No one has the right or can control your thoughts, emotions or actions, except you let them.
Although getting into a relationship requires willingly surrendering some of your will-power to your partner. But a healthy relationship should be borne out of mutual love, respect, trust and an equal power sharing split. When the power of decision making becomes unbalanced or tilted in favour of one partner, it becomes necessary for the other to take back control of his or her own half of the relationship.
While taking control of your relationship is good, being a control freak on the other hand can be very toxic and capable of harming your relationship. A controlling partner seeks to emotionally manipulate their significant other. They employ a whole lot of different tactics to exert control. The most extreme may include, issuing threats, physical abuse and setting preconditions or some reward for submissiveness. Others employ other more complex emotional tactics to exert control such that the victim may even find it hard to decipher who is the actual villain. They feel their partner is only doing them a favour by being controlling or it’s because they must have done something wrong to deserve such treatment. A controlling person may pretend to have the best of your interest at heart – which is far from the truth.
Anyone can either be a victim of a controlling partner or exhibit traits of a person who is controlling – sometimes even without they themselves being aware. There is no peculiar, age, sex, gender orientation or social class that plays more of a particular role.
How to recognize a controlling and manipulative partner
When we most of the times visualize a controlling partner, we see a domineering personality, a bully and antagonist, someone who intimidates, is overbearing and has utmost rascality. These are only but some of the attributes of a controlling partner. There are many more tactics controlling people use. They can be so emotionally manipulative that the person being controlled may actually start feeling he is the one at fault.
Controlling people are usually chronic critics, attach a precondition to everything juicy, they try to make you feel guilty and are usually self-absorbed.
How to take back control of your relationship without being controlling
Your partner’s domineering nature may have made you become submissive – to avoid fights. It’s more difficult trying to change your partner’s peculiar nature than it is for you to take responsibility of our own behaviour.
1. Carefully evaluate every situation, take control of your reactions
Stop being so quick to react to your partner’s attitude and start exuding more patience, love and try to better understand what they actually mean.
For example, a lady returning home after an exhausting day meets her husband lying helplessly on the couch watching TV. He greets her with “honey, oh thank god you are back, I was so damn hungry”. She perceives his statement as an additional nag to the physical and mental pressures she had been enduring all through the day. So instead of being patient enough to understand what he really means, she rather reactively snaps at him “please don’t honey me, you have been lying there all day doing nothing and you expect me to come feed you?” But he actually meant he had been waiting for her to come home so they can have dinner together. Sometimes, what you perceive about someone is very different from what they actually intended.
2. Believe in yourself
He may try to manipulate you to feel that you are not capable of making any good decisions on your own. This is one very common tactic controlling people use. But think about it, before you met them, you made good decisions on your own that resulted to good outcomes. Prior to your current relationship, you were doing just fine. So why now?
It’s OK to think that your decisions may be flawed but your self-confidence will increase in time to be just like old times.
3. Liberate your mind, Express yourself
You may have been trapped in a abusive relationship for quite long you are used to cowering so as not to see the other side of him. It seems like the best option to stay safe is to be submissive. But the more you keep silent, the more a controlling person will perfect at his act of being controlling. Learn to think outside the box. Try to see every situation from multiple perspectives and if you feel your partner is not making the right judgement, tell them what you think. They may not accept to your face that they agree to your point of argument but deep down, you have succeeded in cutting off some few wings.
4. Be independent
If you want your partner to respect you, then you need to set your boundaries. Be who you are, do your hobbies, keep your friends, have your personal investments and do your own stuffs. It would not be long before a controlling partner will sense that you are very much capable of living perfectly without him. And when they do, it scares them that they may lose you someday. This leaves them with no other option but to start according you the respect you deserve.
5. Make yourself busy/unavailable
At the start of a relationship, we all enjoy giving our partner all the attention they need. We make ourselves too available. But sometimes, being too available is what makes your partner to start taking you for granted. Scarcity portrays value. Creating a pattern of absence and presence will invigorate your romance thereby making your relationship more intriguing. You can accomplish this by taking a break, travelling out of town, engaging in sporting activities or putting some more hours on your job.