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20 Signs Your Partner is Controlling

When people are invested and immersed in their relationships it can be hard for people to notice if they are in a toxic relationship. It can often take an outside professional perspective to gently point out controlling behaviors. These kinds of relationships can easily sneak up on anyone.  Dr. Andrea Bonior, a contributor writer for Psychology Today has a list of 20 signs that show if your partner is controlling.

  1. Isolating you from friends and family
  2. Chronic criticism 
  3. Veiled or overt threats 
  4. Making acceptance/caring/attraction conditional
  5. An overactive scorecard
  6. Using guilt as a tool 
  7. Creating a debt you're beholden too
  8. Spying, snooping, or requiring constant disclosure
  9. Overactive jealousy, accusations, or paranoia
  10. Not respecting your need for time alone
  11. Making you "earn" trust or other good treatment
  12. Presuming your guilty until proven innocent
  13. Getting you so tired of arguing that you'll relent 
  14. Making you feel belittled for long-held beliefs
  15. Making you feel like you don't measure up or are unworthy of them
  16. Teasing or ridicule that has an uncomfortable undercurrent
  17. Sexual interactions that feel upsetting afterwards
  18. Inability or unwillingness to ever hear your point of view
  19. Pressuring you toward unhealthy behaviors, like substance abuse
  20. Thwarting your professional or educational goals by making you doubt yourself

To learn more about these signs of a controlling partner, click here


Chris Massman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris' training includes Family Systems Theory along with numerous other theories. She believes therapy is an art and chooses the theory she feels will most benefit the individual sitting in front of her. Her specialty lies is in the field of Chemical Dependency and Addictions. Chris is currently seeing individuals, couples and families. Chris is a Clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Chris has two locations including Tarzana and Agoura Hills, CA.