Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

A controlling boyfriend is an incredibly difficult partner and living with such a person can leave social, emotional and sometimes physical scars. A controller doesn’t have trouble accepting his personality, nor does he blame himself for who he is. The behavior of a controlling boyfriend is often learned from other relatives, and usually creates victims who arrive at a specialist with their confidence and self-esteem highly damaged.

It is important to be aware of the signs pointing to a controller, so if you notice the behavioral pattern describing a controlling partner, the relationship with such a person must be put to an end immediately. Here are the signs identifying the controller type:

Kills One’s Self Confidence

Making his partner feel as if life’s not worth living without him is a controller’s favorite activity. He is the perfect manipulator, attempting and most times succeeding at making a woman appear worthless in front of his eyes and everybody else’s. A controlling boyfriend is very skillful at drawing an incredibly negative picture about his partner, in which he stresses out her flaws – real and invented ones.

He never encourages his partner, never gives positive, or at least constructive feedback to her, nothing is ever adequately done, and the controller fails to empathize with his partner. She ends up thinking that she’s useless, unattractive and lacking positive personal features, skills and abilities, and that she would never manage in life without him. One of the reasons behind his behavior is that his self-confidence is even worse than his partner’s.

Treats Her Like an Object

A controlling boyfriend does not appreciate his partner at all. He has no respect for her, no love or honest concern. He always does what he likes, never explains himself and cares only about his desires and needs. Therefore, he will always demand things of his partner, pressuring her, demanding or resorting to violence in order to convince her to comply with his wishes. This also includes performing sexual activities against her will.

Controls and Limits His Partner’s Social Activities

If she leaves the house, upon her return, she will have to face a shower of questions and reproaches. There are no secrets when living with a controlling boyfriend, and that is because he demands constant answers regarding all aspects of her partner’s social life. He barely allows her to go out, and when he does it is only for shopping to fulfill his needs.

Alienates Her From Friends and Family

The controller perceives his partner’s loved ones as enemies that will prevent him from performing his plans at undermining her self-confidence. Therefore he will struggle to isolate her from all her friends and relatives in order to have full control over her. He will forbid her from seeing her loves ones, and if he cannot achieve that, he will threaten her into suggesting to them that she has a happy and satisfying relationship. If she fails to do that and gives him the impression that she confessed something about his behavior, a controlling boyfriend will take revenge upon her.

Due to such actions, his partner will avoid her friends and relatives to avoid provoking him and causing tension and violence. As days flow, her loved ones will get upset and angry at her due to her constant refusals at talking or going out with them, creating the perfect opportunity for the controller to accentuate the fact that she’s alone in the world, with no one to care about her but himself.

Bad Tempered or Violent

A controller will use various forms of violence against his partner to impose his point of view. Even if he doesn’t apply physical violence, he uses emotional abuse to get her to do exactly what he wants. It is easy to determine whether a controller will show violent behavior later in the relationship, as he will use force or act violently in the case of others, and eventually will direct his mean intentions and reactions towards her. He shows no patience or empathy, and becomes angry really fast and without having an accurate reason. Every sign of violence directed at his partner will be her fault, as the controller never takes responsibility for his actions, the latter being always his partner’s or someone else’s fault. He never truly regrets his uninspired decisions and apologizes only if his partner’s threatens that she will leave him.

Opposite Behaviors

A controlling boyfriend is not always unpleasant, mean or violent company. There will be phases in the relationship in which he will offer gifts, say compliments and nice things to his partner, behave like a gentleman and do favors for her. The reason behind his fake appearance is to maintain his partner’s hopes that he can change into a better person, and in case she has an extremely low self-esteem, he will try to convince her that she doesn’t deserve him and that he’s too good for her. After the controller notices his plan working, he will continue to act maliciously and she will accept the situation hoping his sweet side will come back again.

Does Whatever He Pleases Without Answering to Anyone

A controlling boyfriend will come and go without ever offering excuses for being late, and without explaining why or where he went. If his partner’s tries to ask him questions about his whereabouts or actions, he will change his mood dramatically, becoming violent and defensive, and turning the situation around towards pointing out his partner’s mistakes. He will try to in store guilt in her heart, making her regret she ever asked him any question.

He Is Never Wrong

The controller has trouble accepting his mistakes and acknowledging defeat, therefore whenever such a situation occurs he will get nervous, defensive, change the subject, or bring up a past event when he was correct or did something right. He may also stress out the flaws and failures of his partner, making her look terribly inferior to him.

Does Not Allow His Partner to Exit the Relationship

A controlling boyfriend panics at the idea of ending up alone, without having anyone to take care of him and his needs. He does not like the thought of losing his favorite “object”, so unless the break up is entirely his idea, he will do anything to convince his partner to drop her plan of ending the relationship. Controllers will either resort to serious threats, trying to instill the fear in her that he will beat or kill her, or even take revenge on her loved ones; or he will do the opposite – he will do the nicest things to convince his partner that he can change, promising that he won’t ever disappoint her or treat her badly. He may break down and cry, threaten to commit suicide or quit his job, accusing her of being the reason why he has to resort to such negative things.

He may also threaten his partner that he will return to old girlfriends, or that he will hurt her future sweetheart. The controller can make lots of promises, and some of them are often so tempting that his partner changes her mind and gives him another chance. He will offer expensive gifts or trips and he may even ask her to marry him to prove that he’s reliable and cares deeply for her.


  1. Very informative. I must say.

  2. Very perfect thought about guys…

  3. I disagree totally with your article. First why you talk about a "boyfriend" why not a controlling "girlfriend"? It is always the man who is wrong, thanks!

    You and your similar groups of feminists are continuously attacking and breaking the fundamentals of a couple man+woman+children all you want is the woman who will control and the man becomes a sheet of napkin we use it just for his sperm for procreation and then throw him or destroy him!

    It is shameful all what you groups of feminists are doing to the society… hopefully one day you will understand.

  4. Very helpful. Everything in this article is happening to me on how my boyfriend is treating me. I've tried and tried in the relationship. I wanted to go to couple therapy but how does one who controls can change. We broke up and now I'm in the process of moving out. I just don't understand why people wouldn't want to work on things.

  5. I like this article, I read all the signs and it really made a lot of sense to me, it is good that there is an article on abuse.

  6. This is a good article and explains a lot of what I went through with a man I loved who was also abusive. Thank you.

  7. Wow, cannot believe how accurate this is! This describes my ex boyfriend %110!

  8. I have a female friend who has a "boyfriend" that displays many of the traits above. Before he moved in with her two and a half years ago, there was always time for her friends to do things and go places with her and frequent visits. Now visits are very limited and nobody does things with her except the boyfriend and his parents at times.

  9. Jonathan Battiest

    Informative but a tad bit hetero normative.

  10. Reading this made my stomach turn and filled me with anxiety because I have experienced this myself many times and every time didn't realize it was happening to me until it was too late. I worry now for my daughter and don't want her to have to go through the pain of this type of relationship. Thank you for taking the time to write this as you will help save many innocent girls or be the wakeup call they need. It is refreshing to know there are people out there like you that actually care and are not afraid to speak up. Sometimes the truth hurts and people can't handle it. But in the end, the truth will set you free…

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