some basic ideas.
Manipulation is manipulation and abuse is abuse. There is no excuse for it. This is something you have to watch out for. The manipulators always come up with reasons and justifications for their bad behavior. Pause for a moment and think about the behavior itself and not the reasons she gives you for it. If the behavior is bad and abusive, then it's bad and abusive. Having a bad childhood or having an ex cheat on her is actually no excuse for her treating you badly. She is an adult. She needs to get over it, or get help for it. If she hasn't gotten help for it already, why not? Is is just an excuse for her bad behavior now and the whole back story is a lie?
You need to put a stop to the abuse and that typically means leaving the relationship. You have given her lots of chances, she may have even promised that she will change but the fact is that the controlling behavior kicks back in again after some length of time. Let's face it, she's not going to change. You need to leave.
I know, I know! That's easier said than done. And yes, you are right! It is easier said than done. But it's not impossible. Other people have left abusive relationships and so can you.
Some people need to learn more about mind control, psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists in order to realize that they actually need to leave. Some people need information about what was done to them so that they can reduce the dependency on the manipulator in order to be able to get out.
Others just need to run because of some physical danger to themselves and once away from the manipulator they can begin the process of recovery.
It's useful to speak to other people about what's actually going on in the relationship. You have been trained to defend and protect the manipulator and part of that training is feeling that you will betray her if you tell other people what she is really like. That's why you need to do it. You need to break that pattern. You also want people on your side so that they can help and protect you.
If you're controlling girlfriend is very good at creating a public image of herself as friendly, kind and caring, then many people will literally not know what you're going through. They may be completely oblivious to what the relationship is really like. (Oh, she seemed like such a nice person. I can't believe that she would do such things!) It's important to share the facts with close friends and family members who can help you.
You can read more about how to leave an abusive relationship here.
Start to make a list of all the bad and unpleasant things that she has done to you during the relationship. You will be able to add to this over the coming weeks and months.
Take back control over your money. Having family members or close friends help you to do this is a good idea. Sometimes a third party's opinion about what is correct and appropriate in such a situation can be very useful.
Talking to her and trying to get her to change is usually a complete waste of time. She knows what she's doing. I know that you may have doubts about whether that statement is true or not, but if you have seen many of the above signs of a controlling girlfriend in your relationship then you have to assume that she knows exactly what she's doing. When you think about it, there are too many bad things going on for it to be random. And besides, when you tell her what is going on in your head, she will just use it against you, to control and manipulate you even more!
Get professional help. It will save you a lot of time, a lot of suffering and very often a lot of money.
You can learn more about the details of coercive control in abusive relationships in these articles about narcissistic boyfriends and narcissistic husbands. (Just switch girlfriend for boyfriend and wife for husband.) It sounds strange that you would be dependent on a controlling girlfriend but I explain here how they make you dependent on them. Read more about the nature of emotional abuse, the stages of abusive relationships and recovering from a narcissistic relationship.
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