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Is he trying to change me?

Community Member

Hi there,

I am naturally a very flamboyant and comfortable person when it comes to dressing in a more quintessential and vibrant way. I feel like the clothes that I wear - vintage, vibrant and obscure suit my somewhat of a misfit personality.

However, more so recently I have discovered that sometimes I wear one of my favourite headpieces, very quirky and unique, that my boyfriend tells me I shouldn’t wear it and I should wear something darker with my more recently dyed brighter colour of hair.

Normally, I’m the type of person who does what I want to do and dresses the way I feel suits my body shape and compliments my personality. However, because he is my boyfriend I am genuinely concerned as to if he is actually trying to look out for me saying things like “oh the colours clash.” Or “i don’t really like that headpiece.”and he does suggest that I wear something a little darker. He says “all of the brightness distracts me from your pretty face.”

I read somewhere that early stages of emotional abuse is when someone starts to control your wardrobe and what you wear. And then makes you feel guilty for not ‘conforming to their standards’

I understand completely that your partner wants you to look your best but is he taking it too far? I have asked other people about my headpiece. Close by individuals whom I know would tell me if I was being a ‘fashion victim’ so to speak. And they all say that the colours don’t conflict with my hair and that I look still so bright and amazing.

nonetheless, I’m still going to wear what makes me comfortable because in the long run I don’t want to look back at myself twenty or even thirty years from now and regret really showing who I am. I’ve always been so care free, bright and a bit unique from the crowd and I will continue to be that way. After all, when we first started dating he knew exactly that I was someone who wasn’t your A typical type of girl.

I’m different and different is what I shall remain. But is he really trying to control me or is he trying to tell me politely that something else would work alongside my dyed hair?

looking for answers,

much appreciated.


4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I don't think at this point you have anything to worry about.

Colours and styles are subjective and he's giving his view. If he was older or wiser he'd have a different approach e.g. instead of saying what he said he might say "that other that you wore yesterday suits you better"

We can be more sensitive than most.


Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi PsychedelicFur

You pose a really interesting question about the possible intentions behind your partner’s observation and comments about your head piece.

It’s entirely possible that he’s being open, honest and trying to be helpful, but equally possibly that his comments are a red flag of unhealthy controlling behaviour.

I guess if it were me, I’d be asking myself some questions like ... Has he tried to control other behaviours or choices of mine? Are his comments invited or “normal” given the context of the conversation? Do his comments, tone and/or body language give me a creepy vibe?

The last question is probably the most important. If your inner voice is telling you that something is not right with this guy, walk away.

If you like him and want to give him a chance, perhaps you could give it more time. Like you said, continue to wear what you please and monitor his reaction. I’d also be on the lookout for other possible red flags.

For what it’s worth, I can’t recall a partner of mine ever telling me not to wear something (I’m in my fifties). If I ask my husband how I look or if he likes something new, he’s always positive. My daughter, on the other hand, will always give me the truth!

Kind thoughts to you

Community Champion
Community Champion


Over the years partners have given me their opinion on my clothes and I feel that as long it is their opinion and not an order it is ok.

I too like quirky colourful clothes but I was also aware if going to say partners family I would wear something more suitable.

I think it is positive he takes an interest in what you are wearing.
take care

We just want to let you know we are closing this thread. For PsychedelicFur's latest thread, see: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/leaving-a-toxic-energy-behind