Dating after a controlling relationship
Over the past several months, I have been up and down more times than the temperature this summer but in the process I have learned a lot about myself, about relationships and about abuse, some of which I’d like to share with you.
In my years as a psychologist and advice columnist, I've long since learned that stereotypes don't apply when it comes to controlling partners. And controlling behavior on the part of a partner knows no boundaries—people of any age, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status can be in controlling relationships, playing either role.
Ask your primary care physician or a local mental health agency for a referral to a therapist specializing in domestic violence issues. Expressing your feelings in a journal or through an art form such as music, painting or poetry can be cathartic. It's important to release these feelings to heal.
If every little thing you do could use improvement in your partner's eyes, then how are you being valued as a true equal, let alone loved unconditionally? But threats of leaving, cutting off "privileges," or even threats by the controlling person to harm herself or himself can be every bit as emotionally manipulative as the threat of physical violence.Your self-esteem and overall confidence level may be severely damaged by the abuse you endured.