Are you constantly being told what to wear, when to be home, and what to do by your partner? Are you afraid to voice your opinion to your partner? Many times people who find themselves in this type of relationship believe that their partner simply cares about them, wants the best for them, and views the controlling behavior as a way of showing them love and commitment. The truth is that people who are “controlled” by another person in a relationship usually end up being victims of verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 out of every 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Although this behavior is reported to be more prevalent in men, both men and women can find themselves being controlled by their partner which may lead to domestic violence.
There are 7 warning signs that your partner may be controlling you:
1. Feelings of Isolation: You no longer get with friends and family the way you did in the past.
2. It’s Always Your Fault: Your partner tends to blame you for their behavior.
3. Name Calling: Your partner degrades you on a regular basis and calls you names.
4. Jealousy: Your partner is excessively jealous and oftentimes accuses you of being unfaithful.
5. Your Partner makes all the Decisions: Your partner is making most or all of the decisions related to finances, holidays, events, where to live, where you can go and who you can have contact with, and how you parent your children.
6. You Can’t Disagree: You are afraid to disagree with your partner because it makes them upset when you do.
7. Violence: Your partner threatens you or has abused you in some way one time or several times.
Whether you are the one who tends to control the relationship or the one being controlled, low self image and lack of relational skills are most likely contributors to your behavior. You can get help through counseling to understand why you are engaging in these behaviors, develop a healthier self image, and learn relational skills. If you are experiencing any of these warning signs please seek help today by telling someone you know about your situation and make an appointment with a professional counselor.
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Orlando Women’s Counselor Article Written by Crystal Hollenbeck