Most men and women long to have partners who love and care for them, help them out from time to time and inspire them to be better people. But sometimes, gently nudging your significant other out of love in an attempt to “help” can suddenly turn into something else.
One minute you think you have a loving boyfriend, the next minute he’s trying to control your every move. I’m not talking about violent or abusive men who use force to try to dominate you.
I’m talking about emotionally or mentally manipulative men who try to convince you that he’s only looking out for your best interest and who are simply overly protective of you. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss his subtle attempts to try to control you. If you can’t tell the difference between a truly genuine person who only wants the best for you and the relationship and someone who is deceptively trying to control you, look out for these warning signs.
1. HE PUTS YOU DOWN
Usually when someone is overly critical of you, it’s because they’re trying to mask their own faults or deficiencies. Does he constantly put you down when you feel beautiful? Does he nitpick everything you do, pointing out mistakes rather than telling you that you did a great job? Does he tell you he could have done it better and tries to “help” you by pointing out your flaws rather than encouraging you with praise? If so, he’s trying to make you lose your confidence to the point where you will have no choice but to look to him for approval or reassurance, therefore boosting his ego. Putting you down is his way of making himself feel bigger. If you recognize that he is always breaking you down instead of building you up, then it’s time to find a man who will encourage you to be your best self with kind words, not disparaging ones.
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2. HE TRIES TO ISOLATE YOU FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
If he gets upset when you try to spend time with your girlfriends, or is mad when you spend time with family, it’s because he wants your world to solely revolve around him. Does he think your friends are “no good” for you, or does he tell you who you can and cannot hang out with? Has he even gone so far as to choose your friends for you? If so, put the brakes on him and your relationship. Otherwise, you’ll lose touch with everyone you once considered very dear to you and you’ll find yourself completely dependent on him…which is what he wants. Healthy relationships are ones where each person is free to nurture friendships and have his or her own outside interests without feeling threatened or guilty.
3. HE TAKES OUT HIS INSECURITIES ON YOU
Most times, a man who is trying to emotionally control his girlfriend or wife is one who is insecure, needy or possessive. If he has no control over his own life or feels lost, he may try to control you in order to give himself a false sense of power or security. So if he’s lacking in his career, feels dependent in the relationship or like he isn’t worthy of your love, controlling you is his way of making himself feel more in control of something. Don’t let his insecurities dictate your relationship. You can only do so much to make a man feel validated. He has to build his self-esteem and know his worth on his own; if he doesn’t, there’s nothing you can do about it.
4. HE STALKS/SNOOPS ON YOU
Whether he’s ducking behind trees spying on you or stalking your Facebook page, a man who snoops, stalks or spies on his lady has some serious issues. Now if you’ve given him reason to not trust you, maybe you deserve to be checked up on a time or two. But if you can’t go to the store without him running up on you, he calls you 20 times a day needing to know your exact whereabouts or wants all of your passwords, you may want to put out a restraining order on this dude. There’s nothing cute or endearing about that. Relationships can’t flourish where there is mistrust or suspicion, so if he can’t trust you no matter what you do, then it’s time to move on.
5. HE’S JEALOUS
If he’s stalking you, it’s probably because he has jealousy issues. I’m not talking about the guy who gets a teensy bit covetous when he catches another man checking out his woman. I’m talking about the guy who starts a fight with you because another guy glanced your way and you didn’t even see it. Yeah, that guy. It may seem cute at first and you may even be flattered when your man shows his jealous side. But that side can quickly turn ugly, and it’s no longer cute…it’s scary. Jealousy can turn into a possessive obsession which can lead to more harmful, even deadly, behavior so keep an eye on a guy who goes into a jealous rage for your own protection and sanity.
6. HE’S NEVER WRONG
But you always are. Is he the type of guy who gets upset if you correct him, even in a playful or loving way, but will point out your mistakes until hell freezes over? Does he tell you it’s wrong to hang out with your friends instead of spending time with him even though he rocks out with the fellas every weekend? Is he a hypocrite who expects you to follow his rules but doesn’t apply those same rules to himself? Then yeah, he’s trying to run you…and it’s time for you to bounce.
7. YOU ASK FOR PERMISSION
It’s one thing to consider your partner when making decisions, but if you find that you are asking him for permission to do simple things like go shopping with your friends or have lunch with your sister, you’ve lost control and your freedom. He’s played a mind trick on you, boo, and it’s time to wake up. Most likely, your friends and family are telling you that you’re brainwashed, but you probably feel that they’re just “hating” on you because you have a man who loves you. Listen to those who have your best interest at heart and be honest with yourself. He’s not your daddy, he’s your boyfriend, and you shouldn’t have to ask another grown person what you can and cannot do.
8. HE DOESN’T CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
You got a promotion at work, yet he doesn’t congratulate you. You ran the New York City marathon, passed the bar exam or climbed a mountain, yet when you achieve something without his help, he brushes it off as insignificant or meaningless. If a man can’t celebrate the promotions, personal achievements or huge milestones in your life, then he isn’t the man for you. Your man should be proud of you, not resentful or envious.
9. YOU NO LONGER THINK FOR YOURSELF
Perhaps the biggest tell-tale sign that you’re in a controlling relationship is that you find you can no longer think for yourself. It’s one thing for him to help you make up your mind if you’re typically an indecisive person. But if you were once the type of woman who knew exactly what she wanted and now you find that he’s making all of your major decisions for you, you may need some help. Even if you try to make your own decisions and take control of your life, he tries to convince you that his way of thinking is better for you and you accept it – even when you know he’s wrong. Take a stand and stick up for yourself. His world doesn’t have to be YOUR world, his likes don’t have to be YOUR likes, and your happiness isn’t dependent on HIS happiness. Being in a relationship shouldn’t mean that you have to change who you are, especially when you’re already a complete and happy person. If you want to change, it should be because you want to, not because someone is trying to mold you into someone else.
Source: Madame Noire