When someone is abused, it can come in different forms. Physical and verbal are two ways that the abusive person uses to manipulate their victim. Another form of abuse that many of us do not think of is being in a relationship that is controlling.
The person who feels the need to control another is most likely someone who is extremely insecure. Maybe they have been hurt before or had their trust broken by another. They use control to make sure they can keep the other person in their life.
Control starts off very subtlety. During the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship, there may be red flags but often they are not recognized. The couple is getting to know each other and although they both try to put on their best “face” for each other, the controlling person cannot help but slip and show their controlling side.
Being that the relationship is new, it is easy to dismiss a comment made or a particular controlling action. Sometimes it will take a few weeks for the pattern to develop or to be noticed.
Before long, the abusive person can manage to completely alter their love interest’s way of living. They come between friendships and exert pressure to end rituals like girls night out. Your hobbies start to disappear from your life unless, of course, they want them to be there.
Soon they are choosing your clothing, hairstyle and even what you eat for dinner. Some people may welcome this feeling of being taken care of not realizing that they are actually being manipulated. If you do recognize this and try to speak up for yourself, you often will find yourself arguing.
The pattern of fighting, breaking up and making up again is common in a relationship where someone is trying to control the other person. You may think that you can work through your issues and find a common ground but that really is impossible. The controller is stubborn and wants their way. Their love is conditional and they will demand that you give in.
Someone whose self-esteem is low is an easy mark for a controlling person. The person with low-self esteem may play the victim and that might be what originally brings this couple together. Sometimes after a painful breakup it is easier to get into a controlling relationship because you have not given yourself time to heal. You may feel badly about a past relationship and want to try harder this time.
The controlling person will use the opportunity to make them feel guilty if they do not do as he/she wants. Although they can sometimes play the victim, they really are not. They figure out quickly how to use your weaknesses to their advantage.
The controlling will never end and only get stronger as the relationship goes on. Even with all the fighting and getting back together, there can never be a happily ever after with a controlling person. Unless someone is willing to just be totally submissive and can be happy that way, living with someone controlling you is a constant battle.
A controlling person is unable to trust anyone. Even if you reassure them, it can never seem to keep them from fearing the worst about you. Maybe they do not trust their own feelings. The truth is, they never really see you for you, they picked you because they felt they could manipulate you into who they want you to be. Any personality trait that you do have they will want to change.
Some people try couples therapy to work through their issues. With a controlling person, any promises made in therapy will not carry over into reality. Their trust issues are too deeply rooted. They willingly will go to therapy hoping that you will become more submissive and agreeable.
A controlling relationship can turn into a physically or verbally abusive relationship when it is allowed to go on. Even without the physical violence it is still abuse of your feelings. Getting out and re-examining why you found yourself with someone like this will help you to avoid repeating this kind of relationship.