Is my boyfriend controlling or am I wrong?
My boyfriends and I always get into a fight every time that I hang out with my friends. I and my friends think he is being controlling but, of course, him and his friends think differently. I am trying to figure out if this is a big or little problem and it would be nice to hear from people who know neither of us.
I am going to try to explain the notable times where I think he has had problems with being too controlling. This is going to be pretty long because I want to go into detail about each event. I am trying to be objective though all of this is from my perspective.
Some context about us:
I am a student at university in my early twenties. My boyfriend is also in his early twenties but he has a respectable full time job.
We started dating in early January and moved in together in mid-May because of no really other financially good options though we were both excited we both knew it was going to be difficult being having been dating for five months. Though we did take the precaution of getting a place with two bedrooms in case we split up.
First notable event:
This was early on when we were dating. We were basically seeing each other every day, he would often stay at my apartment because it was closer to his work than his was. One night I get multiple texts and it turns out all my friends are hanging out that night at around 8 o'clock. Though they are my friends we barely all get to see each other at the same time, in fact I had only seen them once at the very beginning of the semester and not in the three after. I told my boyfriend that he could still stay at my place and that I would try not to be out to late. He was rightfully upset because it all was last minute and he wanted to see me. I ended up having to leave the party for an hour to talk to him in the car and give him my keys for the apartment. He talked about why he was upset and told me to text him so he could pick me up even though my apartment was only a three minute walk away.
Same thing happens, friends decide to see each other at the last minute. Though this time I tell my boyfriend before he drives over saying he might want to stay at his place or stay at mine but I am going to the party. he offers to come with. I am excited for my boyfriend and friends to meet. However, he broods at the table for an hour or so. He was totally unsociable and just stayed on his phone. He gets up and asks for my keys, he goes to the apartment. Half an hour later he says he is outside in the car. I go out to talk to him and he states how he is upset that it is late but this time gets angry at my friends saying that it is ridiculous how they hang out late. I explain that some of us have classes as late as six thirty and have to usually get homework done before he socialize. Also my friend who hosted made us all food and that takes time. He cools down a bit and I promise to only stay another hour.
It is now summer. I work two internships, one of which has me out from 2pm to 10 or 11pm at night. There is a tradition of staff nights on Thursdays (which I don't work but am still invited). This staff night we are going to someone's house just to hang out. I don't drive so my boyfriend offers to drive me. He seems agitated in the car, I asked him multiple times if he was okay with driving me and he said yes. While we were driving I asked and he still said it was okay though seemed still agitated. I go and have fun. He picks me up though multiple people offered me a ride. He says it is for safety. In the car he laments angrily that all the friends I make want to hang out way too late. I explain that staff night is a tradition. It makes sense though late to do something directly after work because who has other plans at 10 at night and it is easier to go then than to try to rangle 10-15 people's scheduled on a weekend or before work. The argument goes nowhere really.
Staff night is at the same place but this time my boyfriend offers to go. I am nervous because of his brooding last time. During the party I get a text from a guy who I hadn't talked since my boyfriend and I when official. He is texting about how I am doing. I tell and show my boyfriend subtly because I have nothing to hide and I don't want him suspicious for no reason. I explain that I am gonna explain to the guy that I don't want to text him anymore because he has been obvious about dating me and I am dating my boyfriend. However, my boyfriend steals the phone from me and replies as me to this guy. The whole time I am trying to get my phone back without making a scene. We go outside far away to fight. I explain that what he did was over the line and an invasion of my privacy, that he should not have replied as me or not given my phone when I asked for it back. He threatens to leave but I calm him down enough to stay. He have a good rest of the time. But in the car we fight some more. We don't see eye to eye. He does apologize for stealing my phone but I can't tell how genuine he is.
Fifth and most recent event:
This staff night got moved to Friday, I was glad I could go straight from work and not have to worry about getting a ride. I did go to the staff night the week before and my boyfriend was mostly fine though he called multiple times getting me to confirm I was getting a ride from someone else. We all decided to go to a latin dance club! I was so excited. The plan was that my co-worker who lives close to me drives me back to my house so I could ask my boyfriend if I could go (I made up that he was having a rough day and might need me for emotional support rather than the truth). If my boyfriend gave the go ahead I would take a shower at my place and get ready while the driver gets gas. They would then pick me up and go the the drivers house so they could take showers and get ready. I got to my apartment and asked by boyfriend. He said yes to me going, not enthusiastically but I asked multiple times if he was sure and he said yes to all of them. I take a shower and get ready. The driver texts me that she is outside and waiting. My boyfriend then says we need to talk. I am mad and tell him no because we had the last twenty minutes to and people are waiting for me. He says he doesn't care that people are waiting and wants be to go the the bedroom to talk. I tell him to get to the point right then and there. He says he doesn't want me going because last time I got in late I woke him up and he couldn't go back to sleep which made him tired at work. Understandable so I offer to stay at the drivers house (I knew she would let me) but he says if I go he will stay at a hotel. He says this angrily and I feel like he is trying to guilt me into staying because I know he doesn't have the money for a hotel and not many options of people to stay with. I tell him he had the last twenty minutes to say no and that he didn't so I was leaving.
On the drive there he calls me two times. I don't answer because i don't want people listening in. Once we get out of the car he is calling me a third time so I pick up and we are all walking to the club. He demands the address and says he is picking me up. So outside of the club I have to tell my friends I can't go in because my boyfriend is upset and I have to wait for him to pick me up. They all look concerned. One friend stays and waits for him with me. This is incredibly embarrassing because I work with these people.
We get back in the car and we start fighting. Same circles as before. I say that there has to be more to this than just being woken up because I offered to fix that by sleeping over at a friends. He says he has panic attacks when I am out late, though he is being messy in his language at this point so I wonder if he meant something less severe. He says I can hang with friends but it has to be during the day. I agree though not happily because that means no more staff nights or hanging out with my friends who like to hang out late when school gets in. I ask him if it is alright now because I agree. He says no but doesn't say what more I can do. We go to bed.
We are all cuddly now but I told him I am still upset he offered to do something fun that costs money, something he is rarely for, to make up for it. But I honestly don't know. I feel embarrassed and controlled. This is the only major thing we fight about but I am young I want to make memories but he won't let me. I wanted to go to that club and now I can't ever or do any fun staff nights.
But is there something I am not getting? What do you all think? Please don't share this story.
You and your BF are two different people on two different levels. You guys currently are not on the same page and while you share a relationship, your life styles are clashing. Yes, he is controlling and going by your detailed post, manipulates situations which make it impossible for you to enjoy yourself. It's not his decision to make when and where you can hang with your friends, but you need to understand that you do live together and in doing so, you both have a responsibility to try and make it work. Your responsibility is there because you organize and discuss plans with your BF beforehand, but while he agrees, his actions afterwards tell you that he doesn't agree with your planning no matter how much you try to involve him. The result is his 'left field' behavior that you post about.
Your BF's behavior basically tells you what sort of a guy he is and he's not likely to change unless he matures, but his insecurity is not yours to fix, it's his. You don't need to be his mentor and be there when he demands you be there at the expense of your own lifestyle. You owe it to yourself to do well at uni, just as he needs to do well at his respectable full time career but if you want to succeed at your 5 month relationship, you will both need to adjust to each other without the conditions. If you guys can't or don't have the need to, then it never was.
I'm sorry to tell you that your bf is not only controlling, but a manipulator as well. It may sound hard and difficult to absorb, but he shows a clear behavioral pattern that makes me say this.
Short story to put you in context: When I was on my 20s, I had a beautiful GF, all good and smooth, until the time came for me to go play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. I already had the schedule when I met her. We started to date and she knew about my role-play Sunday afternoons. So, one day I'm at her place and when the time's up, I tell her I'll go to my friend's place to play (and that she can come if she wants). All of a sudden, she has bellyache, she wants me to hold her hand and cuddle with her. I agree. 1 week later, the scene repeats itself, this time with a headache. I stayed again, but I get suspicious. So next time, I get ready before going to her place. I got pills for bellyaches, headaches and pretty much anything that can pop up. We hit noon and I tell her I will go to my friend's place. Voila, pain hits again. I tell her to wait for a minute, I hand her the bellyache pills and guide her to her bed. Give her water and told her that I would tell her mom about it, so that she can be aware of her situation. Needless to say, she was speechless. I told her, I'll give you a call during the game to get updates on how you're feeling. It never happened again.
That same kind of situation happened several times. Mainly due to insecurities. It won't end. It only gets worse and this kind of people need to work on themselves, their self esteem and their relationships.
Now, let's talk about your responsibility.
You're in charge of your life, not his. If he ever says again something like "If you go I will stay in a hotel", just reply "Fair enough" with a good smile. It's his decision, not yours. You're trying to adapt to his requirements, but he's being too selfish to be healthy.
A relationship is always about 2 people who look in the same general direction. You don't have to be clones, but you have to aim to the same general future, otherwise, it's not going to work.
I hope this helps.
Let us know how it goes.
Thanks for those who replied, it really was helpful.
I think next staff night I will talk to him the night before if it is something I want to do. This Sunday I hung out with a friend a block away from 6 to 8 and he seemed alright. He has cooled off and maybe when I bring it up again he will have more perspective. I'll tell you how it goes!
Please do! Because I agree completely and utterly with Silvarion and Manalone: DAMN right there's an abuser pattern in play. It's classic textbook!
Your boyfriend *already* is *highly* emotionally manipulative, underhanded and controlling (e.g. is attempting to Isolate you from your support network - go Google Isolation) and that relatively-speaking PREMATURITY does not bode well, regardless of whether he's reigned himself in (for a while...watch that space).
I suggest, finances be damned. Find someone else to flat-share with.
In other words: BIG problem. But you're only at 'seed' stage so - here: http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/abuser-tricks
Stay in touch, this is an abused partner friendly forum.
Your post was very detailed and gave many examples of unacceptable behaviour.. Ask yourself an important question: why am I still with this guy?
Why do you think you don t deserve someone better?
The other posters told you that the behaviour is classic....
He won t change, he'll get worse! He's chosen you because you tolerate him....don't!
If you've been conned into a relationship with a Narcissist or other type of controller-abuser (not that I believe there's any other) then it's not about thinking you don't deserve someone better. You KNOW you do - hence you complain to begin with. (The genuinely low self-esteemed don't KNOW they deserve better hence don't ever complain to begin with, least of all on a public forum.) It's simply that they keep you confused and incapable of making a decision to leave *or* stay, as in, get properly and fully involved (i.e. keep you constantly de-stablilized) and background aware that if the attaching/bonding was hard on the heart and exhausting (Traumatic Bonding - go google) then so will be the reverse, namely detaching, i.e. more painful than one dares conceive of even attempting when viewing that entire marathon racecourse Start-Line-on. So that's why she's still with him, fyi. You'd certainly have a point where this a relationship wherein BOTH parties were normal and healthy, though.
Another reason is, They steal chunks off your ego, then your actual self-esteem, and (common misconception), you believe you have to tolerate and bide your time in order to gain the opportunities to grab them back (...which - little known fact amongst the prey - fails miserably because whilst you're keeping them around for purposes of said take-back, they're meanwhile STILL taking new chunk after new chunk off you (as they beat up your heart and psyche in either quiet or loud ways), but this time in earnest in order to 'teach you a lesson' and put you back to mere semi-consciousness for having reached the stage where you've become 'on to them'.
Trust me, these types are like quicksand. As such, avoidance isn't possible (not for the lay person, anyway). Because they deliberately look and act like normal sand and for JUST LONG ENOUGH beyond the point of you being convinced they're the answer to your romantic relationship prayers. One's strength is given testimony purely and simply, nay, EXCLUSIVELY via the fact of how quickly and how lastingly/permanently one can spot and act on their first real opportunity to exit the cage and run like uck without ever stopping or looking back.
But you're right about not changing and getting worse and tolerating.
Anyway, sorry to have to correct you but, you're obviously unaware (fair enough - it's specialist and complicated and nothing LIKE a normal relationship with a healthy person) that it can be very damaging to a victim's remaining strength, including the portion called Confidence - their escape tool package - to be made to feel they're "too this" or "too that" or "not enough". There's never anything wrong with a victim/target (except that they're dating someone with a subtle mental illness ergo the entire relationship is insane), other than the fact that humans can get drunk just as easily on their own, self-manufactured brain chemical cocktail as a real one (or 10). This is the gobsmacking (yet useless and futile) talent of the controller-abuser (NPD/APD): knowing which Love Buttons to press and what levers to pull, in what order (or any), in record time, for rendering the other person Love-Drunk and therefore incapable of functioning or resisting/standing up for oneself normally. Think of the victim/target as a grand piano and the NPD/APD as the virtuoso concert pianist: they press, it is literally helpless to do anything but play notes and produce a tune that pleases the player. The minute it DIS-pleases the player - think "bash-bash-bash!" angrily to the keys, followed by painfully slamming its lid...and flouncing off, usually.
Her 'not tolerating him' is a process, one which rarely can be done "just like that!". It takes on average 7 attempts (or less with a leg-up/payback from Fate or due to intrinsic independence and stubbornness/rigidity of original mind) to leave the cage before the attempt succeeds. As an adviser, you *have* to be patient as well as prepared to accompany the person as they go through it.
Anyway, that's all, just that one comment. :-)
("This wars ayy public service anniyncement" as much as a post.)
He is controlling