Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Controlling Relationships


It is not uncommon for me to hear about students that get in controlling relationships. It seems that the guys are usually the controllers, but I’m sure there are exceptions. What do I mean by “controlling?” I’m talking about a boyfriend (or girlfriend) that is overly jealous and tries to limit your interactions with others. Here are some examples:

*Getting upset if you even greet the opposite sex.
*Trying to keep you from spending time with your friends (even same-sex friends).
*Constantly accusing you of cheating (even when there is no evidence or history of cheating).
*Demanding to know where you are at all times.

If any of these things are happening in your current relationship, you are in big trouble.

Let me explain why controllers should be avoided at all cost:

First and foremost, controllers are very insecure people.
A controller thinks the only way to have you is to keep you away from others. This is the controller’s problem, and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Tolerating this behavior will only perpetuate it.

Secondly, you will never earn a controller’s trust.
If there is no trust, you can’t have a good relationship–period. In a healthy relationship, trust deepens and builds over time. It doesn’t work this way with a controller. He/she will never trust you, so the relationship is doomed.

Thirdly, controlling relationships are not likely to improve. Please don’t tell yourself that he can change. In fact, things are likely to get worse over time, possibly escalating to physical abuse.

Fourthly, controllers will keep you from enjoying single life.
We singles should be able to enjoy the privileges of our single status. You should be able to hang out with your friends, try new things, explore new hobbies, travel, or whatever else you dream of doing. Why would you give all of this up for the slavery of an insecure, miserable relationship? Romantic relationships should enhance our enjoyment of life, not take away from it.

Finally, controlling relationships are a form of idolatry. Obsession with another person removes God from His rightful place in our lives. When this happens, everything else will be out of balance. You can’t expect God to bless a relationship in which He is not the center.

No healthy person would accept a controlling type relationship. If I couldn’t trust a woman I would simply break up with her–I would not spend all of my time trying to make sure she’s faithful. If she really wanted to be with someone else, I’d let her go–better to know now before we get really serious.

If you have a controlling boyfriend/girlfriend, I would advise you to get out of this relationship immediately!


  1. Goodmorning in the Lord!

    This post is perfect timing. I am listening to a colleague whose situation is what this post addresses.


  2. well said! i definitely agree wit ur blog! move on and have a life..

  3. ouch! you kinda hit me hard on that, kuya! but, not really.

    I don’t know if i’m just on denial but i don’t really consider myself controlling because i let my boyfriend do and go wherever he wants.. besides, we’re not married (not that i think spouses can control each other). i also don’t think that i don’t put God first.

    anyway, it was this incident when i learned that he told this girl he is single..sends txts and emails with her.. it wasn’t the first time. it worries me a lot and my trust on him has lessened significantly. that’s why lately, i want to know what he’s doing. and he feels like i’m “checking on him”. some people might say just break-up with him.. i thought about that a lot of times but whenever i see him, whenever he’s with me, i can’t do it. i don’t know what to do, kuya.

  4. Anonymous, I would advise you not to ignore the problems you are having. Either work this out or break up with him, but don’t live in denial. Blessings!

  5. hi kuya kevin.. my brother showed this site to me but i was busy so my mom was the one who really read it.. and she read ur posts to me.. haha.. kind of funny really.. uve mentioned a lot of facts.. i like your posts.. anyway id like to share your blog with others so im thinking of featuring this site in my blog.. can i? 😀 thanks again kuya kevin! it’really nice that there are people like you around.. you are light to those those whose minds are clouded.. those who live in the dark. 🙂

  6. Camille,
    Thanks for reading! You are welcome to share my blog with others. Just read the “How to Use This Blog” link.

  7. awts kuya kevin…. im a “”controller””… i realize it at times but i cant even help myself… i love my boyfriend so much and im not trying to make “sakal” on him… but u know.. i cant help it.. maybe bcoz of my past experiences with my past bf’s.. =(

  8. Maybe it is time for a change.

  9. hi kuya kevin. d kami kasal ng partner ko pero live in kami.may dalawa na kaming anak. d ko alam kung makikipaghiwalay na ako kasi nasasaktan ako parati. d naman ako insecure. d ko lang nafe-feel na priority nya kami. ayoko kasi syang nakikipag-inuman sa mga officemates nya na hanggang madaling araw na kung umuwi na alam naman nyang, 2 yrs old pa yung anak namin saka may isa pang 2 months old. tapos andun pa sya sa mga barkada nya na wala namang ginagawa kundi ang tumambay. naghihintay lang ng swerte. yung iba pa nyang kabarkada ay adik.ayoko na makasama nya yung mga yun kasi nga bad influence. yung sa akin lang, sana naman priority nya kami. na sana maaga sya umuwi para naman makatulong sya sa amin. at yung pagbabawal ko sa knya sa mga kabarkada nya ay para rin yun sa kanya kasi nga d naman mabuti yung mga ugali at ginagawa nila. controller parin ba ako sa lagay na yan??? na ang gusto ko lang ay mapabuti sya???

  10. Your situation is not really what I’m talking about.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. Choosing a live-in relationship was not a wise thing to do, and it seems your partner is not behaving very responsibly towards his family. I really wish that he would marry you and start acting like a man.

  11. Kuya Kevin, I am really a CONTROLLER… I just realized everything after reading your article… it HIT me, sooo much.. but that is because I JUST LOVE my boyfriend so much.. i don’t know how to change the way im treating him.. need your help… what should i do??

  12. I would need a lot more information to give you advice. Here’s the short answer: If he is trustworthy, start treating him as a trustworthy man. If he is not trustworthy, then why are you in a relationship with him?

  13. hi kuya..i agree..i experienced having a boyfriend like that.those chracteristics really fit him.thankgod i wasnt so blind and decided to break up wth him.our relationship was a nightmare..haha..
    akoh poh kc ung tipo ng taong malaya at masaya..gimik dun gimik dito pero of course d naka2limot n akoy isang student..hehehe..d poh tlga akoh nkktagal s taong cnasakal akoh..kaya d poh kmi umabot ng month..nkakairita ph kc eh..imagine d pwde s fonbuk koh kahit numbers ng mga friends kong babae..duUh..super below d belt poh tlga..buti nlng d akoh martir..haha..well anyway im hapy n poh with soneone else now..we trust each other and were compatible..sna poh magtagl kmi..

    cge poh ah..nxt time ulit..

  14. hi good afternoon kuya…I loved this blog..though it hits me but i guess i’ll never called myself a ‘controller’ coz im kind of a person na mapagbigay sa boyfriend….Im not that selfish…im not that nagger but my boyfriend teach me to do it coz he told me before he wants me to be like that…thats the only thing “daw” i will prove to him that i love him…So,i did it only to find out that he just forcing me to do that for him to have a reason for breaking me up….

    Its painful on my part,after he changed me…he dumped me like hell…Now I dont know how to move on….call me tanga for loving someone who doesnt deserve my love…


  15. hi kuya kevin, really blessed to read your blog but i have a little question…about this “Constantly accusing you of cheating (even when there is no evidence or history of cheating).”To be honest I have a history of cheating in my past relationship but never in present with him. I already ask forgiveness to GOD and to the person that I hurt before. But since I’m with him in present “Does it mean that I deserve to be accused by him constantly even thou you know you already changed and you really did your best to change? “I can accept if that is the consequence of my mistake before but how am I going to proved him that it will never be happen again if he had in his mind that I had a history. Please advice. Thanks
    Arlizjoy- Dubai

  16. You don’t deserve to be accused of cheating if you are not cheating.

  17. hello kuya kevin..uhmm,i have a problem right now..i jz read ur article..and i rily dnt know wat to do coz i think i am a CONTROLLER of a relationship..i mean,not that strict though..i trust my special sumone but wen it cums to his friends,i rily dnt wnt him to go out with them coz sumtyms they jz get drunk nd watever..nd i dnt wnt him to b vry alcoholic coz of sum health reasons..wt wl i do?? i doing the ryt thing or the other way?..

  18. Well, you need to be honest with yourself about your boyfriend. If he has issues with alcohol then you really need to think about this relationship.

    If you stay in this relationship, this issue will probably continue. Please read the “Three Stupid Words that Women Say” article.

  19. what if i am one of those you said “controllers” because he once broke my trust, he once left me.. is this right? or can i still consider my self the controller?

  20. It’s like I told another person who commented: if he has earned your trust, trust him. If he is not trustworthy, then don’t bother with him.

  21. hi kuya kevin! i’m grace from philippines, most of my friends call me gareh, this blog got me interested kaya gumawa kagad ako ng account para makapag-leave man lang ng comment and some of my relationship problem hope so matulungan mo po ako.. ^_^

    i had this my bf, we’ve been together for about 11 months this may 21 1st yr. anniv na namin.. HE’s in MArinduque right now para sa wedding ng cousin nya, umalis sya sa place namin ng exactly birthday ko,may 12 and yung kasal is sa 14 medyo may mga preparation pa at sa haba ng byahe kaya napaaga ang alis nya.. napagbigyan ko yun kahit masama ang loob ko, um-oo ako pretending na its ok kahit wala sya dito nung bday ko ang hindi ko lang matanggap next week anniv na namin hindi pa din kami magkakasama due to some problems na na-eencounter nya sa marinduque una na don walang transportation na masakyan dahil sa bagyong nararanasan namin dito sa pilipinas.. pero bakit ganon? masamang-masama ang loob ko sa kanya,? i even say to him call me kung nandon na sya but he did’nt do it instead he just texted me once nung may 13, then after ng kasal may 14 text na naman na bukas na lang daw sya uuwi isang beses lang din then ngayon nag-text na hindi makakauwi, nagtampo ako hindi dahil sa iisa lang lagi ang text nya, i dont even what to call sa pagtatampong yun pero ngatatampo talaga ako., i know nung mga time na magkasama kami madalas akong magselos pero hindi ko pinahahalata.. sabi nya sabihin ko daw minsan kung masama na ang loob ko but the fact na kahit sabihin ko naman i feel i’m the controller, coz’ i want everything to be fair with us.. he even told me im so jealous but in fact i’m not! kaya ngayon ayoko ng magsabi ng feelings ko sa kanya.. ano na ako kuya kevin? anong pwedeng itawag sakin? hindi ako controller but i want to control everything samin to be sure were always ok.. i’m eager to be happy even without him i know i will but i can’t.. ='(

  22. hindi ako controller but i want to control everything samin to be sure were always ok

    Don’t you see a contradiction here?

    You need to be honest with yourself here. If you see problems in the relationship then don’t ignore them. Either you trust him or you don’t. If you don’t trust him then there is a big problem (either with you, him, or both).

  23. thanks!

    siguro nga may problema na samin nagbubulagbulagan lang ako..

    anyway, it helps me a lot! thanks again kuya kevin..

  24. Kuya Kevin…Almost 8yrs. were married,we have already 2 kids.were together through up side down..In sickness he was always there.since I discover my Cancer last year I felt too insecure..Im too jealous with my husband..Everytime he went out i monitoring him..since one of our neighborhood told me that he was other women’but its not proven”.I kept on telling Him about the issue-sometimes its the reasons of our mis understanding…Im too confuse about our relationship-Im paranoid right now about the issue-that my husband had an affair with someone..I really love Him…What shall I do??

  25. Anonymous,
    I would suggest that you talk to a Christian pastor or counselor.

    Nagging him and “monitoring” him will not improve things.

  26. kuya kev’s i have a friend,he been married before.but they are already separated now.they filed devorced.his ex-wife is with someone else na..if ever he will getting married again,is he commit sin?

  27. Please see the “what if my boyfriend/girlfriend is not a virgin” article.

    I responded there.

  28. hi kuya kev! so glad anjan ka! nakakalungkot nga lang at nayon lang kita nabasa! i’m married at parang para sa amin talaga yung topic mo ’bout controlling rlationshp, when we were still sweethearts, he always say, ganitong oras ka matutulog, dapat ganmitong oras nandito kna after work! bawal makipagkwentuhan sa pinsan,sa kaibigan at kahit sa sister koh! until now that we’re already married ganun parin sya! and i hate it when he can hang out with his friends at akon d pwede! minsan nakakasawa na! and i know it’s my fault kc kinunsinti ko sya, but i love him at ayokong mapunta lang sa wala ang pagsasama namin!
    i don’t nkow what to do? nagkamali ba’ko ng desisyong magpaksal agd?
    may pag-asa pa bang maintindihan nya ‘koh? me

  29. Anonymous,
    I would really recommend you get some kind of counseling. This is not a healthy situation and you can’t keep living like this forever.

  30. hi kuya kevin! your topic has nothing to do with my problem! hope you can help me! i’m married and i have a 6 months old daughter! my problem was i am so insecure with my husband’s ex girlfriend! she’s a nurse at napakaganda pa, hindi ako nakapag college at kulang na kulang ako sa self confident! hindi ko masabi sa husband ko ang problema ko, napakainsecure ko, at parang lumalala pa.ayoko na ng ganito lagi! pls help me..

  31. Anonymous,
    It seems you are forgetting that your husband chose you, not the ex (ikaw ang pinili niya). Maybe you need to think more on your good qualities instead of the fact that you didn’t finish college.

    Maybe you could tell your husband that you are feeling insecure (just don’t accuse him if there is no reason). Perhaps he could reassure you that you are the one he really loves.

    Part of the solution, however, is that you realize your own value as his wife and as a child of God.

  32. .,elow kuya kevin…now ko lnfg nbasa e2…some i agreed but some are not kasi nsa relationship ako ngaun. and were controlling for somr reason & we understand it both…cgro nsa tau n yun kng pnu i handle ang isang relationship its not mean that n kpag ngco2ntrol na its mean that you have no trust to your partner…”.)

  33. Controlling relationships are not healthy. Period.

  34. hello po…
    comroller b tawag dun??hindi naman cguro.hehehe
    selosa po ksi talaga ako…
    tapos lagi ko inaaway bf ko..
    tapos inaamin din nya sken n nabawasan n love nya sken….kasi nga s mga ginagawa ko….lagi ko xa binibreak pag naiinis ako s kanya…
    tapos magbabalikan ulit kami.
    tingin mu kuya kahit n lam ko n hindi n tulad ng dati ung love nya nya sken…maibabalik ko pb ung dati??
    pero pano??
    hay naku…love talaga!
    tnx po..

  35. Seems like you enjoy drama–you’ve created your own personal soap opera.

  36. aahh!! kuya… i love ur post!
    im new here,,, i want to be a gud friend to u,,so dat i can ask a advices,, i really nid u,,specially now,,, im in a gud relationship (i guess),. u can send me msg in my friendster account, [email protected]
    I WILL WAIT u kuya kevin!
    pls!! pls! help me!!!

    thank u soo much!

  37. “Hi KUYA KEVIN”

  38. Honestly this doesn’t seem very good. Bakit inuutos ka niya? And why should you have to go to his place?

    Siya nga pa la. Dalawa lang kayo kung pupunta ka sa kanyang bahay? Delikado yun.

    To be honest, I think you should wait at least another year or two before being in this kind of relationship. See my article entitled What is the Right Age for a Relationship?

  39. +hi kuya kevin+
    im only 17 yirz old..and my bf po aku, almost 2yirz n pu kme.mnsan pu xe nsa2kal n ku sknia.pnu pu feeling ku ang hgpit nia.2wing ksma ku mga frends ku ngglit pu me lgad ndi aku mksama kse ayw pu me mga praktiz sa skul ts pag pu ngpa2alm aku ngglt xa skn.i dont know y?..i want to let go of him but i dont know how.c0z i rily luv him so much.but sometimes pg pu nsa bhai kme mnsan kme lng po pu me g2 xang gwn ts ayw ku ngglit po xa.ngta2mpo.anu pu b dpat kung gwen?..ndi ku pu msve s knia na ndi pa pu aku ready.ngttkot pu kse akung mglt xa skn e.hai kua kevin in so tired of this kind of relationship.he said that he loves me so much..hai..can u give me some advice?..

  40. You have two choices:

    1. Stay in this relationship and be miserable.

    2. Break up.

    I say break up with him and find someone who is not controlling.

    I also say you may be too young to be in an exclusive relationship.

  41. By the way, I know breaking up may be hard, but it will be much harder to keep staying with him.

    Kahit anong gagawin mo, masakit. Pero short-term lang ang sakit ng breakup; long-term ang sakit ng controlling relationship.

  42. +kuya kevin+

    tnx 4 d advice..
    by the way kua kevin.. i guess i can consider my self as a controller.. coz sometimes pngbbwlan ku xa sa gs2 niang gwn gwen.. mnsan snusn0d nia ku.. ks0 mnsan ndi.. so kuya kevin do you think im a controller 2?…

  43. I think your textolog is hurting my eyes. Can you please use whole words? You’ve got a whole keyboard there 🙂

  44. oh. im sorry.. ^_^

    tnx 4 d advice..
    by the way kuya kevin.. i guess i can consider myself as a controller too.. because sometimes pinagbabawalan ku sya sa gusto nyang gawen.. minsan sinusn0d nya ko.. kas0 minsan hindi.. so kuya kevin do you think im a controller too?…

  45. It’s possible–I don’t really understand why you would need to forbid him from doing certain things.


  47. ♥kuya kevin isa pa po” pano ko po ba malalaman na hindi ko na mahal ang isang tao.kasi po sa ngayon hindi ko alam kung ano po nararamdaman ko sa kanya ngayon,pero halos lahat ng oras na magkasama kami hinahanap ko nga dahil sinubukan kong iwasan sya at gusto kong iwan sya.kuya kevin gusto na po sana iwan ang relation namindahil gusto ko na po magsteady na sa studies ko.Kaso nga lang pohindi ko talaga na mawala sya at ganun din po sya,isa pa po kung pagsasabayin ko po sya at ang study ko nahihirapan po ako.Ano po ba ang nararapat kong gawin para sa problema ko.asahan ko po ang sagot nyo.

  48. Line,
    I have an article on this blog entitled “What is the Right Age for a Relationship”

    We cannot always control what we feel, but we can control how we respond to our feelings. Maybe you can just limit the time you spend with this person and be friends–get to know the person a little better.

    I would also recommend you buy my book and read it–I think it would help.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. is being a “controller” a psyhological problem?? wat if a person got trauma on his past relationship due to third parties and liar partner, and he is just so aware now and learned his lesson thats why he want even the little details from his partner to be known??

    pls help…. thanx… 🙂

  51. Do you want to spend the rest of your life as an amateur private investigator? Past trauma is not an excuse to bully your boyfriend/girlfriend.

  52. This was so helpful for me to move on somehow. I used to have a boyfriend who is just like how you describe an overly jealous boyfriend on this post. Thanks a lot! :> Can I link your site or atleast repost this? If ever I repost this I’ll make sure to give you credit. Please? 😀

  53. You can link or repost as long as you give credit to me and link to this website.

    I’m glad this article helped you 🙂

  54. im glad and been blessed for ur ministry kuya kevin.. more power!!! and GOD bless you!!!

  55. Hi Kuya Kevin,

    i’ve been into two, serious but failed relationships,The last one, I don’t know if its a failed ralationship, I’ve been wanting to ask advices from friends, Ito po ang istorya, weve been together for a year now, napansin ko seloso siya ng sobra, pag may lakad ako kasama ang ibang tao, napapansin ko nagtatampo siya at hindi gaanong nagpaparamdam, ang last na away namin dahil binisita ko yung kaibigan kong girl sa dati kong company na hindi ko sinabi na andun yung guy na pinagseselosan niya para lang hindi kami mag-away, I wanted to visit her for a long time now, i miss her and my old company, because it brings me a lot of memories, after nun inaway na niya ako, nagsorry din siya pero inaway pa din niya ako ng inaway at parati niyang ino-open nung topic, after that nag-away pa kami, and he decided to cool off with me, ayoko, naisip ko ang simple lang ng problema namin pagkatapos cool -off kaagad, afterwards ako naman yung nakipag-away, puro na lang kami away until he wants us to be friends, I ask him kung ano ba yung problema sa akin, ang dami kong daw nililihim sa kanya, pagkukulang, hindi niya alam na nasasakal na niya ako, commitment for him is, for him only, he said sinungaling ako, all bad words, sobra akong nasaktan pero sige i’m trying to fix the relationship pero siya na yung may ayaw, sabi ko sa sarili ko sige, kung saan ka masaya dun na lang ako, I’m so hurt, wala siyang tiwala sa akin, broken promises, lagi siyang nasa trabaho, lagi na lang dapat ako yung umintindi, it hurts a lot, Walang closure, tinanong ko sa kanya kung gusto ba niyang ayusin itong problema ang sinagot lang niya nalilito siya, all my friends said to let him go, but I loved him, sabi niya nung nagsinungaling ako, ako na yung may dahilan kung bakit nasira yung relationship namin, I’m so hurt and broken, hindi ko na alam kung paano ako magsisimula sa buhay ko ngayon, Please give me an advise. Thank you, more power.

  56. Lily,
    Based on what you told me, this guy was super jealous and controlling. You are much better off without him. Can you imagine being married to someone who is always suspicious of you?

    Move on. The first step is to stop communicating with him and let this go.

  57. Gees! sucks, this hit me hard, but it’s not me who is the controller. its my boyfriend kuya kevin,
    *Getting upset if you even greet the opposite sex.
    *Trying to keep you from spending time with your friends (even same-sex friends).
    *Constantly accusing you of cheating (even when there is no evidence or history of cheating).
    *Demanding to know where you are at all times.

    well, he’s kinda like all of this.
    what should I do? I don’t want to let him go.

  58. You’ll have to let him go if he won’t stop these behaviors immediately. Or you can live the rest of your life as a prisoner.

  59. I was looking for an article to link to the one I’m writing right now about “JEalousy” and I might have read this before but I wasn’t ready to say anything yet.

    I experienced all that you pointed out in this article and at that time, I thought if I made him feel more loved, he’d change but as our relationship went on, he did become more secure in our relationship while I diminished, he just always made me feel bad about myself and guilty.

    There was always something wrong with what I do or say. And he’d get jealous even of girl friends for fear they’d convince me to break up with him. Dumating sa point where I started believing him and don’t know who I was anymore.

    I’m linking this to my post.

  60. Do I really have to let him go?
    Oh well, I’ll think about kuya kevin. If he still won’t change his ways, I think I really should let him go. Thanks kuya kevin. Your blog helped me a lot.

  61. Well, I’d say you need to see changes pretty quickly. Otherwise you will drag this out for months (or years) waiting for a change that isn’t coming.

  62. Kuya Kevin I’m almost the same as what you said.. Can you give me an advice on how to change this at least? I want to fix my relationship and I want to balance everything.. Thank you for your post, it really is an awakening message..

  63. hi kuya..i’m having a hard time right now. my bf told me before that when he went in his on the job training,he was link with another girl..he told me that there came a point that he was very irritated because that girl kept on showing motives that she likes him..he was so mad that he kissed her..He told me that he wants to be just honest with me that’s why he told me that..even now, they are constantly communicating thru e-mails and the girl always make calls.Kuya, i appreciate his effort to be honest but despite that, i just cant seem to regain my trust on him. im not the jealous type of person before, but now,sometimes i got so insecure that i tend to manipulate his actions.what shall i do?

  64. I really wish I had known about controlling relationships before I was physically, emotionally, and mentally abused. We need to stop women abuse and we need to start living a good healthy life. Theres another great site where it helps women heal from abusive relationships and also prevent women from abuse its

  65. is it ok to have dating even you’re not inlove with that person? thankyou

  66. hi Kuya Kevin
    I am new to your site, one friend and church mate in the Philippines send one of your article few months ago and I was really inspired (Premarital Sex and Emotional Baggage) and bless. Just recently I started to open your site and started to read old posts.
    While I am reading this blog I can’t help to reminisced – I was then in the same situation as you mentioned on the first of this article. Thanks God I am free now and enjoying my singleness. Truly God is good although I’ve been to that situation before He never let me down instead I used (using) those experiences as my testimony right now how great God been into my life and continuously working.
    May this article reach many people especially the young adults that sometimes they are staying in the relationship because they regret the number of years they spent together not thinking that while staying in that kind of relationship they misses a lot.
    God bless you and to your ministry.

  67. Kuya Kevin, how can I get out of this relationship immediately if my boyfriend almost taken everything to me. He always getting upset if i even greet the opposite sex; Trying to keep me from spending time with my friends;Constantly accusing me of cheating (even when there is no evidence or history of cheating); and demanding to know where you i am at all times.

    I feel my social life was gone and realize that my world only focused on him.

    How can i handle this type of relationship?

  68. I wish to make him change the way act to me like that but how?

  69. You can’t make him change. Just get out of it.

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