There's a difference between "having secrets" and having an existence independent of your partner — and you don't have to give up the latter in order to be in a relationship.

How To Tell It Apart From Healthy Behavior: On occasion, serious couples who are recovering from an incident of infidelity will allow the cheated-on partner access to the other partner's texts and emails for a limited period of time as a form of accountability.

As Marni Feuerman notes in Psych Central, "Abusers can convince you that ... ") in a way that sounds less like criticism and more like they think you're "too good" for the decisions that you're currently making.

signs of an abusive man while dating-59signs of an abusive man while dating-59signs of an abusive man while dating-71

And whether you're talking about your job, your friends, or your wardrobe, the idea that your partner always knows better than you do is dangerous.

Their comments are not really about improving your life — they're about undermining your ability to make decisions and take action on your own.

Rather than violently forbidding you from contacting your friends or family, a controlling partner may just gently nudge you away from them.

As Eden Strong writes on Your Tango, "Manipulation always starts with guilt.

When it comes to love, our society romanticizes intense, controlling relationships so much that it can be hard to recognize them for what they are.

We have centuries of romantic literature and other art — from — telling us that real relationships are all about obsession, that real love is all-consuming, and that people who are truly in love have no boundaries or separate lives.But if this is not a deal that you have specifically worked out with your partner in this context (and hopefully with the help of a counselor), it isn't right.A lot of us have had crappy stuff happen in our lives —enough crappy stuff that the idea of a hero riding up on a white horse (or fixie bike) and protecting us from any problems for the rest of our life can sound really, really appealing.When we imagine someone trying to cut their partner off from their support system, we usually picture something dramatic, like the villainous husband in a made-for-TV movie telling his wife that she'll never talk to her best friend again.But in real life, controlling partners usually isolate you from your community in a much more subtle way.How To Tell It Apart From Healthy Behavior: Though many of us have experienced the obsessive period early on in a new relationship where all you want to do is spend time with your new partner (and often neglect your friends in the process), this is very different.