Why do we Allow Ourselves to be Controlled?

February 24, 2017

Here are some of the reasons why we may have allowed this type of controlling behaviour to have slipped in to our relationship.


  1. We assume that there is good will, that our partner really does want to understand us, and when he or she doesn’t, it is because we haven’t been able to explain it fully enough. (In fact a controller is trying to control, not understand us at all, despite their protestations to the contrary)
  2. The controlling person usually expresses great love for you, and also shows love in other ways with gifts and kind things, so it seems inconceivable that he or she would also be trying to devalue your thoughts and feelings.
  3. These controlling events usually happen in private, and as well, there is usually a complete denial of any wrong doing by the controller, so your suspicions are never validated by anyone else, so you can feel you’re going crazy, or perhaps over reacting.
  4. The controlling partner can very often turn it around and project it onto you, so you are then blamed for something he or she is actually doing. You can start questioning your sanity.
  5. Frequent assaults over time can tend to normalise these acts in your mind, and you can begin to question yourself.
  6. The controlling partner has usually been so lovable up until the transition, that it is very difficult to rationalise such a change in him or her.
  7. You can believe your partner is rational, and has often made a wrong assumption about you, and when you explain it to him or her, there he or she will understand. (However you find that no matter how much you attempt to explain your view, they never understand. This is because they are not there to understand, they are there to distort your view.)
  8. You have not been aware of such a thing as verbal abuse and controlling measures, and though even though you have felt hurt and frustrated and confused, you haven’t understood what has been going on.
  9. You can think your feelings are wrong.
  10. Your partner can be good at times and not at others, adding to the confusion.
  11. The abuse can be subtle, with the control increasing gradually over time, so you gradually adapt to it.
  12. You can sometime be so stunned or thrown off balance to be able to think clearly about what has just happened.


The Difference between Real Love and a Control Connection:


Real Love

Control Connection

You feel heard, and he/she attempts to, or is open to understand you.


You don’t feel heard or understood no matter how hard you try to explain yourself.
You feel a warmth and gentleness of spirit between you. Your partner seems against you.
You feel your partner is on your side, or at least recognises your truth as your truth, even if he doesn’t fully understand or agree with it. You feel your partner is trying to erase, ignore, belittle or negate you at times, while at other times acts in loving ways.
There is always an energetic space that your partner creates for you and your expression of yourself (and vice versa). Your partner attacks you or ignores you unexpectedly.
Your partner delights in, or at least can smile at your idiosyncrasies. You partner complains or has a dig at you for your idiosyncrasies.
Your partner regularly expresses genuine love and appreciation for you in his/her life. You partner mostly takes you for granted and is angry when you show signs of separateness.



These 3  blog articles are largely adapted from ‘Controlling People” and “The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans