Do you think your husband is controlling? Being in a marriage where your husband is controlling can be very trying, controlling husbands often try to limit and manage the activities of their spouses. This controlling behavior could really put a strain on a marriage, depending on how intense and frequent it is exhibited. Here is how to deal with a controlling husband, but before that, let’s identify controlling behaviors.
Why Do People Develop Controlling Behaviors?
Before you know how to deal with a controlling husband, learn why people become controlling in the first place. The reason why people become controlling differs from one person to another, this is because they’re different causes for the development of controlling behaviors. However, among generally identified causes for controlling behaviors, someone could become controlling if they’ve experienced some kind of abuse in their lives earlier on
An example is when someone experiences abuse as a child when they have no control over the situation, there is a great chance that they’ll become controlling as a means to prevent themselves from getting hurt again.
Extreme levels of low self-esteem and self-confidence have also been linked with the need to be in control. When a person has been let down so much in their lives or has a personality disorder or a psychological condition that makes it difficult for them to have confidence in themselves, they will try to control anyone they can in a bid to feel superior to them.
Typically, they boost their self-esteem and confidence by putting others down.
Signs of a Controlling Husband
While they are many subtle signs of a controlling husband, such as extreme jealousy, emotional blackmail, disrespecting you and your feelings, caring too much about your finances, loving conditionally, spying on you, and many more.
They are major signs that characterize controlling husbands. If you know them, you can know how to deal with a controlling husband.
1. He Criticises You A Lot
This is the most obvious sign, a controlling husband constantly criticizes you and anything you do. This is so you feel like you can do anything without him and always need him, and he feels he’s important in your life.
This criticism often starts on benign things and manners such as the way you talk, the way you work, or your point of view on certain matters. Eventually, it stops being on one or two things, but he starts criticizing everything you do, your appearance, the work you do, or even the way you have sex and so many aspects of your life.
At some point, you end up feeling like you can’t do anything right before your husband.
2. He Isolates You
A controlling person wants you all to themselves, therefore they will isolate you from every other person, including your friends and family. They try to control you by making sure you have no one else to run to, making you completely dependent on them.
Controlling husbands want to control their wives without anyone realizing it, such that to outsiders they’re the perfect supporting husbands.
3. He Uses What He’s Done For You Against You
A Controlling husband often does nice things for his wife, helping out with home chores, staying away from other things to be with you, getting your gifts for no reason, or simply going out of their way to help you with something.
While this seems like a nice romantic gesture, there are strings attached. After they’ve done something nice for you, you’ll have to be extra nice to them also as they expect.
This means you’ll have to do what they want and how they want it, giving them the control they desire. This is one way to learn how to deal with a controlling husband
4. He Makes You Feel Guilty
Anything you do that does not make your husband happy, a controlling husband makes you feel guilty for it. They do this in an attempt to manipulate you into doing what they want, the way they want it.
A good example is when they don’t like you meeting friends or family members, when you get back home, they make you feel guilty for not staying at home and spending the time with them.
If they do this everyone you meet friends and family, it gets to the point where spending the time with them instead of family friends seems easier. When this happens, they’ve successfully isolated you further.
5. He Wears You Down
The ultimate goal of a controlling husband is to make you completely dependent on them. And often they do this by trying to lower your self-esteem and confidence, such that you feel you need them.
A controlling husband wants to make sure they are the only ones in your life so they can control you. So they criticise you, threaten you, gaslight you, and isolate you from your friends and family.
All these aims at wearing you down to the extent you give in and do the way he wants. The earlier you learn this, the earlier you learn how to deal with a controlling husband.
How to Deal With a Controlling Husband
1. Reach Out to Other People
When you have reasons to believe your partner is attempting to control you, it is important that you reach out to the people around you. Your controlling husband will try to keep you away from your friends and family, but you must try to keep them close
It’s a good idea to open up to someone you trust about your situation when you feel comfortable doing so. They may be able to offer advice or a comfortable and safe space for you to express your feelings at this time.
Don’t let your spouse ruin the relationships you have with your family and friends.
2. Talk to Your Husband
A controlling might not listen to you or take your expression seriously, however it is important to tell him how he makes you feel, and maybe it will dawn on him that he is hurting you.
You need to let him understand that you are strong and still have self-esteem, and you can’t put up with his controlling behavior. Also, be sure to let him know that you want to help him and make the relationship work.
You could also suggest a couple’s therapy to get help from professionals. They’ll help identify possible areas your husband can improve.
3. Set Boundaries
It is important to set boundaries if your husband’s behavior has gotten better after seeing a therapist. This will help you establish to your husband what you’ll tolerate and what you’ll not in your marriage going forward. This would also help your husband understand when he is crossing the line in your marriage.
Try to reach a mutual agreement on how the marriage should be. Even when your husband isn’t cooperating, this will help you decide what you’ll and will not stand for, and identify when your husband is back to his controlling behavior.
4. Decide to Stay or Leave
If you should observe that your husband’s behavior isn’t getting better, and he’s not willing to seek help in improving his behavior, then you need to choose if you would remain in the marriage or not.
If you feel your husband is becoming increasingly controlling, it is better to leave the relationship.
A healthy relationship is that in which there is an equal balance of power. Being in one where power and control are held by one partner makes it difficult for the other partner to feel in control of their life. However, by knowing how to deal with a controlling husband through effective open communication and professional help, the victim can regain a sense of control over their lives.
If you find yourself in such a relationship, ask for help, don’t let your husband weigh you down. Know that you can get through this and always choose your well-being above any other thing.
Can a controlling husband change?
Yes! Psychology tells us that every behaviour can be learned and unlearned. The same goes for controlling behaviour, with the help of a marriage and couple therapist, a controlling husband can unlearn his controlling behaviour and learn how to maintain an equal balance of power and control in his relationship.
How does a controlling husband affect me?
To gain absolute control, controlling husbands try to make you completely reliant on them for everything. They do this by isolating you from others, limiting you, and wearing down your self-esteem. This leads to self-doubt, low self-confidence, and helplessness which takes a toll on your mental health.
How do I communicate to my controlling husband?
It might be difficult to get a controlling husband to listen to your opinion. Nonetheless, expressing how they make you feel to them might let them know just how their behaviors hurt you as most controlling people do not know they are controlling.
You could also reach out to a professional to help your husband identify his controlling behavior and profer means to maintain a healthy relationship.
How do I set boundaries if he doesn’t listen to me?
Even when he doesn’t listen to your opinions, make your demands clear and explain the things you won’t take anymore. If he still ignores you, go ahead and set the boundaries and if he violates them, give him the consequence to let him know how serious you are about your boundaries.
When do I leave a controlling husband?
With the right professional intervention, the controlling behavior of a husband can be addressed. However, when the husband becomes increasingly controlling or emotionally abusive even after seeing a couple or marriage therapist, it is advised that you leave the relationship. Always put your well-being above any other thing.