This study compared batterers to nonbatterers on self-report and behavioral measures of perceived control and desire for control. Differences were found for perceived control over general life events (batterers greater than nonbatterers), but not perceived control over relationship conflict or desire for control. Batterers low in desire for control and in perceived control over relationship conflicts reported higher levels of physical abuse. Perceived control was manipulated using Burger, Brown, & Allen's (1983) behavioral choice task. Batterers who were given no choice reported increased negative affect. Batterers appear to respond to loss of control with negative affect, which may be a factor contributing to abuse perpetration. These results highlight the complexity of the relationship of perceived control and intimate partner violence.