Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Controlling relationships are all around us, sadly the narcissistic domineering personalities who drive these relationships are far too commonplace, every one of us can probably recognize the signs in other peoples lives but not in our own, whether through embarrassment, denial or just accepting that this is “normal” and it’s the way things are supposed to be.
It is not, every single person on the face of the earth deserves better, deserves respect, deserves love, deserves freedom… deserves true happiness… it is their god given right, and nobody has the right to strip that from you based on their own selfish needs and wants.
The following are 12 signs that you may be in an abusive relationship… even if you think you aren’t… all I ask is that you read them… with an open mind… and honesty in your heart… then read my conclusions… and really think about what I say in my conclusions….
If this resonates with you it’s time to ask yourselves … do I deserve better than this.. do my children deserve better?
12 SIGNS YOU ARE IN AN controlling RELATIONSHIP
1. SOCIAL ISOLATION
Your controller will slowly isolate you from those that love you & care about you, they will stop you from having contact with your friends and family, and will use this time while you are isolated from them to convince you that these people are toxic or dangerous. They will turn you against the people they see as a threat to their agenda.
Their ultimate goal is to completely strip you of your support network so the only person you feel you have left is them. This also makes you less likely to stand up against them because you feel alone and dependent on them.
2. CONSTANT CRITICISM
Criticism will begin small and be built upon, some may feel this initial criticism is warranted or that their controller is simply trying to help them be a better version of themselves… but this is never done through criticism … you help people to grow by encouraging them & raising them up … not by putting them down.
It doesn’t matter how small each individual criticism is, if it’s a constant dynamic in your relationship that you are never good enough the way you are and constantly need improvement then you are not being valued in this relationship as a true equal & never will be.
Threats are not necessarily physical they can be something as simple as taking away certain privileges for what they deem unacceptable behavior on your part… “if you don’t do this then you can’t do this.” This creates a situation where the controller traps the person in that relationship out of fear, fear that if they do not comply with these things they will be harmed either physically, or emotionally.
The biggest emotional threats used are losing a home, access to their own children, or financial support. These are all weapons to abusers that they will use to assert their control over you.
4. ENDLESS CONDITIONS
This feeds off of the threats, but having endless and never ending conditions placed upon you is a form of control, the more you keep complying with these conditions to attempt to placate them, the more the conditions fly in… what you wear, where you work, when you go out, who you talk to, when you can speak, what you can say… you will never be good enough for someone with this personality… they will just keep adding endless conditions upon you, making you change your entire being while they do nothing.
5. USING GUILT AS A TOOL
These kind of people are skilled manipulators and they will manipulate your emotions to get their own way, Guilt is their preference, they will go out of their way to make you feel guilty about everything, if you are not complying with their constant demands then the repercussions of that is your fault, if anyone gets hurt in the process that’s your fault, they never take responsibility for their own actions and never tell you the truth, because if you knew the truth you would know where the guilt really lies.
6. CREATING "DEBT"
These skilled manipulators in the beginning may seem awesome, because that’s the facade they put on to get their claws in, they may shower you with gifts initially & seem great, but once they have you all of these things are debts that they will hold over your head and use use to make you feel beholden to them. This makes it even more difficult both logistically and emotionally to escape when the warning bells finally begin ringing in your ears.
A controller typically feels it’s their inherent right to spy on you, and require constant disclosure from you. They demand that you share everything with them, this is a massive violation of boundaries. They will check your phone, log into your email, track your internet history, watch your social media accounts, tell you who you can talk to, delete messages you receive or posts they don’t want you to read that hurts their narrative. This feeds into them controlling who you have contact with.
They will constantly justify this behavior with things like “If you're not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn't mind showing me." It's a HUGE violation of your privacy, hand-in-hand with the unsettling message that they have no interest in trusting you and instead want to take on a police-like presence within your relationship. Once you give them this power they will never relinquish it.
8. MAKING YOU EARN TRUST
Trust in a relationship should never have to be earned it should be automatic - you shouldn't always have to detail your whereabouts for every moment of every day, nor should your partner automatically have the right to access your email or texts or Internet search history. If trust or even civil treatment is viewed as something you need to work up to rather than the default setting of the relationship, the power dynamic in your relationship is off-kilter.
9. BELITTLING YOUR BELIEFS
Maybe it's your faith or your politics… Maybe it's cultural traditions or your view of human nature. It's great when our partners can challenge us in interesting discussions and give us new ways of looking at the world. It is not great when they make you feel small, silly, or stupid, or they consistently try to change your mind about something important to you that you believe in. Openness to new experience is wonderful—but a controlling partner doesn't see it as a two-way street, and only wants you to be and think more like they do.
10. FAMILY HISTORY
It’s important to pay attention to how the parents and grandparents of these controlling personalities act within their own relationships, a personality is formed very early on in a child's development, usually between the ages of 5 and 7, and the environment they are raised in has a huge influence on the person they become and how they themselves see the roles in the relationships around them.
If for example their father is narcissistic and disrespectful towards their mother, if they are female they will feel it’s normal for them to take on a subservient role, whilst a male will feel the opposite that it is their place to be controlling and domineering, this is also an important factor to pay attention to because the scenario you project to your own children by remaining in this sort of relationship is one that they too will grow up believing to be "normal" as it’s what they themselves were witness to whilst their own little personalities formed, this cycle needs to be broken to stop th