Controlling girlfriends don’t make life light or enjoyable for their boyfriends – or themselves. These tips on how to stop trying to control your boyfriend will help you ease up and let your relationship unfold naturally.
I’m writing this post for a reader who commented on How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife. She is a self-confessed “control freak”, and she doesn’t know how to stop being a controlling girlfriend. Her name is Hilary, and here’s part of her comment:
“My boyfriend called me his crazy controlling girlfriend and I got mad but the truth is I secretly agree with him. He has to be involved with his exwife cause they have three kids and then I suspected him of cheating on me. He didn’t cheat but ever since that mess I want to control his every move. I go thru his whole phone, emails and texts and I get so livid and mad at him when he goes to hang out with his friend instead of stay home with me. My boyfriend only has that one friend and I hate that I can’t stop trying to control what he does. Help, how do I stop being a controlling girlfriend???”
In her comment, Hilary also said it’s not just the fact that she’s nervous he might be cheating on her. She wants all his attention all the time. When her boyfriend gives other people attention – even his kids – she gets angry and hurt.
“I feel so insecure and I get it in my head that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore,” she said. “And so I try to control him even though I know controlling girlfriends aren’t fun or good for a relationship. Sometimes I get rude to him or just depressed and crying. That makes him uncomfortable. When this happens he ends up not going with his friend and we have a horrible night. It’s messed up and I feel bad but I don’t know how to stop.”
You may already know that you want to stop trying to control your relationship, but you don’t know how. Below are the benefits of giving up control in your relationship, plus a few tips on how to stop being a controlling girlfriend.
The Benefits of Not Being a Controlling Girlfriend
Here’s why you need to take your hands off the wheel and give your life, your relationship, and your boyfriend room to breathe and space to flourish.
If you focus on the benefits of giving up control in your relationship, you’re more likely to let go. One way to stop being a controlling girlfriend is to become familiar with the signs of controlling men. Once you see how unattractive, manipulative, and unhealthy your behavior is, you may find it easier to ease up.
You won’t be in a constant battle with your boyfriend
Controlling girlfriends are constantly at war with themselves, their boyfriends, their relationships. They know how things SHOULD be, and they do everything in their power to make life right. Controlling girlfriends focus on the best way to do everything, and aren’t satisfied until things are done exactly the way they want. Even then, they aren’t satisfied.
If you learn how to stop being a controlling girlfriend, you’ll also ease up on the battle you have with yourself. At some level you know you don’t want to control your boyfriend – and you know he doesn’t like it. You searched for “how to stop being a controlling girlfriend” because you really do want to change. And change you can!
Your relationship will be easier and lighter
A controlling girlfriend is one of the 10 Warning Signs of Unhealthy Relationships. If you learn how to stop being a controlling girlfriend, your relationship will improve. An unhealthy relationship is structured, controlled, manipulated, and executed in a military fashion.
Controlling girlfriends create unhealthy relationships because they don’t give their boyfriends room to breathe.
You’ll feel healthier and happier
If you figure out the reasons you need to be in control of your boyfriend and relationship, you’ll eventually become healthy and happy. It’s possible that you’re a controlling girlfriend because you’re scared of not being control. You want thing predictable, and you think you know the way things should be. If you’re in control, then you won’t be surprised by your boyfriend or life. Where did this come from?
Why do you need to be in control of your relationship, your boyfriend, everything in your path? If you can figure that out, you’ll be able to breathe again. And so will your boyfriend.
You’ll have more energy
Controlling girlfriends spend the majority of their time and energy on creating the exact right circumstances for their life.
It takes a lot of effort to see what’s wrong with the way your boyfriend is living, and structure his life so he lives right. If you learn how to stop controlling your boyfriend, you’ll have so much more energy to do things that matter in your life. Such as? How to accept yourself even when you’re not perfect. Because controlling girlfriends are scared of things that aren’t perfect.
Your boyfriend will love and respect you more
Learning how to stop being a controlling girlfriend isn’t just about “making” your boyfriend love you – but a stronger love is one of the benefits of not trying to control your boyfriend. He’s not a robot, and he won’t respond well to being controlled. On the contrary, if you give him space and freedom to live as he chooses (within reason, of course!), then he will love you the way you want to be loved.
If you think your boyfriend likes to be controlled, read How to Fix a Codependent Relationship. Sometimes we gravitate towards relationships and people that aren’t good or healthy for us, because that’s all we know.
The best tip on how to stop being a controlling girlfriend is this: find out why you need to be in control of your boyfriend and your relationship. What’s at the root of your need to control him? If you can figure this out, you’re much closer to stopping.
I welcome your thoughts on how to stop being a controlling girlfriend. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to write about your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you work through your feelings and thoughts.
“We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any switches at all.” – Annie Dillard.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!