10 Clear Signs Your Husband Is Controlling & You Need To Go

Yes, you love your husband, but you gotta love yourself, too.

By Fred S.
10 Clear Signs Your Husband Is Controlling & You Need To Go

What is a controlling husband?

When one person compels, requires or manipulates others to behave according to their own will, it can be termed as controlling behavior. It doesn’t matter if it is on the expense of somebody else, controlling people will find a way to get what they want. The way he dominates the other person is unhealthy, and incredibly selfish.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and variations. Some cases are more serious than others, but have identifiable common factors, though on different levels of intensity. The borderline of all of their behavior shows one objective: getting what they want at the expense of everyone else.

What causes my husband to control me?

Different types of reasons can motivate spouses to be controlling, and they’re often hard to understand. Here are few common causes;

  • Insecurities
  • Low self-esteem
  • A traumatic past, with lack of control in positions of submission.

Such people feel the need to be in control all the time, constantly reassuring themselves that they’re above someone else. It’s a psychological issue at the base, and requires immediate help, but that’s the last thing they’d accept.  The victim to a controlling spouse might get tricked into believing that it’s somehow their fault, but that’s far from the truth.

10 Tell-Tale Signs Your Husband Is Controlling And You Need To Go

Without further ado, let’s look at 10 of the most obvious signs of a controlling husband. Each one of these is a red flag, and if you notice several of them, you can be certain of his controlling nature.

1. Constant criticism

A controlling husband will look for opportunities to bring your self-confidence down by criticizing you. Not only does it help them believe that they’re somehow better than you, but also lets them keep you morally grounded. They feel the need to constantly reassure you that you somehow need them to stay with you, and aren’t ever ‘enough’ on your own.

2. He makes you feel extra guilty

For anything you do that doesn’t make your controlling husband happy, he’ll make you feel guilty. All they want you to do is stuff that works well for them, and they want it done their way.

For example, they might not like the fact how you caught up with one of your old friends, or went to see them. They’ll guilt you into believing that you weren’t there when they needed you, and therefore did something extremely bad. It’s their way of regulating their partner’s behavior in a highly tactful manner.

3. He pushes you into isolation

A key tool for any controlling individual is the threat to isolate their victim. They’ll want you all to yourself; your attention, your thoughts, your wants and needs. To achieve this, they’ll attempt to cut you off from people around you – even the ones you’re the closest to. They’ll try to put distance between you and others, or talk you into believing they’re bad for you. To them, it’s all a game to achieve what they want.

4. If he does something nice, he’ll make you feel bad about it

To make their victims believe that it’s them who’s probably wrong, controlling people will try and act extra nice sometimes, out of nowhere. They’ll get you gifts without any apparent occasion, or go out of their way to help you out with something. It sounds nice, but it’s all short-lived, and they expect more in return – always. If the presents are followed up by a lecture of how you don’t do enough for him, it’s a healthy sign that he’s trying to control you.

5. He gets jealous in a controlling and possessive way

Spouses get jealous about each other all the time, you don’t have to be controlling to show that behavior. In many ways, it’s considered sweet and loving to get jealous about the person you love. However, when a controlling person gets jealous, it’s different. They do it in an extremely possessive way, not even allowing a stranger’s like on your Instagram post without questions about it.

6. He won’t leave your finances to yourself

A controlling husband doesn’t just want to be in control of you, but also of your emotions, your thoughts, and your finances. They do it so slowly and patiently that the other partner doesn’t even realized how it all sneaks up to them. Before you know it, he keeps track of your transactions, has all your account information, and criticisms on the stuff you spend money.  

7. He makes you question your beliefs and feelings

This sign is a form of emotional abuse, and occurs in more serious cases of a controlling marriage. When a person constantly causes their partner to question how they think, feel, and act, it can be termed as ‘Gaslighting’.

This sign is a form of emotional abuse, and occurs in more serious cases of a controlling marriage. When a person constantly causes their partner to question how they think, feel, and act, it can be termed as ‘Gaslighting’.

8. You feel threatened when they’re around

Controlling people tend to have threatening rays that stem from their behavior all the time. It makes the victim feel like doing what they want, to prevent an undesirable social situation. The threats could be physical ones too, but it’s more common to see emotional threats being used by controlling partners. Some of these may include threats to spread a false accusation about you, taking the children and leaving, or cancelling a pre-planned family holiday out of anger.

9. His love is strictly conditional

A controlling spouse understands that he has to act in a desirable manner every once in a while to keep things going – it’s part of their manipulative nature. They’ll show love, or even feel it genuinely, but it’s always in return for something. While he should love you for being you, his love always comes in response to you doing something he wants.

10. He actively spies on you

A controlling spouse is obsessed with knowing where you are at any point in time. They’ll need to know every move you make, and why you make it. He’s probably also get tons of trust issues, so he won’t take your word for any of it. This pushes him to constantly spy on you, follow you, and keep asking about your stuff. This spying nature is one of the many signs of a controlling husband.

How do you watch out for subtle signs of your husband being controlling?

A controlling nature can grow from a seed into a huge tree. It’s important to watch out for even the smallest of signs whenever they begin to show up. Here are a few subtle indicators you need to watch out for;

  • Demanding or providing more attention than usual. Both ends of the spectrum can be worrying – because there’s often an incentive for paying more attention to you.
  • They give you ultimatums to threaten you indirectly.
  • Whenever things don’t go their way, they resort to putting you down.
  • In the presence of others, they mask their demeaning criticism as humor or harmless banter.
  • Making you feel insufficient.

How do I deal with my controlling husband?

Since the problem is identified by now, let’s now turn our focus towards the solution, and what you can do in such a situation.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with controlling people;

Reach out to others

Whenever you fear that your husband is attempting to take more and more control over you, it’s best to communicate that with someone you trust. They’ll offer advice, a safe space to vent your feelings, and an unbiased view on the situation to keep your sanity safe.

Talk to your partner about their questionable behavior

Yes, it doesn’t seem like they’ll listen or pay heed to your complaints, but being open with them is always useful. Tell them that you’re not going to stand this sort of behavior any longer, and any remark that hurts you self-confidence is strictly not welcome. It sends a direct message to your controlling husband that you’re not as much of an easy target as he perceived, which may be a wake-up call for the better.

Where do I draw the line between resolving his behaviors, and getting out of the relationship?

If the behavior of your spouse isn’t taking a turn for the better, after many attempts to talk things out and setting boundaries, it’s not a good sign for your marriage. One good option is to let a psychologist step in and talk to him, while you also book appointments for couples’ counselling.

He might not agree to it in the beginning, but be open about how you see this as the last saving grace for the marriage. If he understands that you’re not willing to stand this behavior and are ready to leave any second, it’ll motivate him to agree to these arrangements.

If, at any point, you fear for your own physical or mental well-being while being around this man, and see absolutely no chances of improvement, it’s best to leave. Dealing with an abusive partner is in no way advisable, and it’s not good for any party in the relationship. If even a professional cannot help make things better, you can’t either.

Related Article: 8 Ways To Dealing With An Emotionally Abusive Husband
8 Ways To Dealing With An Emotionally Abusive Husband
Effective ways to deal with an emotionally abusive husband


Controlling partners are very subtle in the way they operate, often not even realizing what they’re doing themselves. We might imagine them to openly crush everyone else’s path to get their way, or show physically aggressive behavior all the time. We picture them as bullies who use every opportunity to belittle and exploit others, commanding each aspect of their partners’ lives. These signs are majorly troubling, and represent the most serious cases, but many other additional signs can also portray controlling behavior, which have been listed and described in this article.