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How to deal with a dominating partner?

Asked by Female, 20, Single
I am 20, studying in a renowned engineering college. I am in a relationship for the last 9months, and we truly love each other. He is 30. And very soon we are getting engaged with our parents' consent. But, I have been realising this for the last some days, that he has stopped understanding me . All he cares about is his feelings. Like I should not cry like every woman does cause it irritates him, even when it's my sorrow related to my parents. I want my partner to console me when I am in grief, but it's never going to happen. And then there are a lot of things which he doesn't want me to do like putting on makeup, talking to some guys, wearing very fashionable clothes , shouting at him(which he says will break us apart if I repeat),etc . Sometimes I feel he is expecting me to do a lot forgetting about my age and that even I have some desires. I know he loves me a lot. But, now I have started respecting myself for all the sacrifices I am doing to be with someone who is not trying to think from my side. And if I tell him about this, he thinks I am totally wrong to think so and then I have to be sorry . He admits he is very dominating. But, even I was dominating in my last relationship. For this one, I have changed myself a lot. But still I am not able to satisfy him. I want to know whether my feelings are right? Or I am totally wrong in thinking negative of someone who is actually right?
Answer
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Madhuri Mohan
Counselling Psychologist

Hi, I understand that you are experiencing some worry about your relationship. I also understand that the age gap between the two of you may be the cause of this worry. First, let me tell you that you that there is no right or wrong about feeling something. You must understand that every relationship goes through its ups and downs and by disregarding your feelings and considering them as 'wrong' is putting you in a more vulnerable position to go deeper into negative thinking. So, you are right in your apprehensions and it is important that you discuss these apprehensions with someone. As I see it, you need to first focus on communication with your partner. When I say communication, I do not mean just telling him how you feel and him doing the same. Understanding one another is also important and to gain understanding listening is more important that talking. Since your main worry is that your partner does not listen to you, it would be beneficial if you were to seek someone's help. It could be anybody that your partner sees as a confidante or someone that he listens to. Share your apprehensions with that person and seek their help to get through to your partner. Sometimes we get so lost in our own problems that we ay not consciously realize that we are hurting our partner and only when given an objective third party view on the same will the realization occur. This may be the case with your partner as well. If you would prefer, going for a couple of sessions of counseling may help solve your current dilemma. Second, one negative thought leads to hundreds more. So, instead of focusing on the negatives about the relationship, if you can focus on what it is that makes you love your partner and makes you want to be with him. very often how we think about our partners is how we tend to perceive them, so if you think that your partner is dominating, then you will perceive him to be like that and vice versa. Instead, if you change the way you think about each other will change the way you perceive each other as well.  Whenever, you have an argument with your partner or you are upset, think about all the good qualities that he has and the good times you have shared together. Remind him of the same when you'll have an argument and he is upset. This changes the mood and automatically both of you will be more likely to open up and understand each other in a more open and loving manner. Just remember a crisis in a relationship is like a storm, it may be very dangerous and scary, but to get through it, you need to drive on. But it is not only you that needs to make an effort, your partner holds equal responsibility for making it a success, and you cannot be expected to make all the sacrifices and compromises. Hence, it is important that you explain to your partner and make him understand as well. I hope this helps, if you feel like you need to discuss this further please feel free to send me a private message. :) 

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