Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Community Manager
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

I seem to attract control types

Community Member

Hi . My name is Agnetha. I'm originally from Sweden but I've lived in Australia for over 10 years. No children but two marriages so far with very difficult guys. The first one, he want to control every minute of my life, even I visit my friends, he want to know what we do and say, Same if I am on the phone, he want to listen to everything we say, then he quiz me after that. He don't trust me and very jealous I think even I just look at men in the street. So I had to leave him. Now I with what seem to be nice guy at first but now he want to do the same, control every movement and very strict with me at home. He supervise my housecleaning, making sure I clean toilets to his standard and get very arngry if toothpaste lid not on or shower tile grout not cleaned to perfection. the other day, he say "why you not do hospital corners on bed?' I say "what is hospital corner"?

I suffer anxiety and depression very bad and a little OCD, just a little. I thinking to leave this guy and go back to Sweden. it seem I just attract controlling guys who don't respect me. Why is that? I not aware what I do to deserve that 'cause I very kind to them, very kind indeed.

thank you reading


8 Replies 8

Community Member

Hey Agnetha,

Sorry for the lack of replies, sometimes the forums do get a bit slow and people aren't online. I do understand it must feel like no one wants to support you though, especially when you were brave to come out and speak about this and have had to wait so long for a response.

I am really sorry to hear what you have been put through, it sounds like your ex partner and your current partner are emotionally abusive. They are controlling, possessive and talk down to you instead of treating you like an equal. I can imagine you must feel very upset by this.

If you're wondering what attracts men like this, it's probably because you are very kind and giving, and put others before yourself. They see this and take advantage of it, especially if you have trouble being assertive and saying no.
But that doesn't mean they have any right to treat you that way. You still have a right to your personal space and to be treated with respect. They should not bully and harass you like they have done.

If I have any advice, perhaps talk to a counselor about how to cope and to learn better assertiveness skills.
I know you care a lot about your partner but I think you need to take care of yourself too, think about what you need in your relationship and how you would like to be treated. If he has any respect for you, you should be able to talk to him and come to a compromise about the issues you are having. If he refuses to listen to you or doesn't respect your needs, then perhaps it's time to consider if he is right for you.

I wish I could give you more advice and support, but I do hope you find the help you need and I wish you luck for the future.

You say I am not assertive enough reaperbird? But I tell him "you stop treat me like this, I don't deserve, I go back to Sweden if you act  like this with me". he say "Ok, go back to Sweden then." But this country is nice to live  I think, if I find right partner. No I think I'm very assertive. I shout back when he shout at me. he don't appreciate my kind ness to him. His fault I think. Not mine.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello Agnetha, welcome. Those both sound like very controlling and unhealthy relationships, and it sounds like you have recognised for your own health that it is important for you to get out of your current one. You're not a slave, and it sounds as though you are being treated like one.

The question of, why do I attract men like this is an interesting one. I have found myself having to explore patterns in my relationships over the last few years, because I was also falling into the trap of ending up with the same kinds of men, and having the same kinds of problems. Like you, I started asking the question, is there something I am contributing to this process?

The answer I found was, yes, to a degree. This does not excuse for a second the poor behaviour of the men you've been involved with.  But our personalities and the way we hold ourselves does send out signals, and it may be that your willingness to do everything for these men without question (why isn't HE cleaning the toilet?) is attracting lazy types who wish to be waited on hand and foot, and expect that from a woman.  They expect to be able to possess you.

Once you recognise that you are attracting certain types of men, this is actually a good thing. It means that next time you will be able to look for the signs earlier on. Ask lots of questions on the first date - it's amazing how telling some of the answers can be.  You will start to weed out men like this much earlier in the process.

And finally, to the most important part: YOU. Who is Agnetha? What does she want? What brought you to Australia in the first place? What do you like doing for yourself? What makes you, as a person, happy?  You don’t have to answer any of these questions here if you don’t want to, I’m just throwing them out there to put the focus back on you and your identity as a person, as an independent individual.

I know from experience that you tend to attract more quality people into your life when you have a clear sense of who you are and where you’re going, and you’re not looking to find an “other half” who will complete you, or take care of all your needs.

Community Member

Thank you jess for your reply. it is nice to read I think. But I disagree with you a little. I think I attract many men for my appearance and maybe they like my Swedish accent. then of course I will pick the more confident man that stand out from the crowd. they very nice to me at first and I nice to them. But gradually they change.My conclusion is that I stop being kind. I thought being kind makes my partner like me but it not true. From now I become mean. Mean and controlling like my partners. Then I try to find kind partner and I become controlling one. the will tables turn!! I will be very careful at first to choose right guy!

Community Member
Jess, you there? jess where are you? I am calling you Jess.

Dear Agnetha

Here is a hug for you today, just in case you are feeling alone and really want or need one.

I am sorry you are going through all this. I think deep down in our hearts, we all want someone to love us. But Agnetha, please don't change your kindness into meanness and control. For I am pretty sure that is not the right way to go.... I do care about you and I hope you will be OK.

Much love to you

Shelley xx

I will never be mean to such a sweet lady as you shelley. Lots of ughs!!

Community Member


I leave this guy. I made up mind. He is too disrespectful. I now looking for a place to live. maybe hostel for a while, I dunno. Life is tough. I am so stressed now I can't play golf on weekends. I need another guy because life is too expensive just alone. Oh I know that sounds terrible. Just terrible. I am perhaps cold person.