10 Warning Signs Of A Controlling Partner (10 Cool Signs)

If you find yourself constantly worrying about the small details of your relationship, like what your partner expects from you or if you’re doing something wrong, it could be a sign that he’s controlling.

Although this kind of behavior can sometimes be subtle and difficult to detect, it is important to recognize the warning signs so that you can get out of a potentially harmful situation.

Controlling partners might try to dictate your schedule and tell you who you should or shouldn’t be spending time with, all while carefully monitoring your behaviors and trying to isolate you from family and friends.

Stay alert for these thinly-veiled attempts at manipulation so that you don’t end up in an unhealthy relationship.

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The Warning Signs Of A Controlling Partner

If you think your relationship is becoming unhealthy, it is important to look for signs that he may be controlling. Some major red flags include aggressive behavior, jealousy or possessiveness over you, inappropriate language or disrespect, and a tendency to undermine your decisions.

He might also try to isolate you from friends or family, impose extreme restrictions on where you can go, or interfere with how you express yourself.

If any of these features sound familiar, he is likely attempting to exert control over you and your relationships. It is important to speak up and seek help if this is the case.

He Constantly Criticizes You

A Controlling Person Will Often Criticize Everything You Do, From The Way, You Dress To The Way You Speak

One of the clearest signs that someone is exhibiting controlling habits is when they criticize everything you do. This criticism can take many forms, such as how you look, how you speak, and even your thoughts or beliefs.

If your partner critiques you from head to toe in a constantly negative manner and makes it seem like everything coming out of your mouth isn’t good enough, he likely has controlling tendencies.

If he finds fault in the smallest details of an activity or conversation and tries to impose his preferences upon you all the time, these are certainly signs of a controlling person.

It is important to recognize when someone’s behavior begins to cross over into an unhealthy and manipulative place so that appropriate action can be taken.

He Isolates You From Friends And Family

A Controlling Person Will Try To Isolate You From The People Who Care About You, Making It Difficult For You To Maintain Those Relationships

One of the key signs that he is controlling is if he attempts to isolate you from your friends and family, as this often gives them power and control over your life. It is important to be aware of any subtle or obvious measures he takes to accomplish this.

For example, he might become increasingly negative when talking about people in your social circle or refuse to attend events where they will be present.

He may also try to undermine the connections you have with others by questioning why you spend time with them or implying that they don’t have your best interests in mind.

If you find yourself unable to pursue meaningful relationships, it could be a sign that someone you know is already controlling your life.

He Dictates What You Wear

A Controlling Person May Try To Dictate What You Wear, Often Using Your Clothing Choices As A Way To Exert Control Over You

If you’re in a relationship where your significant other controls what you wear, it can be an incredibly toxic situation. Luckily, there are signs you can look for that will alert you to the fact that someone is trying to control your clothing choices.

These might include things like consistently critiquing how you dress, making unreasonable demands about how revealing your clothing should or shouldn’t be, or buying your clothing without consulting you first.

If any of these red flags crop up, it’s important to recognize them as harbingers of potentially unhealthy behavior and take steps to address the underlying issues before they get worse.

Being able to express yourself freely through your style is an important part of developing one’s identity, don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.

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He Monitors Your Phone And Internet Use

A Controlling Person May Try To Monitor Your Phone And Internet Use, Often Checking Your Messages And Emails Without Your Consent

If you suspect your partner is a controlling person, there are some clues to look out for. One very concerning sign is if your partner attempts to monitor your phone and internet usage in an intrusive way.

This could involve snooping through personal emails or messages without asking for permission or possibly limiting your access to the internet or other platforms entirely.

A controlling person may feel the need to always have insight into where you are, who you are talking to, and what kind of information you have access to, all as a way of exerting control over their environment and ultimately, over you.

If you notice any signs like this, it is important that you trust your gut instinct and reach out for help or talk to someone right away.

He Demands Constant Attention

A Controlling Person Will Often Demand Your Constant Attention, Expecting You To Always Be Available To Them

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One of the signs that he may be a controlling person is if he demands your constant attention. He might expect you to always be available when he needs something and give him all your attention when he is talking.

He could also become very jealous or possessive, and try to limit who you talk to or how much time you spend with other people.

Other signs of his controlling behavior can include trying to dictate how you dress or behave, belittling others around him, expecting perfection from you on any task he assigns, or even trying to keep tabs on where you’re going and what you’re doing throughout the day.

The best way to deal with a controlling person is by setting firm boundaries about your behavior and communicating those expectations.

He Tries To Control Your Finances

A Controlling Person May Try To Control Your Finances, Often Making It Difficult For You To Make Financial Decisions On Your Own

If your partner is trying to control your finances, it can be a sign that they are a controlling person. Controlling people will attempt to restrict access to financial accounts and decisions, which can leave you feeling helpless and intimidated.

You may also notice that they discourage or undermine you when discussing finances; further exemplifying their intent to keep the power of financial decisions in their control.

If they become secretive about dealing with money, make all the financial decisions without consulting you, or become hostile when questioned about money matters, these would be a few signs your partner is attempting to gain full control over your finances.

It’s essential to pay attention and make sure you retain power over decision-making to ensure your financial stability and success.

He Is Jealous And Possessive

A Controlling Person Will Often Be Jealous And Possessive, Making It Difficult For You To Have Any Kind Of Social Life Outside Of The Relationship

Controlling behavior can be insidious and hard to spot, making it especially difficult to realize when a partner is overstepping their bounds. If your significant other exhibits jealous and possessive attitudes toward you, this could be a sure sign of control.

He may attempt to dictate who you can have relationships with or try to prevent his own time with friends, claiming that it takes up too much of your valuable time together.

Similarly, he may become angry or overly judgmental when you spend time with anyone outside the relationship.

Jealousy and possessive behavior towards partners should not be viewed as innocent signs of affection; they should serve as indicators that your partner may be attempting to dictate your social life in an inappropriate or unhealthy way.

He Tries To Make All The Decisions

A Controlling Person May Try To Make All The Decisions In The Relationship, Often Disregarding Your Thoughts And Feelings

Controlling people can be incredibly difficult to deal with, especially if they are in a relationship. They may try to make all of the decisions and expect you to simply follow their lead.

This can be particularly damaging because it denies your feelings about the situation and minimizes your opinion entirely.

The signs of a controlling person range from making ultimatums and expecting you to obey them immediately to monitoring or limiting certain activities or even questioning where you are at all times.

None of these behaviors are healthy for any relationship, and you must address them so that changes can be made for everyone involved to feel safe and respected.

He Uses Threats Or Intimidation

A Controlling Person May Use Threats Or Intimidation To Control You, Often Making You Feel Afraid To Speak Up Or Leave The Relationship

Being aware of the signs that a loved one may be attempting to control you with threats and intimidation is the first step to getting the help you need and beginning to take ownership of your life again.

These signs may include obsessive checking up on you, telling you who you can and cannot speak to, or trying to dictate what clothing you wear.

Other subtle warning signs might include seemingly innocent comments such as “you always make me angry when”, which could mean your partner is attempting to manipulate your behavior.

A controlling person may also become increasingly aggressive if met with resistance in a decision and dialogue, which further serves as a way for them to maintain power in the relationship.

It’s important that if you ever feel unsafe or coerced into doing something against your will, you must get help from a trusted family member, friend, counselor, or support group. Taking control of this situation can save your life emotionally and physically.

He Refuses To Take Responsibility For His Actions

A Controlling Person Will Often Refuse To Take Responsibility For Their Actions, Blaming You For Everything That Goes Wrong In The Relationship

It can be difficult to discern the signs of a controlling partner — and unfortunately, often these signs come disguised as subtle actions.

Watch out for your partner placing blame on you for issues in the relationship; if he is constantly shying away from accountability, it can signal that he is trying to manipulate and control you.

He may also become overly jealous or possessive of your time, insisting that most if not all decisions should be made by him alone.

If your partner makes attempts to dominate conversations without allowing you to express yourself fully or experience feelings other than those they want you to have, this may also be a sign of a controlling personality.

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Pay attention to behavioral cues and trust your intuition, it will often tell you whether or not there is cause for concern.


Does Your Partner Insist On Having Control Over Your Finances?

The inability to manage finances as a couple can create tension in any relationship. In some cases, the need for control over money causes even more stress, with one person insisting on having power and influence over their partner’s financial decisions.

It is important to take heed of the warning signs that a partner may be trying to assume too much control over your finances. These signs can include extreme jealousy when it comes to discussing other people’s money matters or making unilateral decisions without consulting you first.

If your partner attempts to restrict spending or reprimands your financial choices, this might be another sign that they are trying to have too much control.

If these scenarios sound familiar in your relationship, it may be time for a serious talk about communication and compromise around money matters.

Do They Make Decisions Without Considering Your Opinions Or Desires?

You’re in a relationship and things start to feel off. Your partner makes decisions without consulting you or starts shaming you for your opinions or behaviors.

These are some of the warning signs of having a controlling partner, which can be problematic for both mental and physical health.

Controlling behavior from your partner is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed; if your partner isn’t taking into account what you want or need, it may be time to have an honest conversation with them and talk about why their behavior is making you uncomfortable.

Reassessing the boundaries within the relationship can help set expectations and create a healthier environment. Recognizing these warning signs early on can help minimize further emotional pain, so pay attention and make sure they respect your decisions too.

Are You Frequently Criticized Or Made To Feel Inadequate By Your Partner?

If you’re worried that your partner is overly controlling, it’s important to be aware of some common warning signs. Often, a controlling partner may try to limit your social life or isolate you from your friends and family.

They may tell you how to dress, who you should speak to, and control when and where you go out. A controlling partner may constantly criticize and belittle you to make you feel small or inferior.

It’s also common for a controlling partner to withhold affection as a way of getting what they want. It’s important to remember that no one deserves to be treated this way, if these behaviors are happening in your relationship, it may be time to reflect on whether it is healthy for you.

Has Your Partner Ever Attempted To Isolate You From Friends Or Family?

If you and your partner are in a relationship, you must be aware of the warning signs of a controlling partner so that they don’t take away your freedom to interact with your friends and family.

Too often, controlling partners try to isolate their significant other by cutting off communication with others and belittling them whenever a connection is made or maintained.

Pay attention to any attempts your partner makes to control who you talk to, how much time you spend socializing with people outside of the relationship, or if they suddenly become concerned about where you’re going.

Establishing your independence early on in the relationship can help prevent issues down the line; if these warning signs start appearing, have an honest conversation with your partner and define boundaries as needed.

Does Your Partner Get Angry Or Upset When You Spend Time Away From Them?

If your partner shows signs of deep anxiety or anger when you spend time away from them, it may be a warning sign that they are trying to control you.

Controlling behavior in relationships could include checking up on you excessively when apart, making demands regarding who you associate with or how much time you spend doing certain activities, and making you feel bad for wanting to do something other than what they want.

This type of behavior often goes hand-in-hand with manipulation tactics such as guilt-tripping or gaslighting. It is important to be aware of any controlling patterns in your relationship and speak up if uncomfortable, as these behaviors can often become worse over time.

Have You Noticed A Change In Your Behavior Or Personality Since Being In The Relationship?

One key sign of a controlling partner is a rapid change in behavior and personality. If you’ve noticed yourself transforming since entering the relationship, it could be a sign that your partner is attempting to manipulate or control you.

This can take many subtle forms, such as an overeagerness to help make decisions for you or becoming possessive or jealous even when there isn’t a clear reason to be.

Checking up on you frequently and making small requests at first which build up into an expectation are other common red flags.

If any of these warning signs sound familiar, it’s important to trust your gut instincts, they may be trying to control your every move and determine who you can speak with and what activities you should participate in.

Does Your Partner Have A Temper Or Become Angry Easily?

A controlling partner can be tricky to spot. It often begins with seemingly innocuous behaviors like checking in frequently, expressing jealousy, and wanting to know where you’re going and who you’re with.

More concerning signs are when they start telling you what to do, criticizing your appearance or hobbies, and putting down your friends, family, or opinions.

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If your partner has a temper or gets angry quickly and reacts strongly when challenged, this could signal the beginning of a more serious problem.

It is important to look out for these warning signs if you are concerned about potential control from a partner, it may require some difficult conversations, but it’s worth ensuring that your relationship has the kind of trust and respect one deserves for a healthy partnership.

Do They Try To Guilt Or Pressure You Into Doing Things You Don’t Want To Do?

Controlling partners often use various tactics to exert power and maintain control over their partners. A common warning sign of a controlling partner is when they try to guilt or pressure you into activities you don’t have an interest in doing.

They may tell you that others do it, your friends do it, or even suggest that if you loved them, then you would partake in the activity. This type of manipulation should not be tolerated.

Your partner should respect your boundaries and wishes without trying to guilt or pressure you into anything. If this is happening in your relationship, it’s important to remember that no one deserves to be treated this way and you may need to address the issue head-on with your partner.

Have They Ever Threatened You Or Used Physical Force To Get Their Way?

Controlling behavior from a partner can take many forms, from subtle suggestions to outright threats. If your partner ever uses any kind of physical force, such as pushing or hitting you, that should be taken as an immediate sign that the situation is dangerous.

Other signs often include them limiting your access to friends and family, and monitoring whom you talk to, where you go, and what you do. Another warning sign is when your partner constantly puts down your abilities or belittles you in an attempt to make themselves feel more powerful.

Finally, a controlling mentality tends to be accompanied by strong fits of jealousy whenever their ideas are challenged; they want it their way or in no way at all. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you must take steps to ensure your safety and protect yourself from further harm.

Have You Expressed Your Concerns To Your Partner, And How Did They Respond?

If you notice any red flags such as extreme jealousy, possessiveness, or an insistence on knowing your whereabouts at all times, these could be signs that they are trying to control you.

It is also a good idea to keep track of how your partner responds when you express your concerns; if they become defensive, this is another signal that something may not be right in your relationship.

Knowing the warning signs and communicating with your partner are both key components for ensuring a healthy and happy relationship.


After considering the signs he is controlling, it is clear that there are many signals to watch for. People who display these behaviors are not easy to deal with and often need someone to challenge their unhealthy control dynamics. Those in the relationship need to be aware of the signs he is controlling so that they can bring them up.

Without this dialogue, a controlling partner can end up being emotionally abusive and destructive both to the partner and to themselves. It’s best to acknowledge these symptoms when you see them have a mutually respectful relationship.