Recognizing a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship


Do you feel like you are losing your identity ( Do friends and family say how they don’t even recognize you anymore? Has your relationship pushed your friends away? If your relationship is sucking away important aspects of your life or yourself, you may be in the wrong relationship. But how do you recognize if your relationship is controlling or manipulative? First, ask yourself how things differ from when the relationship first started. Determine if your partner is showing signs of being manipulative. The University of Virginia has determined a list of behaviors that indicate a manipulative relationship. Don’t fall into the sometimes trap. If your partner has exhibited this type of behavior, red lights should go off in your head. Has your partner ever made fun of you in front of friends or family? Has he or she put you down, or lessened your accomplishments? Have they ever pinched, grabbed or shoved you, or handled you in an inappropriate physical manner? If your partner tells you that you are nothing without them, you are probably in a controlling relationship.

Using guilt, fear or threats to get you to do things is a specific tactic manipulative people use to control you. If you ever feel scared about how your partner might react, if you are always doing things that they want rather than what you want, or if you are staying with them because you are afraid of what might happen if you broke up, you are in a controlling or manipulative relationship. How has your relationship changed since you’ve gotten together? Carefully study you and your partner’s behavior. Ask a friend or someone close to you what they think.  Notice your partner’s faults. Are you always meeting up with his or her friends? Do you have to hide things from him or her, afraid of how they might react? If you are constantly apologizing or defending yourself, this is not a sign of a healthy relationship. It means there is something terribly wrong. Reach out to your support system, or renew ties. Don’t jettison your good friends or family for someone you are dating. Notice jealousy or possessiveness that is out of the ordinary. When you see that this person is controlling or manipulative, it’s time to end the relationship. Don’t take someone back if they have repeatedly pushed you around. A relationship should be healthy, where both parties hold each other up. If one side is tearing the other down, this is an unhealthy relationship. It’s hard to get manipulative and controlling people to change. It’s probably best to move on.

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