Eight tips for breaking free from love that controls you. A controlling relationship feels like it grips and holds you tight – and it’s not good for your mind, body, or soul.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.” ~ unknown.
Finding the strength and courage to walk away is tough — especially if you have a history of falling in love with addictive or controlling people!
If you’re confused about whether your love is true or an unhealthy addiction, read Is It Love or Is It Addiction?
And, here are eight ways to walk away from a controlling relationship…
Breaking Away From a Controlling Relationship
If you’re not sure what controlling love is, read 7 Signs of Addictive Relationships.
Make a list of reasons for breaking free
If you’re thinking about breaking up with someone you love — or someone you’ve been with for years — you may be tempted to obsess about the best parts of your relationship. Or, you keep thinking the relationship or your partner will change and things will get better. You may magnifiy your partner’s strengths — and forget about his or her controlling behavior. Instead of obsessing about your ex, make a list of the reasons your life will be better if you walk away. Keep this list with you, and read it every time you you feel lonely, scared, or sad.
Figure out what keeps you addicted or controlled
Why are you in this relationship? It’s not just about your partner…there’s something in you that is drawn to addictive love or controlling relationships. Reading books like Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love can help you figure it out. Talk to a counselor — even just one session can help you figure out what’s going on in your love life!
Fortify yourself with a strong support system
Ask your friend, sister, or someone you trust to be your “go to” person. Then, when you feel yourself falling back into your old relationship patterns, call your “go to person” instead. She will help you remember why you need to walk away from this controlling relationship and how happy and healthy you will be! You just need to find ways to get through the hardest first stage of breaking up.
Learn different ways to find support – music, art, dance
People are an important part of a strong support system — but there are different ways to heal from heartache! For instance, listening to the best songs for broken hearts can be an important part of leaving a controlling relationship. Taking art classes and expressing yourself creatively can help — you don’t have to be an artist to be creative! Learning how to dance for exercise or self-expression (dance therapy) can help you heal from addictive love.
Do something different — make a change in your life!
Take a scuba diving class, go on a singles cruise, or join a hiking club in your city. Do something unexpected, something you’ve always wanted to do but were too busy or scared to try. Find ways to meet new people and expand your horizons — it will increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. And, the better you feel about yourself, the easier it will be to walk away from a controlling relationship.
Cleanse your life: out with the old, in with the new
To break from from a controlling relationship, you need to cleanse your life. This means putting, throwing, or giving away everything that your ex gave you or left behind. Deal with everything that you accumulated as a couple, or that reminds you of your ex. This tip serves a double purpose: you’ll declutter you home at the same time!
Take a vacation from your daily life
You may not be able to afford a trip to Maui or Belize, but you might be able to take a day trip to a nearby city or town. Getting out of your every day surroundings is a great way to walk away from controlling relationships and addictive love because it pulls you out of your normal life! A vay-cay can challenge you to take risks and reach outside your comfort zone, which will make you feel good (in the long run).
Get and stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy
Taking care of yourself means staying away from the carton of ice cream (a classic way to heal from breaking up with someone). Instead, stay in the “sweat zone.” Don’t give up on your fitness routine — you need to nourish your body with exercise, food, and sleep. When you’re getting over a controlling relationship, you need to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong.
If you’re struggling with codependency, read my article about untangling a codependent love relationship.
And if you have any thoughts about controlling relationships, please comment below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.