RelationshipsLove and marriage

Identifying a controlling man: Don’t enter a romantic relationship with a man who has these traits!

Identifying a controlling man: Controlling behavior in a romantic partner can be difficult to recognize at first. Often, it starts slowly and progresses over time. A controlling man may begin with small demands or criticism that seem harmless, before escalating to more serious controlling or even abusive actions.

Learning to spot the early warning signs is crucial to identify controlling men quickly and take action to assert your rights and boundaries in the relationship.

Here are some of the most common signs of a controlling man to look out for:

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1-Criticism and Contempt

Identifying a controlling man: A controlling man will often criticize or exhibit contempt for your appearance, skills, opinions, values, and even your family and friends.

The criticism may start subtly, but become more overt over time. For instance, he may pick at your clothes, insult your driving skills or taste in music, make snide comments about your family or demean your career choices. The goal is to chip away at your confidence and self-worth, so you become more dependent on his approval.


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Image source: lovearoundme

Identifying a controlling man: Possessive behaviors are major red flags. A controlling man will act jealous, demanding to know where you are at all times. He may call, text or email constantly when you are not together.

He may become angry or resentful when you spend time with friends, family or coworkers. Possessiveness often leads to isolating you from loved ones. This removes your support networks and increases reliance on the controlling partner.


Identifying a controlling man: Controlling men are masters at manipulation. They may threaten to leave or self-harm if you do not comply. They will say whatever it takes to get you to give in to their demands.

This manipulation is psychologically damaging and may set the stage for the controlling behavior to become even more extreme over time.

4-Double Standards

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Image source: lovearoundme

Identifying a controlling man: Controlling men often impose much stricter standards on you than themselves. For example, he may demand passwords for all your devices or accuse you of flirting when you talk to another man.

But he expects complete freedom and privacy for his own devices, interactions and whereabouts. This hypocrisy is a means of control, not true partnership.

5-Monitoring and Micro-Managing

Identifying a controlling man: A controlling man will closely monitor and micro-manage various aspects of your life. For instance, he may police your social media, telling you what you can and cannot post.

He may strictly manage household spending, provide a strict schedule for the day or make major unilateral decisions. This restrictive control extends his dominance over your life.

6-Lying and Gaslighting

Identifying a controlling man: Lying is a powerful control tactic. Controlling men may lie about their activities, behaviors, income, beliefs or even their past.

When caught in a lie, they may “gaslight” you, denying facts and blaming you for being “suspicious” or “crazy.” This gradual undermining of your reality can severely damage your confidence and enable further control.

7-Quick Acceleration of Relationship

Identifying a controlling man: A controlling man may press for major commitments early in the relationship – moving in together, engagement or pregnancy.

This fast pace limits your ability to assess his behaviors fully before becoming seriously entangled. Be wary of any efforts to “lock you down” into a relationship before you are ready.

8-Anger and Intimidation

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Image source: hernorm

Identifying a controlling man: As his control becomes normal, a controlling man may resort to anger or intimidation when challenged. He may throw things, punch walls, slam doors or use threats and insults to force compliance.

Any violent tendencies or threats should be addressed immediately. Intimidation is not part of healthy relationships.

9-Isolation from Support System

Identifying a controlling man: A controlling man seeks to become the primary support system in your life. He may discourage, limit or outright forbid meetings with close friends and family.

Over time, you may become isolated from people who knew you before the unhealthy relationship and could provide perspective. Ending this isolation to rebuild your external support system is crucial when exiting an unhealthy relationship.

10-Hypersensitivity and Blame

Identifying a controlling man: Partners of controlling men often modify their behavior to avoid “setting him off.” They absorb blame to de-escalate arguments. A controlling man has double standards – he is hypersensitive to perceived slights or criticisms. But he justifies his own toxic behaviors, verbal attacks, jealousy and rage. You should not have to walk on eggshells or absorb unfair blame to placate his moods or anger.

11-Financial Control

Identifying a controlling man: Financial abuse is another possible sign of a controlling partner. A controlling man may tightly restrict your access to bank accounts, cash, credit cards and financial information. Or he may make all financial decisions without discussion or input from you. Financial control limits your freedom and ability to leave, if the relationship becomes unhealthy.

12-Inability to Compromise

Identifying a controlling man: Controlling men see relationships as a zero sum game – if you are getting your needs met, then he must be losing. This makes true compromise impossible.

Demanding that you meet his needs while dismissing yours is a bad sign. Healthy relationships involve give and take, not an imbalance of control.

13-Utter Disregard for Your Needs or Values

Identifying a controlling man: Controlling men often show a disturbing lack of concern for your needs or values. Your career, education, spirituality, social life and connections to your loved ones hold little importance to them – except when they interfere with their demands.

This profound narcissism precludes the empathy, compromise and respect necessary for healthy relationships.

The most important thing is learning to trust yourself. If you feel anxious, belittled, isolated, manipulated or like you frequently have to “tiptoe” around your partner’s moods, something is likely amiss.

Do not doubt yourself or give excessive benefits of the doubt. The early warning signs may be subtle, but you must take action at the first indications of controlling behaviors.

Have candid conversations, set hard boundaries and be prepared to leave the relationship for your own wellbeing if controlling behaviors escalate or continue.

With vigilance and trust in your own instincts, you can identify unhealthy or dangerous patterns early and make the best choices to protect yourself from controlling men.

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