The Mating Grounds

6 Warning Signs of a Controlling Partner: How to Spot the Red Flags and Take Control of Your Life

Signs of a Controlling Husband

Are you unsure whether your husband is controlling? Its easy to overlook the subtle ways in which control can manifest.

But recognizing its symptoms is the first step in overcoming a controlling relationship. Here are some key behaviors to look out for:

Diminishing Self-Esteem

Does your husband criticize your appearance, actions, or personality? This can lead to a loss of self-confidence and esteem.

Over time, you may begin to doubt yourself and become overly dependent on your partner’s approval.

Limiting Social Life

Do you feel you can’t see your friends or family members as much as you once did? A controlling husband may limit your social interactions and keep you from forming close bonds with others.

This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Keeping Tabs

Does your husband ask where youre going and who youre with when you leave the house? This behavior can make you feel as though you need to ask permission before doing anything.

It can also make you feel like you are constantly being watched.

Red Flags of

Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse

Emotional Manipulation

Does your partner use manipulation tactics to get you to do what he wants? This can be through guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or even making you feel like youre crazy.

If you are unsure whether his behavior is manipulative, trust your gut feeling.

Verbal Shredding

Does your partner verbally abuse you by calling you names, belittling you, or even yelling at you? This can wear down your self-esteem and make you feel like youre always walking on eggshells.

You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.


Does your partner use guilt to control you? This can manifest in statements such as “you don’t really love me if you don’t do what I want.” Remember, you should not feel guilty for pursuing your own desires and goals.

Wicked Ways of a Controlling Husband


A controlling husband may use manipulation to get what he wants. This can include withholding affection, financially controlling your budget, or even threatening to harm himself if you dont comply with his demands.

Remember that you are not responsible for his actions.

Charming Facade

Your partner may present a different image to the public than he does in private. He may seem loving and kind in front of others, but be controlling and abusive behind closed doors.

This can make it difficult for others to see through his facade.

Low Self-Esteem

Despite how it may seem, controlling partners often have low self-worth. By controlling their partners, they gain a sense of power and control.

Remember that you deserve to be with someone who respects and values you.

Isolation from Loved Ones

Gradual Isolation Tactics

A controlling partner may gradually limit the amount of time you spend with loved ones. This can include criticism of your friends and family, limiting visits, or even gaslighting you into believing that they dont have your best interests at heart.

The Dangers of Isolation

Isolation can be emotionally manipulative and even dangerous. Without a support system, it can be difficult to leave a controlling relationship.

If you feel threatened or unsafe, contact an abuse hotline for help. In conclusion, recognizing the signs of a controlling relationship is the first step in seeking help.

Remember that you deserve to be with a partner who respects and values you. Don’t be afraid to speak to a trusted friend, family member, or professional.

You are not alone, and help is available.

3) Love on Condition

Love is supposed to be a selfless and unconditional expression of care and affection. But sometimes, love can become conditional, and this can harm our relationships with our partners.

Conditional love occurs when our partners only show us affection or appreciation if we meet certain criteria, or engage in certain behaviors that they approve of. Here are some signs that your partner’s love is conditional.


Does your partner make you feel guilty for not meeting their expectations, or for not behaving in the way they want you to? This can make you feel like your worth is only tied to how closely you meet their expectations, which can be destructive to your self-esteem.


Does your partner fail to acknowledge or appreciate you for who you are? If they only show appreciation when you do things for them, or when you behave in certain ways, this may be a sign of conditional love.

Conditional Affection

Does your partner only show affection when they feel like you deserve it, or when you meet certain criteria? If they withhold love and affection when you do not meet their standards, this is a sign of conditional love.

Genuine Love

Genuine, unconditional love is characterized by deep care, affection, and appreciation for who your partner is, regardless of what they do or how they behave. Here are some signs that your partner may genuinely love you.


Unconditional love means loving your partner for who they are, regardless of what they do or how they behave. If your partner makes mistakes or falls short, they still deserve your love and appreciation.


A partner who loves unconditionally will be supportive of you, encouraging you to pursue your passions and dreams. They will not be threatened by your success, but will celebrate it with you.


Unconditional love involves nurturing your partner’s emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. This is not about controlling them or dictating how they should behave, but simply showing them love and care.

4) Keeping Score

Keeping score is a common behavior in many relationships. It is a way of measuring our partner’s behavior, words or actions with past incidents, which may lead to conflicts or even abuse.

Keeping score is often a sign of defensiveness, manipulation and control. Here are some signs that scorekeeping is present in your relationship.

Using Past Mistakes

Does your partner bring up past mistakes or failures when you have a disagreement? This type of scorekeeping can make you feel defensive and ashamed, rather than listening and understanding each other’s viewpoints.


Does your partner nitpick and micromanage you and every single thing you do? This type of behavior suggests that your partner is keeping tally of your mistakes and controlling your actions.

Emotional Abuse

Keeping score can also lead to emotional abuse, where your partner uses your mistakes to shame or criticize you. They may use this tactic to control or manipulate you, or to make you feel small and unheard.

Signs of Abuse

The dynamic of abuse is present when there is a constant power imbalance, verbal or emotional aggression, manipulation or control. Keeping score in a relationship can quickly escalate to abuse.

Here are some signs that you might be experiencing abuse in your relationship:

Feeling Small and Unheard

Abuse can make you feel small, insignificant and unheard. You may feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to say or do the wrong thing.

This can lead to feeling isolated, alone, and without support.

Mental Health Deterioration

Mental health deterioration can occur when you experience abuse over an extended period of time. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are common symptoms associated with long term abuse.

It is important to seek help and support to heal from the trauma of an abusive relationship. In conclusion, keeping score in a relationship and conditional love are signs that there may be a toxic dynamic present in your relationship.

It is important to be aware of these signs and to seek help and support if you feel that you are experiencing abuse. Genuine love is characterized by unconditional care and nurturing for your partner and their well-being.

Remember that you deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and unconditional love.

5) Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are a set of conditions that affect an individual’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, often leading to difficulties in relationships with others. Unfortunately, some individuals with personality disorders may engage in controlling behaviors that can lead to abusive or unhealthy relationships.

Here are some of the most common personality disorders that can lead to controlling behaviors.

Sociopathic Control

Sociopaths exhibit a lack of conscience, and they are often manipulative, dominating, and impulsive. They may use their charm and charisma to control others, and they are often unconcerned with the well-being of others.

Sociopathic control can be especially difficult to detect, as it is often masked by a charming and likable exterior.

Psychopathic Control

Psychopaths have a complete lack of remorse and guilt. They may appear to be charming and outgoing, but they are often manipulative, calculating, and self-centered.

Psychopaths are often very good at faking emotions like empathy and concern, and they may use these emotions to control others.

Narcissistic Control

Narcissists have an extreme need for attention and admiration, and they may have a fragile ego. They may exhibit grandiosity and a sense of entitlement, with an inability to empathize with others.

When their ego is threatened, they may become aggressive or accusatory. Narcissists can be very controlling in relationships, often trying to manipulate their partner’s behavior and beliefs.

6) Responding to Control

Being in a controlling relationship can be a traumatic and emotionally challenging experience. But there are ways to respond to control and regain your sense of autonomy and self-worth.

Here are some ways to respond to controlling behavior.

Breaking Away from Control

Breaking away from control is an important step in reclaiming your life. This involves spending time with loved ones who can offer support and understanding.

It also means speaking up and setting boundaries with your partner, letting them know that their behavior is not acceptable.

Speaking Up

Speaking up can be difficult, especially if you have been in a controlling relationship for a long time. But setting boundaries and communicating your needs and boundaries is essential.

This can involve saying “no” to your partner’s demands, standing up to their manipulative behavior, and communicating your needs and wants in a clear and assertive manner.

Mental Strength

Surviving a controlling relationship requires mental strength. This can mean seeking professional counseling or support from therapy groups to help you process the trauma of your experience.

Taking care of yourself through self-care activities like exercise, relaxation techniques, and healthy eating can also help you build resilience and mental strength.

The Power of Support

Having a support system is essential when dealing with control in a relationship. Seeking out healthy friendships, family relationships, and even professional support can help you navigate the difficult emotions that come with being in an abusive relationship.

These types of relationships can help you feel heard and understood, giving you the strength to overcome the control and abuse. In conclusion, understanding the personality disorders that can lead to controlling behavior is an important step in seeking help and support in a relationship.

Responding to control requires breaking away from control, speaking up, building mental strength, and having a strong support system. Remember that you are not alone, and help and support are available.

In conclusion, it is important to recognize the signs of controlling behavior in a relationship and to respond to them in a healthy and assertive way. Whether it be through recognizing the red flags of emotional abuse, breaking away from control, or seeking professional help, we should never settle for a relationship that is based on manipulation, guilt, or conditional love.

By understanding the dynamics of personality disorders and the devastating effects that they can have on our well-being, we can take the necessary steps to regain our sense of autonomy and self-worth. Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and that help and support are available if you need it.

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