Partner is Insecure and Controlling

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My partner has expressed to me that he has been cheated on in past relationships, so I have tried to be understanding. He constantly questions me about where I am or who I’ve talked to or why my phone is turned upside down. In the beginning, every question he asked I would just answer thinking that I would be able to help him get over things from his past. But things just seem to get worse with me catering to this issue. The question started to come from nowhere, without an event or trigger that I could find. He says “I bet you talk to another man every morning before you talk to me”. He wasn’t able to let me know where this came from. Now I have refused to answer any question about anything just because I’m tire of it. Is this the right decision or should I continue to cater? Will it ever change or will this progress into abuse?

A: I wish you were not having this issue with your partner. Having to answer endless questions about faithfulness can be very depleting. I think the issue needs to be approached from two perspectives. The first is to get in front of a couples counselor as soon as possible. The second is for each of you to have your own therapist. Your partner will need to learn about his insecurity and jealousy and that his attempts to control are likely to be part of a larger pattern of his behavior. You will need support as the two of you go through this. The couples therapy will be a place where your partner can hear from someone other than you that he has some work to do. My experience with this type of questioning is that it does not go away on its own and needs some professional intervention. The find help tab at the top of the page can direct you to therapists in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Partner is Insecure and Controlling. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/06/partner-is-insecure-and-controlling/