The signs of a controlling woman are many and varied. At the start of the relationship, where you're head over heels in love, there may actually be very few signs of overt control. Rather, the signs are of a different kind. Later on, when you are fully committed, the signs become more obvious. However, because of your commitment it's much more likely that you will ignore or even deny the signs.
The start of a relationship with the controlling woman can actually be fantastic. They give you lots of time, attention, compliments and sex to the point that you believe you have met the perfect partner. When any bad, controlling behaviour kicks in it is easy to dismiss it as "out of character", or happening because she is stressed and having a bad day.
For these reasons there are many men (and women) who are being controlled who don't realize they are being controlled. As you are going through these signs of a controlling woman pay attention to what's actually happening. Is she actually doing and saying some of these things. The trick here is not to get caught up in excuses. It's easy to say, "oh yes she does that, but she does it because…" and then give a reason or justification for her behaviour.
It's important that you not do this. This is how the controlling people get away with abusive behaviour.
You have to look just at her behaviour, or the words she says. It's important to deal with what's actually going on, not with why you think it's happening. There are lots of articles written about why people control. They may be insecure, anxious, badly treated as a child and so on. These ideas should never actually be used as a justification for controlling behaviour. First of all, these ideas are often wrong, there are actually people control for the sake of control. Second of all, these reasons are not a justification for controlling others.
If someone is anxious or insecure, let them go and deal with it and then have a normal, healthy relationship. If someone was mistreated in an earlier relationship, it's their responsibility to sort it out. They are adults now and justifying bad behaviour on past events is just not acceptable.
So let's look at some signs of a controlling woman.
She insults you.
She calls you names such as stupid, pathetic, useless, worthless and so on.
She does not respect what you want.
She criticizes you a lot, about your family, your friends, your work, your ideas, your beliefs, your wants and desires etc.
She shouts and swears at you a lot.
She frequently talks over you.You tell her what you want, what you don't like and she simply ignores you and does whatever she wants.
She has to be right. Every time.
If anything goes wrong, it's always your fault.
She makes you feel like you owe her, and she reminds you of this frequently.
She insists on having your passwords for everything. You do not have her passwords.
She makes you feel guilty about lots of different things.
There may be lots of threats, a particularly nasty one being that if you don't do what she says, she will leave.
She expects you to tell her everything, your thoughts, feelings, activities and so on.
She tells you little to nothing about hers.
She doesn't apologize. She always has an excuse. If she does apologize, it's a lie, because she is doing the same nasty thing again 5 minutes later.
She has no sense of obligation in keeping her word.
Everything is done on her timetable and you are expected to be available whenever she wants.
She makes you feel that you are a constant disappointment to her.
She makes snide comments about your family and friends or gets upset when you go out with them. Over time it becomes easier for you to stay away from them so in effect you become isolated from that support network. You think they have moved away from you whereas, in fact, you have been made to distance yourself from them.
She criticizes you at the level of identity. It's not that your behaviour is ridiculous or what you want is stupid, you are ridiculous or you are stupid for doing or wanting such things. The result of this is that you try and adapt yourself to be more pleasing to her. This is a major factor in the personality change in victims in abusive relationships.
She lies to you. A lot. The reason I put this in the not so obvious tactics group is that sometimes the lies are so enormous it's difficult to recognize that they are lies. Many controlling people have personality disorders. In other words they are psychopaths, sociopaths or narcissists. A psychopath may tell you that she loves you and you build a life around this, getting married, buying a house, having children and so on. But the idea that she loves you is a lie on her part. However, it takes a while to get your head around the fact that she does not love you.
There are lots of unspoken rules. In many situations, you know exactly how to respond even though she has never told you specifically. What she has done, though, is punish you in some way when you do a particular thing. After 2 or 3 punishments, you realise that she doesn't like this thing and you stop doing it. You believe it's your decision to stop doing it to keep her happy. The fact is, she trained you to make this decision, which, of course, is for her benefit. And one of the tricks in mind control is that the victim believes they are making their own decisions.
Is she the life and soul of the party in public and a tyrant at home behind closed doors? In which case she is manipulating other people's impressions of her making out that she's a wonderful person. With you, however, she doesn't have to do that anymore. She knows she has full control of you and she doesn't need to keep up appearances with you any longer.
Do you ever wonder how somebody who loves you can treat you in such a cold and cruel way? As I referenced above, she doesn't actually love you. The cold, cruel person is the real one.
Are you at the point where she keeps blaming you for everything, but you think secretly that actually she's the problem but you can't quite put your finger on what is going on? Well, you are right, she is the problem, not you!
Do you think sometimes that you really love this woman and other mornings you wake up and you wish that she would just die? Or at least go away and leave you in peace?
Do you sometimes feel that there is no way out of the relationship for you? That you will not be able to manage without her? That you may never find another relationship if you leave? These are actually phobias installed by the manipulators to keep the victims dependent on them.
Do you feel like you are in the loop where this woman that you love sometimes is very nice to you and then you know she is going to be horrible to you and this cycle is repeated over and over? This is called the cycle of abuse and those nice times are the most dangerous parts for you. When she is being nice you forgive and forget the abusive bits and you have renewed hope that things can continue to be good. This lasts only until the next abusive, controlling episode. This is how a controlling woman can keep you engaged for years.
Do you live by the idea 'Happy wife, happy life'? But it just doesn't work out that way. She is insatiable. No matter how much you do, give or spend, she always expects more. This is not a relationship of equals. There is a major power imbalance here.
Do you sometimes feel like you are going crazy and you alternate between thinking you are the bad one and she is the bad one? Well, again, this is the nature of mind control and a hint... you are not the bad one!
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