(Closed) Controlling behaviour

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2753 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@esplanfreedom: First of all, I would definitely ask your psychologist to outline the specific actions and reasons he has that opinion because we can give you stories about our experiences, but we don’t know you or your Fiance and aren’t necessarily going to be representative.

That being said…my first love was an emotionally manipulative bastard. He would freak out if I (curiously even) asked about where he would be at night and what time he’d be home. He accused ME of being controlling and stifling him then turn around and demand to know my schedule for the forseeable future. Also, if I ever mentioned another guy’s name, he’d cut me off to ask if I told the other guy that I had a boyfriend. Um, no I was telling you a story about my lab TA. Apparently that didn’t matter. I should have just tattooed “TAKEN” on my forehead and never talk to other men. However, he never felt the need to tell people about me and went so far as to flat out ignore me if some friend girls came to his gigs. I’d get the courage and break up with him every now and then, and he always talked about missing me and needing me and how his life was falling apart and he didn’t know who else to talk to because I was his absolute best friend. The second I caved and took him back, it all started over again. *Sigh*

My ExH is passive-aggressive and withheld sex throughout our four year marriage. This is after a fun and healthy sexual relationship for four years prior. He never did tasks around the house unless explicitly requested, and even then he’d take his sweet ass time doing it. One time, I kind of exploded at him because in the time it took him to clean the bathroom (tiny btw), I cleaned the rest of our huge apartment from top to bottom AND did a load of laundry. He told me, “Well it’s because when I clean, I’m VERY thorough about it.” Oh I see. Meanwhile I guess I’m half-assing my tasks. Nice. I have depression, and it has been really bad the past few years. He had the nerve to tell me that he didn’t think I could be happy anywhere. Wow. His parents called me oversensitive because I didn’t like their shitty treatment of me, and he sided with them. 

Sorry for the novel, just came out of me as I was thinking about your question. Yes, I recognized the signs with my first love but not immediately with my ExH. Emotional abuse can be so insidious because if it’s coming from someone you love and respect, you tend to believe what they say about you. When ExH told me about the oversensitive thing, I was crushed that I was such a pathetic, thin-skinned child that couldn’t just be good at life. It wasn’t until the very end of the marriage that the realization of it all hit me like a piano. Other people didn’t notice any of it because it was mostly during our alone time. Boo.

If this resonates with you at all, please definitely talk to your psychologist about what to do and how to deal with it. Good luck and ((Hugs)).

Post # 4
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Russell's Pizza House

I agree with Future_MrsProfessor that you should ask your Psychologist to be specific. 

Each of my previous relationships have been emotionally abusive in some way. My first bf would control me to no end. Timed me when I did the grocery shopping, went to university, went for a walk. I has to have an explanation for EVERYTHING! He would take my bank card and spend all of my money and i would be taking overtime work just to pay my own bills. At times he wouldnt let me go to work becuase he thought i might meet someone else, often he would try and gain employment in my workplace to keep an eye on me. He would tell me that his friends thought he could do better than me and he agreed with them. I ended up being so depressed and feeling so useless in this relationship. I ended it when the abuse became physical.

Ex #2 slept with other women, would befriend girls online the meet them without telling them he had a girlfriend. He would lie about doing this. I think at every point of our 4 year relationship he was at least emotionally involved with another woman.

Ex #3 was an absolute headfuck of epic proportions. He cheated and when confronted he would turn everything around on me. Everything was always my fault and i just couldnt win, ever. he was an absolute compulsive liar telling people he owned multiple properties when he lived with his mother. He also tried to literally buy me offering me $200-300 per week to make sure I maintained myself to his standard – which I never excepted. I had to have my toenails painted at all times. He would also compare me to other women constantly and refused to introduce me to his friends. After I ended it with him he contacted my friends and ex’s on Facebook and told them about my sexual activities with him…. He was an absolute pig. 

After all this I spent a year in threpay with a psychologist, best thing I ever did. I am now in a wonderful, loving and healthy relationship :).

Post # 5
1606 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

If your psychologist brings this up as a topic it is pretty doubtful that they would have done so without a careful consideration. Perhaps you have said many minor things over the course of your visits that has lead them to wonder if this may be the case. They are a professional with a medical degree, making unfounded claims would only hurt their established name and could lead to them losing their credit. Asking your psychologist to back up their claim by asking for specific examples might sound a little harsh and could appear as defensive. Instead of trying to ask for lines items – try to look at the idea with an open mind.

Also, looking at the relationship to find examples of mistreatment or at your significant other for ways he hurts you or undermines your value would be very difficult for you. If you were, in fact, in one of these relationships – you are blind to them or have actively forgotten specific things that hurt or upset you. You can’t see his offenses because he has trained you not to see them – or even you have trained yourself not to notice them. If he has been doing this long he is skilled at what he does, he can probably turn his emotionally abusive behavior ‘off’ if he is in public situations (this means even you friends won’t know how things really are). If this has gone on long you have trained yourself to forget the especially mean or hurtful things he has said. You defend his bahavior to others or yourself because you feel that deep down he loves you and needs you and he ‘didn’t mean it like that’. I shy from specific examples though because women in these realtionships are waiting for the first sign that ‘my relationship is nothing like that’ based on a single specific infraction. No, maybe your sig. other doesn’t time you when you go grocery shopping but he probably does do other things that are meant to be controlling, isolative, demeaning, etc. It’s his job to make you feel like your relationship is normal because if you knew that it was abusive in any form you would have good reason to leave. And the relationship always started out *fabulously* because if he started being abusive from the beginning you wouldn’t have even gone on a third date.

Maybe it is helpful to look at yourself. Or ask your therapist to help you examine the way you respond in certain situations. Instead of looking at the realtionship or even at him – look at yourself. How did you act as a child, how did you act in other relationships, have you always been the type to accept behavior like this from other men? Usually these men seek out women who are susceptible to their control in some way. Could you possibly have something in your personality that has changed since you started dating (if you have not always been this way)? Do you feel like you defend his behavior to yourself or to others?

All in all, your therapist is a professional. Their claim cannot be completely unfounded or they would be labeled as a quack. It has probably even taken them a while before they felt comfortable enough with you to even say this, the trust in these sessions is meant to go both ways. You need them to trust that you are telling the story in the best way you know how and you need to trust them that they will only act in your best interest to help you get on the right track to feeling better again. Be open-minded and think of it from a different perspective – even if it is only for one session…go in thinking ‘maybe I am in an emotionally abusive relationship….’ and listen intently to the things this professional has to say in an accepting manner.

Post # 6
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@esplanfreedom:  yes, I have.  I couldn’t see the signs when I was in the midst of it all – or I could but denied them due to the abuse – but they were clear as day once I was on the outside.

Some things that come to mind:

-he was insanely jealous of me having male friends (yet it was okay for him to regularly contact and see his exes, and he mostly had female friends)

-compulsize liar or semi-liar.  He’d spin things to make them seem like he had somethign he didn’t.  He said he was in real estate investment – this meant he owned 2 shitty condos with his friends that he rented out.  He’d live in all these nice places but I never found out until later it was his grandfather buying them for him. He lived a lifestyle he couldn’t afford on his own (he had no job but tried to tell me he was a consultant).  His parents paid for EVERYTHING yet he’d take me out to $200+ meals multiple times a week.

-when he did something that was CLEARLY wrong (aka sexting other women, etc.) he would somehow turn it on me and make it my problem and make me feel like I was crazy for being upset and almost like I didn’t actually see the inappropriate texts and was making it all up or it wasn’t as bad as I was making it out to be.

Research GASLIGHTING. It’s probably one of the biggest signs of emotional abuse.

-Another big thing was his cat-n-mouse game.  He’d dump me, then literally hours later want me back, when I said NO he’d beg and beg, tell me all the things I wanted to hearr (I want to marry you, even though while we were dating he said he wouldn’t want to get married for years if ever).  Once I took him back, things would go back to being awful again, he’d be unhappy, break up with me and start the cycle over.  He loved the chsae and once he had me he was bored. 

-Lastly was I’d find myself lying for and about him to family and friends.  I would keep things from them that he did and would tell them we were happy and great when we weren’t.


Good luck and be carefeul. These types of relationships are very damaging and very hard to get out of. 

Post # 7
1069 posts
Bumble bee

My ex was but I didn’t really realise it until after I decided to leave.

If I went out without him he would sulk because I was “leaving him” and he had a set of rules for me… I couldn’t go out of the house in gym clothes, I had to have my hair/nails/makeup done at all times, he wouldn’t want me to do something to make him look bad. He didn’t like me having male friends, but he didn’t like me having female friends either. Anything that would take me away from him wasn’t good. He also put me on a pedestal and would let me get away with anything, not good!! I was always lying to my family and friends because of him… always making excuses for why he was being a certain way or why I couldn’t do something with them. He would stifle me without me even knowing what he was doing. Now that I’m no longer with him I feel more free and I’m so happy to just be me.

I don’t really have much advice since for me the only thing that helped was leaving him. I do think it would be good for you to examine this further with your therapist and see exactly where they are coming from and why they feel this way. Maybe look into yourself and see why you allow this behaviour and what can be done to curb it in the future. Also, therapy for your fiance and probably couples therapy might help. You want to make sure you get a handle on this before it gets even worse. Good luck!

Post # 8
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I don’t have any advice because I’ve never been in a controlling / abusive relationship, but I will say that all studies and anecdotes I’ve ever read show that people do not change.  A man will start off as a little controlling or demeaning, and it usually escalates into emotionally, verbally, and/or physically abusive behavior.  Basically, if your Fiance doesn’t obviously trust you, respect you, and worship you – that’s not true love.  Good luck, sweets  xoxox

Post # 9
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with other PPs about asking your psychologist for specifics.  If you didn’t know about Darling Husband and I, most people would think that he is controlling.  He is very much type a personality; and, I’m content being a type b.  People aren’t aware that Darling Husband is very doting and goofy with me.

The signs I ignored with my first ex-bf was that he did things under the guise that he was “taking care” of me.  He would suggest I wear certain clothes and buy me clothes to wear.  At first, it wasn’t a big deal because I thought it was sweet but I learned that he didn’t want me to look pretty because he didn’t want guys to look at me.  He would give his opinion on who I can hang out with or not hang out with.  And, I could not make a single decision without consulting him.  The relationship never progressed to physical abuse so in my mind, I thought it was regular quirks of being in a relationship.  It wasn’t.

Emotional abuse is really hard to pick-up.  I think that you’ll have to pay attention to your own feelings.  Being unhappy in a relationship is good enough reason to leave. 

Post # 10
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yes, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with an ex for ten months.  I literally didn’t know what emotional abuse was (or that such a type of abuse even existed) before I met him but I started doing research on abuse in general (because I knew that SOMETHING was not right even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on it) and now I can look back on it and identify all of his manipulative and abusive behavior towards me.  However, I’m not going to list them here, because as Future MrsProfessor said, I don’t know the specifics of your situation, my story may not be a very good representation of what your psychologist was talking about when he/she warned you that your fiance is abusive, and I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that your psychogist’s assessment of your fiance may be mistaken if his behaviors don’t match up perfectly with my ex’s.

The best advice I can give you is to do what I did and research emotional abuse for yourself.  There are countless websites on the subject, and when you find lists of symptoms/warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, you can compare them to the things your fiance does and the way he makes you feel.  Just take care to note that he may do some or even most of those things but not necessarily ALL of them because that’s how it was with my ex.  Chances are that the relationship is abusive if it fits most of that criteria, but you’ve already been told that it is so by a trained professional.  Therefore, PLEASE listen to your psychogist because he/she is in a much better position than any of us to be able to tell you that you ARE in an abusive relationship, and that, my dear, is your cue to get the heck outta dodge!  Run as fast and as far away from this man as you possibly can!  I seriously hope that you get out of this relationship before it gets any worse and before you get any more hurt than you already have been because the one thing I will tell you is that these types of relationships ALWAYS get worse and they’re dangerous.

Post # 13
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Yes. and it has affected me beyond belief. Before this, 2 year realtionship  with “Paul” and then another 2 years after of us sleeping together… I’m damaged.

I’m in a healthy relationship now, and getting married but still i am damaged from this abusive relationship. Before i was confident, and outgoing, fun, loving. Now I’m super sensitive, I cry at the drop of a dime, i have anxiety, depression. I have a therapist and a psychiatrist.


okay so the signs… (which i didnt see until after i left the relationship)

1. Withholding sex… when he was mad at me which seemed to be all of the time, he refused to be affectionate. Yet there were times he would have sex with me ( but he was apparently mad for some reason) wouldnt kiss me, or talk to me after we had sex… so i would just feel used. crying myself to sleep

2. The obvious… such as call me cunt, or bitch etc.

3. Make me believe that I was “crazy”

4. Make me believe that everything was my fault in the relationship

5. Disregard my feelings… always

6. Ridicule me, make jokes about my weight (at the time i weighed 135 and was 5’6) then tell me it was a joke or that I had no sense of humor.

7. he would tell me I’m TOO sensitive when he was just an asshole.

8. twist my words…

9. left me in the middle of the woods at night for 20 minutes ( we were ridding an ATV)

10. drive like an asshole when mad, scaring me.

11. I began doubting my memory. wondering if I was somehow crazy and to blame, i would often take blame for it.



hope this helps.

Post # 14
33 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

Yes, I have been in an abusive relationship…both physical and emotional. I agree with some of the PP about the term ‘gaslighting’…you should definitely look it up. There were definitely some signs early in our 4 year relationship, but I either didn’t see them or didn’t want to. 

-Always calling/texting me wanting to know where I was/who I was with.

-When I did go out with friends or even a vacation he constantly called me, and when I would say I didn’t have time to talk for the 50th time because I was busy, he would threaten to go do something stupid like get wasted and drive,etc.

-Would always accuse ME of cheating or talking to other guys, when in reality I think it was him doing those things, though I never caught him.

-Always blamed me for everything in the relationship…no matter how big or small, it always got turned around on me.

-Always told me I was crazy.

-Found ways to keep me from my friends and family, whether it was threatening me , or threatening to hurt them in some way

-If we got in an argument in the car, he would drive like a psycho to scare me.


All of these are just the signs LEADING UP to the physical and emotional abuse. All of this coupled with name calling, belittling, telling me I couldn’t do anything right, to hitting, pushing, shoving, you name it. Just be wary of the signs and go with your gut. If you feel it isn’t right, then it isn’t. Don’t try and talk yourself into staying in a relationship for any reason. You shouldn’t have to. Hope this was helpful in some way.

Post # 15
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1999

I am divorcing my controlling husband.  I would highly recommend leaving relationships where you feel controlled, as it will only worsen over time.  These self-righteous bastards will end up breaking you, as they make you believe you’re the one with the problem, etc.  

A few of the signs:

* Locking my rings in his safe when I wasn’t his “ideal” wife.

* Using his body to intimidate me, although he said he would never hurt me. 

*Always making me feel badly about the debt I brought into our marriage.  

* 3 day arguments over me moving his tea maker without asking permission.

* Always telling me I was wrong in any disagreement.  

* Cursing me out in the middle of a line at Disney World because I wasn’t being a good “listener” after hearing him complain about his family for hours.  

*Chasing me down when I would ask for space during an argument.  

* Giving me ultimatums, even when I had moved out.  He gave me a date as to when he needed an answer as to whether or not I’d stay in our marriage.  

*Calling people on my phone bill and acting as if he was from the census bureau because he thought I was cheating on him.  

*Convincing his family that I was the one who was not giving it my all in our marriage.  Then, got his brother involved during the divorce process…threatening me, telling me I needed to give back the rings.  

etc. etc. etc. 

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