8 Signs You Have a Controlling and Manipulative Husband

by Angelina Gupta
manipulative husband

Manipulative husbands are like cousins of narcissists. They use manipulation and control to make people do things they would rather choose not to do. A controlling and manipulative husband is a red flag in a marriage and it mainly arises when your husband is emotionally insecure. He tricks you into doing things that he wants you to do and before you know it, you become his toy. Such people use emotions and guilt as their favourite weapons and you end up becoming their slave in the marriage.

How Does A Spouse Use Manipulation Techniques In A Marriage?

Manipulation in a marriage may start with something very small and subtle but it will slowly start becoming bigger and bigger. These are actually signs of a control freak, to start with, but they may be difficult to spot. Your selfish spouse will start making unreasonable demands in a marriage and you’ll have no choice but to do it.

Manipulative husbands prey on emotional vulnerability and mental deception.

Your spouse will ask you to do things in the name of love and your marriage, but in reality he’s asking you to do things to satisfy his emotional insecurity. There are usually three techniques that manipulative spouses use:

  1. Subtle Manipulation: “Are you thinking of going out with your friends tonight? (If yes, it means you don’t love me)
  2. Obvious Manipulation: “If you love me, you’ll spend time with me rather than going out with your friends.”
  3. Direct Manipulation: “Let’s go out. Just the two of us. We don’t need to go out with our friends all the time.”

Now that you are reading this, you can figure how easy it is to manipulate someone. Right?

Related reading: 5 Zodiac Signs That Are Known To Be Master Manipulators

8 Signs You Have a Controlling And Manipulative Husband

The more you give in to the manipulation and control tactics of your spouse, the more control he has over you. After a point of time, when you realize his intentions, the marriage may become suffocating. You’ll get tired and frustrated to always cater to his selfish needs and will eventually want to get out of the marriage. It is important to see the signs of an emotionally manipulative spouse before it’s too late. Realizing the early signs can help you avoid getting manipulated and your husband won’t be able to have control over you the way he wants.

Here are 8 signs you have a controlling and manipulative husband.

1. You have become distant from your friends and family

He will make you lonely

He will make you lonely Image source

The first step of a controlling and manipulative husband is to isolate you from your friends and family. It may not be a direct approach, but a gradual one. Your husband will slowly make you distant from them. He may say that he doesn’t feel comfortable with you talking to your family on call all day or he might say that he feels that your friends don’t like him. He will keep bringing up some issue with your friends and family till you distance yourself from them. He will ill-treat, disrespect your side of family, resent them and eventually force you away from them. He wants you to get distant from them because he wants to deprive you of your support system and make you dependent on only him.

2. He lowers your self-confidence

Your husband always proves himself superior to you and makes you feel small in comparison to him. He will keep telling you how much effort he puts into the marriage and make you feel as if you do nothing. With each passing day, your self-confidence keeps getting lower. You feel as if you don’t do enough for your husband and put in all your effort to make him happy. You become emotionally and mentally dependent on him and your entire marriage becomes about pleasing him.

3. There’s always emotional blackmail

“I was feeling so low today. When I needed you the most, you were out partying with your friends. You weren’t there for me and I will always remember this.” If you have similar conversations with your spouse, it should be noted that your husband is using emotional blackmail to manipulate you. In this conversation, the wife is not at fault because she didn’t know that her husband was feeling low but still the husband makes her feel as if it was her fault to go out with her friends and enjoy. Manipulative husbands use emotional blackmail to make their partners feel sorry and guilty even when they didn’t do anything wrong.

Emotional blackmail by husband

Emotional blackmail by husband Image source

Related reading: Want to leave my manipulative husband who doesn’t love me

4. There are too many small requests

In manipulation, there’s a “foot-in-the-door” technique in which the manipulator begins with a small request and once you agree to it, he will make the real request. It is done so because it is harder to say no once you’ve said yes to the previous request. Your manipulative husband too, will begin with a small request and when you agree to it, he will make a rather unreasonable demand but you’ll have no other option but to say yes to it.

5. Conditional caring

You’ll notice that your husband is usually cold and self-absorbed but all of a sudden he will become very caring and loving. This is a situation of conditional caring where your partner shows care and concern only when you fulfil a condition or make him happy. You’ll notice that all of a sudden your husband will show immense love, but it comes with a price. The price to this love and care is to fulfil some request of his or give him 24 hours of your attention. He has no understanding of unconditional love among couples.

conditional caring

Manipulative husband shows conditional love Image source

6. He will use guilt as a tool

Your partner will make you feel guilty about the smallest of things. He will make you feel as if everything is your fault. Guilt is one of the most favourite tools of a manipulative husband. They make you feel guilty so that you feel powerless and give in to their control. They will keep hanging this guilt over you in order to make you do things for them. “I request you to please stop making me feel so small and helpless. I can’t take it anymore. Why do such things keep happening to me?” Such a conversation is a classic example of a guilt trip.

Related reading: How I Got Away From My Manipulative Husband and Started A New Life

7. He spies on you

A manipulative husband is emotionally insecure and constantly fears that you are going behind his back and cheating on him. He doesn’t want to share you with anyone else, not even a family member or a friend. He will check your phone and your emails to see who you are talking to. He doesn’t want anyone else to know how he treats you and there’s always the fear of his secret being revealed. He easily gets paranoid and will constantly check on you and will violate your privacy.

manipulative husband spies on you

A manipulative husband needs to know everything Image source

8. He will keep asking for forgiveness

When he realizes that you’ve understood his play of manipulation, he will ask you for forgiveness and will tell you that he is going to change for you. He will use an emotional story to convince you that he didn’t mean to manipulate you or hurt you. Whenever you relent or refuse to give in to his manipulation, he will ask you to forgive him. He will do so only to make you stay with him so that he can manipulate you again.

Related reading: How to deal with a controlling husband?

If you have a manipulative and controlling husband, you need to get out of the marriage. Being in such a marriage is only a sign of a toxic relationship. You might be willing to give your marriage another chance thinking that your manipulative husband will change. Truthfully, such people never change. They just change their ways of manipulation. Don’t let your manipulative husband strip you of your self-confidence, happiness and loved ones. You deserve to be loved.

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