Caught in a Controlling Marriage

Caught in a Controlling Marriage

Controlling marriage affects countless women but is often hidden behind closed doors. If you’ve found your way here, you may be grappling with the painful reality of a relationship that has left you feeling trapped, isolated, and powerless. 

We understand the courage it takes to confront such a challenging situation, and we’re here to offer guidance, support, and insights into navigating the situation. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the signs of a controlling relationship and provide practical advice on how to take back control of your life, your self-esteem, and your future. 

Remember, you are not alone, and there is a path to a brighter, more independent tomorrow.

What to do if You’re Caught in a Controlling Marriage?

1. Spot the Signs

It’s important to first spot the signs to understand what you’re dealing with. Controlling husbands often exhibit behaviors such as isolating you from friends and family, constantly monitoring your activities, and making decisions for you without your input. 

For instance, if your partner insists on knowing your whereabouts at all times or becomes angry when you spend time with loved ones, these are red flags. 

Additionally, they may control your finances, dictate your clothing choices, or criticize your every move. Recognizing these patterns of a controlling marriage:


Your partner tries to cut you off from friends and family, making it difficult for you to maintain outside relationships.

Constant Monitoring

He insists on knowing your whereabouts at all times, often through calls, texts, or tracking apps.

Financial Control

Your spouse controls all the finances, giving you little or no access to money, or closely scrutinizes your spending.


They make major life decisions without consulting you, leaving you feeling powerless and unheard.

Criticism and Put-Downs

You’re subjected to constant criticism, humiliation, or belittlement, which damages your self-esteem.


Your partner uses manipulation tactics like guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, or threats to get their way.

Jealousy and Possessiveness

He exhibits extreme jealousy, trying to control who you interact with or accusing you of infidelity without evidence.


You often feel intimidated or threatened, either physically or emotionally, by your spouse.

Restricted Freedom

He limits your freedom, such as monitoring your online activity, controlling your choices in clothing, or deciding who you can be friends with.

Lack of Privacy

There is no privacy in your relationship, as your partner frequently invades your personal space, including reading your messages or emails.

Emotional Withholding

Your partner may withhold affection, love, or support as a means of control, making you feel undeserving.


He manipulates your perception of reality, making you doubt your feelings, thoughts, and experiences.

Threats and Violence

In extreme cases, controlling behavior escalates to threats, physical violence, or the destruction of property.

2. Confide in Someone

Sharing your experiences with a trusted friend, family member, or professional can provide you with emotional support. Knowing that someone is there to listen, empathize, and validate your feelings can reduce the isolation and loneliness often associated with controlling relationships.

They can also offer a different perspective on your situation. They may see aspects of the relationship or potential solutions that you haven’t considered. This fresh viewpoint can be instrumental in making informed decisions.

People you confide in may be able to connect you with resources, such as support groups, legal assistance, or relationship coaching services, which can help you break free from a controlling marriage.

3. Consult an Attorney

Secure your legal rights and ensure your safety as soon as possible. An attorney can provide you with valuable information about divorce, restraining orders, child custody, and financial matters. They can also guide you on how to gather evidence of the controlling behavior, which can be crucial in court proceedings. 

If you have children, an attorney can assist you in establishing custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the children. They can also help you secure the appropriate child support payments to ensure your children’s financial well-being.Seeking legal counsel is not just about ending the marriage – it’s about reclaiming your freedom and taking proactive steps toward a brighter, more independent future.

4. Work Towards Financial Independence

Assess your financial situation and create a plan. Start by opening a separate bank account in your name, if you haven’t already, and gradually contribute to it. 

Monitor your budget to track your income and expenses. This will help you gain control over your financial situation and identify areas where you can cut or add costs.

If possible, consider finding a job or exploring educational opportunities to enhance your career prospects and financial stability. Seek advice from a financial advisor if needed to help you make informed decisions about budgeting, investments, and saving for your future. 

Building your financial independence not only provides you with the means to break free from the controlling relationship but also gives you the confidence and security to move forward toward a happier and healthier life.

5. Document Everything

Documenting everything is a way to protect yourself and build a case if needed. Begin by keeping a detailed record of instances of controlling behavior, noting dates, times, and descriptions of what occurred. 

For example, you could start a journal or digital document to log these incidents. Save any text messages, emails, or voicemails that demonstrate the controlling behavior. 

If there are physical injuries or property damage resulting from the controlling behavior, take photos as evidence. Document financial transactions, especially if your partner is attempting to control your finances. 

This documentation serves as a powerful tool if you need to involve legal authorities or seek a restraining order. While it may feel uncomfortable to keep such records, it can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and safety as you work towards breaking free from the controlling relationship.

6. Create an Exit Strategy

This might involve secretly gathering important documents like your passport, birth certificates, and financial records. Identify a safe place to go, whether it’s a friend’s house, a shelter, or a family member’s home, and have a plan in place for transportation. 

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member who can provide support during your exit. If you have children, consider their safety and well-being in your plan. It’s also wise to consult with professionals to guide you through this process. 

Remember that leaving a controlling marriage can be challenging, but having a well-thought-out exit strategy can help ensure your safety and provide a smoother transition to a healthier and more independent life.

7. Stay Informed

Staying informed is crucial in a controlling marriage. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about your situation. 

Start by educating yourself about the signs of controlling behavior, as we discussed earlier. This will help you recognize when it’s time to take action. 

Stay up-to-date on local resources and organizations that can assist, such as domestic violence shelters, legal aid services, and counseling centers. 

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations related to divorce, restraining orders, and child custody in your area, as they can vary. 

This will help you face the situation with confidence and ensure you have access to the support and resources you need to break free from it.

8. Take care of your physical and emotional well-being

Never disregard your well-being even when you’re caught in a controlling marriage. Start by prioritizing self-care, whether it’s through exercise, meditation, or hobbies that bring you joy. 

Make time for activities that help you relax and de-stress. Reach out to a professional who specializes in relationships and domestic abuse to address the emotional toll of the controlling relationship. 

Remember that your health, both physical and emotional, is a priority. Nurture yourself, seek support from friends and professionals, and don’t underestimate the power of self-care in regaining your strength and resilience as you work towards breaking free from the grip of a controlling marriage.

Here are some tips for doing so:

Physical Well-being

  • Regular Exercise
  • Balanced Diet
  • Adequate Sleep
  • Hydration
  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
  • Regular Health Check-ups
  • Manage Stress (deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness)

Emotional Well-being

  • Therapy or Counseling
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Express Emotions
  • Set Realistic Goals
  • Social Connections
  • Limit Negative Influences
  • Self-Care Routine
  • Seek Professional Help
  • Practice Gratitude

9. Leave Safely

Leaving a controlling marriage is a brave and sometimes necessary step toward a happier and safer future. Not all marriages can or should be saved, especially when your worth and well-being are at stake. 

As a marriage coach focused on empowering women, my goal isn’t solely to help you salvage your marriage. I also help women regain their self-esteem and overcome the trauma of abuse. 

It’s about guiding you on a journey where you discover your inner strength and worth. 

Sometimes, that journey leads to the realization that leaving is the best choice for their overall well-being. But leaving can be incredibly challenging, emotionally and practically. 

That’s where my support comes in – I help women navigate the complexities of ending a marriage, from the emotional ups and downs to the logistics of separation, all while empowering them to embrace a future where they know they are good enough and deserve better.

If you notice a pattern of behaviors that make you feel unsafe or trapped, seek help immediately. Call the hotline for Violence Against Women at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

10. Seek Professional Help

Seeking professional help is a big part of the journey. So, remember that you don’t have to go through this process alone. 

If you find yourself in this position, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me so you can have the guidance and support you deserve. Leaving a controlling marriage is complex, emotionally challenging, and often fraught with legal and logistical issues. 

Having a trained coach by your side can make all the difference in helping you navigate this transition successfully.

Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s a proactive step toward taking control of your life and creating a brighter, more fulfilling future. You deserve the support and guidance necessary to make this challenging journey as smooth and empowering as possible.

Do you desire to find the clarity to stay or go?  The courage to leave? Or overcome the fear of exiting your marriage?

Let me help you. Book a call today.

DOWNLOAD: FREE GUIDE 7-Conversation Starters that Will Improve Your Marriage CLICK HERE

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If you have any questions, drop us a line at Contact Soulify.

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