Possessive and Controlling Men: Characteristics and Attitudes

Possessive and Controlling Men: Characteristics and Attitudes

Last update: 25 July, 2020

There are a number of common traits and attitudes that characterize possessive and controlling men. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these men can be very different individuals. They can have different social and economic statuses, ages, education, religious beliefs, political tendencies, and upbringings.

Now, there are other things they have in common besides the characteristics we explain in this article. Almost all of them start and maintain relationships through dominating and authoritative behavior. Sometimes they hide their behavior through subtle and kind gestures, while others act without thinking twice. The point is that they build prisons little by little where they end up trapping their partners.

The first warning signs are the negative comments and rejections toward the partner that are disguised as false modesty. They also interrogate their partners on every detail of their day-to-day lives. The problem is that the victims start to lose their identity little by little. The victims downplay any behavior that causes suffering and pain and start evaluating every word they say in order to please their partner.

At the beginning of a relationship, it could be normal for a partner to ask about day-to-day activities. They could send messages or call several times a day. But where’s the limit?

There’s danger when the other person’s desire to know it all becomes an obsession and interest becomes control. The problem is that these men don’t usually show their controlling tendencies at the beginning of a relationship. However, as time goes by, these tendencies will begin to surface.

Although both men and women can have these tendencies, in this article we focus on the traits and characteristics that describe possessive and controlling men.

“Defend your life, fight for your independence, seek your happiness, and learn to love yourself.”

– Izaskun González-

A possessive and controlling man calling his girlfriend.

Obsessive personality

Possessive and controlling men are characterized by obsessive personalities. They want to know it all and always seem to be on the defensive. They get angry easily and, at times, try to contain their aggressiveness.

The obsession to control where their partner is at every moment, with whom they speak, or what friendships they have turns into the main focus of the relationship. Despite telling him what they’re doing and where they’re at, he’ll keep trying to know it for sure. He’ll always want to confirm that what their partner said is true.

Now, it’s important that we keep in mind that we’re all free. Nobody has the right to decide who we can go out with or how we should dress. It would be disrespectful to us as well as a restriction of our freedom.

Possessive and controlling men are jealous

Jealousy is a response to deep feelings of self-insecurity directed toward a partner. Thus, it surfaces when a person feels in danger of not being loved anymore. They’re afraid of no longer being the center of attention of their loved one, even if this isn’t true. In other words, they’re afraid of abandonment. They’re also emotionally dependent and really insecure.

Most people are capable of putting these feelings in a proper context. However, possessive and controlling men experience many difficulties managing them. Thus, jealousy overcomes them. They express themselves through critical, controlling, and even aggressive behavior.

Control over social networks and other devices

Possessive and controlling men, in addition to calling and sending many messages a day, get angry when their partners don’t answer right away.

If you experience this with your partner at a beginning of your relationship, it’s advisable to talk to them about it. If he still isn’t able to understand, we recommend you end things. However, when it happens in a stable relationship, it’s advisable to discuss it or consult a professional.

You must know that your cell phone is a very personal item. Nobody should control your calls or messages. You have a right to your privacy.

Being in touch is important. However, when they call you constantly, it could be a form of telephone harassment. Your partner does this to know where you are, with whom, and what you’re doing at every moment.

A possessive and controlling man being jealous.


Living with possessive and controlling men is practically impossible. They submit and repress the other person.

In addition, these men tend to feel possessive toward their partner. This means that they consider their partner their property and decide for them without taking what they want into account. This can lead to situations of psychological abuse. Even the victim can have difficulties seeing reality objectively. This is a product of self-deception.

The important thing in these cases is to eliminate the concept of “belonging” in love. Additionally, we need to eliminate the belief that jealousy is a valid form of demonstrating this feeling. Love isn’t possession, need, nor control. Love is all about freedom, respect, and trust. Therefore, it’s important to establish certain limits in relationships.

It’s important that they love you just the way you are, but above all that they value and respect you.

They demand you change your tastes and the way you are

Generally, possessive and controlling men persuade their partner to leave their hobbies, concerns, and friendships. They don’t want their partner to have interests they can’t control.

In extreme cases, possessive and controlling men can become verbally or physically abusive. They want the other person to behave and do everything they expect and desire. In these situations, what’s most important is for the victims to seek both professional and legal help as soon as possible.

In conclusion, we should remember that love, respect, and the desire to help your partner grow are the most important things in a relationship.

“When someone fights for their dignity, for equality, and for freedom, look them in the eye.”

-Bruce Springsteen-

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.