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Are You With A Controlling Partner? 11 Signs To Look Out For

Are you in a relationship with a controlling partner? If so, this could be dangerous to your self-esteem and well- being. In fact, these could be signs or symptoms of behaviors that could escalate into violence. Here are 11 signs to be aware of:

1. He/She doesn’t feel comfortable around your friends. They act anxious, around them and  interact in a restricted and tense way.

2. He/She puts down your friends or points our negative things about them. “I am not saying they are bad, I am just concerned for you,” they may report.

3. He/She doesn’t like your relatives. Usually, they start out liking them and then start saying subtle and then more overt things about why your family members  aren’t as loving, good for you, or great as you thought.

4. He/She wants to be in charge of things. This could mean finances, decisions about your life, decisions about the kids, decisions about how you dress or act. They say this is because it is in your best interest. Hmm…

5.He/She may put you down or find ways to embarrass you or make you feel not smart or kind of ridiculous. If you protest, you are being “too sensitive” or “overemotional”.

6. He/She is extremely jealous. They may accuse you of flirting, dressing provocatively or acting provocatively with other people.

7. He/She wants to know where you are or what you are doing much of the time. If you are late, they act  paranoid.

8. He/She checks your cellphone frequently or reads your emails. They get  suspicious about harmless social media connections.

9. He/She doesn’t like you being on Facebook or having social media connections. He/she may give all kinds of reasons for this but it is really about eliminating outlets and support.

10. He/She will join organizations you belong to so he/she can be present wherever you go. He/She may want to accompany you whenever you leave the house, even to run errands.

11. They believe in the whirlwind romance. They overcourt you. In other words, the dating time/courtship time period moves really fast because they are so in love. They try to sweep you off your feet. You will  find that things move really fast from first meeting to being in an exclusive relationship.

What to do?

If your partner displays any combination of the above behaviors repeatedly, it could be a sign of them needing to have power and control over you in the relationship. What may seem  at first to be the behavior of a caring, considerate, and loving partner slowly develops into more dysfunctional actions.  Having more than a few of these characteristics could be a sign of somebody who has major insecurities. Without  professional help, this could progress into affecting your emotional and/or physical health. In addition, these partners may be  incapable of having an equal, loving, and mutually respectful relationship.

There is hope for your partner if they are willing to seek help for this or if they are willing to go to couples counseling and address their core insecurities. If they aren’t, then it may progress into violence. All domestic violence batterers use power and control of their partners as part of the abuse. Even if they aren’t or do not become physically abusive, the above 11 signs are reason enough to include yourself into the category of a potentially destructive  relationship.

Take care,

Cherilynn Veland is a therapist living in Chicago.

She also blogs about home, work, life and love at Could you take the time to kindly follow me/Cherilynn on Twitter? Connect on Facebook too? I would really appreciate the support! And don’t forget Google Plus.


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Are You With A Controlling Partner? 11 Signs To Look Out For

Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW

Cherilynn Veland, MSW, LCSW, is a counselor and coach based in Chicago. She has been helping individuals, couples and families for more than 20 years. She is author of Stop Giving It Away, a book about developing healthier relationships with yourself and others. The Stop Giving It Away movement aims to stop the detrimental level of self-sacrifice in which many women live and work. Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Award in the Women's Issues category - Stop Giving It Away.

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APA Reference
, . (2018). Are You With A Controlling Partner? 11 Signs To Look Out For. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Jan 2018
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