A new survey by Posh and Venus reveals that 87% of men only start to pick up controlling behavior after entering into a relationship. Has boo become the typical controlling man? This is a must-read!
Even with the stream of liberal ideology from foreign media, Nigeria remains a conservative society. Hence, men are still traditionally considered the heads.
In relationships, people naturally want their partners to share similar opinions and perspectives on things. People also want to see their partners thrive and become better. There is no problem wanting this.
It only becomes a problem when this morphs into hounding, constant criticism, and subtle or forceful attempts to make your voice the only voice. As men are traditionally heads, they feel entitled to be this voice. Nobody — not even submissive women — likes a full-blown dictatorship.
How can we identify controlling men?
There is a stereotype that controlling men are men who are physically imposing. This is not really true. This is because people factor in physical abuse, but controlling can be subtle. The need to control usually stems from psychological issues.
What are these psychological issues?
The first is insecurity and low self-esteem. Because of upbringing, some men believe their value is tied to being the superior in a relationship. In a bid to not be seen as a weakling by conceding to his partner’s needs, he clamps hard on her. He sets countless boundaries just to polish the facade of his leadership.
Jealousy is another reason. Women love it when a man appears to want them all to himself. It makes them feel loved. But this can easily become bad. After marriage, this could turn into over protectiveness or even outright barring from outings.
Attention deficit is another. Some of these men didn’t enjoy a lot of attention growing up. This makes them crave for complete attention from their partners even when their partners are not in the right frame of mind.
Because of its subtlety of emotional control, victims of this kind of toxic setup are not always aware of it.
So what are the signs you are with a controlling man?
Constant criticism: At first, you feel like he is trying to get you to improve; then it slowly becomes harsh criticism until you can no longer do any good in his eyes. At this point, the controlling man makes you start to walk on eggshells to prevent him from exploding into a tantrum.
Gaslighting: This is an emotional tool used to reverse reality and make you appear as the villain in every story. You start to question your actions and blame yourself for offences you did not commit. He argues ceaselessly and tells you it’s your fault that certain things are happening.
Invasion of privacy: You step in the shower or go to the kitchen to cook, and you come out to meet him snooping around your Message inbox. Sometimes, he could even reply some messages.
Isolation: To cripple any form of support structure you have, he disallows relationship with almost all your friends citing bad influence as reason.
How can you get out of this mess?
Your best bet is to never get into one. Keep an eye for red flags: insecurity, untreated trauma etc.
It becomes complex when you are already married (even more so when there’s already a child in the mix). But if you already are, couple’s therapy might help the man come to the realization that he’s ruining the relationship.