Beware if you are losing more and more parts of yourself as the sacrifice it takes to stay with a person.
If you’re still in the early stages with of a relationship with a controlling person, you may not think this is a big deal. Maybe you believe that taking a more passive role and letting your partner lead is a way to achieve a healthy balance. As with everything, whether this is true will depend on your unique situation. However, just be aware that the more time that passes, the more it is likely that you may lose more than a small part of yourself as the sacrifice that it takes to stay with this person.
Ask yourself: is it worth losing me?
In a healthy relationship, there is give and take. Either partner may shift into a leadership role depending on the situation. But if most of your time is spent in the background not feeling heard, then this points to a very real problem. Over time, your self-perception and sense of confidence may weaken considerably as a result of letting your partner lead. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the signs that your partner is violating your boundaries early on.
If you notice that your partner crosses boundaries in the following ways, you might ask yourself why you choose to remain in a relationship with this person. Here’s what controlling people do. Is this happening to you?
Controlling people speak on your behalf.
One important question to ask is how comfortable you are letting someone else act as your spokesperson. Of course, there will be times when you two clearly agree on a certain issue and can speak on each other’s behalf. But if one partner does all the speaking and representing, this isn’t healthy or desired. It’s normal to consult with your mate, at least some of the time, and ask for their thoughts, desires, and opinion on certain matters that affect both of you.
If this aspect of partnership seems to be missing and you are constantly undermined, then you should seriously consider the health of your relationship. Question if there is value in being with this controlling person. Talk with them about their unwillingness to acknowledge your individuality. If that doesn’t work, form your exit strategy and take the necessary steps to end the relationship.
Encroaching on your personal space.
One thing that controlling people do is decide that your need for space is not as important as their need to spread their energy around. Of course, every healthy relationship has times when the partners are feeling affectionate, or when there is a need to be physically close. But at those moments where you have indicated through nonverbals or actual words that you do not wish to engage in affection or contact, if your partner continues to ignore your wish then you are looking at an unhealthy dynamic that needs to be resolved.
Making decisions without consulting with you.
There will be times in your life together when decisions must be made. These can range from choosing the restaurant that you two will go out to eat at on a Friday night, to deciding whose family you will be vacationing with on which week of the summer, to who is preparing your taxes this year to what color to paint the dining room.
If you find that your partner repeatedly and consistently leaves you out of decisions both large and small (but especially large), then you may be dealing with a controlling individual. This person is likely not considering that you should have an active say in what goes on in your life together. Again, depending on the type of relationship you have, you may find that talking with your partner about these issues that bother you might have some effect. But if you have brought up the problem before only to find that he or she reverts back to controlling behavior, you may wish to change your plan and start to think about ending the relationship.