When you notice your son has a controlling girlfriend, it can be quite concerning. In their defense, we all know what it’s like to be so in love with someone you don’t notice they are having too much say in your life.
Depending on how old your son is, they may have not learned the dynamics of dating. For any healthy relationship, there needs to be a back and forth in the power dynamics. Most learn this after being in enough relationships.
What to Do When Your Son Has a Controlling Girlfriend
Although there is very little you can actually do (depending on your sons age). Here are things you should and shouldn’t do when dealing with a son that has a controlling girlfriend.
Talk with your Son About His Controlling Girlfriend
Sounds too good to be true? Some people after being told what is happening right in front of them tend to have an awaking. There is a good chance that your son just needs to be told that this girl is controlling his life.
Now how you have that conversation with him is important. Don’t make him feel like a loser obsessed with his girlfriend. Approach him in a way that promotes independence. Here is an example.
“Hey Eric, I noticed you’ve been spending a lot of time with Natalie lately. I don’t know Natalie too well but be careful some people in relationships can get pretty controlling Just don’t settle down too young. What do you want for dinner?”
The goal is to get him to start thinking. Many parents make the mistake of trying to change their children’s minds right on the spot. In reality, the best way to really teach your children something is to plant a seed in their minds and let them come to their own conclusions.
Try to have these casual conversations with your child as much as possible. This opens a line of dialog between you and them so that they are encourage to tell you details in the future.
Chances are he will push back against your suggestion that she might be controlling but the point was that we planted the idea in his head. Next time she does something controlling he is more likely to identify it rather than be blinded by love.
Get Him Exposed to More Girls
Many men put up with a controlling girlfriend because they fear that they will not find any better. It’s a sad but common phenomenon. The best action you can take if you feel like this is the situation is to try to expose your son to the most age-appropriate women possible.
The point is to get him to realize that if he broke up with his controlling girlfriend, the world is not over. It may take some time but before he knows it he will find someone else to be with. There are lots of options out there to get him around these girls. Depending on their age not all of these might be appropriate.
- Church, mosque, or synagogue
- Sports Teams
- Fairs/Amusement parks
Traveling with your son is one of the best ways to both get them around people their age and change their perspective on life. At that age, we have a very narrow view of everything. From our relationships to our struggles. Traveling is one of those activities that can be really eye-opening, especially to people that don’t travel often. Be sure to go to family-friendly locations so that he is sure to see others his age.
If your son were to get out more he is more likely to be open-minded to the fact that his girlfriend is controlling him. The issue is if you ask men that are being controlled, they really whole-heartedly believe they are not. We won’t be able to convince them otherwise. The only chance they have to realize it is realizing it on their own.
We are not trying to convince him that he could do better, we are simply opening his eyes to all the possibilities for both adventure and partners.
Wait it Out
Statically, these two are not going to survive. Especially if your son is young it is only a matter of time before something happens and they decide to break up. If your son is older, or they have been dating for many years, it can be concerning.
In reality, passed a certain age, there is nothing you can really do. Sometimes our children need to make mistakes before they really learn. Think back to when you were his age. What kind of wild unhealthy relationships were you in.
As long as there is no physical or mental abuse, you can only do so much. Chances are after few months your son is going to be involved in a painful break up and he’ll need you there as a shoulder to lean on.
What Not To Do When Your Son Has a Controlling Girlfriend
There are things you can do that will push your son away from you. Avoid these to maintain a healthy relationship with your son.
Do not under any circumstance tell him he should break up with her. Nothing will draw them closer together than you trying to break them up. Feel free to give your advice as you’d give a friend. The minute you start saying too many negative things about her and start encouraging him to break up with her, they will just get closer together.
Even worse, they’ll start keeping their relationship a secret. Then as a parent, you will have no idea what’s going on in your son’s life.
Just because you do not feel like she treats your son right, does not give you the excuse to treat his girlfriend poorly. Nothing separates a parent from their son faster than the parent being rude or disrespecting the son’s girlfriend.
It can be difficult to just sit around while you feel like your son is being controlled by the girl he is dating. The best piece of advice I can give you is to wait it out. If your son is younger you can take lowkey steps to discourage him from seeing her but after a certain age, you just have to wait.
There is a good chance your son believes that he won’t be able to do better than her. By surrounding him with more people his age, he is more likely to see the wide variety of options out there.
If it makes you feel better, statistically him and his girlfriend have a very slim chances are surviving in the long run.