Sometimes signs of a controlling husband are not so easy to spot. But if you ignore them, you might find yourself in an abusive and toxic relationship.
When we think of domestic violence, we often have a vision of a couple where one partner is cruel, unloving, and has substance abuse problems. This could never happen to us, we might say! But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Domestic violence can sneak up on any relationship, including a possessive relationship. For this reason, it is important to know the signs of a controlling husband.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that an average of 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men will experience intimate partner stalking, severe violence, and sexual abuse that results in injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Do we really know who we married? We may think we know our partner inside and out, but they may have a darker side hiding in wait. Here are 8 signs of a controlling husband.
1. Threats, Abuse, and Guilt
One solid piece of marital advice to follow is not to give into a guilt trip from an abusive partner.
If your spouse is feeling jealous or paranoid, they will try and use guilt as a weapon to keep us from following through with our social plans or to prevent us from leaving them.
They may threaten their own safety if we leave or act on domestic violence.
A partner acting on abusive tendencies, whether verbally, physically, sexually, or mentally, are also sure signs of a controlling husband.
A possessive partner should understand their insecurities and find a more positive way of expressing their doubts. They need to learn how to communicate more effectively with one another and prevent harmful misunderstandings.
2. Isolates You from Friends and Family
A wise piece of marriage advice: don’t let a partner tell you what to do, who to be, or who you’re allowed to hang around with. Perpetrators of domestic violence will often keep us from our loved ones – friends, family, colleagues – in order to isolate us.
This ensures we rely on only our abuser and prevents us from forming a support system for leaving the abuser.
3. They Have All Your Passwords
Being transparent is a wonderful quality in a relationship. It helps build trust and lets each partner know their spouse has their best interest at heart.
Some couples choose to be transparent by practicing honesty, keeping the lines of healthy communication open, and sometimes even by sharing passwords and smartphones. When done willingly, these can be a wonderful sign of love and trust.
But often, an abusive partner will not give their spouse a choice in the matter. They must hand over their smartphone, chat logs and social media passwords or face the consequences. This is one of the most evident signs of a controlling husband.
4. Requiring Constant Reassurance
Low self-esteem is often the culprit of an abusive partner. This low self-esteem then manifests itself in harmful and sometimes exhausting ways.
A possessive or controlling partner will need constant reassurance. And often, nothing we say will ever be good enough to quell their doubt in us or our friendships.
5. Keeping Constant Tabs on You
As married partners, it is kind and courteous to let our spouse know our plans for the evening so that they can plan theirs accordingly. Heading out for dinner with the girls lets your spouse know they’ll be on their own for a meal. They may even plan their own social outing.
But when a partner responds to the news that you’re going out with friends or co-workers with suspicion or anger, something is definitely wrong.
Your partner should understand where such controlling and possessive behavior is stemming from. By getting to the root of their insecurities and dealing with such issues head-on, they will be able to navigate such feelings in a more positive way.
6. Severe Criticism
Our spouse should make us feel good about ourselves. They should encourage us to go after our goals and celebrate our successes with us. A partner who is controlling or possessive will not display these qualities.
Instead, they use severe criticism to push us down and lower our self-esteem. Making us believe that we can’t do any better so that we won’t leave them. This is a common and manipulative behavior displayed by abusers and one of the signs of a controlling husband.
As always, the key to resolving such issues is to help the abuser understand why they resort to such behavior.
7. Keeping Score
Here is a solid piece of marriage advice: A healthy relationship is based on love, trust, communication, and forgiveness.
True forgiveness means we don’t keep score. We don’t accept an apology only to pull out someone’s past mistakes and throw it in their face to guilt or shame them or when it is convenient for us to do so.
Furthermore, people in healthy relationships do not make a mental note of how many nice things they do for their partner. A spouse who is constantly keeping score is doing so for unhealthy, controlling reasons.
8. Stalker Tendencies
The first time we had our partner show up to a party or social event they weren’t invited to, honestly, we thought it was sort of sweet.
“They missed me!” we cheer inwardly to ourselves. But the truth is, this sort of bizarre behavior couldn’t be farther from affectionate. Stalking is yet another way that a possessive partner seeks to control.
Statistics show that 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men will be stalked by an intimate partner to the point of believing they are in danger or may be killed. This is a sobering fact. Stalking is not a show of affection. Our partners are meant to be our protectors and supporters – not our keepers.
Our partners should be someone we trust and feel loved and safe around. Not someone who is controlling, critical, or who brings toxic qualities into our relationship. Domestic violence is never okay. This is one of the biggest pieces of marriage advice couples can follow.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.