When you are in a controlling relationship, sometimes you don’t see it. Your family and friends may tell you that your girlfriend is trying to isolate you or your boyfriend is controlling you and you still don’t see it. When we are in love, we are often blind to some things. Once you are out of that relationship is when you start to see how blind you are and wonder how you could not have seen the signs.
Do you know that isolation is an early sign of abuse? When someone is trying to isolate you, they are doing so to make your world so small so that you don’t seek refuge when they start showing their toxic self to you. They want you at their mercies that you don’t have anywhere to run to when they start abusing you.
How can you know if your partner is trying to isolate you? How can you know if your partner is controlling you?
Here are some signs that your partner is trying to isolate you
They play the victim when you spend time with your loved ones
If your partner starts playing victim every time you spend time with your loved one, you watch out for they could be establishing some form of control. If they make phrases like ‘you spend all your free time with them and not with me’ and you know this is not true, they could be trying to take you away from your friends and family. If they throw a fit when you try to get together with people that make you happy, and you start feeling guilty and shamed for having fun outside your relationship, watch out for signs of control and isolation.
They criticize your loved ones
Emotional manipulators will criticize your connections and your choice to connect with these people. If your partner runs them down all the time, they are trying to decrease their worth in your eyes, so that you pull away from your loved ones. Remember to be careful with this observation because sometimes your partner could be right, not all friends or family are good for you. However, if you believe in your soul your people mean well but your partner can stop finding them worthless, be careful because he could be trying to isolate you from those that you love so that he/she can control you.
They Embarrass You
Emotional manipulators can be very conniving. If they have tried to make you pull away from your friends and clearly you are not doing so, they sometimes choose to behave in a way that your friends will pull away from you. Such behavior may include embarrassing you in front of your friends, being all grumpy when your friends are around, making snide comments and even calling you up for something you may have said about your friends. In such situations, they want your friends to be uncomfortable and move away from you so that they don’t have to ‘share’ you with anyone else.
Sneaking out and apologizing for hanging out with your friend
If you find yourself sneaking out and apologizing for hanging out with your friends, your partner’s reactions have already got to you. If he constantly criticizes, threatens, sulks, and plays the victim when you hang out with your friends, you will start sneaking out and this shows you have already gone to the red zone. Controlling partners want you to focus your whole world on them and not be part of any life outside themselves so that they can have you round their little fingers.
Attack your ability to be independent
When your partner constantly attacks your ability to be independent, it is because they want to isolate you and control you. When they act as if you cannot make a life for yourself, you are not confident enough to get a job or a career that you want, they want you to start doubting your abilities and cling to them. This way, you depend on them and they start dictating what you do and where you go. Before you know it, you can almost do nothing without checking with them. They have isolated you from people and things that you love.
They control your emotions
Emotional manipulators want to control how you feel and disregard the emotions that don’t sit well with them. Ig you feel angry, they will make you feel that you shouldn’t be feeling the way you are feeling. This way, you start to doubt how genuine your emotions are and start to judge yourself. When you doubt yourself you doubt your sanity and your confidence starts to waver. Always remember you have a right to feel all kinds of emotions. You have a right to be angry, happy, hurt, sad, and content, and all kinds of emotions and no one should take that right from you.
They isolate you from your hobbies and interests
To isolate you, partners will attack your hobbies as dumb, uninteresting, and unnecessary. They will show you what you do for your happiness is not as important as other things. Before you know it, you have let all the things that make you happy go. When you stop doing things you love, you lose a part of yourself. You start losing a sense of self and feel incomplete without these things and that’s exactly what this person wants. They want to make your world so small that they are the only ones that can rule it.
They tell you no one likes you except them
One way emotionally abusive partners isolate is by telling you that no one cares about you as much as they do. They try to show you that all these things they are doing is because they love you; it is for your own good. They gossip and demonize those around you so that you start changing how you see them and depend on your partner more. This is not love, this is emotional manipulation. In a healthy relationship, a partner should let you be independent enough to choose your friends and trust you enough to make the right choices about the kinds of friends you make. They should let you have a life outside your partner.
They make love and acceptance conditional
If your partner shows you that they will only love and accept you when you do something that pleases them, they are trying to control you. When they withhold their love and acceptance except in certain situations, they are showing you that you have to live within their conditions. Before you know it, you are constantly seeking their approval for them to accept you and this is not a healthy way to live.
They use guilt to control you
If you have ever done something to upset your partner, as it happens in any relationship, they use this to control you. They bring it up every time they want to have things their way. This will isolate you and control you as you find you constantly have to do what they want, every time since they use this guilt to control you. They make it seem as if you are not a good person and you have to spend the rest of your life trying to prove that you are a good person.
Accusations and jealousy
A controlling partner will often accuse you of outrageous things when you don’t do what they want. If you go to see your friends, they accuse you of cheating, leaving them, among other things to make you feel guilty they will make accusations from assumptions that don’t hold any ground. An unhealthy level of jealousy in a relationship is harmful as it erodes trust over time and hurts the relationship