10 Signs Your Partner Is Manipulative And Controlling
Once you’re in a relationship with a controlling and manipulative person, it can be devastatingly difficult to escape. One of the keys to leaving a control freak is seeing their behavior for what it is.
These are 10 signs your partner is manipulative and controlling.
1. They try to isolate you.
Isolation begins subtly enough. Maybe you want to go out with your friends but they really want to have a movie night. That’s fine. Friends can wait a night, right? But the warning signs present themselves when your partner gives you the cold shoulder or tries to guilt you for doing things with friends and even family.
You may find yourself only hanging out with your friends while they’re at work or gone someplace else, or even seeing people in secret. The worst case scenario is complete isolation. This is what manipulative, controlling people do. They corrall you away from your loved ones so they’re all you’ve got.
2. They try to thwart your goals.
Once they’ve got you isolated, a controlling partner begins the process of thwarting your goals. By keeping you rooted in place, they have you just where they want you. They don’t want you moving up at work. They may not want you working at all, keeping you locked up at home handling domestic duties.
To a manipulator, seeing you make any kind of progress, even something as basic as getting into better shape or moving up at work, is a threat to their manipulation. They’ve got you where they want you already, so they’ll do anything to keep you there.
3. They don’t listen to you.
Another tactic of a controlling manipulator is choosing consciously not to listen to you. They may not respect your preferences or even just simply not listen to you during every day conversations. But if you’ve been working really hard at what they want from you, they may reward you with a kind ear and a fun conversation. The idea is to make you work for their attention. If you’re not working hard enough, you won’t get it.
4. They ridicule you in front of others.
In the off chance that they haven’t isolated you and you’re around your friends, a controlling person may choose to ridicule you and make you feel small. Again, just as with thwarting your progress, the idea is to keep you subservient and stuck in place. If they get you feeling lesser than them, and worse, if they get you thinking your friends think less of you, you’ll be less confident and less likely to venture away from your manipulator.
5. They argue to the bitter end.
Nothing sucks worse than arguing with a control freak. Their tactic to control you, and always make sure you’re wrong, is keep arguing with you until the bitter end. No matter how asinine their arguments may seem, they want you to relent, to give up, and to let it go. Manipulative partners want nothing more than to be right and to always be right.
6. They level baseless accusations.
So far, we’ve established that manipulative and controlling partners want you to be isolated, stuck in place, working hard, and feeling low. They also don’t want you to be too comfortable. Controlling partners may level baseless accusations against you, like cheating for example, in order to keep you on the defensive and always overthinking everything you do.
7. They don’t respect your preferences.
Manipulative people manipulate others so that they behave and act the way the manipulator wants them to. It should come as no shock that a hallmark of a manipulative partner is them simply not caring about your personal preferences at all. They will infrequently or possibly even never respect your wishes in any aspect of your life. If you try to push back, see item #5 on this list. They will argue with you relentlessly until you give up and agree.
8. They spy on you.
Many controlling and manipulative partners try to invade every aspect of your life, and one of the ways they do this is through spying on you. They will snoop on your private conversations on Facebook, through text, even emails. They may also demand to have full access to all of your online accounts so they can monitor your activity. They’ll claim it’s all for the sake of “transparency.” If you don’t have anything to hide, you won’t mind, right?
9. They use guilt against you.
When you begin to break out of a manipulative person’s spell, they’ll begin to use guilt and the cold shoulder as a weapon to get you back in line. This is the hardest thing to try and get past. You probably love them and want them to be happy, but their happiness has come at your expense. Stand strong.
10. They threaten you.
Maybe the scariest thing a manipulator does is leveling threats. These threats can be as simple as empty, emotional threats, or as frightening as threats of bodily harm. If you have been threatened with harm, there is no shame in calling the authorities. There are people who can help protect you. The most important thing is that you stay safe.
Breaking free of a manipulative, controlling partner can be a traumatizing and difficult experience, but knowing these signs of a manipulative partner can help you avoid getting in too deep.