6 Signs Your Partner is Manipulating You
When people manipulate others – especially in romantic relationships – they are attempting to emotionally exploit them as a means of having control. This allows them to get what they want out of that person whether it is money and possessions, unmerited sympathy, or even total say over the relationship. A master manipulator is able to identify the partner’s weaknesses and exploit them, and they will continue to do so until the other person finally decides to put an end to it. But this can be difficult to do since they use their powers of manipulation precisely to prevent their partner from breaking things off.
The beginning of a relationship is the time when it is most challenging to realize you are, in fact, being manipulated since it is so subtle. But over time as you repeat these experiences with the manipulator, their behavior becomes a disturbing pattern. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways in which your partner could be manipulating you without you even realizing it!
When your partner is gaslighting you, they are essentially telling blatant lies that should be obvious, but they’re so skilled at it that it causes you to question even yourself. For instance, they might insist that you are overreacting to a highly toxic situation, or they will abuse you physically or emotionally and then turn around and insist they would never do anything of the sort. They will deny any wrongdoing and at worst make you feel guilty for their self-serving behaviors.
Even in healthy relationships, couples will occasionally have their differences. But when they are mature, mentally stable people, they will find solutions. But when somebody is manipulative, they will deny there is any problem at all even when it is clear they are upset. They might, for instance, use avoidance tactics, which ultimately means nothing gets resolved since they refuse to allow the problem to be addressed. Or they will respond with bitter sarcasm, a technique that is intended to make you feel upset and even guilty, even when you still have no idea what you did wrong. Being passive-aggressive is also used when they want to bait you into asking them what’s wrong instead of simply telling you.
When somebody acts as a manipulator, their goal is often to avoid having to be accountable for anything. They will say things that are not true, or they will exaggerate in order to make themselves look better. When they find themselves in a difficult situation of their own making, their self-inflicted problems are all your fault. This behavior shares certain elements with gaslighting. Although we are all occasionally guilty of telling harmless little white lies, those who are emotionally manipulative will tell lies that have serious repercussions.
Using threats and coercion in order to get what they want is a textbook case of emotional manipulation. For example, your partner will warn you that the relationship is over if you don’t do exactly what they ask. There is nothing that is more toxic when they pull out the “I will leave you” card since they’re putting you in an impossible position where you are doing things you don’t want to, and yet you desperately want the relationship to work. They might even threaten to hurt themselves if they don’t get their way. This threat of self-harm might be a ruse, but regardless it is something that you must take seriously, even if it means calling 911 to get them help.
Another technique that people use when they are manipulators is withdrawing from you. This could be refusing to talk when you are doing something they disagree with. Furthermore, they might act extremely cold, withhold information, or even “punish” you by withholding sex, even when the issue is extremely minor. They will continue to do this until they get their way or until you apologize for things that you aren’t even to blame for.
At the most extreme level, a manipulator who wants complete control will force you to cut ties with your friends and family, especially the ones who express concern about or dislike that manipulative person. By disrupting your support system, you are basically on your own, making it more difficult to leave the relationship. On the other hand, that individual might use their manipulation to gain the trust and support of your friends and family for their own selfish purposes. For instance, if they sense that the relationship is about to come to an end, they might attempt to convince your friends and family to tell you to stay with them.