14 thoughts on “The 10 Most Toxic Forms of Control in Relationships

  • June 13, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Wow…my child’s father does all of these…and standing up for urself only makes it worse. Leaving would be even worse. He would make my life a living hell even more than he already does, all for the sake of feeling like he won or that he got the last word. So for my child, I am the peacemaker…and I keep my mouth shut another day.

    • June 13, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      You articulate very well the dilemma of dealing with a controlling spouse. However, you are not powerless. Just by your example, and how you treat your child, you are offering your child a contrasting — and healthier — view of life and how to treat people. That can make a big difference over the years. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • June 13, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Just hang in there, unless he’s physically abusing to you or your child, because the kids will get most of what they need emotionally. That is a tricky and exhausting way to live but the kid(s) will move out around 18-20 right? I could take it so props to you girl 😁👍🏼👍🏼
      Good Luck! 🍀

  • June 13, 2018 at 7:55 am

    show ua a relationship in REAL life …Free of these toxic realities????

    • June 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I must respectfully disagree, however. There are many, many relationships that have few of these toxic forms of control. The point is to strive for health in your relationships and to question, set boundaries and, if necessary, leave relationships that are riddled with toxic control.

  • June 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    My husband did all of those things. Once I realized the extent of what was happening, I tried to wrest some control back. That’s when things really went wrong. His behaviors became more intense and frequent. He started threatening to kill me. He physically attacked me. Then one night he set our house on fire. I’m still struggling with the PTSD all that left me with. My advice to anyone dealing with this stuff is to stay alert, get some help, and if you’re thinking of leaving the relationship, be careful. Sometimes these things can escalate to the point where you’re in danger.

  • June 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    nicely put Dan, easily understandable. I would think like myself that most people don’t even recognize that these things are happening to them, anD walk around thinking that it is all my fault or that this is the way a relationship is in real life. I did for decades. Also what this sort of thing can make you do and really not know why, like cheat, substance abuse, and worst of all, start to be like them. Then despair, and for me finally the wakeup. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t wake up or realize what’s going on, or even when you do, the horrendous job of figuring out what to do, and implementing steps to correct your life. Being mentally and physically depleted just compounds the job.

    Let’s face it most toxic people are not aware of all of what they are doing so how can the other person be aware of what’s happening? Also we all should know that this is mostly or always the result of personality disorders and also the childhood trauma, unhealthy dependency, narcissist relationship. That would describe my situation, perfectly maybe someone else’s also.

    • June 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Bob,
      You make several important points. Toxic behavior can have various causes. Even more important, as you point out, awareness, including self-awareness, is a key first step to healthier behavior. Thank you for your comment. Dan

  • June 20, 2018 at 8:45 am

    My husband has aspergers and also many of the above listed traits, but the suggestions made for better communication don’t work for spouses with aspergers. They don’t get it. He brings out the worst in me, but I have worked very hard to get back to my true wholesome self after 36 years of marriage because I am a good person. I wish there was a way to make him understand.

    • June 27, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      yes patty! – My boyfriend has aspergers and i have NO idea how to communicate with him in a way that will give us some progress! Sometimes he’s wonderful, kind, understanding, and supportive – then suddenly everything you have read so far about a narcissist! There’s no trying to talk to him about it – i am starting the process of ‘observe don’t absorb’ now and it’s REALLY hard but really helping me get ‘myself’ back!! Any info you can give me about aspergers partners would help – even a therapist that provides hope if there is any! We went to my therapist twice and she said – ‘ i’ve never in all my years seen anything LIKE him!’

  • July 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    It’s sad how someone can just slowly pick you apart little by little you don’t even recognize yourself anymore. You stop defending yourself to be the peacemaker or to try to make them happy or maybe to absorb the negativity so your childr n don’t have to. Yet these children are watching everything the way one spouse verbally and emotionally abuses the other, while the other backs down and lets themselves be abused. Many times I told my son “this is not how you treat a woman and I would tell my daughters “don’t want vet let a man speak or treat you like this” Although things never escalated to a be physically abusive there has been so many threats involving physical abuse and that alone can be nerve wracking. And then years later your children start to develop issues. I always thought I was doing the right thing for my children but now my son who is smart and handsome and kind and loving has self esteem issues and social anxiety and other problems. And guess what? I don’t blame his father- I blame myself.

  • July 27, 2018 at 12:17 am

    My family of origin has a lot of these traits. It’s the passive aggressive behaviour of not being able to talk about things and giving others the silent treatment, the sulks and pouting, the slamming down of phones and the walking out in the middle of conversations which I find the saddest of all. These traits were passed down from parents to siblings; a mother who used the silent treatment [or hurt silence] when we did something to displease her. My father, who hated any sort of confrontation, did nothing to address this behaviour but let mum manipulate and control the rest of the family to get her own way. He would never stand up to her. Consequently, two of my siblings learned that this behaviour was ok because it was never addressed. So the pattern gets repeated.

  • September 9, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Wonderful article. So short, pithy and nails it. Sometimes very short works are the best for printing for constant reference 🙂


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