How To Deal With A Manipulative And Controlling Husband

Written by Harini Natarajan , Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

A lot changes once you get married. While adjusting is a part of every relationship, there are some changes that you shouldn’t overlook or bow down to. An air of control in your husband’s nature and behavior towards you is one such change.

Have things changed a bit too much lately? Does your husband repeatedly dismiss your opinions and decisions? Are you becoming a weaker and powerless person? If these questions make you uncomfortable, it is high time you take a long, hard look at your marital dynamics.

Marriage is based on the partnership of equals, and if you feel sidelined or belittled, it is not a healthy relationship to be in. In this article, we have gathered everything to help you restore the balance if you have a controlling husband. From signs that show your husband is controlling you to ways of dealing with it, you will find it all here. Keep reading.

9 Signs Of A Controlling Husband

9 Signs Of A Controlling Husband

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Before finding a solution, it is essential to diagnose if there really is trouble in your paradise and that it is not something trivial or momentary. Here are 9 signs of a controlling husband. If your partner exhibits more than 4 such behaviors, you need to take a step soon:

  1. He Constantly Criticizes You: This is one of the most obvious signs that your husband is trying to take control over you. He criticizes you at every step. It can begin with the simplest things, like how you do your work or dress up, and eventually worsen. It will not only put you down but also break your self-confidence gradually.
  2. He Makes Your Feel Guilty: Controlling people often make you feel guilty when you do not go according to their wishes. Moreover, they will try to manipulate you into doing things they like. They will also twist words and blow any argument out of proportion so that you end up being the bad person while they pose as the victim.
  3. He Gets Jealous, A Little Too Much: There is always some level of jealousy in all relationships, but when you have a controlling husband, it can go overboard. He will read too much into your conversations with other guys. It can also end up in him spying over you by checking your phone calls, emails, and so on.
  4. He Cuts Off Your Social Relations: A controlling husband wants to weaken your spirit, and that’s why he will try to cut your communication with others and isolate you. Just like criticism, isolating you will begin slowly and get worse over time. His possessiveness and jealousy will also play a role in this, leaving you unguarded and vulnerable.
  5. He Wants To Know Everything About You: From whom you are talking to on the phone to your financial status, your controlling husband would want to know every little detail. He may even start hijacking your decisions and controlling your actions directly or indirectly.
9 Signs Of A Controlling Husband

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  1. He Threatens You: Whenever there is a fight, he may threaten to leave you or take away your kids or reveal your secrets to your family. The threats can be of any magnitude, but it is a way of extreme emotional manipulation he tries to pull over you.
  2. He Gaslights You: Gaslighting is a technique where a person tries to manipulate your thoughts, making you question yourself. It is a form of emotional abuse that is often found in controlling people. They challenge your sanity and wear you down to such a state that you start doubting yourself and feel like you have to rely on them. It sets the stage for further manipulation and control.
  3. He Ignores What You Say: If your husband wants to control you, he will ignore everything you say. Your words will fall on deaf ears, and this will again affect your self-confidence. He might even belittle you when he dismisses your opinions in front of others.
  4. His Love Comes With Conditions: A controlling husband will shower you with love as long as you give in to his conditions. For instance, if you are busy at work, he will not show you any love or affection. But as soon as you start caring for him, he can be the best husband ever. So, you will have to work harder for his love every time, and that’s not how a healthy marriage works.

Marriage to a controlling husband can be tricky to navigate. The constant criticism, manipulation, and emotional abuse impact your mental health. So, before things become worse, it is best to take steps. Head to the next section to know how you can tackle these manipulation techniques aimed at asserting dominance over you.

How To Deal With A Controlling Husband

How To Deal With A Controlling Husband

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Here are a few tips on how to cope with a controlling husband:

  1. Stay Calm: A controlling husband can be quite irritating, but you need to calm down. Be the bigger person and ask them gently about issues. It may look like you are surrendering to him, but you are just trying to blow down the fire. This reverse psychology may help you and turn things in your favor.
  2. Take Control Of Your Life: Stop feeling guilty and weak if your partner wears you down. Instead, take charge of your life and appreciate yourself. It will strengthen your confidence, and you can control things better. Try taking up a new hobby and spend time doing the things you like.
  3. Figure Out The Reason For The Behavior: Try to trace the events that led to this behavior. It could be anything – from a traumatic childhood to the death of a loved one. He may also have some mental health issues like anxiety or bipolar disorder. Once you know the reason, you may be able to help him. Remember, love can heal the deepest wounds.
  4. Keep A Strong Support System: Being alone never helps, especially when you have a controlling husband. So, keep your friends and family close to you. Make plans with them and share your troubles. Don’t let your husband isolate you.
  5. Set Boundaries: This step is helpful when your husband wants to know everything about you. Tell him about your limits and the consequences of any violation so that he understands how serious you are about the boundaries. It is time-taking yet worth it.
  6. Try Therapy: If nothing works, you can always go to a professional therapist to sort the marital issues. This way, you both will get the chance to speak your side of the story and find answers to what is causing this behavior.
  7. Ask For Help: People often hesitate to ask for help when it comes to marriage. Avoid this mistake if you have a controlling husband who torments you mentally, verbally, and physically. Do not wait for things to escalate to physical abuse. Instead, speak up and let your friends know.

When things get out of hand, and you feel unsafe and unheard in the marriage, it is time to call it quits. After all, nothing is more important than your mental health and happiness. Scroll down to know ways to exit the relationship safely.

Getting Out Of A Controlling Relationship

Getting Out Of A Controlling Relationship

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A healthy marriage is based on love, respect, and care. If you feel that your controlling husband’s behavior has jeopardized all these things and you just cannot take it anymore, it is the right time to walk out of the relationship.

You can go for a divorce. But before that, make sure you have a strong backup. Assemble your support system, think about finances, and if you have kids, think about custody as well.

Another way is to seek professional help from a lawyer or marriage counselor. They will find out the right steps for you to get out of the toxic marriage. Leaving a relationship is difficult but if it is taking the life out of you, choose yourself.

The Final Word

Every relationship has its battles, and marriage is no exception. You will also have to face the challenges with understanding, love, and empathy. But even after trying all the solutions, if all you get is a controlling human being and not a loving companion, there is no need to stay back. Seek help and be brave to start a new life.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the difference between caring and controlling?

Sometimes, people confuse controlling behavior with care. That’s why they slowly find themselves stuck with a controlling partner. So, it is important to know the difference between the two.
Here is a list of distinctions between caring and controlling behavior in various scenarios:

1. Rules
Caring: When you both create rules to make your relationship successful.
Controlling: When the rules he ‘creates’ apply only to you.

2. Meeting Friends
Caring: He offers you a ride when you go to meet your friends and even joins you at times.
Controlling: He meets his friends and family but stops you from doing the same.

3. Calls And Messages
Caring: He drops a sweet message occasionally to know how you have been doing and says he misses you.
Controlling: He calls you all day to know where you have been and who you have been with.

4. Compliments
Caring: He boasts about your career in front of his friends and family.
Controlling: He talks about your job in a condescending way.

5. Social Media
Caring: He comments on your pictures, saying how you look hot and beautiful.
Controlling: He checks your social media and controls what you post and comment.

6. Fights
Caring: There will be fights, but they don’t stay for long. Both of you end up apologizing and understanding.
Controlling: He blames you every time and makes you feel guilty.

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