Caring and controlling are two different things. And sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. It’s important to recognize when your partner’s loving behavior makes you feel guilty, fearful, or inadequate.
So we dug further and identified five instances when a spouse may cross the boundary between control and caring.
Compromises become one-sided sacrifices.
Compromise is meeting your spouse halfway, not ignoring your own wants and emotions to suit their expectations. A loving spouse will constantly attempt to understand you, while a controlling partner will make severe demands without regard for your emotions.
The standards you’ve set to make things fair become unfair.
Each relationship has its own set of norms or guidelines that each partner adheres to. However, if one spouse starts to ignore these norms while still expecting you to adhere to them, they are becoming controlling.
You’re “walking on eggshells” around them.
It’s easy to open up to a loving spouse about your wants and emotions. But if you’re scared to stand up for yourself fearing they may lash out, it indicates they want to be in charge. A controlling spouse never apologizes or accepts responsibility for their behavior.
They make you do things you don’t like “for your own good.”
For example, if your spouse encourages you to eat more vegetables or exercise to improve your posture and reduce back discomfort, they care about you. But if your spouse forces you to eat healthily and exercise even if you don’t want to, they start neglecting your wants to fulfill their own.
They start to interfere in your relationships with your friends and family.
Your spouse will attempt to isolate you from your family and friends to gain control. That way, they won’t be afraid you’ll leave them one day. A loving spouse will shield you from individuals who aren’t good for you, but won’t stop you from talking to them.