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How To Recognize A Manipulative or Controlling Relationship?

How To Recognize A Manipulative or Controlling Relationship?

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Disclaimer: If you have never been in a manipulating or controlling relationship, this article might be shocking for you. And if you have similar experiences, then this article can be triggering – take this as a trigger warning. 

If there is someone in your life you cannot speak the truth to, or is afraid off and can’t confront. Have you ever been with someone thinking they have a “hold” on you? And not the good kind, where it is all butterflies and rainbows.

butterflies and rainbows

In this spell, you have no power at all, powerless, and helpless. You feel like a puppet in the hands of your partner, doing everything according to them. Then I hate to break it but you are in a manipulative and controlling relationship. 

“Standing alone is better than standing with people who hurt you.”

You might feel that I am wrong and you are very happy in your relationship. But if you have to convince yourself that you are “happy” then that itself is a red flag. When you are truly happy, you don’t need convincing. 

Just take a moment and think hard about the last time you were really happy. When was it? 

Standing alone is better than standing with people who hurt you

Manipulations in a relationship are very subtle, sometimes you wouldn’t even know that you are getting manipulated. Even the simplest of instances in a relationship can be manipulative and are easier to overlook.

“Manipulation is when they blame you for your reaction to their disrespect.”

Manipulation in a relationship

Manipulation in a relationship

Manipulations are fine when they are being done in fun and games, but not with serious matters. Influencing one’s decisions and opinions, and the way one thing is definitely red flags. It is important to learn the early signs of a controlling man or even a controlling manipulative relationship. 

Even if you are in a manipulative relationship, you would never see the signs until and unless you are looking for them. They are never direct. There are a few techniques:

  • In the form of mental or emotional abuse
  • Deceptive in nature
  • Underhanded without making it obvious

These types of relationships are not easy to know or recognize. It would seem like you are slowly losing yourself, your identity, and what you used to be. The reflection in the mirror would seem like a stranger. 

But if you want to know whether your relationship is manipulative or not, there are a few signs to recognize.

1. Dictatorship all the way

Dictatorship all the way

Does the decision-making in a relationship feel more like dictating? In a relationship, usually, both of you make certain decisions. But does it feel like you are going with his decisions nowadays? 

When the need to be in control becomes more important to him than you, then that is definitely a red flag. Do they get angry or get upset when you don’t go along with them until you agree with them? 

Then you are definitely in a controlling relationship and don’t even know about it. You have to carefully notice the signs of a controlling boyfriend or signs of a controlling partner.

2. Guilt Tripping into complying

Guilt Tripping into complying

Does your partner often make you feel guilty about things that are not even your fault? When you are made to feel guilty about something or another always, then you start to question yourself. You start second-guessing everything you do. 

Does this happen to you? If yes, you are in a manipulative relationship. This is not good for your physical or mental health. 

Suppose you are not agreeing with your partner, in a controlling relationship your partner would guilt trip into agreeing. 

3. Heavy load of Emotional Blackmail

Heavy load of Emotional Blackmail

Now let’s just say you recognized that you are in a manipulating and controlling relationship and want to get out.

Is it that going to be that easy? NO!

Even if you wanna leave your partner is going to emotionally blackmail or scare you into staying put. The threat of self-harm or killing themselves is thrown at you to stop you from leaving. 

It is sad, but suicidal threats are a common trick that manipulators use. With a heavy load of fear, control and guilt are what they use to keep you with them. 

4. Gaslighting your senses

If you don’t know, gaslighting means psychologically making you question your own actions. You start questioning your own actions, own sanity, if someone loves you they will never do that. 

Making you emotionally unstable, and feeling crazy is not what you should feel in a happy relationship. Attacking you through the things you love, lying constantly, and using reverse psychology on you is something they would do constantly.

Studies have shown that 1 in 5 women experience PTSD after getting out of an abusive controlling relationship. Gaslighting is a form of verbal abuse that most of the time goes unnoticed. 

These types of toxic relationships can result in something called Stockholm Syndrome, and create a trauma bonding between you two. 

5. Isolate you from your family and friends

Isolate you from your family and friends

In a study, it has been seen that one of the causes of an unhealthy relationship is jealousy. Not just from flirting with other people, but feeling jealous of your partner’s friends and family. 

In a controlling relationship, your partner would keep you separated from your friends and family. You wouldn’t be allowed to meet them without their permission. A manipulative partner would intentionally cut your friends and family out of your life. That is how they control you. 

Without the support of your close ones, it’s difficult to leave a controlling relationship. 

Are you experiencing anything like this? Are you not allowed to meet certain friends or family members because your partner said so?  Now is the time to know. 

Once you understand that you are in a manipulative and controlling relationship, how are you going to deal with it?

How To Deal With Manipulation?

How To Deal With Manipulation

The biggest step in relationships like these is to know when you are being manipulated. Most people don’t even recognize the signs of manipulation. But now that you did, let me help you deal with it so that you don’t go crazy and fight back.

1. Know Your Inner Self

Know Your Inner Self

No one knows you better than you. Listen to your inner voice, and know your true self. If you see your partner breaking boundaries and being intrusive, or passive-aggressive, pay attention to this behavior and assess it. 

Do you really deserve that? Your self-worth is much more than what you are getting in this relationship. If the relationship doesn’t feel right it’s time to get out.

See Also
Red Flags In A Girl

2. Limit Your Boundaries

Limit Your Boundaries

If you see your partner trying to control your opinions and decisions, start making it clear about what you want. State your opinions as clearly as day and don’t let anyone veto them. 

It is important in any relationship to set boundaries and some ground rules. You need to fight back to regain your voice in the relationship. 

3. Emotionally Stronger

Emotionally Stronger

Any manipulative partner would try to emotionally blackmail you into staying in the relationship. You need to give little to no response to those emotional threats of suicide and self-harm. If they are really suicidal, provide them with proper help, you cannot help them in such cases. 

You have to take control of your own emotions and reclaim your own power. You don’t have to fall for everything your partner says or does. 

Manipulative Relationship: How To Get Out Of A Controlling Relationship

How To Get Out Of A Controlling Relationship

Every manipulative and controlling relationship is mostly the same, emotional blackmail, guilt, dictatorship, and countless threats. 

The most difficult part of a manipulative relationship is to understand that you are in one. Maybe the signs have always been there, but you never noticed. The realization that your once loving partner has slowly turned into someone you can’t even recognize. 

This is when the emotional blackmail and threats begin to stop you from leaving them. But what can you do? How much more can you endure this abuse. 

Thinking about second chances, But for what? Why should you give someone another chance to abuse you again and again? 

abuse you again and again

Getting out of it is definitely going to be the tough part. But trust me, you have to be very logical and put yourself and your needs first. Do what’s best for your mental and physical health. 

Trust me once you get out, that will be the best decision made in a long while. And it would feel like a mountain of pain dropped from your shoulders. 

Do you just have to ask yourself one question to that, “ how to stop being controlling in a relationship?” You will find the inner strength to get out of it. 

Frequently Asked Questions!

How Does A Manipulator Act In A Relationship?

Manipulators usually play with your emotions and play mind games to be the dominant ones in the relationship. 

What Are Manipulators Afraid Of?

The number one thing manipulators are afraid of is being vulnerable. They are afraid to express their emotions, desires, and needs. 

How To Spot A Manipulator? 

Emotional manipulators are easy to spot if you know the signs to look for. They will undermine you, be emotionless, guilt trips others, and play the victim too often. 

A Word From The Dating Dairy!

In most manipulative and controlling relationships, the manipulator might seem the dominant one. But you need to know that they are more vulnerable than you. 

You just have to stand your ground and give power to your voice. If you feel helpless still, get help and support and get out as soon as possible from the relationship.

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