We hear about the red flags of abusive relationships, from lack of empathy to isolation. In working with couples over the years, I see the dynamics of their controlling relationship spill over into their bedroom. For many women, it is here that the light goes on and they awaken to the fact that they are indeed in a dangerous relationship.
What to Look for Under the Covers
There are some very subtle yet distinct behaviors that controlling husbands exhibit in bed. Sometimes it is hard to know whether these are sexual signs of a controlling husband or idiosyncrasies of your intimate partner. However, when you see these signs in combination, beware…
1) Whose Body Is This?
Controlling husbands want to show you what feels good, rather than let you (or your body) show them. They want you to believe that they know more about your body than you do…that they can control your sexual satisfaction.
2) Whose Arousal Is This?
They’ll even go so far as to try to abort your pleasure by stopping some arousal- producing sexual activity as you are approaching orgasm—especially if they have already had an orgasm.
It’s not about riding the wave…contributing to you intensifying your arousal. It’s about their manipulating your sexual response, as they so desire. It’s truly about control, not interactive pleasure enhancement.
3) Whose Preferences Are These?
As a matter of course, controlling husbands will want you to know what was missing…if you fail to go along with a sexual activity that they requested.
You could even be “punished” for not offering it up. Sometimes that punishment can be severe and other times it can be as simple as relentless nagging. In either case, you will know that your preferences don’t really matter. What matters most is that you deliver their preferences, irrespective of yours.
Do you begin to wonder whose sexual experience is this…theirs, yours, ours? You may indeed feel used, manipulated, controlled and may be left feeling personally unsatisfied.
Over time, it occurs to you that your sexual relationship with your controlling husband doesn’t enhance the intimacy of your relationship. Rather, it becomes fertile ground for resentment.
If you are in an intimate relationship and find yourself encountering the above cluster of signs, take note of the fact that your experience is characteristic of sexual intimacy with a controlling husband. Use your insight to benefit you in inspiring change for yourself and, if possible, positive change in other interactional matters as well.