Manipulative partners in life, spouses, lovers, friends, relatives… they are all the same. Well, OK, no they aren’t. People are unique and they behave in shitty ways for a bunch of unique reasons.
Nevertheless, you will always feel the same way as a result of their manipulations – BAD (Bewildered, Alienated, Doubtful). What are your emotions and experiences that show you that you are manipulated by someone you love?
The confusion when you are being manipulated is the first thing to rise in your mind. You start questioning your own intuition, you are not sure whether it is good for the relationship to act in a certain way or not. This is because in manipulative behaviors the person who confuses you does it on purpose (consciously or not). This person makes you win his/her attention over and over again without satisfaction. You are always thinking of how he/she will react on just anything that you do. At some point you don’t even know whether to eat outside or at home, to go on vacation in May or June. You just don’t know how he/she will react. You just know that most of the things you do won’t be approved so you start craving more and more this person’s attention. Congratulations – you are being successfully manipulated!
All the other people who are important for you can’t stand this person. Controversially sometimes they would even share that they enjoy his/her company and they don’t hate him/her as a person, they just hate the way YOU behave when he/she is around. This is because everyone senses that you are not yourself when you are being manipulated and they dislike the idea of this new submissive, weird and irrational being you are turning into. As a result you seek their opinion less and less. Remember that even though you should stand for yourself and the ones you love, you shouldn’t ignore everyone else’s opinion. Especially when it is widely shared among all the people who know you best.
You doubt your own opinions, experiences, your self esteem. Sometimes you think that you don’t deserve this person’s love… or any love at all. You become jealous (it is a huge red flag, especially if you haven’t been jealous before). Your self control is not the same as before and you are always afraid that you will do something that you will regret later… you know it but you don’t care as long as you do it with him/her. Nevertheless you are sure that he/she will most likely run from responsibility if anything bad happened. You never ever feel safe with this person (emotionally, sometimes even physically).
If you ever feel all those signs RUN!!!! This is not a healthy relationship and you don’t need it. This is my personal opinion* of course. Because I would never stay.
My professional advice is to consult his/her and your behavior with therapist, in personal consulting or couple’s therapy. You can try to work things trough, especially if the manipulative partner is doing it unconsciously or you both manipulate each another (this also happens a lot). Decide for yourself if things are broken beyond repair or you can put effort and eliminate manipulative behavior from your relationship, but this behavior MUST GO!
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