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Controlling boyfriend?
So I'm 20 years old, and have been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half. He just turned 21.

A friend of mine invited me to go to a college church group the other night, but the friend who invited me is a guy that used to like me. So my boyfriend found out about it, and told me not to go, because that guy used to hit on me and things. He said that I shouldn't be doing things that could hurt our relationship. I told him, "It's freakin CHURCH! It's not like I'm going to be making out with that guy, or even carrying on a long conversation!" He still insisted I not go. So whatever. I'd rather just not go then fight about it.

So a girlfriend of mine invited me to go to a dance club tonight, so I brought it up to my boyfriend to talk to him about it, because I thought it might bother him if I went. He ended up asking me not to go, and saying that I shouldn't even CONSIDER doing something that would bug him, like that. So I let it go, and said fine I won't go, because it wasn't that big of a deal to me.

So today he asks me if it's going to be a problem if he goes downtown to the bars tomorrow night with his buddies. I tell him that I had a big night planned for us, but to go ahead if he wants. We've been having a lot of issues, so I thought a date night would be nice. He blew off that idea and decided he's still going to go. He told me I asked too late. This hurt my feelings, because he has been putting his friends and drinking way before me. He just turned 21, so I understand he wants to try out the bars and whatnot, but for some reason it bothers me a little. I don't turn 21 for a month, so I can't go with him and I don't know what bars are really like. I don't know if it bothers me because of my insecurity, or immaturity, or what. But I told him to go ahead to the bar, but that I thought it was ridiculous that he wouldn't allow me to go the club, and I shouldn't even CONSIDER going, but he's allowed to go to bars? So once I said that, he told me to go ahead to the club tonight, and he'll go to the bar tomorrow, but that I'm not allowed to dance with any guys.

I don't think him wanting to go the bar tomorrow bothers me because I don't trust him, but because I'm sad that he would rather spend his night getting drunk, than with me, when we've barely been seeing each other lately. (Plus, he has been getting drunk and been verbally abusive while drunk quite a bit lately) I also think him going to the bar bothers me because it is so new.

I don't ask him not to go, because I don't want to smother him or control him. I'm sure it'll stop bothering me once he's gone quite a bit...I don't know. He acts like I should not be bothered that he wants to go to the bars, which I agree I shouldn't be. But when I bring up that I'm going to be 21 in a month and ask him if it'll be an issue when I go to the bars without him, he acts like it will bother him ALSO! I don't know if he's trying to set a double standard or what is going on...

I know I probably just need to get over the fact that he's going to the bars when he wants, and I shouldn't make a big deal of it, right?

I'm really kinda confused. Is he controlling me? He tells me he doesn't want to control me and keep me locked up, that I should be able to do what I want, and same for him. I agree. Yet, he only is saying I can go to the club tonight, that way he can go the bar tomorrow.

Please let me hear some thoughts on this!
Reading your posts reminded of me of what it was like when I first started dating my exhusband. Unlike you, I was too naive to see that he was controlling me until way into the game.

It's not that you don't trust your boyfriend or you are insecure. It's the fact that you both have two different sets of rules according to him which is CRAP. He is so manipulative saying that you shouldn't do anything to hurt the relationship. How is going out with your friends going to hurt your relationship uless HE allows it? He's putting his insecurities on YOU.

I can't tell you what made him "change", but I can tell you he's got some serious issues here. You don't need to ask your boyfriend for permission to do things. You are an adult and fully capable of making your own choices. You should be telling him "I am going to the club with Jane" and letting him deal with it if he doesn't like it.

My exhusband was horrible when we dated. He would throw a fit if I wanted to go out with my friends. Like you, I just let it go because I didn't want the argument. I know now that was the wrong way to handle it, but hindsight is 20/20. I was too naive to see it as "controlling". He could do whatever he wanted and I was made to feel like I was somehow stupid or ridiculous for feeling the way I felt. All I wanted was equal treatment, but that was just impossible with him. I can't believe I was even married to him when I think back about him. AURG!

What you need to do is have a really good talk with him. If he refused to talk or gets nasty then you shouldn't be with him. If he can't show you respect and listen to you then you just don't belong together. The longer you allow him to "control" what you do (by not going to avoid arguments) the more he is going to try to control. Does that make sense? Don't back down about your feelings or allow him to manipulate the situation. The bottom line here is that you are both adults and you are both capable of making your own choices. He either respects you as an equal or you find someone who will.

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