So many are desperate to be in love, to love and to be loved back that they end up making some mistakes or holding on to a certain high that will soon fade. Loves takes many shapes and forms but if one is either desperate or not careful, they could be manipulated all in the name of love. This also can be caused by the fact that through life’s experiences they never got to know what love is. So, whatever is handed to them with what appears to be some sort of care, can feel like love even when it is not. Many of the victims in manipulative relationships can tell that something is off but brush it off on days when things feel right. Manipulation can be defined as an emotionally unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way. Usually, people who are trying to manipulate others are trying to control them.
Be it in a sibling relationship, child-parent relationship or even a romantic relationships manipulation can take many forms. What’s sad is that usually the person who is being manipulated rarely feel like it is manipulation but holds on to the fantasy of it being love. Usually, manipulators never take responsibility of their actions but rather blame the next person. In very relationship, there are arguments, fall outs you name it but if in all of it one party is usually blamed and always ends up apologizing, then there is a problem. Sometimes one can say things without the intention of hurting the next person and what was just another conversation can end with one apologizing. You might think that the person is airing out their concerns regarding what you just said or did but sometimes they are just gaslighting you. This makes one question if they are a worthy partner if -they are actually a bad person and you question your reality or thoughts. After being gaslighted you invalidate your own feelings and reality and probably start thinking that your partner only acted a certain way because of you.
Love is kind, but manipulative behavior involves the following, guilt, fear and obligation. There are two types of manipulators in relationships, one can either be the bully or the one who plays victim. The bully makes gives you feelings of fear and intimidation while the victim makes you feel guilty even for feeling a certain way. Sadly manipulators then get away with it as you start apologizing for your feelings when in most cases it should be them apologizing for their behavior. Healthy love understands that we are all but human and prone to mistakes. Manipulation gives no room for error and will go to town and back when their partners err.
Love compliments, it does not insult. In a healthy relationship partners are constantly celebrating each others wins and congratulating them even on the smallest of wins. There is always encouragement and sometimes advise after failures and falling. With manipulators, there is no joy or celebration but they somehow thrive on the failures of their partner. Manipulators also want to constantly feel that they are needed so anything to do with their partner’s independence makes them sulk. They then intentionally hold on to their support and keep thriving on pulling their partner down. If one is with such a manipulative partner they end up staying as they are not even confident that they will be okay on their own and they can get better.
In one of my posts I spoke of how you can not expect someone to give that which they do not know. Manipulative relationships will start off feeling a little like love till one starts noticing everything that is off. We get to learn what love is when we finally experience what love is not.
1 Corinthians 13
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b]6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.