8 Signs Your “Caring” Partner Is Actually Controlling You

There’s a thin line between caring and controlling. And sometimes it can be hard to distinguish one from the other. But once the caring behavior of your partner makes you feel guilty, afraid, or inferior, you should take it as a sign that they might have control over you.

Bright Side always has your back. That’s why we explored this topic deeper and can pinpoint situations when a partner might cross the line between control and care.

1. Compromises become one-sided sacrifices.

Compromise is all about meeting your partner halfway, not neglecting your needs and feelings in order to please your partner’s demands. A caring partner will always do their best to try to find a common language with you, but a controlling one will set strict ultimatums without taking your feelings into account.

2. The standards you’ve set to make things fair become unfair.

Every relationship has standards or rules that each partner follows. However, when one partner begins to disregard those standards but still expects you to respect them, it means they are becoming controlling.

3. You’re “walking on eggshells” around them.

Being with a caring partner means that you’ll feel comfortable openly talking about your needs and feelings with them. But if you’re afraid to speak up for yourself because they might lash out instead of resonating with you, it means they want to have control in the relationship. A controlling partner will always be right and won’t apologize or take responsibility for their actions.

4. They make you do things you don’t like “for your own good.”

For example, if your partner wants you to eat more veggies or motivate you to exercise in order to improve your posture and ease your back pain, your partner cares about your well-being. But if your partner makes you eat healthy food and exercise even if you don’t want to just to improve the way you look, they start to neglect your needs in order to satisfy theirs.

5. The things you share with them start to violate your personal boundaries.

It’s only natural for your partner to ask you to share some personal things about yourself with them. However, if your partner pressures you to tell them something you don’t feel comfortable sharing, it means that they don’t care about how you feel. Instead, they want to know more about you and your soft spots so they can have control over you and someday use your weaknesses against you.

6. They are thwarting your professional or educational goals because they don’t want your feelings to get hurt.

If you have big ambitions, be it professional or educational, a caring partner who thinks you’re not ready to pursue them will motivate you to improve your skills in order to meet your goals. A controlling partner, on the other hand, will not give you the support you need. They’ll make you doubt yourself, saying that they’re afraid for you to try because you’ll be disappointed if you don’t succeed.

7. They start to interfere in your relationships with your friends and family.

In order to get the control in their hands, your partner will try to isolate you from your family and friends. That way, they’ll feel less threatened that you might want to leave them someday. A caring partner will try to protect you from people in your life that they feel aren’t good for you, but they’ll never forbid you from talking to them.

8. You simply feel like you’re being dominated.

No relationship should make you feel small, unsafe, or unhappy. If your partner is truly caring, you will feel accepted, loved, and validated in their presence. But if you constantly receive threats and ultimatums from your partner about them leaving you because of things you’ve done, you’re most likely in a controlling relationship.

Have you ever been in a controlling relationship? Do you know other signs of a controlling partner?

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