On dating after 4 years
… and why it only lasted 4 months
When my marriage ended, I thought that was it as far as allowing anyone close to me ever again. It took 4 years to recover from it emotionally. And then one day, some ten months ago I looked up and started noticing things again. Friends and family began saying it's time you met someone, you have so much love to give.
I joined an online dating website and met a charismatic man. We chatted for 2 months, met in person, hit it off and dated for 4 months. In that short space of time we broke up 5 times.
I ended it each time because he would fly off the handle when he couldn't reach me, became verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive, raged that I treated him like an option not a priority, and repeatedly accused me of seeing, dating, sleeping with scores of other men.
Each time he swore it wouldn't happen again. But of course it did. Again and again. That's when I realised I was in a relationship with a 'Controller', so I took back control and ended it for good.
Looking back there were definite signs that he was a 'Controller'. They're easy to spot if you know what to look out for. Acquaint yourself with the signs and help raise awareness or warn those you care about against entering into relationships with individuals exhibiting these disturbing traits.
12 SIGNS YOU'RE IN A CONTROLLING RELATIONSHIP
He wants to get serious immediately. Wants to date exclusively after just one date and proposes marriage after two months. This is not normal or healthy behaviour. Healthy relationships need time to develop and grow.
2. Overwhelms you
He is extremely attentive and showers you with gifts and is always available to you. He offers to take charge of all your issues or problems like a knight in shining armour. Too good to be true? It is.
3. Has to be involved in everything
He wants to control every aspect of your life. He checks up on you all day, wants to know where you are, who you're with, what you're doing, what you're discussing. Eventually, he tells you that you can't talk to certain friends, or talk about certain issues in public.
4. Isolates you
He makes you feel guilty when you're out with friends, enjoying time with your family or experiencing something without him so that eventually you cut down, or in some cases even stop seeing friends or family altogether.
5. Mean and Sweet Cycle
He is wonderfully attentive and sweet one moment, so loving that you believe you've met your soulmate, only to follow it up, almost immediately, with behaviour so deviant, hurtful and mean that you're left reeling and wondering if it is the same person.
6. Explosive Temper
He has a very bad temper and becomes enraged when you don't react or behave in a certain way, or things don't turn out according to his plan.
7. Kills your confidence
He critisises everything you do and works hard to break your self esteem by constantly putting you down or questioning your actions. You end up “walking on eggshells” always fearing you are doing or saying something that will create a temper outburst or argument. Instead of experiencing the warmth and comfort of love, you're constantly on edge.
8. It’s Never Enough
He complains that you don’t appreciate him enough, stand close enough, are not affectionate enough, committed enough, don’t do enough for him after all his sacrifices, and your behavior always falls short of what is expected.
9. Discounts Feelings/Opinions
He doesn't respect or acknowledge your opinions, feelings, decisions or choices, yet hates it when you dare question him, and reacts with outright anger or rage when his behavior is criticised.
10. It's always your fault
He blames you for his anger. It's your fault that he embarrassed you in public, drove so fast, drank too much, or assaults an innocent bystander. if you had not said that, smiled at that waiter when he took your order, or questioned his behavior, it wouldn't have happened.
11. YOU start acting 'crazy'
He has you so on edge that you find yourself doing “crazy” things in self-defense. You become paranoid, or find yourself screaming or swearing when you can't bear the stress of it anymore.
12. Insane breakup
You end the relationship and he goes to pieces, breaks down and cries, begs and pleads. Promises to change, threatens to commit suicide, to quit his job and leave the area. Stalks you, harasses you with phone calls, sends flowers and gifts, or offers a wedding ring.
It takes a long time and immense effort to change a 'Controller', and the possibility that he may never change is huge because he simply doesn't see fault with anything he does. I didn't mention physical abuse because I didn't experience it, but many 'Controllers' do become violent and the longer you stay, the stronger the possibility of him abusing you physically becomes. In extreme cases, 'Controllers' have been known to kill their partners.
If you go back, you're back in his grasp, effectively a prisoner and escape next time, will be three times as difficult.
Don't let it happen to you or anyone you care about. Recognise the signs, take back control and get out.
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