12 Early Signs of a Controlling Man

If you are in a relationship with someone who is controlling, it’s time to get out. The signs of a controlling man can be difficult to spot at first, but will become more and more obvious over time. This article gives an overview of how to tell if your partner is a control freak, so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your future.

1. He’s always telling you what to do.

A controlling boyfriend won’t allow his girlfriend to have any input into the relationship. He likes to tell her what she can and cannot do, and he will become upset if you do something that goes against his wishes.

2. He wants you to change your appearance.

A controlling boyfriend doesn’t like his girlfriend’s hair color or style, or the way that she dresses. He has something to say about every detail of her appearance, and will do whatever he can to get you to change it.

3. He does not trust you.

Controllers don’t really trust anyone, so if your boyfriend is constantly checking up on you or looking through your phone and things in your room, then this is a major sign that he is controlling.

4. He tells you what to say and do around his friends/family.

A controller will tell you how to act or speak when he takes you out with his friends or family, because he wants them to think that you are not like all other women. He will expect you to dress up and look ‘nice’ when he wants to show you off.

5. He is jealous of your close friends/family members.

The controlling boyfriend will not trust you if you talk with and get along with other men, or other women for that matter. He will make sure that you spend all of your time around him, so that no one else makes a move on you.

6. He doesn’t think you can make decisions on your own.

If he is telling you what to eat, wear, say and do every minute of the day, then this is a big sign that he is controlling.

7. He gets angry when you are out with friends or family members without him.

A controller will not like it if you spend time with other people without him around. He will make sure that he comes along with you, and that he can supervise all of your interactions with other men.

8. He wants to know who your friends are and what you do while you are out with them.

Controllers don’t want their girlfriends to have any privacy, so if he is always asking about the people that you hang around with or where you went when you were out with them last night, then this is a sign that he is controlling.

9. He doesn’t let you make your own decisions.

He tells you what to do and how to act, where you can go and who your friends can be.

Controllers will do anything to make sure that their victims are as dependent on them as possible. They don’t want them having any kind of autonomy or any opportunity to think for themselves.

Observe his reactions when you defy him in order to gauge how severe his reaction will be and consider the time he may spend trying to understand what is going through your head if you don’t comply with his wishes, requests or demands.

10. He takes issue with things that really aren’t important.

One of the biggest drawbacks of being a perceptive person is that you’re quick to spot things that are wrong, whether it’s an error or someone has done something different than they usually do. This can be anything from noticing your friend isn’t wearing his glasses while he drives, to mentioning what everyone’s order was at dinner (except yours), or even going out with the guys and noticing that one of them had on two different shoes! These may seem like little things, but what is really behind it all? Jealousy. If you’re seeing everything right in front of your eyes then there isn’t much left for others to give you credit for or pay attention too. And besides this, if someone is asking more questions about what’s going on, and is more sensitive to what people are doing, it can make them feel inferior.

11. He tries to control who your friends are and how much time you spend with them.

A controlling man might try to isolate you from your friends and family. He’ll subtly (or not so subtly) suggest that they don’t care about you, or that he doesn’t like them. This creates a dynamic in which it’s just him and you against the world — a dynamic that makes it easier for him to control what you do.

12. He insists on knowing where you’re at all the time and what you’re doing.

This is especially true when you’re out of the house, but even when you are home, he wants to know what room you’re in. If he calls and you say that you’re busy doing something else and ask to call him back later, he will tell you no and demand that you come to him right then. He doesn’t like you talking to other guys, even if they are friends from way back when you met.

He wants to know your every move and insist that you justify it. For example, he may ask you why did you go here or why did you do that? He might just keep asking till he gets a satisfactory answer or otherwise the conversation becomes one sided. You will have to stop talking about what you’re doing because he has started interrogating you about your movements and may demand that you end the call so that he can go to sleep.

He doesn’t like how much time you spend with your friends or family, especially if they are male. This is another way of controlling you.


It might be hard to identify controlling and abusive boyfriends when they are in the process of controlling you, but it’s not as difficult for most women to spot them once they’ve wised up and broken things off . But why would a woman stay with an abuser? How can someone who is being tormented by her partner still love him so much that she feels she has no choice but to stick around? And what about those women who do leave these relationships only to find themselves back in the same boat time and again despite their best efforts to “get away”? This situation does not bode well for victims of abuse as attempts are made to “cure” them or get them permanently out of the way of their abusers.

The common, and largely mistaken, belief is that these women are desperate to have their abusive boyfriends like a drug addict desperately needs her fix. It’s hard to imagine wanting your partner so much that you would put yourself through months of emotional torture and physical abuse just for another shot at them.  

In the end, many people believe it must be because the victim genuinely loves or even craves their relationship with this person as much as they crave a drink or drug. The fallacy in this reasoning comes from believing that love can only come from insecurity (as if there could be no other reason to love). This is an idea perpetuated by our increasingly media-savvy culture which will go out of its way to romanticize damaged relationships everywhere.

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