Have you ever been in a relationship where you start noticing how you’re slowly changing? Or maybe your friend has simply disappeared from your group, completely reinventing herself, giving up on her hopes and dreams and it’s all because of a new relationship? The most probable explanation is that one of you is in a controlling relationship where you don’t even realize what is happening to you. Usually, it starts with little comments and remarks, and you would never say that it’s controlling behavior, until it gets very serious.

1. He isolates you

He tries to keep you all to himself by not letting you participate in any kind of social activities with your family and friends. He knows that they might influence you if they see what he’s trying to do, so what he does is play the victim, telling you that he needs you when you want to go out. He tells you that it’s not a good idea to visit your family because of some stupid reason he just thought about. He simply wants you to step away from anyone who can tell you that you’re in danger.

2. Criticism

It really doesn’t matter whether it’s about big or small things but he criticizes everything. He tells you that the way you dress isn’t appropriate (even though it is) and, even though you do know that it’s not right, you still go and change as you want to maintain peace in the house. He criticizes your cooking, the way you walk, the way you talk to others. Nothing is good enough and you start having that mindset as well.

3. Conditional love

He doesn’t love you in a way where he’s accepting of all your flaws and your imperfections, because we all do have them and they are as lovely as everything else on you. But he makes his love conditional by telling you that he will leave you if you don’t do a certain thing for him. He will tell you that love means something else in order to make you obey his twisted mind. He gives you deadlines to do a certain thing or says he will simply stop loving you. Is it really that simple? Does he love you at all?

4. Telling you that you owe him something

For everything he does for you, he wants something in return. If you came home to a romantic gesture, be ready to be asked to do something for him, because you always have to pay a price. It’s not OK if you know that the person for whom you’re ready to conquer the world really does take advantage of it. Even if he does as much as you, he will also find a way you can pay him back for it.

5. Spying

He will consciously go to places where he knows he’ll see you. You will always feel his eyes on you and he won’t give you the freedom to be yourself because he’s always judging your every move. He’ll take your phone without knowing and go through your texts so he knows exactly what you’ve been up to and to whom you’ve been speaking. And God forbid if he finds out that a man has been texting you, even if it’s someone like a co-worker.

6. Disrespect

Respect? Well, he does not have this word in his dictionary. He simply doesn’t want to respect you, your wants or needs. If you require alone time, time for yourself where you can simply sit down for a while and take a breath from the world, you won’t get it because he’ll accuse you of something stupid like cheating. He might even play the victim, telling you that you don’t want to spend time with him or anything else along those lines.

7. Exhausting arguments

Here he comes again with his need to yell at you, accusing you of something that you probably haven’t done, or even if you have, it’s probably something extremely insignificant. But he makes a scene, maybe even in front of other people, and he continues on fighting with you until you get so exhausted that you just give up on the argument completely.

8. Telling you you’re unworthy

He probably told you a couple of times that you need to earn his love with ‘good’ behavior. But the worst part is that, even if you do everything that he says, he still keeps on acting like you’re unworthy of him and his love. He makes you feel like you’re the one to blame, because you are ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’.

9. Selfish sex

Even if he does give you his attention during sex and he satisfies you, he wants you to tell him how great he was. But usually all he does is take, take, take. He doesn’t want to make you feel loved or appreciated during sex but rather for you to give him pleasure that doesn’t mean anything to you. He’ll also probably ask you to do weird things in bed that you would never do under normal circumstances.

10. Pressuring you

Pressuring you into anything is bad but what he’ll do is pressure you into bad behavior. There is a high possibility that he already asked you to smoke cigarettes, drop out of school, disobey your parents, drink alcohol and the list goes on and on. This just tells you that he needs to feel in charge and that you’ll do whatever he asks you to.