How to recognize controlling behavior

Controlling behavior describes a relationship where one person systematically dominates their partner. Over time, a victim of coercive control feels trapped through a series of tactics. According to Psychology Today, the controlling person separates their partner from friends and family. The victim becomes increasingly isolated and dependent on the abuser. 

The abuser starts telling the other person what to do, what to wear, who to speak with, how to clean the house, care for the kids and cook. The person being controlled feels less and less free. There is also stalking during the relationship and after it ends. Constant calls and texts suddenly show up, and there is the monitoring of the victim’s computer and phone use. Being stalked is like being handcuffed to the abuser at all times. 

According to Supportviv, the controlling person makes decisions about sex and may require sex on demand. The person being victimized does not feel free to say not now or not like that. Physical violence is sometimes but not always present. It is one weapon, of course, of control, and not all the controlling people use it. The controlling person does loving and romantic things when this seems like the best way to hold on to his or her partner. His occasional kindness binds her to him. 

A lot of relationships have some control. Maybe one person handles the money while the other control their social life. Controlling behavior is different. This is about a relationship where one person dominates the other in several spheres. It is not just bossiness; it is domination. Controlling behavior may be a form of domestic violence.