The signs that your partner may be trying to control you.

controlling relationship

Have you recently been feeling that something is not quite right about your relationship? Here are the signs that your partner may be trying to control you.

Endless texts and calling you all the time.

If you are receiving endless texts and calls, your partner is probably trying to control you and keep tabs on where you are. Try and talk about it and if they are not happy about the chat, think seriously about the type of relationship you are in.

No friends

Have you noticed that your partner has no real friends; never goes out on their own with their pals. This could be a warning sign. Ask yourself what your partner has done to lose their friends. Are they not going out with friends so that when you do, they make you feel guilty. This point leads on to….

Your partner doesn’t like your friends.

Does your partner make absolutely no effort with your friends and gives you every negative comment about them they can. Did they dislike your friends from the outset of the relationship? Has your partner started to try and isolate you from your friends by warning you off or saying things such as “I don’t want to go out with you and them.. they don’t like me… did you see how they looked at me?” or “I just want to spend time alone with you. I love you so much. I don’t want to share you.”

Our guide to separation and divorce

You are always in trouble.

Are you constantly feeling like you’ve got things wrong? It can be anything from having a drink with friends on the way home from work to not loading the dishwasher. You don’t feel happy and you always feel under pressure to get things right to keep the peace. In fact, when you dig deep, you realise that in their eyes you are one big error message. So what’s the point?

my partner is controlling

You are constantly under investigation

Are you always being interrogated? Where have you been? Who did you see? What time was that? What did you eat? A controlling partner is always trying to get you to slip up so they can then tell you that you lied to them and make you feel bad. Your partner is not interested in how your day was or how you are feeling. When was the last time you fully relaxed?

Gifts or control?

Does your partner expect something back for every good turn? Do they bean-count. A healthy relationship should be give and take but if they lend you their car and then go on about it for months after or buy you a gift but built into that will be that you give something back in return. You feel like you have debts with your partner.

The bad temper

You thought your partner was strong-minded and spirited, but what that actually boils down to it aggressive behaviour. This may resonate as strong words and shouting or it may be throwing things or even direct violence against you.

The control

If you really take stock and think about it, is every situation controlled and manipulated by your partner. It can be anything from what you have for dinner to where you go on holiday. The bad temper, texts and calls and controlling who you are friends with can all play a part in your partner gaining control. Did you want to go away to stay with friends as a couple but don’t have that choice? Did you want to have steak for supper but today they are a vegetarian? Be conscious and start to see every situation with your eyes wide open. You will feel constantly criticised.


Controlling partners will be jealous and paranoid insinuating that you are cheating. You only have to speak to someone and you are “flirting”. It will be with anyone and everyone. “I saw the way you looked at the waiter – you told me you like men with dark hair – so he’s just your type” – and then they sulk or get aggressive. When you think about it, all you did was order a glass of wine.

Speak to others in a controlling relationship in The Group Hug Community Chatroom

Hot and cold

Is your partner sweet and cuddly one minute and on fire the next? You never know where you are and you dread walking into the house. What temperature will your partner be? Will they be running hot or cold? Have you done something wrong? Will you be met by a barrage of abuse or sarcastic comments. This kind of behaviour can mean that your partner is psycho!


Does your partner never show empathy for others? Narcissists only see the world through their own eyes. They are unable to feel guilt and are always right so they will never see that their behaviour is madness. They don’t say “sorry” and mean it. Sorry is just a word. They have zero feelings.


Being in a loving relationship means that you can discuss everything and anything with your partner and this includes criticism. You should be able to give and take criticism from your partner because you not only trust them implicitly but are able to digest what they have to say and take it onboard.

You no longer have an opinion

Do you find yourself just letting your partner have their own way to keep the peace? You are tired and can’t be bothered to have any choice or opinion. You have become subservient just to lead a peaceful life.

are you in a controlling relationship


Does you partner just turn up out of the blue? You have mentioned that you are going out for drinks after work and they have turned up to give you a lift home? Is it kindness or is your partner spying on you? Only you can decide.

What can you do if you think your partner may be trying to control you?

If you recognise some or all of these traits in your partner, think about the relationship as a whole. Is it what you really want? You might me in a long-term relationship or marriage or just in the early stages of dating someone.

We have experts in The Hug Directory who can advise you, from lawyers who can help with separation and divorce to coaches who can lead you to see what is really happening. You deserve to live the life YOU want. Don’t put up with anything less.

Being in a controlling relationship can cause depression, anxiety and affect your overall health and wellbeing. Contact your GP for help and advice.

Relate is also a good place to find advice and support

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Written by The Group Hug


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