12 signs you are in a controlling relationship

If you are or have been in a controlling relationship breaking the bubble is really key to regaining you and your life.⠀

  • Controlling partners can creep up on anyone.⠀ ⠀
  • A controlling partner has a vast toolbox to use to dominate.⠀ ⠀
  • You do not realise at first what is happening.
  • Sometimes the manipulation is so clever that you start to believe that you are the problem.⠀

Here are 12 signs you are in a controlling relationship

  1. CRITICISM You are criticised for even the smallest of things, they escalate this behaviour over time. It becomes a constant dynamic in your relationship.
  2. OVERT THREATS g. threatening to cut off financial support or report you to social services for some completely made up reason.
  3. KEEPING SCORE – the expectation of reciprocal gift-giving or favour. g. they may have taken you on an expensive trip but now it’s clear there is an expectation that you reciprocate.  They always expect something in return and make you feel guilty if you don’t do what they want. They keep tabs on every little favour.
  4. JEALOUSY – jealousy and false accusations – you get to the stage where you hardly dare speak to someone as you will be accused of flirting. They always want your undivided attention and become upset when you make plans with others. They quite often make negative comments about you and your friends.  They interrogate you to find out where you are going and who with.
  5. GASLIGHTING – they make you question your mind and memory – g. when you remind them of where they said they would be they’ll deny ever having said it and that it’s all in your mind. You start second-guessing yourself all the time.
  6. INABILITY TO ALLOW YOU TO GIVE YOUR POINT OF VIEW, you stop giving your point of view in an argument by agreeing when in reality you disagree.
  7. PRESSURE ON YOUR VALUES – they pressure you to act in a way that is not in line with your values. E.g.  not respecting your decision to only have one drink rather than four, asking you to lie for them on a driving offence or on a tax form.
  8. DEMEANING They demean you and your achievements, they undermine your personal pride by taking aim at your past relationships, your past education, everything and anything they possibly can.  They make you feel they did you a favour by being in a relationship with them. That you are not good enough.
  9. TIPTOE BEHAVIOUR – You start to walk on eggshells in their presence you tiptoe around them and doing things to please them so that they do not start a drama.
  10. NO RESPECT FOR YOUR ME TIME – you stop having me time as they accuse you of having time that they cannot have as they are working so hard for you.⠀ They make you feel guilty for the time you need on your own to recharge, or making you feel like you don’t love them enough when you perhaps need less time with them than they need with you.
  11. SPYING – they are always alert to who you call, talk to, and often go through your personal things when you are not there.
  12. ISOLATION – isolation from seeing your family and friends – as they demand even more attention from you, they gradually isolate you from friends and family. They’ll try to keep you all to themselves by complaining about much time you spend with certain friends or family members.


If you find yourself relating to the above signs, take a moment, to be honest with yourself about the situation and assess whether these controlling patterns have become abusive. You need to ask yourself if your partner is controlling your freedom and autonomy. Do you feel trapped, dominated, and fearful all the time?

Feeling free to be yourself is one of the most important aspects of your identity and self-worth. No romantic relationship should make you feel small or unsafe. Remember, no matter what they’ve told you, none of this is your fault and you deserve better than to live life this way. You must leave a controlling relationship as it will continue to escalate until all your boundaries disappear.  Please contact me for help.

Copyright JH DivorceCoach

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