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Controlling or just normal relationship?


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Please let me start this by stating that I feel terrible for having made my significant other feel sad or hurt in any way. The last thing I wanted to do is that. However, I have some issues that I've been trying to clear up with them, as well as on my own, and it is not working. The background: I moved across the country to pursue a few different projects, became extremely depressed and anxious after leaving my family and friends behind, thought about moving back home, then met this woman who offered me a tremendous amount of love and support. The issues began to arise, however, when she expressed the requirement that I step away from these projects that I moved across the country for in the first place. Then, even though we can't be together all the time, I started getting in to trouble that I would step out to lunch and have a beer by myself, as I was apparently living a 'single man's life', and that is not acceptable. I have a number of female friends back home that I can talk to on a purely plutonic level, but I was made to start feeling guilty about talking to them. I started stepping away from all of this to make her happy, but it's been a struggle - a struggle that supposedly shouldn't exist if I truly loved this person enough.


Anyway, a friend of mine back home is getting married. She wasn't sure if she would be able to go, but did not want me to go by myself. Only a few days before I would have had to book our flights, we got in to a fight - a fight based on the fact that I a) ignored a phone call from a friend who happened to be female, so I must be hiding something (I'm not, but I do feel guilty that my friends don't hear from me anymore) and b) I stepped out with a friend and his wife for a couple of hours while she was at work. This resulted in her giving me the silent treatment for more than a day, and driving off in to the night by herself that night. Two days later, I have to make a decision about leaving, so just book a flight and go home, under the assumption that we are breaking up because of how unhappy I make her through my 'actions'. Well, that was the wrong choice, as I was supposed to have waited those extra days to confirm that she was going to be able to travel with me, because now she is sad and upset that she's not with me, and also now had the confirmed time off from work. She booked a trip to go away with friends as a consolation prize to herself. I am happy she did so, and would always encourage her to do things that she wants and makes her happy. She could tell from the sound of my voice over the phone that something was wrong though, so I simply asked her why her going away with friends was any better than my stepping out with friends for a couple of hours, and the discussion unloaded on how I hurt her in the first place by traveling without her, and that when I'm out with my friends, she doesn't know what I'm doing - basically stating that the trust isn't there and that I could be doing anything that might be hurtful towards her. Now, let me go back to the beginning about how I feel terrible for making her feel the way that I do - the only thing I've done to make her feel that way is question why I have to give all of these things up in the first place. Rather than a rational discussion, I typically am told that she doesn't agree with these things, I'm living the single man's life, my friends will never love me like she does, etc. I have now made her cry more than once because of it.


I want to work things out with her and have a better understanding of how not to hurt her with this, but I keep coming back to the fact that it feels there should be as much compromise from her side, and it feels very controlling to me, which is not really how I want to live my life. Is it normal to have this level of 'sacrifice' in a fairly new relationship? We've only been talking since November and met in person for the first time at the beginning of February. Note: she is tremendously supportive of the things that she sees as positives of me, so it's not that I feel bad all the time. As long as I don't think about all the things I'm giving up, I'm fine - but the moment I do, it seems to be proof to her that I don't love her.


I'm just seeking some guidance. If I am completely crazy in feeling the way that I do, I will learn to accept and adapt. I don't want to hurt her, but I can't keep hurting myself in the process.


Sorry if that was confusing - I know it doesn't quite get everything across, and clearly doesn't express exactly what her side might be. I just don't know if I'm being selfish by struggling the way that I am with it.


Thank you for any input.

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You sound very similar to me. It sounds like you really care deeply for this girl and it seems like her intentions are good. However, unless you're leaving something out, I can objectively tell you that her behavior is VERY controlling.


That doesn't have to be a red flag or a deal-breaker, but this level of control so early on in a relationship should definitely be addressed. I would sit down with her and tell you that you really care deeply about her but gently explain that the degree of control lately has made things hard for you. You don't have to point fingers, just explain things in a caring way, but stick to what you say.


Otherwise, the longer you give the impression that this kind of control is okay with you, the longer she will assume it's okay and the harder it will be to stop (I speak from experience). You will also find yourself being controlling in response otherwise, even though you know it's not healthy.


I know that the control probably makes you feel really cared about on some level, but the reality is that it's not healthy. Good luck. Just be open and honest--communication is key here.

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Extremely controlling. You need to ask yourself if you can really live like this for the rest of your life, with someone who controls your every move. Also, be very aware that she will NOT change. Ever. This is who she is and no matter what you do, it will never be right enough for her. This will be (and is) a very toxic relationship to say the least. Do yourself a huge favor and end it, for your own sanity - the sooner the better.

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