When does someone’s concern for your well-being and love for your companionship become smothering and way too much? When does control cross the line? Is it controlling to require your partner to tell you where she is going at night or who she will be with? It is too much control to require her to check in? A girlfriends weekend has got this reader in a quandary. I think this reader question is an important one. I hope you will agree!
I have been seeing “Dennis” for a few months. I love him very much and I know he loves me. We are already talking about marriage. But we have a serious problem that I think might ruin our relationship. He wants to control me. Whenever I want to spend time with my friends he sulks and throws a fit. He says that if I love him I would not want to spend a lot of time with anyone but him. My father was very controlling of my mother this way. I promised myself I wouldn’t follow in her footsteps. My best friend’s older sister has invited me and some other girls to spend a weekend with her at her new house. I’d really like to go but my boyfriend said that if I go, that’s the end of our future together. What should I do?
Some Thoughts on the Issue:
It’s rare to find a man that wants to be with a woman 24/7. It’s rare, weird and creepy. Clutchy, grabby, controlling relationships are not healthy ones. If you stay with him and you can’t find a way to correct his behavior, you will literally be a prisoner of his “love.” In fact, a man who controls you to this degree cannot respect, let alone love, you.
In a healthy relationship, each part of the couple has to have outside interests and friends. Men like your boyfriend can become dangerous. They feel that since you have thwarted them, you are now their enemy. They will harass you in any way they can think of. You must understand this person’s game plan. They will compliment you, and they will court you. You might feel as though you’re being treated like a princess. But it is all an attempt to ensnare you and isolate you, then dominate, humiliate, and abuse you.
Your boyfriend is either terribly immature or a sociopath. And someone doesn’t have to be “young” to fit into the category of immature or insecure.
A Story About a Controlling Man:
I knew of one couple who were in their 40s when they married. Upon returning from their honeymoon, his wife decided to do a little retail therapy with her besties. Her new husband literally pitched a fit. Like your boyfriend, he insisted that if she loved him she wouldn’t leave him alone at home. He wanted to go with them…shopping for shoes! However, this woman sat him down and told him in no uncertain terms that this kind of behavior was completely unacceptable. She told him right then and there that either he would need to give her the freedom to do things alone and with friends or their marriage was going to be over that day. He never protested, again.
If your boyfriend doesn’t listen to reason, the only thing you can do is realize that he is not the right man for you, or for anyone. Go with your friends and enjoy your weekend. Leave Dennis behind. He will survive. He will get the message (as did the newlywed husband) that this type of control is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If he persists, your relationship is over. Leave! If he makes a fuss and threatens you with the end of your relationship, heave a sigh of relief and move on.