7 Signs You're The Controlling Partner In The Relationship

If there are problems in the relationship, the cause might be you.

Last updated on Jul 11, 2023

arguing couple fizkes / shutterstock

Have you ever wondered why your marriage ended so abruptly when you felt they were the love of your life?

Or, perhaps you wonder why you and your spouse just seem to argue all the time, even when you feel you're giving good advice? And even after you told them that the one thing that would end the marriage was infidelity, they still did it anyway?

Perhaps your relationship just isn't what it used to be, and you keep trying to "fix" it with ever-increasing measures and overtures that just aren't working.


Did you ever think that you're just maybe in a controlling relationship, but you're the controlling partner? Is it shocking to hear? The real question is, do you want to fix it so it no longer happens?

Here are 7 signs you’re the controlling partner in a relationship — and how to fix it:

1. You always criticize your partner

What you thought was a simple suggestion soon turned into a constant barrage of issues you have with them.


RELATED: 25 Signs He Wants To Break Up But Is Scared And Doesn't Know How

2. You isolate them from friends and family

You don’t mean anything by it. You feel you're doing the best thing for your partner, but in reality, you’re are keeping them away from the people in their life they can turn to for support and understanding — especially since you’re always criticizing them.

3. You’ve threatened to leave the relationship or harm yourself

By doing that, you're making the relationship conditional. You're setting unrealistic expectations by ending the relationship when things don’t go your way.

4. You’re always keeping score

Tit-for-tat is your middle name. Your partner can never win.


You’re constantly looking for gratitude for the simplest things. You even expected them to return a favor after you did the same for them.

5. You constantly make them feel guilty

No spouse wants to feel guilty for making their husband feel miserable, but that’s what you do in your relationship.

For real, you are a master manipulator. By doing this, the partner that you claim to love has no power in the relationship whatsoever.

RELATED: 5 Brutal Reasons You Always End Up Dating Jerks

6. You’re way too jealous when it’s not warranted

You know what you do: Pick a fight with the UPS man who gives your spouse a compliment, or you're always trolling your partner’s social media account to see if they're talking to someone else. And you don’t let them say something nice to another person.


It may seem chivalrous and innocent at first, but over time it can be downright scary how you act.

7. You never, never, ever give her alone time

You sap their strength by demanding they spend all of their free time with you.

This may be shocking to hear, but there are several things you can do to change the dynamic in your marriage.

First, recognize your behavior and the damage it’s doing. If you really don’t think this is your dynamic, sit your spouse down and ask them. This is very important.

In order for the person in your life to start to realize that your relationship isn’t normal, you'll need to acknowledge your actions and understand how they're feeling as a result of the actions you've inflicted upon them all this time.


How to stop being a controlling partner:

1. Figure out how and why this type of behavior shows up in your life

Your actions may be due to stress you're carrying or anxiety that has never been addressed.

On a more serious side, there may be some psychological trauma that's damaged your self-esteem that you never dealt with it. If that’s a possibility, it may be wise for you to seek counseling to uncover those issues.

RELATED: 10 Signs You — Not Him — Are The Toxic One In The Relationship

2. Remember: it's the little things

Create some small actions you can take toward changing your relationship for the better. From doing something nice without expecting something in return, or just giving your partner a day to hang out with their friends without giving them grief.


These simple gestures will do a lot to reduce the tension that hovers over your marriage.

3. Seek help

Reach out for counseling if you feel that you can't make these changes on your own, or the stress and anxiety you're feeling is too overwhelming and you haven’t been able to change your behavior.

Your spouse will be so grateful if you take this necessary step. Trust and believe they love you; they're just tired of feeling small so you can feel big.


4. Respect your partner's wishes

On the other hand, if your partner chooses to move on despite your intention to improve, remember this is their choice.

The damage was just too great to save the marriage. Continue to work on yourself, so your next relationship will reap the rewards of your personal growth.

RELATED: 6 Honest Signs You're Not Ready For A Relationship ... Yet

Keith Dent is a writer, blogger, and certified empowerment coach. He is the author of In the Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love.