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Early Signs Of A Controlling Man – 20 Signs To Look Out For

Early Signs Of A Controlling Man – 20 Signs To Look Out For

Sometimes, you can end up in an unhealthy relationship with a controlling man, and not even notice the signs. You would be thinking we need to be more loyal, or maybe you are overreacting. basically all these are as a result of his insecurities and him not having a proper reign on them. Don’t get it twisted though, we all have our insecurities

Has your man been manipulative; making you do things you don’t want to? Isolating you from family and friends? Does he never apologise but always point out your wrongdoings? My dear, these are early signs of a controlling man

Controlling men would show you affection but he will get mad when you don’t do the same to him immediately. He might not always be harsh; he could be that lovely man that wants everything to go his way.


20 Early signs of a controlling man 

1. Thinks he is always right 

You have been dating a man for a while, you have admired him for his confidence, and the way he pushed you to do things. But recently, you have noticed he is overconfident; he thinks everything he does is always right. 

He does not allow you to do anything your way or let decisions be in your favor. Your man might already be showing some early signs of a controlling man. Controlling men always want to be right.

2. Tries to isolate you from others 

This man would tell you that your family and friends are not wishing you well, making you feel like he is the one you have to always run to for support.  That’s because he is possessive and he wants you all to himself. 

3. Gaslight you 

This man would make you question your reality. He would lie to you with proof, making you think what you believe it’s wrong. They never accept his wrongs, would rather push them on you. He would tell you he loves you so much, but you would see him doing the opposite. This will start to make you doubt yourself; like maybe he truly loves me, I am just the one overreacting. If I worked on myself, he would love me more.

4. Mood swings 

This moment he is that sweet man that made you fall in love, at the other moment he becomes the monster you don’t want to come close to. He used this to indirectly control you. You would now be living on eggshells; watching your steps every time for fear of stepping on his toes.

If your man does this to you,  then he is already showing some early signs of a controlling man.

5. Jealousy 

Is he always monitoring your every move? Always thinks you are having an affair with every male friend of yours? Then he is showing some early signs of a controlling man. 

Well, don’t get me wrong. Jealousy can mean a man loves you so much. But when it’s too much, it turns into possessiveness, particularly when he does not let you keep male friends, but he sees nothing wrong in him keeping female friends.

6. Always apologising 

This man would, directly and indirectly, make you apologize every time, whether you are wrong or not. Controlling and manipulating you into believing you are wrong when you are right. Even when you don’t feel wrong, the fact that you know he is never going to apologize makes you just say you are sorry to keep the peace in your relationship.

7. Creates unnecessary drama 

An angry controlling man

A controlling partner would always look for ways to create a scene. Even when something good happened to you, he would look to ruin your happiness.

He will try to look for ways to get upset about something and make you apologize.

8. Disrespect your needs 

He wants things to go his way. This makes you start thinking in that direction too. You would start undermining your own needs, to put him first.

9. Never accepts his wrongs 

Have you had an issue with your man, and you are sure that he was the one at fault? But instead of him accepting that he is wrong, would he rather turn it against you? Then your man is already showing some early signs of a controlling man.

10. Keeps scores 

A controlling man would keep a score of everything he has done for you. Any little chance he gets, he is going to remind you of all the efforts he puts into the relationship, and everything he has done. Even if you just did something equivalent to laying your life for him, he is going to always think and remind you that he is making or putting in more effort than you.

11. His love is conditional 

He would be the kind of man that would only show you love, when you do something for him, or when he wants something from you. The are always emotionally unavailable and will only turn up for you when they need something.

12. Sex is one-sided 

If your man is controlling, is going to show it in bed too. He would want you to always do it his way. When you make love,  it is not about your satisfaction, it’s always about what he wants, and how he wants it. When he thinks you don’t satisfy him, he would threaten you with getting it from someone else.

13.  He does respect your privacy 

Transparency in a relationship is good. But when your partner decides to see stuff like how you spend your money and even all your text messages, then he might be controlling you. A controlling partner might even go as far as telling you how you should spend your own money. He will constantly snoop on you, he wants to know who you are texting, and who you are talking to on the phone.

15. Guilt-tripping 

A guy that truly loves you and doesn’t want to control you, would not want to make you feel bad for too long. Even when you hurt him, he might act like it is not a big deal. But controlling men are master guilt trippers. He would take advantage of your mistakes, and start to make you feel bad for them. So that you would be looking for ways to please him, then he can fully take advantage of you.

16. For him abuse is love to him

He thinks the way is treating you is because he loves you. He would tell you he is the one that loves you the most. If you have any close friends or family, he will turn you against all of them. And the fact that he has manipulated you, makes him your only source for solace. 

Even if he abuses you, he is still the only one that you are now close to. So when he is back with fake love, you have no options but to accept it. This is one reason why abusive men isolate their partners.

17. Says you are never good enough 

This kind of man would always have something negative to say about how you look, or what you do. Even when you think you have done something good, like doing the laundry, he is going to make snide comments about it. Like, “why didn’t you pack the clothes properly?”

18. You are always down

This is something, living or being in a relationship with a controlling man, would do to you. The fact that he is always nagging and always brings up unnecessary drama, would start to wear you down. This will affect your mind, and might even make you depressed.

19. Your goals are unimportant 

He would not let you do anything, except he approves of it. And the fact that he does not want you to be better than him is going to undermine your goals. Even when you are working towards something, he is going to talk you out of it, making you see reasons why that career, or achievement would not be beneficial to your relationship. 

I had a friend that used to be in a controlling relationship, who shared her own story. She is a guitarist and was engaged to be married to this guy (control freak). But the fact that she is becoming a very famous YouTube star, this started to intimidate him. So he gave the option to quit being a guitarist, or he is going to call off the wedding. 

My friend talked to us about it and we advised her to call the wedding off herself and she did. Now she is happily married to a music professor who let her pursue her career. A controlling man does not want you to be greater than him, that is why they stop you from chasing your goals.

20. Makes himself look good to others 

This is one of his best skills, he does this so that, even when you talk to people about his behaviour, no one is going to believe you. He makes himself look like a saint to everyone, and I am sure, that was the exact way, he drew you to himself.

8 reasons why some men are controlling 

1. Low self-esteem 

Often they don’t think they are good enough for anyone. So controlling you is a way for them to feel good about themselves. They feel less of themselves so they do that, to feel superior.

2. Insecurities 

The fear of being controlled by anyone can also make a man start to act controlling.

3. Traumatic past experiences 

Maybe they had a difficult childhood. People who had controlling parents, tend to grow up and become that way. They feel that controlling others is the right thing to do.

4. Personality disorder 

Long-term mental health conditions can also contribute to a person becoming controlling. People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), always want to be seen as superior; this and their lack of empathy, makes them controlling in a relationship. People with borderline personality disorder(BPD), fear abandonment and rejection. So they would control you, to avoid it.

5. Anxiety disorder 

The fear of things going wrong can lead to someone becoming controlling. They want to be in charge because they don’t trust others would do it well. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental health condition, in which people have repeated thoughts, and compulsive behaviors. This disorder makes them want things to be the way it is in their mind. So, if your partner has OCD it might make him controlling.

6. Need to feel in control

Some people just want to be in control. Maybe because they were neglected in the past or were controlled, they fear for that to happen again. So they want to be in control. Some disorders like the ones stated above can also cause people to want to be in control.

7. Learned behaviour 

Maybe his friends do it to their partners, and to them, that’s the way to keep your relationship in check.  Or maybe he saw his dad controlling his mom, and thought that’s the way a marriage should be. This can be why he has this behavior.

8. Ego and pride

So men just chose to be in control, because of their pride. For these types of men, a man should have an upper hand over a woman in a relationship.

How to deal with a controlling man

1. Talk with your partner

Some people could have controlling behavior, without them knowing about it. This is why if you feel your partner is controlling, you should talk to him about it. Explain to him with examples.

He might argue and try to react with anger, you have to keep your cool. Something from his past might have prompted his present behaviour. You can then look for ways to help him stop being controlling. If he is willing to change, a good counsellor might be able to help.

2. Seek help 

A good counselor or mental health professional, can be able to help your partner and also save your relationship.

3. Don’t ignore it when it occurs

Always point it out when you notice he is becoming controlling but don’t do it in anger. If you see that he is trying to change, you should give him positive remarks.

4. Set boundaries 

Setting boundaries would help you protect yourself. If he is the type that would not give you any privacy, you can start from there. Tell him which part of your life, you need him not to intrude.

5. Rebuild your support group

You should speak out about it. He might have succeeded in separating you from close friends and family, so rebuilding a support group would help you get someone you can trust, would listen to you, and still be able to talk to him.

6. Leave, when you feel so

If you feel he is not improving and does not even want to, you can make plans to live. If he is someone you are married to, get an attorney and get a divorce.

How to put my controlling relationship behind me

1. Accept the truth 

You have to tell yourself the truth. It hurts to be in a toxic relationship. Your partner controlling you affects your mental health if you remind yourself how hurtful it is you can be able to move on from it. Tell yourself you deserve better.

2. Seek help

Seeking professional help or from friends might be able to help you. Because being with a controlling partner makes you feel you can’t do without them. They have made you look up to them for a lot of things, even making decisions. So it’s going to be hard for you. You have to be ready for the challenge

3. Work on rebuilding yourself

Focus on something that can help you as a distraction and help to regain your confidence. Getting better should be your utmost focus in every area of your life. Do it for you and not for your toxic partner. This is medicine itself – development.

4. Feel yourself with positives and try to move on

Go out with friends and try to find someone new, don’t jump into a relationship because you are lonely, try to work on getting over your past relationship, and carefully find someone who truly loves you. Trusting someone new would be difficult. You have to go through the process. You need to give yourself enough time to heal. 

8 effects of a controlling man in your relationship

1. Depression 

Being in a controlling relationship can slowly lead you to depression. Especially when your partner is the type that constantly talks you down. This will make you sad, lose interest in everything, and wear you down to a nub.

2. Loss of self-esteem

This type of relationship would make you feel that you are good for nothing. The fact that you can always tell you are not good enough, or can’t do anything well affects your mental health and makes you start to think in that direction of not being good enough.

3. Lost of trust 

It will kill your trust in people. Even when you succeed to leave the relationship, you would find it hard to get into another relationship again. Because you would feel they would treat you the same way as your ex.

4. Fear

Sometimes a controlling man uses fear as his tool. He would make you fear leaving because you don’t want him to harm you or kid(s), if you have.

5. Anxiety 

Not knowing what to do, not to get on his nerves, gives you tense feelings when you are around him. 

6. Feeling smothered 

He is manipulative, clingy, jealous, and gives you no form of privacy. This makes you start to feel like you are being suffocated.

7. Self-doubt 

You don’t trust your own decisions anymore; this affects you even at work. Your partner would make you look up to him for final decisions. When you do anything you begin to doubt yourself because he makes you constantly seek his validation.

8 signs of a healthy relationship

1. Boundaries are respected

That’s one way you can know your relationship is healthy. When you respect each other’s space and privacy.

2. Respect and support each other goals 

Couples are supposed to always be there for each. So if your romantic part does not help you achieve your goals, that tells you that your relationship might be in a toxic relationship.

3. You don’t undermine each other values or decisions 

If you know what your spouse does not like, you are supposed to respect it. This is how to know a healthy relationship. Values are respected.

4. Trust each other

No relationship can function well without trust. When there is no trust, you two would always find something to argue about. One might always think the other is cheating.

5. You feel appreciated 

You are supposed to feel your best around your partner. If your relationship makes you feel like you are not enough, that’s not healthy. Your partner is supposed to always be proud of you.

6. Not afraid to voice your opinion 

You should be able to say what you feel. A healthy relationship gives room for you to voice out your opinion, and also to be heard.

7. You resolve conflicts amicably

When there is an issue, healthy couples make the same effort to sort it out. No blaming the other. Anyone at fault accepts their wrongs and apologizes.

8. It does not wear you down 

This is one thing that makes you know that you are in a healthy relationship. You are always happy when you are around your partner and when you think about them. If your partner’s presence makes you depressed or moody, then that relationship must be toxic 

9. You have your own life

In a healthy relationship, you keep your friends and go out if you wish. You have privacy and you can chase your own goals. 

8 signs of true love against a controlling man

1. They listen to you

A man who truly loves you, would not just only allow you to speak your mind, he would also listen to you. For instance, you just suggested something about his attitude, he is going to look into it and not undermine it. He will also come to you for advice.

2. Unconditional 

This is one thing that truly defines love. A man’s love is supposed to be unconditional, not the type that would be based on terms and conditions. Like, “If you had lost a little fat, I would have loved you so much.”

3. Support you goals

He allows you to chase your own goal and gives you the appropriate support through it.

4. Easy communication 

Communication comes without being forced. You don’t have to ask for it because both of you, what’s to talk to each other.

5. Trusts you

A man who truly loves you would trust you and will see no need to track your every move.

6. Make decisions together 

Decision-making is not one-sided. Your man allows you to have your view when it comes to decisions that involve the both of you.

7. No form of abuse 

There is no form of abuse whether emotional verbal or physical, he would not want to say anything that would break you down.

8. Freedom

You are free to have your life, go out, and see your friends. A controlling man would never allow this. He would rather isolate you from everyone you know.

Pros of being with a controlling man

1. Don’t shy away from hard work

A controlling man wants to control everything and they want everything to be so that requires a lot of hard work. In a relationship, someone who is willing to make all the effort is needed sometimes. They are always going to make sure things are in order.

2. They have the desire to lead 

A relationship needs someone to take charge sometimes and this is one thing a controlling man is naturally good at.

3. Focused and easy decision making

They know what they want and they know how they want it. Tough decisions are always going to be going their way; they are not confused or indecisive.

Can a controlling man change?

Though it’s possible, it is very difficult for a controlling man to change. His behavior might have developed over time and it’s going to take a very long time for him to start to see life as normal.

Is a controlling man a narcissist? 

A controlling man is usually a narcissist that would make you feel special just to control you. 

8 traits of a narcissist 

1. Lacks empathy

This kind of man is unsympathetic; he does not care what you feel. He does not understand, can not put himself in your shows, he is insensitive and uncompassionate.

2. Think highly of themselves 

He thinks he is superior, this is why you would notice that he would be treating you as a child. 

3. Always pick on you

They are quick to find fault in others but not themselves. And they are unforgiving. When you make a little mistake, he will make a big deal out of it.

4. Selfish

He only thinks of himself and would have you do things that only profit him. All his thoughts are basically about him 

5. Never apologise 

He thinks he is always right; this is why even when you point out his wrongs, he might never apologize to you

6. Gaslight you

He is going to put you in a state, where you don’t know what to believe. Today he is loving you and tomorrow he hates you. He is going to make you think it’s all your fault, that he is treating you badly. And gradually you would start to believe it.

7. Charming 

This is the one-way narcissist gets you to fall in love with them, and also stay with them. They are loving and charming. When they want something, they will give you so much love, and make you feel like they are the only one, that can ever love you

8. Isolation 

They are going to stop you from seeing your friends and family, saying they do not wish you well. They don’t want you to have a life outside being in a relationship with them. 

Ways to stand up for yourself with controlling guys

One thing you should know about controlling men is when they see you are finding yourself, they will give you all the love again and start acting like they are going to change. This is just a method to hold you back, please don’t fall for it.

Don’t ever overlook their behaviour. When he does something you don’t like, speak out and point it out, and don’t let him ever completely kill your confidence. If you let him, it’s going to be difficult for you to leave or stand up for yourself. 

If your partner is showing most of the signs listed above, then it is certain you are in a relationship with a controlling man. It would be better for you to leave as early as you can before your self-esteem is destroyed. At that time, you will become nothing but just a tool to him.

You deserve someone that respects and treats you well, don’t make excuses for his behaviour, leave as early as you can.

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