What makes being in a manipulative relationship as scary as twisted horror movies is that YOU MIGHT NOT EVEN KNOW but you are in a manipulative relationship.
Now, you might think that manipulative relationships are the ones when a boyfriend suddenly tells you to stop wearing sexy dresses but that might JUST be the tip of the ice berg.
Psychologists would argue that being in a manipulative relationship; the one that is toxic and mentally, emotionally and psychologically damaging is something that you barely even notice. Relationship and marriage counselors would clarify that manipulative relationships can happen to everyone. Which means being manipulated and the person doing the manipulating could be of any age, sex, gender or social status.
If you are reading this out of curiosity, good for you. It pays to know the psychology and the signs behind it.
However, this might be an uncomfortable read to those who suspect they are in a manipulative relationship. I still urge you to read this through as you owe it to yourself to examine the kind of relationship you’re in right now and whether or not you want to stay in that kind of relationship for MANY years to come.
Here are the 5 signs you might be in a manipulative relationship:
1. You notice that you are now isolated
Many psychologists would note that the first step great manipulators take in controlling someone is isolating their partners from their families and friends. It’s important to note that this does not happen all at once. The manipulator can start with voicing out how your family member or friend is becoming an inconvenience in your relationship. They can also start by making your friends or families feel a bit uncomfortable when they’re visiting you. The end goal here is to make sure that you do not have a support system and all you will ever need is being in that relationship.
2. You have an invisible scorecard
In Filipino, we simply call this ‘Sumbat’ or the act of enumerating somebody the deals, favors, gifts and debt of gratitude you owed even if you did not ask for it.
You see, manipulators are not all bad mouthing or restrictions. They can also shower you with gifts and special favors. You would think that this is just how they love you or how being the lucky person in the world feels like. But just wait for it, and they are sure to bring that up in your next argument in order to shut you up. It’s also an upper hand they can slap you with so that they can cover their tracks when they did something terrible. They are keeping scores and they’ll be happy to tell you about it so you’ll get paralyzed of control.
3. You feel stupid or you constantly panic now
Now, that your life is basically HIM, HIM or HER, HER, it is so much easy to make you feel all sorts of emotions namely feeling so stupid and so little all the time. But the tricky part is, you still thank them for ‘putting up’ with you. They can go as far as calling you blatantly, that you are stupid. You’re stupid for causing inconvenience. Stupid for being inconsiderate. You will feel so stupid for forgetting to text them all the details when you are gone for just an hour. And the worst part is, you start believing them.
In the long run, being in the state of believing you are stupid and the guilt for being SO stupid causes you to be in panic mode all the time. You panic at the sight of him/her in a bad mood. You panic when you suddenly enjoyed being outside for a long time. You panic when you’re talking to someone you don’t know and he/she might put a meaning on it. It never ends. You’re always at fault and you feel stupid and guilty of being so stupid.
4. Your sex feels uncomfortable right after
I’m so sorry to tell you that manipulation also transcends social interaction and it can creep inside your bedroom. When a manipulator pulls strings on what emotions you will feel, you’ll know to yourself that after-sex does not feel like romantic cuddles anymore. There’s something off about conversations after sex that you choose not to even engage on it. If this happens, it might be time to step back and pinpoint exactly what’s wrong.
5. You NEVER get what you want
Here’s what you probably want: A relationship that loves you, reciprocating that love and affection you give, a relationship that considers your feelings and point of view, a relationship that engage you in interesting conversations but still respects your beliefs, a relationship that gives you alone time and a relationship that never asks for your passwords to spy on you.
Guess what? You will NEVER get it. By now, you must have figured out that there are no WE in this relationship. Only him or her and YOU making sure he or she is your world. If you are in this, figure out to stop this relationship now or you’ll end up spending your life with a horrible person.
If you are a woman or a mother and you believe you are in danger, please contact your local authorities or reach through the following numbers:
Department of Social Welfare and Development
(02)931-8101 to 07 or your local social welfare office
Philippine National Police
723-0401 to 20 or your local police
PNP-Women and Children Protection Center
410-3213 or your local barangay women and children’s desk
NBI-Violence Against Women and Children Desk
523-8231 to 38/525-6028