We’ve all seen it happen before where one of our friends disappears off the scene, they stop turning up to events, their behavior changes and you realize they’re not the person they once were.
Some people laugh about it and say it’s a case of being ‘whipped’, but abuse in relationships is a lot more serious and common that many of us want to believe.
As a female, I have seen loads of my friends fall for all types of controlling men; I’ve also been a victim of their sneaky little controlling tricks too. It’s that classic situation where when you’re in a little bubble and cannot see the damage that is actually happening, but any outsider can clearly see that the whole relationship is unhealthy and doomed!
Here are some of the signs you should look out for if you think your partner is more concerned with controlling you than making you happy.
1. ZERO support and ZERO encouragement
This one is the one that gets me the most, and I think the most tell-tell sign that someone just wants to control you. In life we are blessed with opportunities, and every now and then we have once in a lifetime opportunities which may mean you might not be able to see your other half for a short period of time or mean that your relationship isn’t number one in your priority list for a little while. If this individual cannot see the importance of these opportunities, whether it be an event which may help your career or working abroad for a year then this is definitely not a good sign. In a healthy relationship you should encourage each other to be the best you can be, and to strive towards both of your dreams no matter what.
If you’re an amazing artist and you have the opportunity to exhibit your work in a different country or even if something is really important for you to achieve yet your other half is too concerned about ‘losing you’ then you need to have a little think about whether this person will be dragging you down forever.
2. Changing YOU
As human, we learn from our mistakes and change ourselves accordingly to be who we want to be, however when someone is actively trying to change who you are then this is definitely not a good sign. This is a main trait which controlling other halves tend to possess, the tendency to try and change who you are.
I remember I knew someone who went through my iPod and told me to delete all my songs from a certain artist – how ridiculous is that? Because he didn’t believe in the messages that, that artist was giving. Nobody has the right to tell you what you should enjoy.
This controlling trait of attempting to implement change is quite notorious amongst Asian men (Indian, Pakistani, Bengali) in the way that they want to control how their women look. I know SO many girls who change their style and the way they dress so they look more conservative, on their boyfriend’s request. This really infuriates me because it makes a woman feel insecure and over-evaluate how she presents herself in a constant fear of attracting unwanted attention or looking ‘slutty’. We own our own bodies and can dress them how we like – if you don’t like your girlfriend’s dress sense then that is your problem, not hers.
3. Your other half is TOO generous or TOO selfless
When you love someone you can’t help but want to give them everything – right? But with this there is a limit; my friend once dated this guy who was stupidly generous. He used to literally throw his money at her; before they were even together he had bought her a phone and a contract (which he later used to control her). We were all fooled by this guy by the way; we thought he was the equivalent of Edward Cullen, just a massively rich version who offered to pay for everything. We should have known it was too good to be true because and as soon as my friend sealed the deal with this guy that’s when things turned nasty.
This isn’t all about money though; a lot of people can also be really full on, giving you ALL of their time and ALL of their attention. This usually is an indicator that this person hasn’t got a lot going on in their life, giving them more and more time to try and manipulate and control you. With so much time on their hands they are constantly wondering what you’re up to, who you’re with and I’ve even had a spy set on me in the past, to check up if I was telling the truth about where I was and who I was with.
4. Challenging your beliefs a lot
We all have beliefs that hold certain value to us; these could be religious or moral etc. Sadly if an individual is adamant to challenge your own personal beliefs with the intention to change them, they are a CONTROL FREAK. Once again Asian men can definitely be accused of this one when it comes to religious beliefs – if I do not believe in your religion or the specific religious beliefs you hold you cannot push them on to me.
It is only natural to want to know a little bit about your partner’s past. But asking a zillion questions about it is really weird and is a massive sign that someone is a control freak. Also, if you trusted someone with some risky information about your past and they use this against you or make you feel bad about it, they suck as a person and this is unfortunately a way of trying to gain control in a relationship.
6. Your other half wants you to be a recluse
It is what it is. No friends, no parties, no drinking, no male friends, no going out, basically no nothing.
You know if your man wants you to be a recluse if he bans you from joining and university societies, going to the gym, socialising or partaking in something you’re passionate about out of fear there will be other men there who will want / look at you.
7. Jealousy & Paranoia
Because we’ve already established that this control freak probably doesn’t have a lot to do with their own life, they have so much time on their hands which they use this time to build jealous rages and are therefore a paranoid mess. If someone constantly wants to look through your phone to see what you’re up to – this is NOT ok, but equally if someone is adamant about hiding the contents of their phone this is also a cause for concern.
I remember my friend told me her paranoid mess of an ex was looking through her phone contacts and she had changed all of her male friend’s names to female names, weirdly enough her mum did the same to hide her male colleagues numbers from her step dad. Trust is a really important part of any relationship and if mentioning a male name means that your other half’s reaction is to become paranoid, you my friend are in a controlling relationship.
8. Crying or arguing is a daily occurrence
This will happen due to paranoia, jealousy and the fact your other half thinks that they can control you.
Putting all my knowledge together I think that people control others when they’re lonely and needy, they are most likely up to no good themselves so that’s probably why they want so much control.
A lot of girls live with these signs and even consider them a functional part of a relationship – now that I am older, and my friends are older – we can see that all of these signs lead to one thing – a dysfunctional controlling loser.