Examples of controlling behavior in a marriage

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Divorce

Spouses are supposed to be equals. While marriage is not always plain sailing, there should always be mutual kindness and respect between partners.

Unfortunately, controlling behavior can become a factor. This can be damaging to the spouse on the receiving end. The following are some examples of controlling behavior that you may be concerned about in your own marriage.

When you don’t get a say

There are certain things that you should always be in control of. For example, you should be able to choose your friends and see your family members whenever you like. Furthermore, you should always be in control of the food you eat and the hobbies that you partake in. If you have been told that you are not allowed to see certain friends or family members or partake in the activities you enjoy, then this could amount to abuse. The same can be said if your spouse only allows you to eat certain things at certain times of the day. Marriage should not involve you losing all of your independence.

Being blamed for the actions of others

All marriages have their ups and downs. Arguments will arise from time to time, and generally, both spouses will be to blame at times. Nobody is perfect and life can be stressful. However, you are only responsible for your own actions. If your spouse has lost their temper and lashed out, then that is their responsibility. Being told “it is your fault I lashed out”, is a form of projection and controlling behavior. Controlling individuals have a tendency to refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

Putting you down in front of other people

Sadly, controlling individuals often try to minimize the self-esteem of their partners. One tactic that may be employed is to criticize the appearance and conduct of their partner. For instance, they may say that they are embarrassed about your weight. Or, they may dictate what you can and cannot wear when going out. The put downs can be in private but they can also occur in public, in front of friends and family members. For example, they may say that your laugh is too loud and that you need to adjust your behavior. Or, they may request that you cease flirting with other people when all you were doing was having a conversation.

Controlling behavior has the potential to become dangerous for those who experience it. It is not something that any spouse should have to put up with. Your safest option may be to leave the relationship behind you and start afresh.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

Let Me Be Your Brave

Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner