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manipulation
August 6, 2004
4:11 pm
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wings
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Does anyone else here constantly deal with their boyfriends manipulating them? My relationship is so unhealthy, I am aware of it and trying to leave him, but it is so hard even though it's bad for me...He constantly manipulates me to get his way, whether it be getting money or going somewhere, anything....I am so frustrated

August 6, 2004
4:42 pm
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uptoolate
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wings, I am sure many of us have experienced what you are going thru.

Can you give an example of the the way he manipulates you? Tell us some specific details. It will be easier for me to respond if I knew exactly what he is doing.

Hang in there and take care of YOU right now.

uptoolate

August 6, 2004
4:53 pm
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fairy99
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wings

There comes a time when you have had enough and think about that.

Do you want things to end with you hateing each other?

August 6, 2004
5:05 pm
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Aurora_Borealis
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hello wings, i have been there too. it's so frustrating. I think i just wanted him to be happy even when what he wanted wasn't what i wanted. Actually it made me unhappier because after we did whatever he wanted, i would feel so disappointed of me for giving in and i would promise myself that i wouldn't happen again, but it did. We have to stand strong for ourselves.. I think we have to pick our fights in a sense.. If you really don't want to do something, don't do it. You may feel it jeopardizes his love for you, but if he really loves you he would have to understand. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. It works both ways.

August 6, 2004
5:06 pm
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b4idy
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I have been there and still am. If you are not trying to work on things together and he hasn't shown any improvement do what is good for you. I may be hypocritical by saying that because I am still with my boyfriend but at the same time we are working on what isn't working if that makes sense. Remember that you are most important. Take baby steps. That's how I do it. Some days I remember to put myself first and other days I fall back but one day I won't ever fall back. Learning to stand up for yourself will take time and it is well worth it. The first time I finally stood up for myself I was so elated for the whole day and a few days after. I use that experience to remind me that yes I can do it.

Remember your happiness needs to come first.

Good Luck!

August 9, 2004
2:15 pm
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curly
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Where are you ladygoodheart? I spent an awful night at the BFs. He wanted me to stay and everytime I stay there it's the same thing. He yaks and yaks and is loud, yelling at me even - it is very hard on the nerves. And just when I need to rest and be peaceful he is drunk and wants to hold me and caress - he's not pushy when it comes to sex by any means - but by time he wants to get all lovey-dovey I am tired, angry and frustrated with him and his belligerance and with myself for just not sticking to my guns when I say "no" to him and letting him get angry about it if he wants. I know I have been controlled by anger all my life - especially from men. I say no and he refuses to take no for an answer - "I never see you... You're always leaving... I want to spend some time with my beautiful girlfriend... I have been working hard and tonight I am done for the day... I think you should just stay over tonight so we can be together...You can go to work from here..." I say no a dozen times and he keeps saying the same things and pleading and he's smooth too and finally I give in because I feel guilty, I am afraid to make him angry, I am afraid to hurt his feelings...Then at about midnight he's cracking another beer and telling me he won't bother me and him just telling me that bothers me because all I want to do at that point is be quiet and have some peace so i can get to sleep and be in good shape for work the next day. Then he tells me that he loves me (and in his way he does) and I say "if you loved me you would have wanted what is best for me and would have just said thanks for stopping in to see me. I understand you need to get ready for your fist day back at work..." Then he gets mad and says "You should have gone home...This is f'ing bullshit..." and on it goes until I am afraid that I am going to have a heart attack from sheer anxiety, anger frustration, torment... DOES ANYONE RELATE?

August 9, 2004
2:34 pm
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Wanttobewell
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Yes Curly, I relate. Sounds like my husband's twin brother. Be sure not to marry him. I married mine and now get to feel that way most of the time. Think about it!!!

Manipulation? Yep,,Been manipulated by the best of them, experts actually. I recognize it now though for what it is and say "no." But sometimes my guard is down and I'm manipulated before I realize it. It's hard to keep the guard up all of the time. Or, I'll just let myself because sometimes it's easier than dealing with it. Sucks huh?

August 9, 2004
2:44 pm
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Jolie
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Manipulation is something I've grown used to in my relationship. I've tried to leave my bf also, but he knows JUST what to say or do to hook me back. Now i'm concentrating on learning those tactics so I can prevent myself from falling into his traps. It's not easy, because when I do stand up for myself, he doesn't like that he can't get his way. I usually end up giving because it feels easier than fighting, but i end u feeling lousy about myself. The cycle contrinues until we're willing to break it (or break up) for good. doesn't mean don't try--you should absolutely keep trying to hold your own. Sometimes men need to see that we're not push overs, they like strong women who will put them in their place and not back down. Strange, because they want to control us, but really I think they just want someone to challenge them. Maybe that's how men ear respect with one another, challenge and don't back down. Seems like a male thing to do.

Sometimes when I notice my bf is trying to manipulate me, I laugh. I can't help it. sometimes it's just so obvious and he thinks he's being so sneaky. Laughing makes him angry but I never tell him why I'm laughing--then he shuts up because he feels self conscious. Inside they're all little needy babies, which is why they need to get their way. But babies learn booundaries when the boundaries are firm and consistent. I think men (and women too) can learn boundaries if we're consistent. It's hard, but I think you'll feel better about yourself in the long run. Try it with small things and work your way into very important things. Let him pout or throw a tantrum, show him it won't get him what he wants.

Take care,

Jolie

August 9, 2004
2:54 pm
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wings
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Thank you for all the replies. It's comforting to know that people can relate to my problems. I rarely talk to my family or friends about it because I am ashamed of it. I don't know what he has over me that I constantly give in to him. He'll threaten me with different things or make me feel horrible about myself. I have to leave him, but why when I try and do that do I look back on the good times we've had when I should be focusing on all the horrible things?

August 9, 2004
3:21 pm
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Jolie
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Wings,

We are sisters from another mother, it seems. I too, do the same thing...keep thinking back on all the wonderful times. I cannot hold on to the meanness, the disrespect...I just can't. it's denial. I don't want to believe that I chose someone who would treat me like that. I really don't want to believe it. And I think we've both spent way too much time rationalizing and analyzing...reality of the situations don't even make sense to us anymore.

The time will come when you break free. It always does. Practice does make perfect, even if you don't experience change in leaps and bounds. babysteps, babysteps...always one foot in front of the other. yes, you'll have setbacks, but they aren't permanent. One day, the power he has over you, the veil of disillusionment you've cast on yourself, will all disappear. It all will, with hard work and persistence. I have to believe that, for my sake, yours, and others who are in our same situation. I have to believe that we'll find the strength. Honestly, it's not a matter of want and need, it's a matter of survival. In order to survive, these men will have to go. And, they will, whether they know it or not. It's not about them, it's about us.

Hang in there and be strong, keep posting if you need to.

All the Best,

Jolie

August 9, 2004
3:33 pm
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kathygy
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Wings,

You are paying as BIG price for the good times. The bad times are more important to remember so you can let go and move on. Do you want to keep feeling bad about yourself? Love yourself enough to free yourself of this man. Learning to stand up for yourself and setting boundaries is very important in relationships. If you can't do it here you will be faced with it again in your next relationship. Get some help in asserting yourself.

August 10, 2004
2:24 am
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readyforachange
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I think I've probably spent my whole life being manipulated in one way or another. I've been with my husband since 1981, through the best and the worst and believe me...the good times don't justify the bad. I've finally "detached" myself and feel so free. Today, he came into the room where I was quietly reading and told me to make a phone call for him to let someone know he was on his way to their house. Instead of jumping up to get the phone, I just sat there. I let him leave the house. I didn't make the phone call. The world didn't end. He didn't even know. My instinct would have been to do as I was told, but I was doing what I wanted to do....read. So I continued doing it. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it was a big step for me.

Hang in there....try to go slowly. Believe me...it's taken 23 years for me to get this far.

August 10, 2004
11:54 am
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workinonit
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God manipulation is such an issue for me as well. I think the most awful part is how we then learn to manipulate in return just to survive the ordeal. Like for instance, if I was getting something for myself shopping I knew he would not mind if I got him something too. Or, if I wanted to do something special the only way was to figure out the WIFM (what's in it for me )This way I could present what I wanted to do in the way he would most buy into it. Often it involved sex.

Sick

Any way, I think I brought this same manipulation in to my next relationship and as I realized I was trying to use it to get my husbands attention and love I thought, what the hell am I doing? If he can't give me his time and love unconditionally why am I even here? After 5 years I left and have been on my very own for the first time ever. I have survived so far 4 difficult months but I AM SURVIVING!!

I guess my point is even if you think you don't, you probably do use it yourself and have learned it from our favorite manipulators, our current and ex lovers. Just be strong enough in your conviction to stand up to it. Sharing with your family would be a good idea. Emotional abuse is nothing to be ashamed of and family can be such an important support network.

Good luck to you and everyone on this thread. We arte all the same way down in!!!

August 10, 2004
12:42 pm
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curly
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Yes I think we learn manipulation unconsciously; especially if you've been raised in dysfunctional homes where for many reasons, asking directly for what you wanted was not allowed. Usually out of fear, I think. I never knew how I would be responded to as a child. I could ask for a quarter and get yelled at and put down for wanting more than I deserved and then on other occasions I could ask for the same thing and I could get it. I know I am indirect, which is a form of manipulation. If I feel good about myself I can be more direct and unafraid. But old habits die hard. I just spent 14 years (I left 2 years ago but am still entangled - house, daughter, families) with an abusive man who bullied me. Walking on egg shells all my life I learned quickly how to go around things as opposed to being upfront and direct. I know I can be mildly manipulative and extremely manipulative and deceitful too. The point for me is to become honest with myself and those around me. But when I am involved with a man I am looking for approval, don't want to rock the boat and don't say what's on my mind. I am easily manipulated because I am afraid of disapproval and I don't love myself enough to put myself first and do what's best for me. I can relate - I pay BIG time for a few good times.

August 10, 2004
12:48 pm
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workinonit
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Curly, this is my fear then...will I ever be aware enough of what I am doing to avoid this kind of relationship?

I knew going into my last relationship that it was wrong but I could not help myself. I still thought I could change it. God, how ridiculous.

I know I learned so much in this past five years with him but is it ever enough to avoid repeating the same things over and over?

August 10, 2004
1:22 pm
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curly
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hi workinonit-
I did the same thing. I knew that my EX was BAD for me. I had read "women who love too much" and melody beattie's book and others when he came along. I was just 10 months out of a very emotionally abusive relationship with a guy that I now believe was a misogynist - man, he was belittling and contolling with his own Mom! Anyway, I realized that I was totally at the mercy of this guy and could not even breathe because of the depression I went into when he finally left with a girl 15 years younger than me. So I read and I read and when the next came along, the EX, red flags were popping up all the time and I couldn't get myself off the hook. It is an addiction to the chaos, danger, drama or whatever of being in a relationship with someone who you have to fix or make love you. They are either emotionally unavailable or abusive - usually both, I have found. Anyway, in 10 months I was just getting to be ME for the first time in my life. I went through the loneliness and the pain in the pit of my stomach for months and I was just getting better, letting go, grieving and learning about me. Then the EX came along with all his problems and I thought now here is a guy I can make happy and 14 years later I left because I was very unhappy 80% of the time and he was unhappy from day one anyway . I think if i satyed completely out of realtionships for a minimum of 1 year and probably better if it was 2 years, I would learn to love myself enough that I would know and do what is best for me. Knowing is one thing, doing is another. Unless I get strong enough to be totally in love and at peace with myself and DO right by myself, I will be unable to avoid that "drug" of an unhealthy, codependent relationship. I admire you for being strong for 4 months. I wish I would have stayed true to myself and allowed myself to become the best I could be and not given up my life for an abusive and controlling and unhappy man. I was almost there and blew it so please learn from my experience. I am now 52 and making the same mistakes with another alcoholic and if I want to get out of this codependency trap, I have to start to learn to live MY LIFE all over again. Like I said i was on my way and looking back it was the happiest I ever was. I made choices for me and my daughter only...
All the best - be careful, take your time, and keep focussed on YOU -that is all we are responsible for and can control.

August 10, 2004
4:59 pm
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Wings-

Hi. Everyone wrote such great stuff that there's not much left for me to add except that I hear you...and I'm going through it too...

My boyfriend's back on drugs and due to my recent growth of a spine (I hope permanently) he has been out of my house as well. Hopefully, after a lot more work and babysteps I will gain some strength to restore my self esteem. Jolie and some others mentioned that "practice makes perfect" and to take babysteps... it seems more realistic than to ask yourself to change overnight. It's hard to gain immediate resilience to manipulation when you have been taken in by it in a big way for a while.

-ella

August 10, 2004
10:34 pm
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cybergirl
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Hello. This message is for everyone. I am really enjoying this website. Today my bf started manipulating me again by begging me to come over and guilting me about it when I said I couldnt because I had a job interview. This is the same guy who calls me lazy for not working?? Anyhow, he hurt me again so I told him it was over and I was coming to get the rest of my belongings (yes he kicked me out of his home3 times) and then begs for me back. Dont worry I am smart living with family now. Anyhow, on the way to the job interview, I went and got my things ever so peacefully.He stayed and watched me return his things including his house key. He looked dismayed when I drove off because most times, he can convince me to stay and forgive him. This time I had the strength to leave. Well, now he is manipulating me. He has been calling my phone for 3 hours non-stop leaving me messages accusing me of stealing his keys? Can you believe that. He even called my parents home. I explained to thme that this is his way of holding on the relationship. He needs a way to get me back and now he knows its even harder becuase I am no longer living alone where he can get to me.. I have my parents. I dont have anything at his house so he cant have a reason to have me come there so now he accuses me of theft. He is so crazy becuase he is a drunk and last night went out with friends til 3AM and called me to come over to have sex with him. It just showed me what he really thinks of me. He has now lowered me to just a booty call. Well maybe I allowed it to happen. He felt he was losing control of me because I have been avoiding his phone calls for the past days, actually ever since I came across this website and got help.Someone earlier wrote that the good times are not worth all the bad times. Our relationship was 10% happy, 90% drama. I cant take it anymore. I love him though and just hearing his silly threatening messages still made me melt for him. I am so glad I am far away and with my folks so I can stay away from him. I really think this time he would harm me becuase he is losing his control over me. Thanks everyone out there. If you are struggling. You can do. I am living proof. It is a love addiction and its an on-going process. Good luck!

August 11, 2004
4:16 pm
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curly
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Hello- We are so much alike. I like what people write too. I am at the point of telling my BF to go to detox and treatment for his alcohol problem or I don't want to talk to him any more. I am afraid for his life. He's drunk all of the time now that he is self-employed - which means painting signs and drinking from morning until he goes to bed. I worry about him like a Mother. I was/am his mother and there is no fun there anymore because he is always intoxicated and doesn't even make sense. Why am I stuck on a 47-year old guy who is 15 years old and can't even string 2 sentences together now let alone have a meaningful conversation. I do love him, don't want to hurt him, afraid he will drink himself to death if I say good-bye - blah, blah , blah - he's going to drink himself to death anyway by the looks of it. I need to look after myself. Somehow. Talk later.
Best to all!!

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