Home » Ask the Therapist » In a Controlling Relationship and Don’t Know How to Get Out

In a Controlling Relationship and Don’t Know How to Get Out

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I have been in and out several times of a controlling relationship. Full of lies and hurt emotionally. Everytime something goes wrong, he comes running tell me sorry with open arms and he blames everything on me and makes me feel Im in the wrong with everything. And he is easily jealous. And I find myself shutting my family out. I know this is a harmful relationship but I don’t know why I can’t walk away from it.  He manipulates me and I have been reading things up in this kind of relationship.  He comes back and is sweet and I feel like I can change him, but then it goes back to going bad again. Everything seems so romantic and Im afraid to let him go. As soon as I get going with out him he comes back and make me feel bad. I need input on how to walk away for good. (age 20, from US)

In a Controlling Relationship and Don’t Know How to Get Out

Answered by on -


It sounds like you have already done some reading on the subject which is good. I would suggest that you continue to educate yourself.  Please look up information on the “cycle of violence” and the “power and control wheel.” These are two concepts that come from theories relating to domestic violence. Control is the real issue and that is what you are describing here.

Educating yourself on the patterns, relying on your support system of friends and family for strength, and cutting off all communication with him are the first steps. Respecting yourself enough to believe that you deserve better is also very important. It can be really hard to break up with someone that you may still have feelings for but realize the relationship is unhealthy. It’s especially hard to break up with someone who has controlled and manipulated you. That is why it is so important to get support.

Most domestic violence shelters either have counselors that work there or they keep lists of counselors they can refer to. I would suggest that you get connected with your local shelter for extra support. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who respects you. Please give yourself that chance.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

In a Controlling Relationship and Don’t Know How to Get Out

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). In a Controlling Relationship and Don’t Know How to Get Out. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 3 Mar 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.