Manipulation is a major red flag in any kind of relationship. Being manipulated, especially by the person you love and trust the most, can leave emotional and psychological scars that would take a very long time to heal. It can be very damaging to the victim’s well-being.
However, manipulation is not easy to detect. A victim may lose the courage and confidence to get out of the relationship because they were made to think that they are crazy or no one would believe them.
If you suspect that your spouse is manipulating you, you should seek the help of an attorney who is an expert in family law to help you get out of the marriage. If you are unsure that you are being manipulated, these are the signs that you should look out for.
Do you feel like your memories have been altered? Do you remember an event going one way but your partner insists that something completely different happened? Have you started questioning your own mind?
You might be a victim of gaslighting.
Gaslighting is named after a play where the husband convinces his wife that she is going mad. It is a form of manipulation that can happen in different types of relationships, including friends and families. It may also occur intentionally or unintentionally.
The person who gaslights will use the victim’s vulnerabilities to make them doubt their own memory, judgment, and their sanity.
If your partner is gaslighting you, they may tell you, for example, that you were not in a certain place even though you remember that you were there. They may hide certain objects around the house and deny ever seeing it. They may also trivialize your own feelings and blame you for it.
As a result, you might find yourself apologizing often. You might think that you are being too sensitive even if everyone around you, except your spouse, think that your feelings are valid. You may be making excuses for your partner’s behavior in front of family, friends, and yourself.
It is difficult to get out of a situation like this, but it is possible. The first thing that you must do if you think that you are a victim of gaslighting is to seek professional help. A psychologist can help build back your sense of self and your self-esteem, eliminating your worries and your doubts.
Being quiet is not going to resolve any issue. It can be a reaction to an intense moment when an individual shuts themselves in because they feel too overwhelmed with emotions. It may also be a form of manipulation when the other party ends up feeling ignored and rejected.
A silent treatment becomes emotionally abusive if it is used to exert their power over another. For example, your partner may refuse to acknowledge you until you give in, and they get what they want.
It may also be considered abusive if it happens for several days and weeks.
In the end, if you are in the receiving end of the silent treatment, you will feel ostracized, which can affect your self-esteem. You might change your behavior in fear that you might be given the silent treatment again.
If it happens to you, you should never beg or plead. That will only encourage your partner to do it again in the future. Instead, you should consider going to an individual or couple’s counseling to discuss issues with communication. You should also set firm boundaries of what are acceptable behaviors or not and tell your partner if boundaries have been crossed.
Making You Feel Shame
Manipulators know exactly how to push their victim’s buttons. They exploit their victim’s vulnerabilities to gain control over the relationship.
If you notice that your partner is constantly criticizing you and pointing out your flaws to the point that you have lost confidence, then you might be in a manipulative marriage. Your partner should not be making you feel bad, especially if it is over something that you cannot change or out of your control. It is not cool to point out every little thing that they think you should improve like your weight, the way you dress, your personality, your job, etc. You deserve to be celebrated and appreciated by your partner.
If your partner is always criticizing you, put your foot down and ask them to stop nitpicking. Be clear that this behavior of theirs is not helpful, and they should stop. You also consider going to therapy to undo the damage that the manipulation has done to your mental health.
No one deserves to be in a manipulative relationship. The person at the receiving end of the manipulation always comes out of it emotionally and psychologically scarred. If you believe that your partner is manipulating you, seek help immediately from mental health professionals, your lawyer, or a trusted friend.