You’ve been dating your boyfriend for a while, and things initially seemed great, but lately, you’ve noticed that he tries to control you.
His controlling behavior makes you uncomfortable and, above all, sad in the relationship.
He critiques your outfits, gets upset if you want to go out without him, and constantly checks up on you. You can’t help but wonder why my boyfriend wants to control me.
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Why Does My Boyfriend Want to Control Me?
Here are the top reasons why your boyfriend wants to control you:
1. He May Have Insecurity Issues
One of the most common reasons a boyfriend wants to control your every move stems from his own insecurities.
He may have low self-esteem or lack confidence, so he tries to manage your behavior to make himself feel better.
He gains a sense of power and control by putting you down or limiting your independence.
Controlling guys often have a deep fear of abandonment. He worries you will find someone better and leave him if you are out living your own life.
His fragile ego can’t handle the thought of you being completely independent. So, he tries to keep you close through manipulation and criticism.
At the root of it, his controlling ways are often a mask for his own emotional issues. Your independence threatens the walls he has built to protect his fragile self-image.
Try to have compassion for his insecurities, but don’t let them dictate your life.
2. He Has Trust Issues From Past Relationships
Past relationship wounds can also cause a guy to become controlling. If he has been cheated on or betrayed in the past, he may have serious trust issues.
Your innocent girls’ night out makes him think you’re up to no good. Or he assumes you are secretly texting other guys behind his back. His lack of trust causes him to try to control his every move.
He is projecting his ex’s behavior onto you. But you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s wrongdoings. Sit him down and gently explain that you are not his ex.
You are trustworthy, and he has no reason to try to control what you do. Suggest relationship counseling to help him heal from past wounds.
He can learn to trust again with time, patience, and compassion. But first, he needs to acknowledge how his past hurts affect your present relationship.
3. He Feels Intimidated or Emasculated
In some cases, a controlling boyfriend is masking his own feelings of inadequacy. You may have a successful career, an active social life, or passions outside the relationship.
If he feels less “accomplished” than you, he may try to compensate by limiting your independence.
Your confidence and success unintentionally make him feel emasculated or intimidated.
He cuts you down to size to level the playing field with criticism. And he makes important decisions for you so he can feel more authoritative.
In his mind, controlling you helps restore his sense of power or status in the relationship. But all his efforts to diminish you only end up pushing you away.
If so, remind your boyfriend that you are a team. Reassure him that his accomplishments and passions are just as important as yours.
Suggest focusing more quality time on what you both love doing together. And most of all, communicate that you want an equal partnership, not a dictatorship.
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4. He Has a Egoistical Personality
In the most severe cases, a boyfriend’s controlling behavior may point to a larger personality disorder.
Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, feel entitled to special treatment, and exploit or manipulate others for personal gain.
Controlling romantic partners helps narcissists feed their constant need for power, admiration, and superiority.
Other red flags of narcissism include excessive vanity, lack of empathy, and a tendency to discard people when they are no longer useful.
Narcissists can charismatically suck partners into a fast-moving relationship. But once they have you emotionally invested, their false mask drops, and the control tactics come out.
If you recognize self-centered patterns in your boyfriend, proceed with extreme caution.
Seek help from a mental health professional, not couples counseling – narcissists manipulate therapists for their own gain. And make an exit plan to leave the relationship safely.
Narcissists do not get better with time, only more controlling. You deserve genuine love, not to be someone’s pawn.
Healthy Relationships Require Compromise
No matter the underlying reason behind his behavior, a controlling boyfriend must address his issues if your relationship is to thrive.
The healthiest partnerships contain two independent people who compromise to find common ground. You each have your identity outside the relationship – you don’t want to be controlled!
Sit down and have an open discussion about how his behavior makes you feel. Avoid placing blame, but be honest and firm about needing things to change.
This does not bode well if he responds defensively or refuses to acknowledge his actions. Mutual understanding and willingness to compromise are the cornerstones of a strong partnership built on trust.
You may love your boyfriend, but his controlling ways undermine your self-worth and freedom.
Establish clear boundaries and stick to them. Take space for yourself when needed. You may have to move on if he cannot respect your needs.
You deserve an equal partnership with someone who embraces your independence and trusts you completely. The right relationship will bring out your best self, not trap you in a cage.
At the end of the day, remember you are your own person. Do not let anyone – boyfriend, friend, or family – strip away your freedom or self-worth.
Pay attention to any behaviors that feel manipulative or belittling. And speak up to establish firm boundaries.
You teach others how to treat you. Demand the unconditional love and respect you deserve.
Of course, no relationship is perfect, and it’s normal to compromise with those we care about. However, controlling behavior crosses the line from compromise to domination.
Trust your gut instinct if something feels off. And never stay with someone who damages your ability to be your authentic, independent, radiant self. You – and you alone – should be in control of your life’s direction.
The reasons behind your boyfriend’s controlling behavior may be complex. But the solution is simple: Take back your freedom and find a love that sets you free.
For more tips on standing up to a controlling partner, check out my other relationship articles here on the blog.
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