Being in a relationship with a controlling spouse can be at the very least annoying and at the worst suffocating. A controlling spouse is someone who scrutinizes all of your actions and words. Their desire is to have an influence over almost every part of your life no matter how small the detail.
Having a controlling spouse can make your private life very uncomfortable. Spouses who try to exert too much influence over the life of their wife or husband don't rest until they control every facet of their lives. This type of situation puts a real damper on the feelings of love that the "controlled" spouse feels toward their mate. Needless to say, the relationship can suffer as a result.
How do you know whether your spouse is just a bit too pushy or whether he or she can actually be considered to be a controlling spouse? Here are 5 signs of a controlling spouse:
1. They monitor or constantly ask about your phone calls and e-mails:
Controlling spouses want to remain aware of everyone else you are communicating with. That is because they are jealous by nature, which is due to a personal sense of insecurity or inadequacy on their part. If your spouse checks your mobile phone or home phone records to monitor whom you are calling and when, that is a controlling behavior. Similarly, if you have ever caught them checking your e-mail inbox or sent items box in order to see whom you have been corresponding with, that is an inappropriate behavior.
2. They don't like it when you get too close to your friends or co-workers:
A controlling spouse wants to be the center of your world. They want to play the starring role in your mind at all times. Therefore, they are always thinking in the back of their mind about who else you know, think about, or spend time with. A controlling spouse wants to make sure that nobody else - such as friends and co-workers - features prominently in your mind. You know you have a controlling spouse if they seem to ask too many questions about who else you are spending time with, what you talk about, and what you do together.
3. They frequently interrupt you or act condescendingly when they speak to you:
If your spouse seems to want to dominate you during almost any conversation, this is a sign that they have a controlling personality. You know your spouse is trying to dominate you in conversation if they frequently interrupt you, try to correct what you say, take every opportunity to put you down, or talk condescendingly to you.
4. They run hot and cold with their emotions:
A controlling spouse will try to keep you off-balance by being all over the map emotionally, changing their mood with no forewarning. One moment your spouse seems loving and kind, the next moment he or she suddenly gets belligerent and mean. If that describes you, there is a good chance your spouse is controlling.
5. They feel threatened by your relationships with your family members:
Similar to how a controlling spouse feels threatened by your close friends and co-workers, they can feel the same way about family members. Reason: the families we grew up with in many cases can remain very close to us for the rest of our lives. Our family members know us better, in some ways, than our spouses do. And that fact makes a controlling spouse jealous. It is not appropriate for your spouse to try to intervene in your healthy family relationships. If your spouse does this, he is a controlling spouse.
If you suspect that your spouse is controlling, it is important to understand that this doesn't necessarily mean they don't love or respect you. In fact, their controlling nature has everything to do with how they feel about themselves and nothing to do with you. So, take heart. Your next move is to work together on improving your relationship so that your controlling spouse can become aware of his or her own issue. Then, the two of you can create a loving relationship again.