The sign he’s controlling you that you won’t recognise
Controlling relationships are unhealthy ones.
No relationship is perfect, and most require a lot of heart and a lot of work. But there are some that are worth exiting full stop. The kind of circumstances that gradually pull you under, so you don’t realise you’re sinking before you hit rock bottom, are hard to see clearly when you’re in them.
One big tactic of ‘control’ (and by that I mean someone actively manipulating your emotions) is not shouting, or locking the door, or telling you what to wear… it’s shutting you out mentally, not literally.
It could be:
- Refusing to talk to you when you need to communicate: that could be not picking up the phone, storming out or (more subtle) swiftly changing the subject, diverting the conversation and disengaging.
- Refusing to have physical contact with you so you begin to doubt how beautiful you are.
- Forbidding you from mentioning something – particularly if it’s that time they really screwed up.
Yes men like their ‘man cave’ and understanding that they often process emotions better by doing and being left alone is fine. But there is a massive difference between giving someone an appropriate amount of space to get their head together, and someone flatly refusing to comfort you, reassure you or listen to your needs.
If you’ve had the subject changed, cut short, diverted or you’ve simply been told ‘no’ one too many times I’d consider returning the favour and exiting the relationship.
Usually when you show a readiness to move on, when you no longer give your emotional energy to resolving the situation with them, that’s when they seem ready to ‘talk it over’.
This will more often than not be a false start. Don’t be fooled into re-engaging: they don’t want to really listen, they want to see if you’ll keep playing their game