The Student Room Group

Could a controlling partner be good?

I mean what if it's their personality
Depends on how controlling they are. If it's a situation where they don't want you spending time with family/friends and only them- that is an issue.
But if it's them looking out for you, in the sense that they are controlling of your diet, particular environments - again it really depends.
Short answer, no.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I mean what if it's their personality

A relationship is seen as 50/50 your partner shouldn’t be the influential decider or the one to have a say or to what you can and cannot do… you both are equally entitled to it before jointly deciding from there…
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous #1
I mean what if it's their personality
What else would it be other than their personality?

🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 No.
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous #1
I mean what if it's their personality
Then they should seek therapy.
Reply 6
I think there are some people that are such a handful that they need a controlling partner. Absolute players often settled down with someone controlling
Not unless the controlling person is only preventing their partner from committing crimes or slipping back into very dangerous habits that are most likely to ruin their lives and finances.
Reply 8
I would say it depends on context. Sometimes it can be good and sometimes vice versa but it would be pretty rubbish to comment on something out of the blue without even going through others' shoes.
Original post by spearminty1
But if it's them looking out for you, in the sense that they are controlling of your diet, particular environments - again it really depends.

Original post by Meheraj
I would say it depends on context. Sometimes it can be good and sometimes vice versa but it would be pretty rubbish to comment on something out of the blue without even going through others' shoes.


I'm struggling with a context in which it isn't a very bad thing. Perhaps the difference is definition. There are certain things in relationships that would fall within the dictionary definition of 'control'. For example, if I make breakfast or dinner for my wife (as I do quite often), I control what she eats in the sense that I am making her food. But I am not a controlling person, nor am I exercising control in the context of this thread. Equally, if I'm out with the kids my wife might message me to ask how things are going, but that's very much to quell her own anxiety and isn't controlling in the context of this thread.

What we're talking about is coercive control, which is a recognised form of domestic abuse. It can include things like threats and intimidation, but even when it doesn't include those things (and it very often doesn't) it aims to deprive a partner of independence and regulate their behaviour by means of exerting control over them. And for the record, doing these things because they're "looking out for you", "love you so much and want you to be safe" etc is all part of coercive control. The stated motivation doesn't make it better or make it fall within a different definition; it's very much part of the definition.

So no, I'm afraid a controlling partner isn't ever a good thing in my view. In fact it's a very, very bad thing and many people in relationships who have been subjected to it (predominantly women and girls) have suffered significant harm or worse from it. And I'm very uneasy about trying to find situations in which in can be a 'good' thing.

Original post by londonmyst
Not unless the controlling person is only preventing their partner from committing crimes or slipping back into very dangerous habits that are most likely to ruin their lives and finances.


For the record, I think this is the only really credible response for finding a way to make controlling behaviour something that isn't a negative, but I don't think it's an example of controlling behaviour precisely because the goal of it is genuinely not actually control. I also suspect in most of these more extreme cases, such as a partner of a gambling addict taking control of finances and money, the control will be genuinely consensual, which takes it out of the abuse definition for me.
Original post by Crazy Jamie
I'm struggling with a context in which it isn't a very bad thing. Perhaps the difference is definition. There are certain things in relationships that would fall within the dictionary definition of 'control'. For example, if I make breakfast or dinner for my wife (as I do quite often), I control what she eats in the sense that I am making her food. But I am not a controlling person, nor am I exercising control in the context of this thread. Equally, if I'm out with the kids my wife might message me to ask how things are going, but that's very much to quell her own anxiety and isn't controlling in the context of this thread.

What we're talking about is coercive control, which is a recognised form of domestic abuse. It can include things like threats and intimidation, but even when it doesn't include those things (and it very often doesn't) it aims to deprive a partner of independence and regulate their behaviour by means of exerting control over them. And for the record, doing these things because they're "looking out for you", "love you so much and want you to be safe" etc is all part of coercive control. The stated motivation doesn't make it better or make it fall within a different definition; it's very much part of the definition.

So no, I'm afraid a controlling partner isn't ever a good thing in my view. In fact it's a very, very bad thing and many people in relationships who have been subjected to it (predominantly women and girls) have suffered significant harm or worse from it. And I'm very uneasy about trying to find situations in which in can be a 'good' thing.



For the record, I think this is the only really credible response for finding a way to make controlling behaviour something that isn't a negative, but I don't think it's an example of controlling behaviour precisely because the goal of it is genuinely not actually control. I also suspect in most of these more extreme cases, such as a partner of a gambling addict taking control of finances and money, the control will be genuinely consensual, which takes it out of the abuse definition for me.
I would've loved to explain the situation like yours but the OP didn't give us any context. So, it was difficult to comment on something specifically as everyone deals with different circumstances as well as a different way to look at things. Also, some actions could be controlling to certain individuals but not all. Anyway, I completely do eye to eye with the first and third paragraphs of yours. You explained the term 'controlling' beautifully over there but I would like to make a slight correction for the second paragraph. Using those examples of yours, I personally feel it's excessive when a partner overdoes those things. Otherwise, it should be alright.
Original post by Meheraj
I would've loved to explain the situation like yours but the OP didn't give us any context. So, it was difficult to comment on something specifically as everyone deals with different circumstances as well as a different way to look at things. Also, some actions could be controlling to certain individuals but not all. Anyway, I completely do eye to eye with the first and third paragraphs of yours. You explained the term 'controlling' beautifully over there but I would like to make a slight correction for the second paragraph. Using those examples of yours, I personally feel it's excessive when a partner overdoes those things. Otherwise, it should be alright.

I agree that the lack of context doesn't help. I've gone straight for why 'controlling' is a bad thing because I felt that was the context is which the OP made the thread, but the ambiguity doesn't help. What examples are you referring to that you think is excessive when a partner overdoes them? I don't think there are any examples in the second paragraph so I'm not clear on that. Seems like we're on the same page, though.
Original post by Crazy Jamie
I agree that the lack of context doesn't help. I've gone straight for why 'controlling' is a bad thing because I felt that was the context is which the OP made the thread, but the ambiguity doesn't help. What examples are you referring to that you think is excessive when a partner overdoes them? I don't think there are any examples in the second paragraph so I'm not clear on that. Seems like we're on the same page, though.
Yeah, you got it right. I was referring to examples like 'love you so much', and 'looking out for you and staying safe'. Yeah, we're certainly on the same page.
Original post by Meheraj
Yeah, you got it right. I was referring to examples like 'love you so much', and 'looking out for you and staying safe'. Yeah, we're certainly on the same page.

I probably should have been clearer. I'm not saying that saying those things is a sign of controlling behaviour in isolation. I'm saying that using those as justifications for controlling behaviour doesn't stop the behaviour from being controlling, nor does it excuse that behaviour, and indeed those sorts of phrases are often used by those doing the controlling to justify it. Obviously telling your partner that you love them is a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do.
Original post by Crazy Jamie
I probably should have been clearer. I'm not saying that saying those things is a sign of controlling behaviour in isolation. I'm saying that using those as justifications for controlling behaviour doesn't stop the behaviour from being controlling, nor does it excuse that behaviour, and indeed those sorts of phrases are often used by those doing the controlling to justify it. Obviously telling your partner that you love them is a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do.
My bad! 🤦🏻 I also didn't clarify properly in the previous thread though I did it before that.

Obviously, those phrases can be used to display affection towards partners. What I meant was saying those things always to justify something wrong would be kinda controlling and I completely agree with you on this.

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