Control Issues In A Relationship And How To Deal With Them?

Are you facing control issues in a relationship? It is not uncommon for people in relationships to encounter problems. If these problems are left unresolved, they can lead to even bigger issues in the future. One such problem is controlling behavior. What are some signs and symptoms of control issues and how can they be dealt with? Let’s get into all the details you need to know about them.

What Are Control Issues?

What are control issues

Before we go on addressing control issues in a relationship, it is important to understand what they are. Control Issues can be described as a pattern of behavior characterized by an individual’s obsession to control everything. They feel the need to exert power and influence over another person.

This obsession often stems from a strong desire to hold power and influence over others, often resulting in unhealthy dynamics and harm to the individuals involved. It can manifest itself in an unhealthy manner and can take various forms and harm the individuals involved. Multiple causes can be behind this behavior will be discussed in the later section.

Signs And Symptoms Of Control Issues In A Relationship?

Signs and Symptoms of Control Issues

Control issues are not easy to spot. But, here are some signs that can help you identify control issues in a relationship:


Jealousy to some extent is a common emotion in all relationships. However, the problem arises when this particular emotion of a partner becomes excessive and starts to affect the daily life of an individual. If your partner constantly monitors and desires to control every little aspect of your life, they might have control issues.

Emotional Manipulation

If you have a controlling partner, they might often try using manipulative tactics like gaslighting, emotional blackmailing, or guilt-tripping for their own personal gain. They might try to gain control over your thoughts by exhibiting this sort of behavior.

Financial Control

In some relationships, the controlling behavior of one partner might extend to such an extent that they even start to control the finances of their partner. This may include monitoring the expenditure and controlling the finances.

Excessive Monitoring

An individual with control issues usually has a tendency to monitor even the smallest details of their partner’s life. This may cause them to invade privacy or go through their partner’s texts, emails or monitor their phone calls.

Restricting Contact

It is quite possible for an overtly controlling partner to limit their partner’s access to certain family members or some friends just because they do not like them. This might be because of their own insecurities or trust issues.

Physical Abuse

In some extreme cases, it is also possible for a controlling individual to use force with their partner in order to get what they want. They might also use intimidation tactics or threats to assert dominance or control.

Constant Criticism

Your partner might often criticize you for the most trivial actions if they have control issues. They might also use derogatory language toward you. This might lead to lower self-esteem and low self-worth.

What Causes Controlling Behavior?

Causes Controlling

Controlling behavior can be caused due to a variety of reasons and can stem from multiple underlying causes. Some possible causes have been discussed here:

  • Insecurities – Individuals with controlling traits usually have some deep-seated insecurities. Controlling the aspect of someone else’s life is usually a way for them to cope with their own issues.
  • Childhood Trauma – Everyone experiences some unpleasant events in their childhood. These may include an abusive upbringing and a restricted childhood. In some cases, these experiences may lead to negative emotions that might later manifest themselves into controlling behavior.
  • Learned Behavior – Growing up in a controlling household may eventually lead to an individual replicating the same behavior later in life. If a child notices controlling behavior from their parents, they are likely to act in a similar manner in their relationships as well.
  • Lack Of Trust – If your partner doesn’t trust you and is dealing with trust issues in their own personal life, they are likely to control your life. This is because they might not trust your intentions, thus, causing them to be controlling. 
  • Personality Disorders – Individuals with controlling behaviors tend to be narcissistic, and obsessive and suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at times. 

How To Deal With Controlling Issues In Your Relationship?

How to deal with control issues

Control issues in a relationship are tough to deal with and it is also tough to deal with a controlling partner. However, it is not impossible. Here are some ways that you can deal with a controlling partner:

  • Recognize the behavior – The first step to dealing with any obstacle is to recognize that it’s there. So, it is important to acknowledge the problem before we go on to solve it.
  • Assess The Severity – If you are with an individual who is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive and can cause you harm, you must first prioritize your safety.
  • Set Boundaries – It is important to set boundaries in all relationships. It is necessary to establish very clearly what is acceptable and what is not with your partners.
  • Reach Out –  Do not isolate yourself from your friends or your family. It is essential that you keep in touch with your loved ones or a therapist who can provide you with guidance or emotional support.
  • Encourage Professional Help – If your partner has control issues, it might be a good idea to suggest an individual or couple therapy. A trained professional might be able to help both you and your partner to address the underlying cause. And help you better deal with the problem at hand.

How To Be Less Controlling?

How to be less controlling

If you notice the signs and symptoms within yourself and want to become better and be less controlling for the sake of your relationship, it is possible for you to do so. Here are some ways that you can become less controlling:

  • Identify Your Behaviors – If you notice yourself becoming controlling toward your partner, it is important to first address the issue. Recognize your controlling thoughts and identify the situations where you exhibit this kind of pattern. Once you have succeeded in doing that, then you can start working toward becoming less controlling.
  • Understand The Cause – Understand the reason behind your controlling actions and where those feelings are coming from. Think back to your past experiences and reflect upon the incidents that could be causing you to feel this way. 
  • Effective Communication – Regardless of whether you are controlling or not, effective communication is an integral part of any relationship. If you recognize these behaviors in yourself, make sure that you communicate them with your partner with utmost honesty. It is equally important to listen to your partner and respect their opinions as well. This will allow you both to find a solution faster. 
  • Practice Stress Management – Everyone suffers from stress at times and it can impact every aspect of our lives. High-stress levels can lead to unhealthy behaviors in a relationship. This may include lashing out at your partner or anger issues. Stress relieving techniques such as meditation, journaling, or deep breathing can help manage stress and might help with control issues as well. 
  • Seek Professional Help – If you notice your controlling tendencies becoming extreme, seek professional help. A qualified professional may be able to help you find the root cause of this behavior. In addition to that, they might also provide you with effective strategies or coping mechanisms to better deal with it. 


Controlling behavior can have a severe impact not only on your romantic relationships but also on your platonic relationships. It is important to recognize these behaviors in your partner or in yourself so that you can be better equipped to deal with these behaviors. 

It is very common to come across obstacles in your relationships. Relationships are complex, and it’s natural for issues to arise along the way. If you have any queries regarding Relationship Counseling experienced therapists at CoupleMantra can help: Book a trial couple therapy session.

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