Written by Shenise Gatson
A man grabs his phone and logs into his facebook account. A light bulb goes off in his mind. He shakes his head, realizing that his wife has been controlling both his and her account.
A woman is digging through boxes in her closet. She is spring cleaning. As she moves a box, a picture falls to the floor. She realizes that it is an old family photograph. She cannot remember the last time she has seen her own family. Her boyfriend gets angry anytime she mentions going to spend time with anyone other than him.
In the middle of a heated argument with her husband, a wife retreats to another room in the house to escape his anger. She is tired of fighting. She decides to call a friend just to vent. Her husband opens the door and snatches her cell phone away. “I pay the bills in this house! I paid for this cell phone! You’re not going to call anyone until I say it’s okay!”
When you are in love, it is easy to miss the signs.
When you first meet someone, you go through the puppy love phase.
You enjoy the good morning messages, late night conversations, dinner dates, cuddling during movies, sharing hopes and dreams, as well as the physical attraction. You enjoy the adventure and excitement of getting to know someone new. As the days go on, some couples continue to enjoy these special moments in their relationship.
Yet, there are some relationships where the sunny skies subtly turn dark.
It gets deeper. Stay with me.
There are many individuals in today’s society who struggle with a controlling partner. Sometimes a person is so in love that they cannot recognize that their partner is controlling them. In fact, they have come to view it as normal or even defend their partner’s behavior as, “that’s just who they are”. If you are ever unsure, below are 5 signs of a controlling person. There are many signs out there, but these are just a few. Remember this acronym….
Your partner could be controlling if they:
#1 – SEPARATE you from friends and family
If you partner consistently tries to keep you from spending time with your friends or family, this may be a sign that they are trying to control you. It is okay for a partner to want to be around you all the time, but if they never want you to go and spend time with other people, it can be problematic. Often times, this process of isolating you from family and friends may be subtle, meaning you do not notice it until you look up one day and realize you do not even have a relationship with other people anymore.
#2 – TRACK your phone, social media, or email
If your partner constantly needs access, passwords, log in information to your phone, social media, or emails, this could be a sign of control. This is not to be confused with a woman who checks her man’s phone once or peers at his messages to gain evidence of cheating. That is slightly different. I am referring to individuals who may be asking for constant access, constant monitoring, or going to the extreme (i.e. responding as their partner on social media, creating profiles or posts as their partner, constantly monitoring their partner’s every move, etc).
Listen….I will be honest. I, myself, have even been guilty of peering at my man’s phone in the past. During the dating phase, I was always nervous about getting hurt and I was still getting to know my husband, so I did some snooping. To to this day, my husband knows I did this and it is in the past. We have had open communication about it. To this day, I have had no reason to check his phone, peer into his facebook messages, or check his email. Trust and communication are important in any relationship.
#3 – USE anger to get his/her way
If you live in constant worry of going against your partner for fear that they will get upset or punish you in some way, this may be a sign that you are in a relationship with a controlling person. In the example at the beginning of this article, a husband took away his wife’s phone because he claimed that he was the breadwinner and purchased the phone, therefore he felt that he could control who his wife communicated with by taking the phone away. Often times, a controlling person uses their anger to get you to do what they want you to do. You should never have to live in constant worry or fear of your partner’s anger.
#4 – CONTROL all decision-making in the home
If your partner feels the need to control every decision in the home without your input, advice or opinion, you might be dealing with a controlling person. Now, I do not want this point to be misunderstood. Some couples have a mutual understanding of who makes certain decisions in the home. If a couple agrees on which aspects of the home each person resides over, then that is absolutely okay. I am just referring to a person who is unwilling to consider their partner’s point-of-view or stance on a decision. You should always be willing to hear how your partner feels on a topic or issue.
#5 – KEEP you all to his/her self
If you partner wants to keep you all to his/her self and does not want you to interact with anyone else (i.e. does not want you to hang out with co-workers at lunch, refuses to let you go out with friends, demands to go with you everywhere), then you may be dealing with a controlling person. I once watched a reality show where a guy did not want his fiancee to have a bachelorette party hosted by her sisters. I thought this was a little controlling. She promised to be respectful and just wanted to go out for drinks and dancing, but he was angry with her. Her sisters were in disbelief, and were concerned that their independent and free-spirited sister would lose her identity in the relationship.
To evaluate your own relationship….Ask yourself, am I secure?
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word secure as:
- a. unwisely free from fear or distrust
- b. easy in mind
- c. assured in opinion or expectation: having no doubt
- free from danger
If you are secure, then all is well! Continue to enjoy your relationship and all the wonderful things that come with it!
However, if you have doubt…Ask yourself am I experiencing feelings of being S.T.U.C.K? Does my partner:
- S – Separate me from friends and family?
- T- Track my phone, social media, or email?
- U – Use anger to get his/her way?
- C – Control all decision-making in the home
- K- Keep me all to his/her self
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then take some time to pray, meditate, and do some internal evaluation. Then you can better determine your next steps. Only you know what’s best for you.
Copyright @ 2019 Shenise Gatson
“Secure”. Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2018. Web. 6 January 2019.
Photos provided by Pexels.