If a romance starts to feel like restraints, you may have a controlling partner. Being with a controlling or manipulative partner can be toxic and emotionally draining. It could also be potentially dangerous. Controlling behaviors can sneak up on a relationship and come from any partner, any age or gender. The one commanding the relationship in your life could even be you.
Five signs a partner is too controlling.
Your Partner Limits Who You Can See
Setting boundaries on who you can hang out with and when you can talk to other people are controlling behaviors. It should be up to you who you see, and when and where you see them. Limiting your social group is an unhealthy means of control that takes away your freedom to interact with others. It could be your partner’s way of cutting you off from the rest of the world. You should never feel guilty just for interacting with friends or family members. Healthy relationships encourage each partner to have the freedom to grow and develop.
Your Partner Does Not Trust You
If you have a partner who does not want you to go out without him/her, or who makes rules such as a curfew or how often you have to text your partner, he or she is controlling. These behaviors show a lack of trust, which is necessary for a healthy relationship. It also shows that your partner wants to know where you are and who you are with at all times. This is a type of controlling behavior that is not healthy. Try to find out the source of the distrust. If there is no reason your partner should not trust you to have fun when he/she is not around, you could have an overly controlling partner.
Your Partner Uses Threats to Get What He/She Wants
Threats are a classic form of controlling and manipulative behavior. Overt or suggested threats of your partner harming him/herself, you, or others could be a way to convince you to do what your partner wants. Threats are a form of emotional manipulation that can be just as effective as physical violence. If you feel stuck in your relationship because your partner says things like, “I would kill myself if you leave me,” you are in a controlling relationship. Threats to take away financial support or child custody are the same. These threats may be empty, but they can work to make you do what your manipulative partner wants.
Your Partner Loves You Conditionally
You may be in an unhealthy, controlling relationship if your partner has conditions you must meet to “deserve” or “earn” his/her love. Your partner should love you no matter what, with no limits to when or how you can receive that love. Putting you down, trying to lower your self-esteem, or making you feel not good enough for love unless you do certain things is controlling. Examples of controlling conditions include: “I would love you more if you lost a few pounds,” or “If you made more money, maybe I would introduce you to my friends.”
Your Partner Imposes a Debt Upon You
Keeping you indebted to him or her is a method your partner can use to force you to do what he/she wants. Creating a debt you seemingly owe your partner, such as money or the roof over your head, can trap you in a relationship indefinitely – until you have paid off the debt. Since your partner is in control of the created debt, it is likely you will never be square. If your partner gives you things with the expectation that you must give something in return, you may be in an emotionally draining relationship. While a healthy relationship may have a sense of reciprocity, it should not be a means to keep you at home or otherwise control what you do.
Consider speaking with a Divorce Attorney
If you feel your relationship has turned toxic and are considering a divorce, first speak with an attorney. The litigation behind a divorce can be very complex. Our San Francisco divorce attorneys can help answer any questions you may have, and advise you on your best legal options. To schedule a consultation, contact our office today.