Love is the most beautiful feeling a person is able to experience. It takes us on the highest metaphorical mountain and makes us feel like we can take over the world. It puts a smile on our face, and it makes us happy for no reason at all. Love makes us feel complete, and like we finally belong somewhere and next to someone.
Not that long ago I wrote an article about the right type of love, and how’s it’s supposed to feel when the person you love is the right one for you. (Read the full post here) However, the more people I meet and the more couples I observe, the more I realize that in life is good to also know how is NOT supposed to feel, and when the right person, just isn’t that right for you.
Relationships are hard. I’d like to say I’ve found that secret recipe for choosing the right one or making it work perfectly, so I can share it with you, but the truth is that there is not such a thing. Every individual is different, and every one of us interacts totally different with others. What works for one, might not work for the other. We all have to just try and see what works for ourselves. However, the signs which you tell us something is terribly wrong, are pretty much the same ones, regardless of the type of person you are or are dating.
What I’m talking about are what I call: the power games, in which one person decides to control every aspect of their partner’s life. Controlling life partners are never easy to deal with, but it can start with making you believe that’s the dream person for you, while in time, everything changes, and the perfect person turns into the perfect nightmare. I’ve seen relationships start like this and end terrible, and I just feel sorry to know anyone goes through such a thing. When things change, is good to step back, look at the facts, and reconsider if that person is the one to spend the rest of your life with.
The signs – evolution of a relationship with a controlling person
Controlling partners can give you a very a good feeling at start and make you believe they can be that someone who loves you, more than anyone before them ever did. It sounds like a dream, but most dreams which sound too good to be true, are most of the times, too good to be true.
It starts with instant jealousy and possessiveness. They are afraid if you keep in touch with your previous partners, you might decide to leave them or cheat on them, so they will get into your previous private life, and look for any reasons to amplify the jealousy. As the past can’t be deleted, you might be ask to delete any remainder of it from the present. Usually, this is the first step into pulling you away from your friends and family, as the possessiveness won’t stop at previous dates. Soon enough, seeing or chatting with your friends or family, will also become a problem, and you will be convinced slowly into giving up on that lifestyle, only to spend more time together, so you make your partner happy.
As soon as your loved ones are out of the way, you will feel the need to have someone to talk to, to be interested in your life, your dreams and aspirations, but soon enough you’ll find out that your partner isn’t that person. Controlling people want you to take interest in everything related to them, and in return, they will just not be there for you, as their lifestyle keeps them too busy. They will become angry when asked to do something for you, or get annoyed with every question you might ask. Asking questions or asking for help is just not an option with a controlling person, however, they will always expect to be helped, nurtured and cared for, even if their behavior might make you want to do the opposite.
In a relationship, is impossible to not come across moments in which you fight, or disagree on things, things break or don’t work as plan, or simply don’t work at all. In this case, your partner will decide that the one to blame is always you. No matter how obvious it is that you are not the one to break stuff or start a fight, you can’t just get a simple: ‘You are right’. And even more, after such a terrible argument, don’t expect an apology, because well … it will simply not come. You have to learn how to forgive without ever being asked for forgiveness, and because you value your relationship more than your ego, you will most of the time, do it.
I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry and accept the apology I never received
Next on the list is taking the information you give, and bring you down. You will be made to believe that you are not good enough to fulfill your dreams, to get where you want in life, or even to have a job, for various reasons. All because your partner ‘cares’ so much about you, and is ‘concerned’ about you, he/she will want the best for you, which won’t always be the path that you would choose for yourself in life. And that’s how you end up on a road you never wanted, but which seems like the only option for you, even if that option soon becomes being without a job.
For a controlling person, such a financial twist is the best way to keep you close by, as you’ll become fully dependent, and there’s no way in which you can run away anymore, not even if you want to. As soon as you realize in what a situation you are, you might want to run away, but as all your friends and family were pushed away long ago, you might realize you are all alone, and have no one to turn to. And so you end up staying in your ‘safe’ heaven, reliving every mistake from your past, everyday, affecting indirectly your health and emotional state.
The rules of the game become the following: there’s a set of rules, things that your partner doesn’t want you to do or say. And these things are very important for the peace level and comfort of your home. And you agree to them, even if this means changing your behavior, only to have peace. However, soon is easy to see that even the anger or bad temper that is directed towards you, is not allowed to come from you. The rules apply only to you, and you get boxed in, with walls of emotions and soon fear, for both your safety and inner calm.
Only to make it even worse, soon the rules turn into doing everything as and when your partner says so. You are never right about things, and you never do anything right as it is, so following the guidance is the only way in which you can make the significant other happy. And as soon as you do some things their way, they’re even more unhappy with other things… and is still not good, and you still have to do more. No meeting you halfway. If you wait halfway, nobody will be there to greet you…
The absolute worse part of such a relationship is physical abuse, which most of the time, doesn’t delay showing up, turning your best dream into a living nightmare.
If you made it this far, you probably really love or used to love that person very much. It all started with pleasing the life partner who loves you so much, and ended up with you wondering if this is actually love or not.
As soon as you start wondering, consider a few things.
- Have you eve had to apologize for the person you love, in front of others? Or maybe make excuses for their behavior?
Most of the time, a controlling person won’t enjoy the company of your friends or family, and their behavior will make you feel embarrassed and upset, and you’ll try to hide all the problems in any possible way. Being tired, sick, upset with work, worried with our finances, might be only a few of the excuses you used through the time, keeping a brave face on, hoping no one will figure out the real root of the problem.
- Did your friends ever pointed out things you don’t want to see?
At first, we might suffer from self inflicted blindness. We simply don’t want to see or believe certain things. We are still afraid to open our eyes and see the reality. We make excuses for our partner, and we want to believe in those excuses. We’re afraid to lose our perfect relationship, when actually, there’s nothing perfect to save.
Friends and family can provide very good feedback, when it comes to seeing things from the outside. If they are afraid that you might not be as happy as you claim you are, maybe you should wonder how happy are you?
- Are you still on the right path in life for yourself?
How many things did you gave up on for the person you love? How many people got cut off? How many friends did you lose and how many family members still talk to you?
Are you still following your dreams and aspirations? Do you still have that career you love, or working to obtain that dream job?
Most of the times, controlling partners will crush your dreams, in an effort to make you stay with them. They will also push away every person you used to love, and cut all your connections with the real world.
In case you are in such a situation, ask yourself what is it that you really want now? If the answer is not the life you currently have, then is time for some changes.
- Have you ever felt trapped?
Believe it or not, there are cases in which partners are asked to give up their career for love’s sake. Also, there are people who do it, with the feeling that’s the best option for everyone. Spending more time with your life partner and maybe kids sounds like the dream, but is it always that way?
If you are financially dependent, maybe even if you considered leaving the situation you are currently in, you might find it impossible. If you don’t have the financial power or health state to visit your friends, family, you might get the feeling like you’re trapped in a place you don’t want to be in first place. If this happens, is good to think about what brought you there in first place, and figure out what are your options. Never be afraid to ask for help!
- Is the relationship bringing out the best in you?
Even if at first it did, now is just not the same anymore, and you feel like you’re turning into a monster, every now and then, without ever wanting to be that person, in first place.
When frustration takes over, you have to ask yourself if being under someone’s domination is what’s best for you. Even those who want someone to be in charge of things for them, need those moments in which they can take attitude and decide for themselves. If you need this, but you don’t have the chance to do it, maybe reconsidering the relationship is a good idea.
Control, manipulation, emotional abuse are never good assets to have in a relationship. Actually, they shouldn’t be there at all. The love between two people shouldn’t make one of the partners feel suffocated, unhappy or mistreated. If that’s the case, then what you have is not called love, but possession.
Love is not about holding on to someone with your teeth, but about setting them free and watch them come back to you over and over again. The right person will never want to change you, or keep you isolated from the persons which mean so much to you. Your happiness will always be their happiness.
Love is not about having it your way, but is about finding the middle ground, a solution which works for both partners, equally the same. Having things your way, proves you don’t value your partner enough, to put the time into finding that happy medium.
Love is kind and love brings out the best in us, not the worse. If our partner doesn’t bring out the best in us, then we are in the wrong type of relationship.
Even from the start, we should always follow our instincts and pay attention to the subtle signs which tell us something wrong is going on. You have to always keep in mind that your happiness, sanity and health are more important than anything else in this world. A stressful life will only end up destroying your health, passions, dreams and your true self.
Even if you think that your partner is a good person, if you are not 100% happy, consider that he might be a good person, but not the right person for you.
Always stay on your path in life, and follow your dreams. Don’t ever let anyone crush the vision you have of your future. The right person is waiting for you somewhere down that road, and a life full of mistreatment and misery, will never get you there. Holding on to the wrong person, will never give you the chance to meet the right one. So, as hard as it might be, pick yourself up, and do what’s right for you! Breath in, turn the page and start a new beautiful chapter!
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I can totally relate! Good share 😊
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My pleasure! I have a friend in this situation and I think is good to be aware of the signs. It can become a complete mess, long term. I wish you too good luck and thank you so much for reading!
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Lovely post Lucy. This is so comprehensive and so pragmatic, everyone of us can connect and for me it needs more and more reading to get to know the depth and diversity of thought that you have address on the subject of love, relationship and controlling dimension of life. Relationships are inevitable part of our life and living and love is sometime incidental and many times just accidental. Never easy to hold on to the love and relationship the way we want in life and each one of us have our different ways of expressing and getting engaged.
Yes, it is all about personal experience, we all have own experience that makes us learn how to deal with such situation, relationship like everything in life cannot be inequitable, the equity is critical to the sustainability of relationship, passion is fine but obsession and being possessive is detrimental…it is not that there is lack of knowledge, it is the power of ego that overpowers our thinking and our action, we act irrationally and we expected the everything without giving anything, we forget to forgive, we ignore to care and share but we keep blaming and pointing the finger at others, we get trapped in self-arrogance and self-aggrandizement…balance in life is important but the force of control has no role but forced infusion of it breaks the fragility of our relationship.
So much to analyse and so much you have shared on the post, I have just managed to touch on few points and will continue the dialogue and take the discussion forward with every conversation. I feel it is something that you have gone through and it has come straight from you heart, one just cannot write with such beautiful narration and with such in-depth reflection of emotions that is expressed through your post.
Thanks so much for starting a stirring topic…
Yes, there is always a better person and there is something better in-stored for all of us, the right person and right place we should all wait, the real joy of life lies in the waiting and playing with the calmness and composure that makes all the difference in our life.
Love and Light…
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Thank you so much for reading and for your amazing feedback, Nihar! I have a very good friend going through something like this right now, so I pretty much know the depth of this problem. I wanted to write this to encourage her, as well as to help others who are in the same situation. Being in the wrong type of relationship will never bring you happiness, so I think it’s important to go ahead and do what’s right for yourself!
I don’t think we can ever know the depth of inter-personal relations. It’s all very complex and complicated, and we only learn by trial and error. We learn with every new person we meet, more about others as well as about ourselves.
I can’t agree more with you about our ego…that ruins so much in life! Also, not taking blame for our mistakes doesn’t help us keep the one we love. Blaming someone else isn’t doing anyone any good. Still, I believe forgiving without being asked to, is very hard and unfair. Such people are basically using the love of their partner to feed their ego, while sucking the energy and joy out of the ones around them. So sad to see people like this…
I always said the right person is out there. We just have to keep our heart open, and stay on our path to happiness. As long as we do this, good will come our way.
Thank you once again for your beautiful words! Have a lovely weekend! Cheers! x
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Indeed Lucy the complexity of relationship is a life long learning and there are so many intricacies and layers, it is not easy to understand and never has been understood and encapsulated in any formula which can decipher and employed at at ease and at will…this can be defined in words nor can be expressed in gestures and action, it is mystery by itself as we never find the pattern or the reason how somebody behaves to such situation and many times the behavior is erratic and eccentric, and we become helpless and leave it there and try to move ahead in life but memories are memories they keep haunting us and they keep following, they are like our shadows of life and we just cannot escape from these realities and we try to escape into the world fiction, we all strive and dream create a world of our own and detach from the realities that keeps bugging and they keeps dragging us…we all want that peace of mind and that place to be happy and connected to the soul within…
Gifting and forgiving are forgotten, it has become mechanical and it has become routine not to give life the space to nurture and apprecate the essence of life and living in our relastionsips, it has become transient and it has become complicated with out complex thoughts…
Always a great thought to help others and writing is indeed a powerful mode to give that thought right platform for many others to connect and benefit from the nuances of inter-personal relations.
My pleasure Lucy to keep engaging with such lovely debate with you. It enhances my understanding on such diverse subjects.
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It’s really sad to think you never know the person you are with. In some cases, you realize this only after years and years and the results can be dramatic. I don’t think escaping from reality is the solution, but actually seeing it for what it is should do miracles.
Unfortunately forgiving comes without being asked for and all the time from the same person, in such cases. Taking someone from granted isn’t what a relationship is about, and is sad to see how many are stuck into this.
Indeed, writing about it sometimes works, and people get inspired to do what’s right for them. I must say I’m very happy when I manage to get someone to do what’s right for them, through my articles. I hope more people will find it useful!
Very engaging and wonderful talk! Thank you so much my friend! Cheers!
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I fully agree Lucy, so much in relationship is about caring and about giving and about forgiving…but we spur the differences by being mean, selfish and self-centered. The space between the relationship is so important but we take it for granted and many times not unknowingly but knowingly ignore and avoid taking the step forward in amending the differences in opinion and embracing new perspective and bring that diversity in unity of thought…it is all in the mind and it is all in the attitude we carry, the grace and gratitude matters a lot…
No doubt that sharing is caring and expressing and engaging in meaningful discussion makes a huge difference in the way we live and build our relationship in life…
Yes, always love the conversation we have and the way we have it, it is indeed beautiful and so fascinating…
Love the Osho quote, Lucy. I’m so happy I found the right person first time. 😃
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You are very lucky indeed! I’m very happy for you! Unfortunately most people I know are in very unhappy relationships, and also they fear letting go of the wrong person. I hope this will inspire them to set themselves free and focus on their own path in life. Have a lovely day! x
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Most of the time it’s very difficult to realise you are in that kind of relationship. Because you also think your friends are wrong. This was a very long and interesting post !
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Thank you so much for reading, Gin! Indeed, is not easy to realize this, but once you do, I think there’ no turning back. I wrote this for one of my friends who’s in such a situation and I’m so happy that she finally opened her eyes. It’s very painful though, but even later, is better than not at all, when it comes to realizing who you have to deal with!
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