17 Ways to Stop being Controlling in a Relationship

Control in relationship
Photo by Charles Deluvio

No one likes being around a control freak. A person who likes being in control all the time can be toxic and manipulative. People surrounding such a fellow would feel choked at times, so they prefer distance.

If you have the tendency to be controlling in your relationship, then it is time to consider changing. If you continue this way, your partner or spouse might get tired and decide to quit on you.

Another reason why you must consider change is that being a control freak could have a serious underlying issue. Admitting this problem and desiring for change may help you at a greater scale.

Now, let us focus on saving your relationship. Check out these helpful ways that can stop you from being so controlling in your relationship.

1. Ask yourself what makes you a control-freak.
To correct your problematic behavior, the first thing you need to do is find out the root of it. What made you that way? A traumatic experience? Anxiety? Depression? Trust issue? Once you uncover it, you will know where to start.

2. Know that it can make your partner rebel against you.
Please understand that your controlling behavior can lead to negative behavior in your partner too. It can make him/her rebellious against you. Meaning, s/he might be tempted to do exactly what you dislike out of anger.

3. Remind yourself s/he is not your slave.
Your partner or spouse is not your slave or someone inferior to you. S/he is your equal, so that means you cannot force him/her to do something against his/her will. You do not own the person, remember that.

4. Learn to trust your partner’s decisions.
One of the problems of controlling people is that they do not trust others’ abilities. Avoid thinking that your partner or spouse is not capable of making good decisions. If you do not believe in the person, then why did you choose to be with him/her in the first place?

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Build and Maintain Trust in a Relationship

5. Put yourself in his/her place.
Try to imagine being your partner. What do you think would you feel if you are stuck with a dictator? How long could you stay with someone who robs you the freedom to be yourself and forces you to behave according to his/her standards?

ALSO READ: 8 Ways to be Compassionate in a Relationship

6. Accept that not everything can go your way.
No matter how much you want to be in control of everything, you will never be. Yes, you may be able to manipulate some things to go your way, but it will not always work. There are circumstances beyond your control, and they include your partner’s emotions and way of thinking.

7. Respect differences.
Do not expect your partner or spouse to be like you in every way. You came from different backgrounds and you have different personalities. If you want a peaceful relationship, then learn to respect each other’s differences.

8. Give privacy and space.
Transparency is important in a relationship. However, it is a different thing when you demand reports for everything your beau does 24/7. You do not have any business knowing what s/he eats for lunch, what s/he wears going out, or with whom s/he bumps into.

9. Stop using threats to get what you want.
It is not healthy to use threats just to make your partner give in to your demands. You may get him/her to do what you want by force, but it could strain your relationship. Soon, your partner or spouse might get tired doing things s/he is not happy doing.

10. Be more patient and understanding.
Just because you are good at something does not mean everyone is. One task could be simple for you but could be difficult for your partner. If this is the case, avoid being mean to the person. Do not pressure him/her to perfect something s/he is having a hard time doing.

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Have More Patience in a Relationship

11. Avoid being paranoid.
Some people are over-possessive because they are paranoid or anxious. If you think everything must be under your control, please loosen up. Remind yourself that it is not your responsibility to bear the weights of the world. You cannot save everyone from wrong decisions or stop all bad things from happening.

12. Stop being a perfectionist.
No one is perfect so stop pressuring your partner to meet all your high standards. A healthy relationship has room for individual growth. Meaning, do not expect your partner or spouse to never disappoint you. Instead, whenever this happens, reassure him/her of your unconditional love.

13. Meet half-way with your partner.
Instead of wanting everything in your relationship to go your way, learn to compromise. Both you and your partner must have a say in the relationship. You cannot make decisions without your beau’s input. This means adjustments on both parts.

14. Fight insecurities.
Being a control freak is a sign of having insecurities. You try to hide your weaknesses by imposing your dominance. Subconsciously, you want to appear tough and scary to prevent anyone from trying to abuse or harm you.

ALSO READ: 11 Ways to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship

15. Do not resort to manipulation.
Manipulations include framing up someone, using bribes, or setting up situations to get exactly what you want. The next level of being controlling is being manipulative. This is a seriously toxic behavior, and it would be unhealthy and dangerous for anyone to stay close to you.

16. Nurture emotional and mental health.
As abovementioned, being a control freak can be a sign of an underlying mental or emotional issue. It could be depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, or trust issue. Help yourself by taking care of your psychological health. Some of them include getting enough sleep, exercising, and unwinding regularly.

17. Get help.
If you know you are suffering emotionally or mentally and it is getting out of hand, seek help. Consulting a psychiatrist or undergoing counseling sessions is not something to be ashamed of. Also, make sure you open up about this with your partner, family, and trusted friends.

Time to Loosen the Grip

It is okay not to be in control all the time. It is alright if things do not turn out the way you expect. It is fine to have a partner who is different from your ideal person.

Once you learn to let things flow naturally, you can enjoy life in a more relax and peaceful way. Get ready for surprises, be loved genuinely, and learn to love unconditionally.

ALSO READ: 20 Simple Ways to be Gentle in a Relationship

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Cyril Abello
Cyril is a personal development blogger and content writer. She is also an online language teacher. She has a degree in Communication Arts and loves everything about writing. Being a full-time mom, she enjoys freelancing.

1 thought on “17 Ways to Stop being Controlling in a Relationship”

  1. I am in an Ldr relationship and we have been texting for going on 6 months and we have talked on the phone several times. He wanted to meet this Oct but recently said he cant because of his work. He asked me to wait until Xmas and then we would meet. But I notice that my love and desire for him is upsetting me and dominates my every thought. Which bothers me because I have never been needy or expressed my feelings before so much to any man in my entire life. I cant stop crying and my emotions at times are getting out of control! Before I never could express these emotions or say I love you and now that’s all I seem to do! I hate feeling this vulnerable and he knows this but I don’t want to lose him either! He wants to marry me but I’m not sure I want that either. And I was ok with the way our relationship was until he told me he wasn’t coming and now I feel like I’m losing him even though he still calls or text but not like he did before. Am I the problem here?


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