The Tangled Web of Control – Unmasking a Toxic Relationship

Man holding a woman from behind looking at her. The woman is holding her hair and looking down.

In a recent post, a user opened up about her distressing experience with her boyfriend’s disapproval of her personal choices regarding her appearance.

The original poster (OP) expressed her boyfriend’s dislike for her makeup, nail care, hair styling, and perfume choices. She was taken aback by his accusations that she was being fake and disrespecting him by putting on makeup. He even called her derogatory names.

She clarified that her beauty routines were minimal and purely for her own enjoyment and self-expression. However, his critical attitude left her feeling controlled and disrespected.

Caring or Controlling?

The post generated a long list of responses from online users.

Most users shed light on the potential signs of control and talked about the disrespect within the relationship with OP on the receiving end. In general, the responses to the post were unanimous in their concern for the woman’s well-being.

One commenter, walksinthesun, pointed out the inherent disrespect in her boyfriend’s behavior. She emphasized that personal choices about one’s own body should never be a cause for mistreatment. Her advice to the OP based on her post was clear and concise: “Leave this one alone.”

Another user, rayrayruh, offered a profound analysis of the situation, suggesting that the issue at hand went beyond mere beauty routines.

She observed that the boyfriend’s behavior reflected an attempt to erode the woman’s autonomy and individuality, leading her down a path of control and eventual self-obliteration. Urging her to take immediate action, she emphasized the importance of escaping this toxic relationship before it entangles her further with commitments.

According to the commenter, such commitments can be children, shared property, and time that would make it more challenging to break free.

The resounding sentiment from the online community was encapsulated by a comment from YourRAResource:

“Run. There’s no gray area here.”

They astutely highlighted the manipulative nature of the boyfriend’s behavior, emphasizing that an abuser would rarely openly admit to being controlling or abusive. This advice served as a powerful reminder for the woman to prioritize her own well-being and seek a healthier environment.

Similarly, MusclesandMoodSwings echoed the sentiment, remarking,

“This is him laying the groundwork for a lifetime of control and abuse.”  The user recognized the boyfriend’s manipulative tendencies, seeing this behavior as a test to gauge his control over OP. The advice by this particular user was also resolute: she needed to distance herself from the relationship quickly and decisively.

Donkitten added a crucial perspective, explaining,

“The alarm bells are ringing, this is how it starts.”

The user emphasized the potential escalation of control, from appearance preferences to dictating friendships and activities. The words of this user reinforced the need for the original poster to prioritize her well-being and remove herself from a toxic situation.

Lastly, one among many other commenters, Kawaii_Princesss, brought attention to the underlying misconception that the boyfriend’s disapproval stemmed from a lack of understanding.

The user noted that personal choices like wearing makeup and getting one’s nails done are not solely for the benefit of attracting a partner but can be ways for individuals to feel good about themselves. Like many others, the commenter emphasized that this controlling behavior is often just the tip of the iceberg, with further restrictions on personal expression and freedom lurking beneath the surface.

The Verdict

The post from the OP as well as the insightful comments from the online community shed light on the gravity of the situation the OP as a young woman finds herself in.

The social media responses to the OP’s post reflect a deep concern for her well-being. They also highlighted the importance of recognizing the signs of controlling behavior and taking swift action to safeguard one’s autonomy and well-being. They recognize the boyfriend’s behavior as the early stages of a potentially toxic and controlling relationship.

By sharing their perspectives and urging her to prioritize her own happiness and autonomy, these online commenters offer a glimmer of hope and support in a difficult situation.

It is crucial to remember that the analysis provided by these commenters is based on their interpretation of the information shared in the original post. While their advice and warnings are valuable, it is ultimately up to the woman in question to make her own choices about her relationship.

Seeking support from friends, family, or professionals can provide her with the necessary guidance and resources to navigate this challenging situation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: VitalikRadko /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.