Six Early Warning Signs He is a Controlling Partner

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Published: 19th January 2010
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Abusive relationships are always devastating, and many women are surprised when they find themselves in one. Most women think it's easy to spot an abuser - is the man who constantly cuts down on and insults the woman he professes to love. The problem is, not all abusers show their true colors so obviously, so the woman is often shocked when she realizes what is going on.

There are early warning signs that a man is a potential abuser. Most of these aren't as obvious as constant insults, demanding behavior or violence, but in most cases their actions will escalate to violence over time. Ask yourself if you recognize these red flags in your relationship. If you do, it's time to get out.

1. Jealousy

If he constantly worries that other men are looking at you or are trying to hit on you, he is insecure and jealous. Is he jealous of any time you spend with your friends or family? Does he act overly possessive? As a grown woman, you don't need to constantly report to a man who claims to love you. If he is checking up on you or demands a detailed run-down of your day, he is too jealous. Questioning you about your friendships and accusing you of cheating or flirting isn't love.

2. Controlling Attitude

This ties in with the jealousy. He may try to limit your contact with your friends or expect to know your schedule when you aren't together. He may also try to isolate you from others, insisting that your friends aren't good enough for you or aren't looking out for your best interests. Don't let him get away with being the one deciding what you will or won't do. Many abusers start to control the person they are with by disguising it as concern ("I only want what's best for you, and I know what that is.") Personal decisions are yours to make, not his.

3. Pressure to Commit

If he continually asks you to commit yourself to the relationship before it is comfortable for you, take time to analyze what's really going on. If he pressures you with phrases like, "I can't live without you," or "I'll die if we can't be together," or "You're wasting my time! We have to get married now," he isn't respecting your feelings or the boundaries of the relationship. Don't give in to someone when doing so means ignoring your own needs. If the relationship is honest and healthy, he will be willing to wait until you're ready for the next step.

4. All or Nothing Attitude

There is no relationship in the world that fulfills every need for a person. If he talks a lot about wanting the two of you to be alone in the world, or acts like it is the two of you against the world, be cautious. You shouldn't be his whole world, and you will not be able to achieve perfection, which is what he wants in a lover. Don't set yourself up for failure by trying to be "everything" to him.

5. Overly Sensitive

Most of are looking for a sensitive guy, but if he's overly sensitive, he's just high maintenance. Does he get upset if you venture an opinion that's different from his own? Are his feelings hurt if you compliment someone else? If he needs constant reassurance, he may never feel loved enough to love you properly in return.

6. Uses Guilt as Leverage

Guilt has no place in a healthy relationship. If you have to work late, have already made other plans or simply don't feel up to going out, he should accept this graciously. Retorts like, "I planned the whole night around you, I can't believe you're doing this to me," are guilt weapons. Making you feel bad for things beyond your control or perfectly legitimate decisions is the precursor to punishing you for these same actions.

Guilt is also used by abusers to manipulate you into capitulation. Don't let him guilt you into sex. You can say "no" any time you want to. You don't "owe" him any intimacy, no matter how much he tries to convince you otherwise.

If you've read through these warning signs and are afraid you've fallen into a relationship with an abuser, talk to someone who can help. Getting out now is much easier than it will be once you've made a commitment to him.

Author: Cameron Keene is an Online Dating and Relationship writer for - Free Online Dating Personals for Singles.

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