If You Feel Controlled In Your Relationship, Do These 3 Things ASAP

Are you being controlled or are you doing the controlling?

couple facing away from each other Max4e Photo | Shutterstock

When the two of us were first together many years ago, we got into battles of control — like a lot of couples. Susie would think she was being controlled and Otto would think he was, at the same time.

It was almost comical when both of us said the very same thing in a situation that came up time and time again.

"I'm feeling controlled by you!"

"No, I'm feeling controlled by you!"

We learned it was all perspective — and it was all the way we were each thinking about the situation. It was about the fearful thinking we were making that made our so-called controlling relationship almost real.


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But, learning how to fall in love with each other, again, allows couples to move past what may have become a toxic relationship.

Relationship control issues come from nothing more or less than a conscious or unconscious attempt to get needs met, whether you think you're being controlled or you're being accused of being too controlling.


This all comes from the thoughts you believe and make real in every moment. Often, the thoughts happen so quickly and they're so practiced you're not even aware of them.

There's usually an underlying fear that if you don't get your needs met, you won't be okay. Thus, you or your loved one end up turning into one of those controlling people that you want to get away from.

Control is an attempt to try to make the other person and the situation be the way you want, even though, according to the other person, they are just fine the way they are. It's one of the major reasons people lose trust in a relationship and decide to separate.

Whether you're the one who thinks you're being controlled or you're being accused of showing controlling behavior, the past is always being brought up or your vision of the future is a fearful one.


If you want to learn how to fall in love again with each other when you feel like you're in a controlling relationship, here are steps to take.

RELATED: How My Obsession With Control Almost Ruined My Marriage

If you feel controlled in your relationship, do these 3 things ASAP:

1. Be aware that the concept of 'control' is a social construct

Two different people can be in the same situation and have two very different reactions.

For example, two of our friends experience "backseat" drivers totally differently.

One takes offense to suggestions about which route to take or when to change lanes. He takes it as criticism and that it's a judgment about his driving. So there's an argument.


The other friend doesn't take offense to any driving suggestions and sometimes takes them, sometimes not. He isn't bothered by the "backseat" driving because he doesn't take it as criticism. There is no argument.

What's the difference?

Both have people in the car who want to tell them how to drive but one person doesn't take it personally and the other makes up stories about what the suggestions mean.

And it usually means that something is lacking within him which isn't true. It just means there are two people in the car with different ideas about the situation. That's all.

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2. Don't listen to the insecurity

When you feel like you're being controlled, you usually believe insecure thinking about yourself. You are looking outside yourself for validation and not finding it so you try to do what you think the other person wants.


Then you get angry or withdraw. It's like you're saying, "I'd better do what they want or agree with what they say because I think I'm not going to get something if I don't."

But, that strategy never works and, instead, can lead to toxic and unhealthy relationships.

Are there people who really want you to be and act differently and try to control your actions?

Sure. But, instead of looking outside and blaming, you can look inside you to see if you're somehow arguing with reality — that you want the other person to be and act differently as well.

You can also see what you're getting out of the situation you're in and if you want to continue.


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3. Make your own choice

A controlling personality can be influential, but you do have a choice. Just because someone thinks you should be or act a certain way, doesn't mean you have to follow them. You can choose whether to buy into that viewpoint or not. And you can choose not to react from a place of fear. This is so apparent when it comes to jealousy.

There's the common scenario of the woman who's perceived as "controlling" because her partner is looking at other women and she argues with him about it. There's also the "controlling" man who wants to dictate the type of clothing his partner wears because, in his eyes, he doesn't want her to be too desirable to other men.

Although there's no one solution to either of these scenarios and we're not advocating for any viewpoint, it does come down to choice and how each person wants to live their life.


To continue having control issues is a waste of your precious life. Even though it doesn't look like it, you do have a choice.

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Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect, and create the relationship they desire.