Control is a demonstration of power or authority. To display control towards anybody, especially one’s partner, is a form of abuse. “Most people typically think of emotional abuse as one partner belittling or criticising the other. But emotional abuse is much more than verbal abuse. It can be defined as any nonphysical behaviour that aims to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish, or isolate another person,” says Krasi Kirova, registered psychologist. A lot of marriages crumble because the other half becomes obsessed with dominating the other to the point of feeling suffocated and imprisoned.
Characteristics Of A Controlling Partner
To efficiently conclude that you are becoming a victim of a controlling partner, the first thing that you should do is to identify the following characteristics and behavior:
- Insecure and over-possessive
- Hovers incessantly
- Disapproving of your thoughts and opinions on any matter especially parenting
- Mostly creates the rules that should be strictly followed
- Forces you to explain expenses; always requires a credible reason whenever you ask for money
- Psychologically, verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive
- Doesn’t include you in planning the future or in important decisions
- Disregards your valid and useful contributions
A controlling partner can also be a narcissist. “Some people just seem to be way too self-involved. They drive the rest of us crazy with their constant need to be admired,” says relationship doctor Stephen Snyder, MD.
Drawing The Line
If you notice that your better half is overly consumed with being in command all the time, there are ways to cease the behavior before it ruins the relationship.
- Communicate With Honesty
Without proper communication, the dominant partner will never acknowledge that he or she is controlling. Instead, the person will insist that it’s only a way of taking care of you and protecting you because that’s what a good partner should do. In a controller’s mind, the behavior has good intentions and is not meant to be suffocating in any way. Because of this thinking, your partner is not entirely aware that his or her behavior is controlling and possessive; though this is not a pertinent reason to push you around and take advantage of your affection and respect towards your significant other.
It is critical that you let your partner understand how you feel. Be honest by explaining your side. Furthermore, be patient if your partner still exhibits dominance after you’ve talked about the issue. Be forgiving and tolerant of your partner for as long as you can see that he or she is trying to change his or her demeanor. Bad habits take time to unlearn.
- Stop Submitting To Demands
One of the reasons why control continues in a relationship is because the other half is reluctant to refuse all the whims of the other half. When you think you’ve had enough, be adamant in telling your partner that you are no longer going to take the bullying and abuse. Whenever your partner demands explanations or details of your whereabouts, calmly tell your partner that you are not obliged to reveal everything since you have the right to your privacy.
- Stop Trying To Get Validation
If your partner has this habit of telling you that you are never going to be good enough to do anything, that is your partner’s mindset talking. At this point, there’s no use going through the loops just to acquire appreciation. Yearning for approval from your partner will only fuel his or her bad behavior and will just feed your partner’s ego to continue his or her sinister nature.
Keep in mind that you do not deserve to be bossed around and bullied just because you love someone. Being in a relationship should be sufficient reason to carry the weight of an abusive partner. You are worthy of affection and respect; therefore, stand your ground and spill it all out. If your partner refuses to change, there’s no shame in closing the book of your relationship and move on.
You must also seek help, if necessary, say with a therapist or a counselor. “Many folks worry that going to therapy means they’re “crazy” or “out of control.” In reality, people go to therapy for all sorts of reasons: personal growth, coaching through a rough patch, to get a neutral outside perspective, to optimize their life, to change a habit, and many more. Most importantly, they go because they want to make a change, but don’t know how to start,” says Ellen Hendriksen, PhD. This could be that change for you.