Is Your Spouse A Control Freak?


control freakAre you the partner of a control freak?

Is he or she a controlling personality who likes to get their own way and ignores your own personal feelings? Are they difficult to live with and so demanding?

Maybe you are not too sure about it and need a little help to decide whether or not they are.  Or maybe you know they are and don’t know what to do next.

So here’s few questions you need to ask yourself to help you find out if you are in the powerful grip of a control freak

Detecting A Control Freak

Does this describe you?

  • Do you have problems with your spouse or partner being bossy and domineering?
  • Do you feel that they verbally and mentally bully you into submission?
  • Do they have to have the last say in everything and refuse to listen to your point of view?
  • Do they sulk and pout and generally make your life miserable until you give in to them?
  • Do they control the finances and decide on what or what not to buy?
  • There’s a lack of mutual respect between the two of you?
  • Tempers and defensiveness make it impossible to discuss problems?

If you answered yes to all the above then you are probably living with a control freak. Control freaks are very difficult to live with as they won’t compromise because that means they are losing control of the situation. They use words as weapons to mentally bully you into submission and make you feel so bad that you take the easy way out every time just for an easy life.  At times it gets so impossible to put up with their behaviour you might end up asking yourself  “should I just leave them?”.

Of course, it’s quite natural to want control of your own life but not to the extent of controlling everyone around you into the bargain. People who exhibit controlling behaviour patterns in a relationship have a personality disorder caused by their own feelings of anxiety and vulnerability.

The control freak makes sure that everyone close to him knows that he must get his way or else. He will tolerate no disagreement, different points of view, or criticism. His spiteful side is always close to the surface ready to explode if anyone has the nerve to challenge to his authority.

A control freak may be highly sociable with strangers but people who really know him sense the aggression that lurks beneath the surface and give in to his demands just to avoid conflict.The underlying sense of aggression means that no one dares to confront him, even when it is obvious he is in the wrong. Thus, he imposes his will in the relationship no matter what the consequences, good or bad.

Control freaks are highly manipulative, cunning, intimidating, and skilled at debate and masters at distorting the real truth in a given situation.They will resort to almost anything to get their own way no matter how wrong and illogical it may be.They simply have to be in control to feel good about themselves.

Once in a while, when no longer able to pretend and to suppress their rage, a control freak will take it out on the real source of their anger. They lose all vestiges of self-control and rave like lunatics. They shout incoherently, make absurd accusations, distort facts, and bring up long-suppressed grievances, allegations and suspicions.<

Being in control of every situation is their way of protecting themselves but they take it to such extremes that it affects everyone around them including their own partners and family. Certain types of control freaks not only have to control the situation but also have to mentally bully you into submission in order for them to feel better about themselves. They use their anger as a weapon if they can’t get their own way.

It is not easy dealing with an angry controlling spouse like this. Your humiliation and weakness empowers them. Your own self-esteem can be so affected by their bullying nature that sometimes the only solution is to walk out the door and start a new life without them.

Trying to change someone who has a domineering personality is a virtually impossible task as they don’t see things like most other people. Everything they do is geared to their own needs and woe betide anyone who tries to stop them getting what they want. They are like a spoilt child who never really grew up.

If you are under the thumb of someone like this and they refuse to change then you have to decide whether or not you should  leave them. Unfortunately, when things are so bad, you might  have to do this for the sake of your own mental health. Suffering in silence is no solution to handling a control freak; they will treat you with the scorn that you deserve for being so weak towards them.


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  1. Eric says

    Some control freaks described here are best described in the book “Stop walking on eggshells Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder”

    they don’t have to be self-harming (as in BPD) to get valuable info from this book.

  2. Eric says

    The things that kept me putting up with these behaviours (in the past) were codependency, self-sacrifice, willingly treating her like a princess, with grander and grander gestures that reaped less and less gratitude. Avoidance of of the rage maintained the problem and any appeal to reasoning or logic was futile. Her primary aim is maintain control and a shiny (fault free) sense of self. Even when I told her I was depressed, she told me I wasn’t, and at the same time, attributed it to everything but our relationship. I used to spiral out of control trying to defend my self-worth, now I am numb and can predict her responses. I have to assert myself, at any cost, as my children have started to model the behaviours and my parenting authority is constantly undermined. I don’t expect any change in her anymore, the change is me getting a backbone without becoming aggressive or violent in return. My need for acknowledgement and being loved comes from friends and community work.

  3. Eric says

    Hi Rafa, I suggest professional help, it’s probably not a mental illness, but part of a personality structure established in childhood. look for a therapist that deals with personality disorders (but don’t be put off by that term). Living with a control freak myself, it is like the thought of being even momentarily ‘wrong’, no matter how trivial, evokes a state of intolerable shame that they will say or do anything to force retraction, apology or defeat to protect themself. To stop your own primal response, ask your partner to put her feelings in writing, and then don’t reply straight away, sit with that panicked feeling until it subsides, your world wont fall apart and you will still be intact. Don’t try to correct, change the subject, deflect, aportion blame. just because someone is critical of your behaviour doesnt mean you have been shamed. Also, as a positive step, unreservedly praise her achievements, privately and socially, it wont diminish you, and the recognition of her may be appreciated.

  4. Rafa says

    Hi Jo,

    I have realized what I have been suspecting for a while. I am a control freak. I have read the definitions in several sites and I think I fall within the definition. I don’t think I am that bad, but I still am. I think the underlying issue could me low self esteem, abandonment and my dad was an alcoholic also very abusive towards my mom.

    I have been in a relationship for 6 years, fortunately my partner is really strong and she puts on a good shell against my attacks. I have a great partner , and I love her. She brings lots of joy and excitement to my life, but we are at the point that my criticism has pushed her away from me. Now we may be in the verge of a break up. Actually I think the break up is pretty imminent. We still love each other very much though.

    My question is this, where can I get help for my behavior. I don’t want to lose her or live with this issues.

    I don’t want to be like this anymore. I am extremely smart and caring person and this issue is causing a lot of harm in my life.

    Any constructive suggestions are welcome.


    • Judy says

      Hi I am so sorry you are going through this! I am married to a very successful man who has to be in control! I love him dearly but suffer from depression and have for years! what stands out to me is that you need to stand up and not argue! We have been together for 45 years and the only way I have been able to dissipate an argument with him is to not argue! one time we stopped arguing when I said I love, do you love me? I was amazed that it worked after almost a whole night of fighting! I hope you can work out your relationship since I can tell you are in love the way we are!

  5. miss x says

    this article could have been written for my husband he fits the bill perfectly of course i wanrt to go
    i have no money or job, i have low self etseem feel depressed. he is an obnoxoius bully who yells, shouts, controls and sulks its like living with jekyl and hyde im walking on eggshells all the time
    he blames me for every little thing and is very emotionally and verbally absuive he swears all the time and doesnr like sex
    i feel trapped and so want to be free
    if anybodys out there who can help and offer advice, please get in touch

  6. Mike says

    What a relief. I have been living with a control freak for 15 years and only now I realize this. I love my wife but she has long ago become intolerable- screaming and shouting at me and the children many times every day, trying to control us worse than my sargeant in the army did! I am very close to seeking a divorce now, I am so depressed I can´t concentrate on m job anymore. After searcing information about what´s wrong with my marriage I saw a (female) psychologist. She told me after a short time that my wife´s self confidence is very low and that she feels an urge to control me (and our children) in order not to feel too much anxiety. Then I read this. I demanded that my wife follow me to councelling which she denied. If she maintains that decision it´s over! I also feel so sorry for our children, they are very nice and mature and well-behaved and really don´t deserve this. I don´t think she realizes how close she suddenly is to the edge.

  7. blue99 says

    Glad I found this. My story is an extreme case of control. She also use mind control, very subtle. She came on as a weak clinging vine type, but as soon as she found my weaknesses she played on them, using the kids as bait. Recently we lost a son to suicide, are suffering complete financial meltdown bcause of her control of a non existent “budget” and doesent like sex. But I love my remaining kids and grandkids, she says I am way too old for her, and her friends agree with this assesment even though I’m just a few years older. I hve dedicated my whole life to her, and all she says what a big mistake it was. I know, unfortunately this is a bluff, and has become totally dependent on me, I am her slave, and feel stupid and of liuttle worth. She always says about me “what are yiu good for” I’ve even though of comitting a crime, thinking maybe jail. Will be better, but I really love her and know she will fold uop totally without me and what’s left of my remaining rescources.

  8. Elizabeth says

    I am having a bad relationship with my husband. I talk to my friends about it using my cell phone. My husband tracks the numbers and then calls them or ask others whether they know who it is. I am having a real hard time. Now he is even going to meet one of the person whom I talked to in person (It is my dad’s best friend and he has nothing to do with this. He just gave me some advice). Please advice me what I should do.

  9. Caroline Brown says

    My bidey-in is very charming and has a lot of friends in the pub. Our arguments are usually trivial but so distressing. The current one is when to plait the shallots for goodness sake. Last year I dug them up without permission and he still bangs on about this, even though they survived storage in perfect condition and he planted them and they all came up. they were laid out by himself in the sun and when the stems were wilted I said I would plait them. labour ready and willing. He raged. They have to completely dry. I eventually complied and did not plait them. Even though last year I plaited them green and they survived. he knows this but only remembers that I dug them up and plaited them without permission. So this year they are not plaited. Still lying out in the rain, me angry and resentful and him blaming me for the fact they are rotting. If I had only waited to plait them on his sayso they would be plaited and hanging up in store. Of course, when I say he is being unreasonable he just comes up with another of my earlier infractions. time to go.

  10. mac says

    I don’t take it anymore. I felyt so low a year ago. Now I push back.

    Here’s what I did. My wife basically is ‘right’ all the time. Everything has to fit her worldcview or it is not ood enough. She will ask me to do soething ad as soon as I begin the comments and controlling language will start. She gives the impression she is delegating chores or fsmily needs to me but there is no real delegation just an immediate attempt to make my efforts seem a failure.

    So. For the sake of the children I started to put my foot down. Literally. I stamped my own foot in response and said ‘no’. I a going to do X and I usually do it fine, I don’t care what you think, you wan me to help with family needs then give me a list of tasks and get out of the way.’

    This made an amazing difference. I have felt stronger and stronger. She has become andgry and sulked and retributional, but things are slowly getting better.

    When confronted with a bullying controlling spouse Stand Up, Speak Up, and push back. It works.

  11. Unsure Wife says

    I have been married to control freak for 21 years and we have 4 beautiful children, ages 6 years old to 20 years. We go through viscious cycles where he blames when I do things or decide things on my own, then he blames , puts the guilt heavily on me, and then after a few days acts nothing has happened. This has gone on for years over all kinds of issues. However the last couple of years it has gotten more violent — verbal and my sons feel like they have to referee. I don’t want the kids to be involved with our problems, I try to talk calmly to him but he cant do that — he wants all to hear in the house that is . He would be extremely embarrassed if someone outside our family overheard. I started going to a group that is from the House of hOpe that discusses abusive spouses. That has helped — in fact – I have brought up the word separating and divorce with him. He acts like I have stabbed him in the heart and he has never heard of us having a problem.. He always makes me feel like I am imagining it. Sometimes I feel like I am losing it. When I think he has agreed and wants to get his over with it I feel elated and like a 1000 ton has been lifted off my back. What should I do? Keep working on this marriage for the sake of the kids? or Get out.

  12. Liza says

    My car windshield has a crack. I did not do anything but my husband is talking as if I did something carelessly. He has told me to drive around with that. I give him all the money and still he verbally abuses him. I diverted my salary to another account and he and his father forced me to redirect it. He is threatening me. I just stick to the marriage for kids and just earn 47 K. I wondr if I can survivie with 47 K .

  13. blonde and controlled says

    i am in constant pain with my husband for his issues on control. he is a great father and great in many aspects of his life. he is smart, goofy/funny and understands me. he sometimes gets me to well. i feel stuck that i have a great man underneath but loath having a conversation about our life, where we stand. i don’t tell him enough that i feel this way. of course he would just look me in the eye and tell me that i am being stupid and ridiculous. it doesn’t help that my communication when dealing with pain brings me to tears. then he just leaves or tells me that i don’t know anything. i can’t buy anything without permission. i decorate then he tells me it looks like crap. i raise our child and have had great compliments on how i am doing it (not from him). he always has a better way. the questioning and the “make me feel i am stupid for my ways” makes me feel the grass HAS to be greener on the other side. is it? or do i just cope with this and withstand it for our son. to keep our household and familiy together. everyday i am in pain. anyone feel this way? can someone just tell me what i should do? i can give more details if needed – if someone can actually help…

    • Jo says

      Firstly only you can make the decision as to which direction you take. No-one can advise you as you’d only hate them in the end for telling you to do something you didn’t want to do. There are probably many options for you. One option would be to just ignore what he says to you or react by saying something like “really, you don’t like it, I love it – oh well good we have different opinons” then walk away – see how he reacts to that. Don’t take what he says to you to heart. He is insecure and is bringing you down so that you feel insecure enough that you will think no-one else will every love/like you. This is wrong – it’s his feelings of inadequacy he is putting on you. Secondly you need some serious self-esteem boosting – I don’t know where you live or what facilities are available to you – if you can afford it find someone to help you with boosting your confidence – hypnotherapy, counselling, or even take relaxation classes. You say you can’t spend without his permission. Do you have a job or is he the main provider? If he is the main provider and you can find a job find one and keep your own bank account. Set yourself up so you are independent of him. Find a friend or family member you can really trust who will give you emotional support – not tell you what to do but listen to you and help you come to your own decisions. Once you build up your own self esteem and find people who you can talk to near you then you will be able to make that move, if you have to. It’s not easy. My b/f is a control freak but I stand up to him – I sent him an email with details about him being a control freak. he read it and agreed – I can now talk to him about it and I stand up to him – he isn’t as bad as he was but whenever he ever tries to dominate I immediately tell him to go and bother someone else. The best response is to walk away when they start belittling you, ignore what they say and do what you want. Good luck.

  14. rose white says

    beefee… get out of that relationship immediately and go find yourself a nice new life with a happy guy.
    but protect yourself by letting all your mutual friends and acquaintances know that th erelationship has ended and hope that this will prvent him becoming a crazy stalkera nd ultimately murdering you.
    At the first sign of aggressive stalking from him go report him to th elocal police.
    your guy is a total control freak.
    have you seen the Hitler Parodies on Youtube? Hitler starting calm and then working hisself into a frenzy because people dare question his judgement?

  15. rose white says

    Slade Smiley of Real Houseiwves of Orange County is a medium intensity control freak as shown by his demanding to know what underwear hi girlfriend Jo was weering on her girlie nights out.
    Then he lost it completely when he zoomed off after her in his Hummer and ran over the rose bishes when she moved out of his house. On that occasion he was so worked up that I thought Jo was in serious danger and when I mentioned the incident to my hairdresser she said ‘he would ahve murdered her if he’d caught her!’ which is the truth of the situation of control freaks.
    just last week we had a case in Uk of a woman who ended a relationship and the guy then started harrassing her and she reported him to the police so he then murdered her and then killed himself as so often happens.
    Women need a Control Freak LAw to protect us from these losers.

  16. Sandy says

    My husband has control over the money, his money. I have been looking for a job for a year. He has me sign the tax return, but does he offer me a little bit of it? Hell no! Next year I won’t be signing it at all. The money got deposited directly into his account. This is the way he thinks.. If I’m paying for her car insurance and puts a roof over her head that’s enough. Nice huh? We signed a prenup that was very unfair to me. My lawyer said that is not fair and you should not sign. I signed, because the wedding was a few days afterward. I’m regretting getting married, and once I get a steady job I want out. I have money in the bank, but I don’t want to use it all up on housing etc. If he can’t use me, I’m useless to him. That’s the way I feel, and he will deny every word of it. Second marriage for both of us, and there won’t be a third for me if I can get out of this one.

    • steve says

      if the husband has no job and the wife pays for him completly im not sure you will get a lot of sympathy from women except kick him out the lazy bum…you say you have money but only want spend on your own needs……doesnt this sound like pot calling kettle black?

  17. Eric says

    My father is married to a control freak.. He knows she has really bad OCD, but, I don’t think he knows exactly how bad it is. She tries her damn hardest to get my father to push me away. The father / son relationship as a result, has been diluted. Sad, but, I’ve tried explaining to my dad her tendencies, but, he’s in denial.

    Theres nothing I can do about it. I just hope he realizes later on or soon, what is normal, and what is not. I don’t want him to realize everything at the last minute, being left with no confidence.

    • Jo says

      the best thing you can do here is not try and tell him what she’s like! As much as you probably want to he will just see this as proof she is right even when she’s not! Be as nice as you can with him – don’t set yourself up for a fall. Say things to him to boost his confidence, take him out, tell him how he would be good at whatever he wants to do. If he tells you she has told him he is useless at something answer back by saying “I don’t think you are useless – I think you are capable of doing anything you want to do”. Don’t say “she’s wrong” just say how you feel. Be a son to him, visit him, phone him. Don’t say a word against her. You will soon find that when he realises what she is like he’ll appreciate having you beside him for support.
      Good luck.

  18. Talia says

    Hi again. I’m tired from sleep deprivation – he wakes me at all hours whether I’ve slept or not. I’m also hungry a lot of the time because we’re broke and he doesn’t want me to work (working would take me away from him when he needs my 24/7 help/service). Last night he dumped garbage on me when I wouldn’t get up to help fast enough. The irony of it all is that in his mind, I’M the evil, psycho bitch. If I try to leave, he’ll accuse me of trying to kill/sabotage him. If I stay I face a life of misery and deprivation. Someone please tell me if there’s a reasonable and humane way out of this.

    • Jo says

      Hi there
      I really feel for you. The reason he doesn’t want you to work is that he wants to control you! If you work you would earn your own money and you would be able to leave him. Only you can decide what to do. I’ve been in the situation where I was woken up at odd times because my other half was awake and wanted to talk. He doesn’t do it now because I told him over and over again not to. You have to ask yourself “am I garbage, do I deserve this treatment” – if your answer is no then you really need to find help – tell a friend/family member. No-one can tell you what to do but you are better than this and you deserve to be happy. Why not find a job when he is working (part time) so that you are home when he is home. Or if he’s home all the time too then you need to rethink. I don’t know your situation. I’ve always worked and had my own money so I cannot comment. Get help from friends/family/the church whoever will listen to you and you will build the strength to get out. Good luck.

    • rose white says

      Jo! get away from that guy immediately. Go to your local Citizens Advice or similar centre and woman’s shelter for help in getting resyraining orders against him as he is highly likely to become a stalker and harrass and ultimately murder you.

  19. Kev says

    Hi again everyone, Jo & SL…..
    Well persistence prevails, the same as patience, which is also a virtue…I left her a few times and it worked…I went to my Fathers…she didnt like that because know they know what she is like….However, everything is now okay and my Partner is now seeking help….things that may help you SL…
    1. Let her know what she is like and what she is doing..make a note, write a document on your PC or laptop….then when you have completely had enough of her behaviour send the list to her in an email…if it is in black and white, and you have documented everything she is doing it may hit home what she is doing to you.
    2. Go and stay at your families for a few days, see how she likes it, then tell her your thinking of ending te relationship, because you cant cope with the way she is, and unless she gets help, tell her that there is no hope..
    3. Let her know that you have told other people what she is like, your friends your family….control freaks hate this…because they want their behaviour kept secret…
    4. Tell her she needs help…there may be underlying problems…debt, illness she is not telling you about, or I am sorry to say she may be cheating…but dont actually confront her with this until you know for sure…It is highly unlikely that she is because she has you where she wants you…under her thumb…and doing what she wants you to do…
    5. This is the most important one ‘SL’, DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE!!!…tell a friend confide in someone and let them know what your going through, you’ll be surprised how many people are suffering the same male and female…even if people get absolutely fed up of hearing about your relationship…you need to let off steam…
    These all worked for me…so I cant see why they shouldnt for anyone else….My partner now recognises she would lose a decent guy…and has up until now stopped her behaviour…good luck everyone….Kev

    • Jo says

      well done Kev. It is difficult though and every situation and person is different. It also depends on where you live – UK, USA or elsewhere as to the type of support you can get. Some people don’t have friends or family and may have had but lost contact due to their insecure mate.
      These people are INSECURE – they feel threatened so they bring you down in order that you will lose your self-esteem, feel worthless and most importantly to them not able to live without them or that no-one else would want you! That is what they want you to believe so that you don’t leave them. My b/f is a control freak – I finished it, we got back together then he did it again – I sent him emails about control freaks and he has improved – long may it last. If it doesn’t I will end it for good. WE ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TREATED LIKE DOORMATS and worse like something someone has scraped off a shoe! Like Kev says – find a friend or a church or help group – someone who will listen to you. There are a LOT of insecure people out there and they need help. Don’t suffer in silence as you are the only one who will suffer in the end. You have ONE life to live, live it – be selfish for a change and think of you. Every day say to yourself “I am a good person, I deserve to be treated with respect” – say it over and over again then one day you may just beat these insecure people who you really need to feel sorry for and not afraid off.

  20. SL says

    I think I’m in this type of situation now. My wife of 4yrs has gotten worse over time. At this point she blames me for everything, told me I couldn’t balance a checkbook and said she do the finances. Though she doesn’t, because she has to work, and since she works from home, I’m supposed to take the baby, clean up, cook, work myself and do pretty much anything she wants. If I don’t, I’m a screw up, I irresponsible, I’m worthless cause I was layer off, I’m too nice because I allow my blind mother to live here(which she wants her gone now, so badly she runs to he mothers with the baby at least once a month and stays there for a week while stating her demands before he comes home). I usually give them to her.
    If I don’t she occassionly quiets for a week or so then cycle
    Starts again until she gets her way. Then next item. Always seems she needs something changed or done. Recently I’m getting slack about not working on the house enough, and that no one does anything in the house. Yet I can’t remember the last time she did something without complaining and using excuses for why she couldn’t complete the laundry.. Of course the excuse was because I didn’t watch the baby.. Always my fault. Let’s not even get into the fact that she only
    Does for others when it benefits her.. A whole other story that is.
    I thought it was selfishness and self centered, but after reading these articles on control freaks. It fits her.. Almost to a T. She has no compassion, remorse, and her sex drive is almost zero unless we have a few drinks. She can’t stand ring submissive again unless we have a few drinks.
    Another thing she does is she will repeat herself. Like a question or opinion until a person responds with what she wants to hear. That is one I can’t stand. Lol.
    I am screwed I think. I love her much, but at the moment I don’t like her. I’ll be researching how to help her. She is not a bad person, just this control freak thing is tough to deal with.
    Good luck to all out there… It’s not easy..

    • Al says

      Hi SL,

      I appreciate that this is a really bad time and you are probably really suffering right now but perhaps you might try and get her to a doctor, a good one, one you and she trust, not a rubbish GP. It could be that she has had postnatal depression and if it wasn’t dealt with at the start then it probably has escalated. I can say for certain of course but it sounds quite similar to my own experience. After i had my baby everything changed, my body, the way i felt about myself and my husband, everything. One of the main problems was that you feel bounced between feeling that you control nothing to feeling that you have to do everything and being very very lonely along with it. It also changes the husband and for me, i felt, that he was unappreciative and completely unsympathetic and dismissive of the way i was feeling. The pregnancy and birth took something away from me and i never got it back, i lost a part of myself when he was born, like he took it with him. I felt lost. I didnt want to have sex cos it reminded me of the baby and cos my husband dismissed my feelings and was a huge contributer (sprem) to them, i was definately not in the mood. Besides it felt different and different is scary.
      You say she’s remorseless, angry and wants to be in control. Have you ever thought that the fear and pain and, often, grief accompanied with a change in lifestyle i.e. birth, could possibly be to blame? Perhaps you both have built walls that you BOTH feel you can’t get through? I suggest that if you cant get her to talk to you, or its too volatile to do so, then go and see someone. It might be as simple as knowing that someone else will listen that matters.
      Sorry. I just feel that there are so many emotional and chemical changes associated with pregnancy and birth that there can be severe behavioural consequences that you do not want to last a lifetime.

  21. Talia says

    Now that I am my control freak’s carer, I am his to command 24/7, to the extent of having to see to his demands all night and into the following day. Reluctant compliance, or daring to show any hint of fatigue or displeasure invites a fresh rain of insults and threats against my person (he spits in my face) and personal possessions (he throws food, breaks crockery, and destroys inanimate objects that I’m using if he feels that their use makes me slower to obey him.) HELP I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!

  22. Talia says

    my partner has always been bossy, but ever since he became seriously ill, he has become impossible – he no longer wants my companionship; just my silent obedience. He tells me what to do, what to say, what NOT to say (he seldom wants to hear anything from me – not complaint, criticism, rational discussion, or even a joke or friendly chatter). I can’t go anywhere, see anybody, or do anything without clearing it with him first. When I’m out, he is in constant touch by mobile phone to give me orders. And nothing I do is good enough for him. I’m subjected to a constant barrage of verbal abuse for getting things wrong. And every time I talk about leaving he accuses me of sabotaginguyen him. I feel like I’m living in a little Islamic republic as he now feels that as a woman, I have nothing real or valuable to contribute except humble subservience. I live in a constant state of rage and grief.

  23. Della says

    Lesbian relationship: never met anyone like her. I don’t understand what made her like this. I suffer from depression and panic anxiety, … I know what made me like this, so what,…WHY are these people like this? Why?

  24. Sandra says

    Carmen, I have been married for almost 30 years and am just now realizing that I have been living with a control freak. Maybe I just did not want to accept it. I have starting doubting myself. My husband doesn’t see me as an equal and wants me to agree with everything he does, or else he says I am not supportive of him. He is very subtle in his abuse, but he is the master of intimidation and is prone to verbal rages where he screams at me to answer his questions, either yes or no. He will order me to go “to my room” and don’t come out until I have finished working on some self improvement project that he has assigned me. He has told me to leave the house at least 7 times over the last 3 years. Usually it is in the middle of the night and he would order me to take all my stuff and go. It would take me 2 or 3 hours to get all my clothes out the house. Once when I refused to leave, he through all my clothes on the floor from the upstairs balcony and then told me to get them all up. I have to come to grips with this. I would always go back and say I would try and “do better”. I am going to a therapist and trying to make some sense of my life. After 30 years, it is difficult to see myself as alone, but for my own sanity I have to. I have three grown children and I had to move in with one of my sons for a while, because I had no where to go.

  25. carmen says

    Wow they make it sound so easy to just leave. Its not, its a harsh world out there and not that many jobs for women that don’t have much work experience That job also needs to be enough to support the needs like rent and food,meds ect.I have been married 37 years, my husband has always had to know where I was,who with and when I would be back. I have no friends because of him,he wpuld always have to join us and they frankly don’t like him.Even when I use to work he would show up there,my boss would ask him to leave and he said no. It was ok when it worked at least I had alone time while he did,didn’t have a way to go anywhere but I was away from him. He was more demanding of my time in the evenings and weekends. Now hes off work because hes decided he doesn’t want to work anymore and here 24/7. Its driving me nuts..I’ve tried talking to him and he thinks I don’t want to spend time with him,which I don’t but sheesh do something on your own,he has no friends because of his hateful attitude or he has to be with me. I want out of this marriage so bad but with the economy the way it is,its not looking good.

  26. viv says

    My husband cheats, hits me, keeps my own money from me, and tells me “nobody’s gonna want u with 5 kids”….. I’ve done everything he’s told me to in fear of losing my kids. He’s a jerk now….wait til the divorce. I am so scared.

    • Karin says

      I had been with my control freak now ex partner for 11 years, he took overdose put ropes around his neck mounted the car on the pavement said he would set the house on fire also tried or led me to believe he would crash the car with me in it, poured petrol on my plants punishment for going out the list is endless. I am now well rid I ended the relationship I took him to court for stalking me, before I ended the relationship I managed to get a support network for myself with solicitors, womens aid and talked to the police as I was scared. I was so glad that I had that support. Anyway 6 months on i’m happy and loving my life it wasn’t all easy I have four kids what suprised me most of all was that the opposite sex found me attractive and wanted to spend time with me Im not ready for that yet but it gave me new confidence most of all I’m so proud of myself. Take care I was scared too but not any more xxx

    • rose white says

      you will find lots of nice people to help you through the divorce and first few weeks but you will notice yourself and the kids will soon be happier and enjoying life again.
      start proceedings immediately.

  27. kev says

    Hi Jo,
    Well the poo has hit the fan…showed her the link and she has told me to find someone else!….Is that her not recognising that she has a problem? Or annoyed because she is dismissing her behaviour? However, its my payday and, yet again she is dictating what my wages should be spent on, crying over debts and bills etc, yet she is spending money on Ebay…:0/ I came home at 5.30am, after a 12 hour shift, straight into an argument she was obviously planning…over these bills etc..and yet again I am being ignored…so so fed up now..I have no where to run too, and she knows it!!..low esteem…
    Kev :0(

    • fred says

      Kev, I am in a similar situation as you are although yours seems to be much worse. One thing that seems to help me deal with her, I am mentally prepared for a split up. For me it was always a problem that if we do split up it is the end of the world. Well not anymore, if she has a problem I will help her pack up her stuff, and let courts decides who gets what. As far as finances you might want to setup budgets for her and you. Try to keep record of spending for both of you and next time there is a fight calmly bring it up and let the number show who is the spender in the family.

    • Jo says

      I really feel for you. you must be at your wits end. Do you have any friends you can confide in? The guy I showed the site to agreed at the time he was a control freak but now is denying it again! We have fallen out yet again and I think it’s definitely over for me. It’s not an easy thing to leave someone when you love them or have some feelings. I think we build up a dependancy and when they knock us down even more we become even more dependent because out self-esteem takes a knock. I think that it’s important to really look at yourself and ask yourself what you truly want. Get professional help if you can. A self-help group would be something to set up in your area.

  28. kev says

    Hi again Jo,
    Its my payday again and yet again she is moaning about what I should be doing with my wages, and that we are in debt and have bills etc…yet she is spending money on Ebay, I am moaned at for mentioning that I need a haircut….she started this argument at 5.30 yesterday morning when I had just got in from work….I came home this morning after a 12 hour shift an yet again and there are dirty dishes in the sink…yet her and her daughter sit watching TV all night, I was again moaned at for using too much fabric conditioner…I dont think its a good idea to show her that control freak link…she would dismiss it and say it was me…projection of blame I think its called…I am at my wits end…all she does is chip away at me all the time…I am feeling really low at the moment…I hate coming home…and sometimes stay at work, until I think that she wont be around at home…I am fed up!!!

  29. Tania says

    Thanks for this article. My husband just had a tantrum because…guess what….I bought the wrong kind of hummus and bought thin sliced bread instead of thick sliced. I was lectured about how I cannot read a shopping list properly and next time he will have to do the shopping and get the things he wants. He fits the profile above perfectly.

  30. karlene says

    I was dating a control freak for four years. He wanted to me to do my hair the way he likes it, wear clothes he likes. If we are going out I had to put on what I was going to wear and he had to approve it or he would not go with me or he would go through my stuff and picks out other things until he he satisfied. He use to get angry and simple things. If I called him for a whole day and he does not answer I must not ask him if he did not see me calling I would be punished for it. He use to be so emotionally draining. He wanted to be treated as if he is more special to me thatn anything or anyone else. I have never met anyone that was so selfish in my whole life he doesnt do anything that is not for him or benefitting him. He was manipulative, bullying, and very aggressive. So much to saay.

  31. kev says

    Heres some more behaviours that I am encountering….she nevers praises me…I have recently lost 2 stone, she never says well done, I got a new job, and if it wasnt for her Daughter being with us when I gave her the news she strained to say congratulations…she picks arguments in front of her kids, so they then defend her….oh my the list is endless…she controls the finances, she has had me rely on her…we recently moved to her hometown, and she now plays on the fact that I have no friends here…its agonizing…I am a decent bloke…that has a lot to offer, but I dont have the courage to leave her she plays the guilt trip, using her disabled Son as ammunition…I am an ex serviceman, and wokr as a support worker, so she knows I have certain attributes that are valuable to her…sob cry give me a decent woman……I seem to be a magnet for bullies…

    • Jo says

      well done for losing that weight. You managed to do that yourself so you can control your own life! Keep that thought as a positive reinforcement. I’ve replied again below.

    • Kelly says

      Dude… run for the freaking hills!! This woman will devour your soul and if you stand up to her she will make your life a living hell: it will be a constant battle for dominance that you wont win. Because you’re a nice guy and people like this prey on nice guys. They chew you up, devour your identity and spit you out when they’re done. If you’re lucky. If you’re no so lucky they use you for their own needs for an entire lifetime.

      I believe these type of people have a personality disorder and cannot be cured and will not change. The only time they are happy is when you are their obedient little slave. That is no way to live mate.

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