Dealing With a Controlling Partner

Dealing with a Controlling Partner

Dealing with a Controlling Partner

Far too many people are dealing with a controlling partner, and this can be extremely exhausting. However, it does not necessarily mean that you need to leave. If your partner can accept that they need to change and is willing to learn how, things between you can improve. But you will definitely need to exercise a lot of patience.

Dealing with a controlling partner can involve their:

  • Shouting,
  • aggression,
  • telling you what you can and can’t do,
  • telling you who you can and can’t see,
  • controlling the finances,
  • making you feel guilty,
  • isolating you from people,
  • turning other people against you,
  • undermining your confidence,
  • keeping a score card,
  • threatening you,
  • making their love conditional,
  • making you beholden to them,
  • jealousy,
  • violating your privacy,
  • wearing you down with arguing,
  • not respecting your time or autonomy,
  • teasing you.

How to Deal with a Controlling Partner

Understand them

Firstly, do try to understand why they are so controlling. It may be because they are incredibly insecure and emotionally fragile. They might have suffered from trauma in childhood. They most probably feel threatened by a lack of control in their life. So they feel they must control everything around them including you.

Ask them questions to let them see that you are paying attention to what they are saying. This may also help them to see if they are being unreasonable.

Listen to their replies and ask them further questions to really understand their perspective. It may be that they have a valid point that they are trying to communicate to you.

Take care of yourself

Set your boundaries as clearly as you can. Nobody can do this for you, so you have to be proactive about it. You might have to introduce consequences that will kick in if your boundaries are not respected.

Be aware of your own needs. Consider what you have a right to. You have a right to choose the job you want. You do not have a right to do things that significantly impact their life, without consultation. When you are clear on your needs, state them in simple statements. Try to keep your voice free from emotion. For more information see Get Your Needs Met

Actively build up your own confidence. Do not rely on your partner to make you feel good about yourself. Set small goals and encourage yourself to achieve them. When you have achieved them congratulate yourself. Give yourself all the praise you would like to receive from your partner. You can see also

3 Things to Remember When Dealing with a Controlling Partner

It is very important to stay calm when your controlling partner is criticising you. It is hard to do, but if you can keep calm you will protect yourself from the situation escalating.

Be your own best friend and make it a priority to love yourself. You can also surround yourself with supportive friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, clergy and medical professionals.

Don’t succumb to their constant criticism. The way they are treating you says more about them than about you. Try not to take it personally. Understand that a person who is in a state of heightened emotion is neither rational nor reasonable.


Keep trying to set your boundaries, work on your communication and improve your situation. Don’t be put off if your first attempts are not working at first. You have to keep practising these new skills until they have an effect.

Don’t forget, you can ask for help. You are in the right place to get coaching to help you turn around your relationship and your life.


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I help women and men like you to love themselves and  connect with their emotionally distant partners, so that they find their happy ever after. I am a Christian but I love working with couples from other faiths too.

I live in the Caribbean with my husband. We have 4 adult children, one dog and two cats.  

Looking forward to getting to know you and helping you to fix your marriage.


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