Controlling SO

Facebook bPVY33
Jun 5 57 Comments

I need your thoughts on how to handle this.

My SO *tells me* what to do in a lot of scenarios. How much I should exercise, how I should cook, how I should dress, how I should drive, where I should put my things, how I should communicate with my colleagues, how much water I should drink (we had lots of arguments about this one in particular). At the end of each day I just feel so stressed... It's so hard to feel good about myself after all these criticisms.

I've tried to talk to him about this in several different ways. I've calmly told him that what he does makes me feel like he doesn't trust me and doesn't see me as an adult. I've also gotten upset and told him he's driving me crazy. Each time, his response is that he only cares about me and wants me to be a better person - I'm too sensitive and need to learn how to handle criticisms. I started to wonder if he's right.

There are also a lot of positives about the relationship, so I'd like to give this problem a fair shot before I think about ending the relationship. I'd appreciate your advice on how to approach this in a more productive way.

TC 270

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 57 Comments
  • Facebook ⭕w⭕
    Smile, nod in agreement, and do whatever the fuck you want to do anyways.
    Jun 5 4
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      Done that! SO got upset that I don't "listen to him."
      Jun 5
    • Facebook ⭕w⭕
      Then tell your SO that you are his partner, not his daughter.
      Jun 5
    • SAP Man
      Ignoring someone and/or gaslighting is a shit thing to do. Adults should talk about their intentions, not lie.
      Jun 5
    • SAP Man
      FB, How is telling people not to lie being clueless? OP, don't lie to people. If he tells you to do something and you don't want to do it / don't care, say so. Holding these things in and/or ignoring people is toxic for both sides.
      Jun 5
  • SAP Man
    1. Are the criticisms / advice beneficial to you in the long term, and do they negatively impact your life? Has not following his advice negatively hurt you or anyone else in the past? E.g. "wash your hands after you poop, please. You got the whole party sick last time you 'forgot'"

    2. Have you ever told him directly not to say these things to you? It's shitty, but an ultimatum might be a good route.

    3. Can you see yourself marrying this person?
    Jun 5 9
    • Facebook / Eng
      Easy Going

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Easy Goingmore
      You should assume he will never change when deciding if you want to marry him because people seldom change because you want them to and if they do then there's a good chance that it's only temporary.
      Lasting change usually only happens if a person wants to change themself.
      I would go abandon anyone who commanded me to do things a certain way all the time.
      My now wife used to tell me how to cook, e.g. you're cutting that wrong and need to do it like this. I told her in no uncertain terms that she could suggest how to do something once. If I agreed with it then I would change and if I didn't then she needed to be okay with it. If she couldn't handle me not changing then she needed to leave (the kitchen while I cooked) or not eat what I cooked.
      She eventually learned it was infinitely more enjoyable to accept that I was going to do some things differently than her and then we were able to cook together.
      When I saw that she stopped the behavior of demanding I do things a certain way for long enough to convince me it wasn't a temporary change then I proposed.
      There was no way I would have proposed if she didn't drop that behavior first.
      Jun 5
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      Thanks @Man, makes sense. Really appreciate your feedback.

      @EasyGoing, I'm curious to learn how that conversation went. How long did you wait before bringing it up? How firm were you? How did she react? Was anyone upset?
      Jun 5
    • Facebook / Eng
      Easy Going

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Easy Goingmore
      I brought it up probably by the third time she did it as I realized it was a pattern and not a one off thing.

      I was upset which probably wasn't the best way to deliver the message but at least there was no doubt that I was seriously not okay with it.

      She got upset because I was upset but could tell I wasn't kidding so she presumably weighed whether I was worth staying together with despite my refusal to cut carrots just so. She then stopped trying to control me for things that didn't matter.

      Since then we've gotten into arguments here and there when she's done it again for non-cooking things but every year it happened less and less so it's pretty much non existent now.

      It probably helps that she learned very clearly that I'm going to do as I see fit when it's my own behavior with myself or others.

      If she asks me to change something with regards to how I interact with her then I'm far more agreeable.
      Jun 5
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      @easygoing glad things worked out, thanks so much for your input. I think I should have another conversation and make it more serious this time.
      Jun 6
    • Facebook / Eng
      Easy Going

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Easy Goingmore
      I wish you the best of luck :-)
      Jun 6
  • New / Mgmt
    FourHrWkWk

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
    BIO
    Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
    FourHrWkWkmore
    Holy crap run the hell away and fast. - short answer

    Long answer:

    On one extreme , Controlling behavior is a precursor to more controlling behavior and even violence. Does he ask who you’re with? Check your phone? Demand your time? What would he do if youtold him there was a really nice guy who joined your group and you went to lunch to talk shop? Any anger about that, Leave yesterday.

    Or
    What’s his TC? If he isn’t making as much money as you, or feels unattractive, this could be his way of getting an upper hand in the relationship. He could resent your success and try to belittle you to lift himself up. If he is unable to feel like he is the provider, leave him. Not only will you resent his controlling behavior but you’ll resent that you’re taking care of him too. And so will he.

    In a best case scenario It’s possible he is just really particular and wants you to look/dress/act in a way that he finds attractive. He might have controlling parents and not be aware that he is being rude. Sounds like you’re trying to help him see that. If after you telling him how it makes you feel, and he still doesn’t get it, then you could have a relationship, but it would suck.

    Leave before you get too attached and leaving gets harder and harder.
    Jun 6 6
    • New / Mgmt
      FourHrWkWk

      New Mgmt

      PRE
      EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
      BIO
      Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
      FourHrWkWkmore
      Ahh bingo. He is at his peak of insecurity.
      So what does this guy have that makes you want to put up with all this crap?
      Jun 6
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      I think the main positives are physical attraction, the fact that he's very affectionate and dedicated to the relationship, and our shared interest in certain activities.
      Jun 6
    • New / Mgmt
      FourHrWkWk

      New Mgmt

      PRE
      EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
      BIO
      Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
      FourHrWkWkmore
      What is his profession and why isn’t he working?
      Jun 6
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      Software engineer, was at one of the big companies but quit his job due to stress and a desire to work on side projects. Worked on side projects for a while, recently tried to rejoin the tech industry but hasn't passed interviews.
      Jun 6
    • Google base22
      Sorry to break it to you but this is a terrible relationship. You are being used and manipulated. Walk away ASAP. But i know you wouldn’t :) we all learn from our mistakes not others
      Jun 11
  • Facebook loleksdee
    I’d love to be in a relationship like this and have someone who cares about me so much. Dump him and give him to me please
    Jun 5 3
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      Interesting perspective. Wonder if I should start thinking this way?
      Jun 5
    • Facebook / Eng
      Easy Going

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Easy Goingmore
      Hell no!
      I can understand how it can be appealing sometimes but if you're so bothered by it now then you should expect it to drive you nuts later.
      Relationships naturally become less connected after the honeymoon unless both people consciously put positive energy into the relationship.
      If your SO truly cared about you then he would listen to your very reasonable request to nicely suggest changes instead of commanding you.
      It doesn't sound like your SO respects you and it will be really difficult to make love last without mutual respect.
      Jun 5
    • Facebook loleksdee
      Probably not? I guess I’m just messed up
      Jun 6
  • Microsoft
    Dulqer

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    Manager of small dev team in Azure
    Dulqermore
    If I were you, I would move on.
    Jun 6 0
  • New / Mgmt
    FourHrWkWk

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
    BIO
    Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
    FourHrWkWkmore
    Classic psychological projection. “only cares about me and wants me to be a better person” says the unemployed guy in a peaking economy. He needs to go to work and redirect his energies to something he can control. What is his profession?
    Jun 6 2
    • Facebook bPVY33
      OP
      He's (was?) a software engineer.
      Jun 6
    • eBay brevity
      Was? Now, unemployed? If so, that could be the major factor.
      Jun 6
  • Ricoh BingoB
    You HAVE given this problem a fair shot. Each time, instead of listening to you and trying to change, he has turned around and criticized you more.
    When someone (through their actions) tells you who they are, it is wise to do them the favor of believing them.
    Jun 6 0
  • New / Mgmt
    FourHrWkWk

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
    BIO
    Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
    FourHrWkWkmore
    He’s more interested in being right than being in a relationship with you.

    And oh by the way, 8 glasses is totally arbitrary and has been reported to be a myth. NYT article talked about it. : https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html
    Jun 6 0
  • Navy Federal Credit Union / Eng masti
    Won’t lie I do all of those things, not trying to be controlling though, just focused on optimizing. It’s a form of compulsive behavior. Therapy has helped but still struggling to step back.
    Jun 5 0
  • Credit Karma Vote Trump
    git revert
    Jun 6 1
    • I think it is good advice. Even if you do it jokingly, he will get the message. You can use even same words and tone that he use on you. Sometimes people understand when they hear their own words.

      At least it works on my bf. I do it all the time. Message conveyed in nice fun way (I do it jokingly)
      Jun 7
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1

    Microsoft

    BIO
    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    Start telling him how much to eat, how to dress, how to drive, where to put his things, how much water to drink, etc
    Jun 6 0
  • Groupon yoyo42
    Someone that controlling has issues, and needs to go to counseling. You can't feel harrassed when relaxing in your own home it's a recipe for anxiety and depression later on.
    Jun 6 0
  • Microsoft TLCj22
    In my experience, a person who acts like that is not likely to change. I divorced my ex when I realized one day that I didn’t control a single part of my life anymore. I hope it’s not as bad for you and you have a chance to resolve it.
    Jun 6 0
  • Apple / Eng kGUv48
    Try talking to him about it. If there’s not a big improvement, find a new SO and you’ll probably be so glad you didn’t stay with a guy that you didn’t completely love. Now you know a little bit more about what you like and don’t like in a partner
    Jun 5 0
  • Taylor Farms Bazzingaa
    Change SO
    Jun 5 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

  • PayPal x ploy ted
    Walk away. People don’t change.
    Jun 8 0
  • Bloomberg errors
    Do the same thing to him. Try to correct everything he does(even if it’s correct but try to change little bit). Make him watch the movies/series you like not what he likes. Make him eat only healthy food that he doesn’t like. Wake him up early morning at 4 and then do exercise. Try to change everything about him.
    I am pretty sure he will realize his mistakes. If not then just leave him because he doesn’t love you. He is just trying to change you to some perfect person that he thinks he will love. He doesn’t deserve you if he can’t love you the way you are. Don’t loose yourself for some shallow person.
    Jun 6 0
  • New / Mgmt
    FourHrWkWk

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    EY, IBM, Financial Times, Google
    BIO
    Founder with Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech. Multiple startups, I enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs.
    FourHrWkWkmore
    Oh and watch videos about Co dependency and narcissism. If that sounds familiar, run away.
    Jun 6 0
  • Google / Eng kakash
    Sounds like a Virgo
    Jun 6 0