There are many ways couples exert control on each other, but many of them are positive. A spouse who is in charge of buying food will generally make most of the decisions on how they will eat, and they could control their spouse by buying healthy food. It is not a conscious effort on the part of most spouses to control the other person, but it can be used to keep them from leaving the relationship. There are healthy ways to exert control, but there are also unhealthy ways to do it while a couple is separated.
A controlling person has a lot of work to do if they want to ensure their partner will remain with them, and they often do it by setting up their partner before or after social events. Doing it before could be as simple as making a statement about an issue they know will be addressed, and they will find a way to upset their partner before leaving home. Their goal is to ensure that talking about the issue outside the home will be upsetting, and they can generally count on others to believe their partner is not able to manage emotional stability on their own.
Social events with friends and family can be a good control point for someone seeking to isolate their partner, and they often wait until traveling home to do their manipulation. They will go over what their spouse said or did, and they will point out errors in their behavior. This works over time, and they will eventually be able to control their partner’s behavior even when they are not with them. The person will be afraid to say or do anything that might cause criticism, and they will tend to remain quiet.
Isolation of a partner by a spouse is often a subtle series of suggestions and prompts, and it can take years before their control is complete. It takes a great deal of work to break away from this type of partner, but it can be the freedom an isolated spouse needs and deserves.