Don’t be manipulated in love
A relationship is usually based on trust, love and respect. However, one partner can sometimes belittle the other, make them feel guilty, creating discord… So how can you get your confidence back when your partner turns into a manipulative monster?
When you live together, it is not always smooth sailing... At the beginning, everything was going swimmingly – you were totally fusional and in love together, but it’s been gradually falling apart. It may not be so much the routine that’s has become entrenched and boring, but rather the fact that relations have turned totally sour, especially from his side. So what do you do when your other half is either belittling you or guilt-tripping you in order to manipulate you?
“A long fusional relationship can breed contempt, fear and sadness,” explains Isabella Nazare-Aga, behavioural therapist. But if you want to stick together and save your relationship, you can learn how to put your relationship on a different footing.
The solution is simple: identify the manipulative behaviour in the other, intelligently protect yourself against this curse, and build back your self-confidence in other relationships and activities away from him.
He constantly criticises you publicly
He has chosen you as his partner and so it’s completely crazy that he has taken to saying horrible things about you, like it’s nothing, in front of your friends. “Fiona, a cordon bleu chef? You must be joking!” says he. The manipulative partner showers criticism on you, and it’s draining your self-confidence.
The therapist says: You might even find these comments trivial. In reality, it is not the comments bruising your self-esteem every now and again that’s dangerous, but rather the frequency of the negative messages behind them. To reassert yourself, assert your skills and talents in the work place, with your own friends, away from his influence.
He is trying to isolate you from everyone else
He purrs at the thought of you slaving away at work, but he becomes capricious if you demonstrate your independence, like accepting an invitation (to dinner, to the theatre, to socialise at the weekend), without him. In his way of thinking, every spare moment of free time must be either spent, or agreed upon, with him.
The therapist says: You may waver between guilt and feeling ill at ease with this one. As soon as you do something without him, you feel guilty, but if you give in to him, you become immensely frustrated. Take a stand immediately and show him that your needs and wishes are just as important as his.
He is eaten up with jealousy
He wants an exclusive relationship, and will not put up with any sort of competition, including family and friends. But your manipulative other half is capable of being two-faced. On your evenings out, his seduction moves on those of the opposite sex often goes hand-in-hand with his jealously of anyone who approaches you.
The therapist says: You suffer on-going scenarios of him trying to find evidence of you cheating on him, when there is in fact, none. Adopt the smoke-screen tactic: create a vague, non-confrontational atmosphere, and definitely don’t engage in a fight about it, as you will only succeed in increasing his animosity. Just feign surprise without entering into an argument. After all the jealousy is his problem, not yours.
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