How To Cope When Your Partner Is A Control Freak

Working On the Marriage | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: January 18, 2024
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How to deal with a controlling husband? If this is a question that has been on your mind then you have come to the right place. Controlling people are difficult to deal with in general but the problem becomes much more specific when your husband wants to take over your life and is an absolute control freak.

How on earth do you cope with it when your lover tries to micromanage you? It can be exhausting and boundaries are often broken when your partner is a control freak. When you love someone and don’t want to give up on a relationship because they are controlling, you also need to find ways in which you can make sure that the bitterness doesn’t become a third party in your relationship.

Signs You Have A Controlling Husband

If you are thinking how to deal with a controlling husband then first thing to check is does your husband show the signs of control? There are some husbands who could be possessive and even manipulative to some extent but they are extremely loving and caring at the same time.

They could become become easily jealous, or throw tantrums like a kid at times but they are not really the harmful sorts. But if you really feel that your husband is controlling you then you should check if he is showing these signs of control. 

  • He keeps you away from your friends and family.
  • He lowers your self-esteem.
  • He resorts to emotional blackmail.
  • He makes unreasonable demands.
  • He uses guilt as a tool.
  • He uses love and caring as a bargaining point.
  • He spies on you.
  • He keeps asking for forgiveness.

If your husband is showing these signs then you have a problem there and you are totally justified in mulling over the question: How to deal with a controlling husband?

Related Reading12 Signs Of A Control Freak Can You Identify With Them?

Why is your husband a control freak?

Why is your husband a control freak
Sometimes people become controlling because of toxic parenting

After you have identified the signs that your husband is controlling you would want to know why he is like that. Sometimes people become controlling because of toxic parenting. People who have controlling parents show the same behaviour patterns when they start their own relationships, sometimes without even knowing that they are carrying the baggage of a toxic childhood with them.

Sometimes abuse as a child leaves a deep scar that makes a person distrustful and controlling. Dealing with a bad breakup or a bad divorce could also lead to a person becoming too insecure about a relationship.  If you want to get to bottom of your husband’s controlling behaviour then seeing a counselor could be a good idea.

How Do You Deal With A Bossy Husband?

If you are feeling claustrophobic in your marriage because your husband is always breathing down your neck and taking every decision for you, then there are some steps you can take to handle his controlling behaviour. It is hard to cope when your partner is a control freak.

Dealing with a controlling husband is not an easy job and you really have to be steadfast in your resolve to put your foot down and fix things. You could follow these following tips to be in a better position.

1. Tell him to stop

Most often control freaks don’t know that they’re controlling the other person until you point it out. They feel that their supervision and advice is needed and sometimes consider this behaviour an act of love and care. Pointing it out that their controlling behaviour is making you uncomfortable won’t change them overnight but it will force them to notice their behaviour.

Boundaries are difficult for control freaks to understand.

They want to help, care, be there for you and don’t always come from a place where they’re only trying to get their way. While this behaviour can be suffocating for people unless underlined control-freaks will not realise that they are indeed overstepping their role.

This doesn’t have to be a radical confrontation, neither a retort in the middle of a fight. Having a calm adult conversation with your partner is the best way to keep this behaviour in check.

Tell him to stop
Having a calm adult conversation with your partner is the best way to keep this behavior in check.

Related reading: How To Get Out Of A Controlling Relationship – 8 Ways To Break Free

2. Don’t lose faith if they get defensive

Your control-freak partner has lived most of his/ her life in a certain way and you can’t expect them to change overnight. Expecting them to be able to take this as constructive criticism and not as an attack is also difficult. You are asking them to change and change is difficult for us humans.

The natural response to being called out on being a control freak is to get defensive and things can get really ugly if you end up having a fight over this.

You must not lose your patience and take the bait when they start getting defensive. You can have this conversation over time and point out things in a normal way instead of getting angry. Not fighting and taking your time with this conversation is crucial.

Related reading: 5 Signs Of Emotional Abuse You Should Watch Out For Warns Therapist

3. Set clear boundaries

This is a difficult yet necessary step that you must take if you find yourself in a relationship with a control freak. Setting clear boundaries will also help you and your partner identify the controlling behaviour that you get so upset about.

It is difficult for someone to be controlling when you push back and tell them to stop crossing a certain line and create a boundary. Again this doesn’t need to come down to a fight but can act as a preventive measure.

For example, if your partner insists on making comments about your work and gives unwanted advice you can set up a boundary there. You don’t talk about work unless you want each other’s advice. Things like this will help you get a definite picture of each other’s behaviour.

we tell you how to deal with a controlling husband
It is difficult for someone to be controlling when you push back

4. Empathise with him

I know this is going to sound unpleasant, especially when your partner’s behaviour is infuriating you and making you feel suffocated but you’ll have an easier time dealing with it if you try to empathise with them. Most control freaks operate out of fear.

They are afraid of being abandoned, being mistreated and being wrong. This leads to them be insecure, jealous and manipulative. Imagine going through this kind of fear all the time.

While this certainly doesn’t justify them imposing their control on others it is often a coping mechanism. This may not stop their behaviour but may provide you with insight into why exactly they do what they do.

People who are in relationships with control freaks often get exasperated because they don’t know how and why their partners keep controlling them and everything else. Trying to find out about their childhood, possible issues that could have contributed to their insecurities can be helpful in trying to empathise with them. Knowledge is power and knowing your partner’s insecurities can help you tackle this problem from a place of love and not frustration.

Is my boyfriend controlling? Quiz

5. Let him know you believe in family and friends

How to deal with a controlling husband? Let him know you care for your family and friends and no matter how hard he tries to tell you that you don’t need them anymore since you are with him, you ensure you don’t lose touch with them.

This could lead to repeated fights and constant issues but if you do not budge from your position you will see he will gradually back off. He would stop telling you how he finds your cousins stupid and how your bestie’s sense of style is intolerable.

6. Don’t let him play with your self-esteem

Your controlling husband wouldn’t let go off a chance to criticise you and his criticism could be scathing. When you tell him you feel very hurt by his behaviour he would tell you, “But that’s how I am.”

Make it clear to him you are willing to take constructive criticism but this attempts to play with your self-esteem by criticising you and pulling you down wouldn’t take him anywhere.

Look at the mirror and tell yourself who you are and you would not let your bossy husband reduce you into a bundle of nerves. Stand up for yourself and you will see he would realise he wouldn’t be able to make a dent in your self-esteem.

7. Forgive but do not forget

Forgive but do not forget
If he is asking for forgiveness then it is a good sign and he could have genuine intentions to make things right.

Husbands who are controlling, bossy or even abusive follow this pattern of asking for forgiveness after every fight, or every attempt to manipulate that could have hurt you.

They would profusely ask for forgiveness and this often becomes a vicious cycle. If he is asking for forgiveness then it is a good sign and he could have genuine intentions to make things right. You should forgive but don’t forget. Next time he indulges in the same kind of behaviour you would be able to spot the direction it is going into quickly and and cope with it in a better way.

Loving someone is easy when you understand them and while controlling behaviour cannot be condoned, trying to change it by having fights and angry confrontations seldom works. We have given constructive answers to your question: How to deal with your controlling husband? But in case you need professional help you could always get in touch with our counselors.

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