It was during my time working in England a few years ago when I first wondered about the jealous-man-syndrome. On the way to my apartment at the end of each day, the sight of men sitting patiently in their cars waiting to pick up their wives or girlfriends at work impressed me. Not until one day when a woman friend said that her man always insisted on picking her up after work on the dot each day. If she needed to go for a drink or anywhere else for that matter, she had to tell him in advance. I realized in retrospect that what I was impressed about as men who were taking good care of their ladies were really not there in the parking space for the best of purposes.
It is interesting to note that the biggest problems in the dating scene are the controlling and jealous men who are anxious to seek someone to love and relate with. Yet when they have her, they do subtle things to subject her to a sense of reliance on him, hiding behind the mask of “loving her and wanting the best for her”. At first, the woman will not notice it; in fact she will probably feel elated at the attention that she is getting from her man. And why wouldn’t she? His charm and good-looks make everyone think he is prince charming; he appears like the world is at his fingertips; and she feels everything is so heavenly! But little did she know that she will later discover that Mr. Nice Guy isn’t what he is after all.
Now, how can a woman spot Mr. Jealous and Mr Controlling? This is probably the initial difficulty of every woman who is out there in the dating scene. It will be helpful if we outline the observations on how a controlling and jealous man behaves.
A jealous and controlling man lacks self confidence or self esteem. This is the key issue here; it is the root of the matter. All too often he feels uneasy about himself. Why is this so? Because he doesn’t truly believe that he deserves this amazing wonderful woman; he thinks he isn’t good enough to be her man. And deep inside, he believes she can do better than him.
Mr. Jealous and Controlling lacks self belief. He thinks his woman will be taken from him. He has this picture in his mind that at any moment she will escape from him or that she is looking for some means to be out of his world; and worst, he is thinking that she does not really love and want him at all. You see, first of all, the man does not know how to love himself so he cannot comprehend why she would love him. As a result, he will stop believing her or her loving words and disregards all she does for him.
This is the beginning of Mr. Controlling’s predicament. He begins to think of ways for her to depend on him and increase her sense of reliance. “If she is really thinking of leaving me, I should be able to make her stay. But how? Simple, I will cause her to be so dependent on me for everything. I should make her want and need me and desire to be anywhere with me even when I am with my male friends.”
As the relationship progresses Mr. Controlling will think of ways to ascertain that you will be there where he always sees you. Even though deep down, the man does not love himself, he is desperate to know that you do; and he needs to see proofs as to what lengths you will do things for him. So he will fabricate situations to make you stay home with him and your social life will begin to dwindle. Instead of having your regular time with pals, you will be with him, assisting him in all his needs in the guise that this is necessary in building the romantic relationship. After all, you’d want to spend most of your time with your man. Little by little, he will move you away from your circle of friends, even concocting stories that these people are not really true to you. You will not be aware but he is beginning to isolate you from the social world to serve his own needs.
After he has succeeded in making your world revolve around him, he will try to lower your self esteem by passing judgment on you and making you feel awful about yourself. He will criticize the way you dress, how you do things, your work, or even your personal values.
He will make you think that none else would ever like you and that you should be grateful for having him around to love you despite of who you are. He will say you are so fortunate to have him. Slowly, that degree of reliance and fright will develop inside until you are made to think that indeed what he is saying is true. You will lose your own identity; your friends will be concerned about it but you will dismiss them or make excuses because your man has already managed to control your way of thinking.
In what specific ways does he show his control over you? (And you allow him to…)
• He interferes with your social activities. He is overly concerned about who you go out with, when and where.
• He insists on going with you anywhere, even to mundane places.
• He wants to know where you are by calling excessively.
• He makes you feel ugly and inferior and tries to put you down. He shows disgust about your looks and orders what you should wear.
• He shows violent annoyance and antagonistic attitude. He overreacts even to minor details.
• He insinuates dominance in domestic circumstances; he wants to be in control of everything inside the house.
• He does not want to communicate or discuss; he always has the last word.
Now he made it. You are now at the position where he desires you to be – secluded from others and subjugated by him; a woman without a sense of identity but only full reliance on him. And he feels good about himself for achieving this. In the eyes of your friends and in the social arena, he is still Mr. Nice Guy. But deep inside you is a feeling of dread for social life because coming home and confronting him will be a tough time again. It will be like a broken record constantly repeating a bad sound – you fully depend on him yet he does not trust you and he keeps thinking that you don’t love him and you are going to walk away. This is why he keeps doing these things to you – he needs a constant proof that you love him. And because you are already under his control, you keep doing what he wants… A vicious cycle indeed!
Hey, wake up! Is this why we go on dates and have a relationship with someone? Sure, you have a need to feel loved, wanted and desired by your man but definitely not this way and not at the expense of losing your individuality. Perhaps a little jealousy will do or an arm around your shoulder or being seldom drawn in, just so your man can show he cares about you. It can make both of you feel good, attractive and sexy even when done in a light-hearted manner. But jealousy has to have some level of control and things shouldn’t go too far. To love a person is not to own them. In a romantic relationship, you do not capture someone and keep her imprisoned.
Manliness and masculinity is not be confused with possessiveness and jealousy. The latter takes away a person’s dignity and self-esteem. It subjects the weaker force for the desires and intents of the stronger party. We are in the modern era and this kind of behaviour doesn’t have a place here. However, nowadays it is obvious that men have become increasingly threatened because women are rising in almost all areas of society, be it political, social or financial. That a man has dominant role in the household as father and husband is now becoming an antique proverb. Old customs don’t die easily. Men hold on to the traditions which they grew accustomed to. For this reason they become depressed and dismal and they frantically try to regain their position in the relationship as well as at home and in the current society.
And the way they do this result in them becoming extremely Controlling. When a man is in any of these situations- lack of masculinity, frustrated about his career, lack of financial achievement, dominant parental influences, disappointment in domestic roles and lack of identity, in general – his tendency to become Controlling is very high. We can only hope that soon he will be able to see that what he is doing are pushing the modern woman away instead of winning her to his side. Of course, we do not anticipate that he will change overnight. But in due time, a man should accept that he is not always the key person in the relationship and as such must also reciprocate the love, affection and attention that her partner gives him.
More and more women are becoming aware that a jealous and possessive man does not deserve them and neither should they need to ever put up with him. But the mockery is, had your man been calm and self believing, you wouldn’t even play with the idea of moving away. However, his poor attitude due to his low self-esteem eventually led to what he fears the most – you packing up and saying goodbye.
If you are experiencing these things right now and are contemplating on leaving him, cling to your family and friends. Mr. Controlling is teeming with psychological and emotional issues and you will be needing company in dealing with those. In order to make you want him back and return to him, you can expect that the man will target the weak areas that he has already shaped in you.
On a lighter side, the authentic Mr. Nice Guy is a cheerful, positive and self assured man who doesn’t have problems concerning possessiveness and jealousy. He and his woman share mutual interest in each other’s person. He appreciates her girlfriend’s individuality and respects her ideals as she does him. Relationships are not only about sharing the same likes and dislikes or doing the same things together, it is also about maintaining the liberty of self-expression and individuality. It is about deep trust, knowing that your partner only has best intentions for you and your relationship.
So take heart. A lot of women have risen up to the circumstance and moved on although it is tough. There are many real Mr. Nice Guy out there you could meet, love and be happy with. Healing from the traumatic ordeal may take some time. But always take note that this is your world, your life. It is your privilege to decide on your own and to be responsible in doing what makes you happy. Controlling and jealous men have no place in this world. The sooner they help themselves get out of this pathetic behaviour without any woman’s help, the better.