No-one wants to admit they’re being manipulated by their partner – but it can happen to the strongest and smartest of people. Manipulative partners often rely on emotional blackmail, which can often start subtly and become more extreme as the relationship goes on. Catching the signs early can save you a lot of pain in the long run, allowing you to take control or more sensibly end the relationship before you’re in too deep. Here are just five danger signs to look out for.
They don’t trust you
No relationship can function without a level of trust. Having an affair or using violence against your partner could be a fair reason for a partner to lose trust, however if your partner seems to have little trust in you over small errors, this is not a good sign. They may act paranoid as a way of keeping you on a tight leash, making you prove to them your trust by not going out with friends or letting go of commitments you love. Constantly checking your phone or accompanying you everywhere often accompanies this lack of trust.
They hurry decisions
Hurrying decisions is another common manipulation trick. They may be talking on the phone to someone telling you that they need to make a decision now, in which you then feel pressured to say yes. This could be a way of making you cancel plans to fit their arrangements. In serious cases, they may rush you into big decisions like getting married or even having children. It’s worth putting your foot down or getting counselling to negotiate these decisions.
They use the silent treatment
Lots of sweet-talking isn’t the only way to be manipulated. The silent treatment is childish but often effective. They may use it after you’ve said or done something that went against their wishes. Often the only way to get them talking again is to apologise and tell them they were right – which isn’t the way to argue something out.
They keep asking you to do favours for them
This is where the real manipulation begins. It may start as small favours – things you don’t want to do but are willing to put up with – and evolve into big favours – things that really are against your ethical code or cause you to make a big sacrifice. They may ask you to get them out of debt or to cover up a crime. In extreme cases, they may even be grooming you for sex trafficking – you may even not realise you’re being pimped out. Help exists in all cases including legal help for sex trafficking victims. If you’re still in the early stages, looking out for common favours such as constantly borrowing money or being asked to lie.
They shower you with love and flattery as a way of winning you back
Occasionally, every manipulative partner oversteps the mark and lets their guise slip. They may say something incredibly insulting or demand something outrageous from you or even physically lash out. It’s often these times when we realise that a partner is bad for us, however these partners know how to win us back. It’s these moments when they may give you all the loving words and gestures you’ve been waiting for. They may even apologise for past actions and seem to take on a submissive persona. However, this flattery could just be a way of guilt-tripping you to stay with them. When these moments happen, don’t go running back into their arms. These are the perfect moments to end such a relationship and leave with your head held high – you’ll know when such a moment arises.