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SergeantQueen's avatar

What do you do if someone (specifically yourself) is in a manipulative, possibly abusive (NOT physically or sexually) relationship? What are signs you are in one?

Asked by SergeantQueen (7465points) November 9th, 2018

I think I might be. I can PM whoever wants specific details for my case but I won’t be public about it.

I need help.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

josie's avatar

If you have to ask you probably are not.
Having said it Doesn’t mean you have to put up with bullshit.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think some of us have been in them before and on occasion, all relationships have the potential to be at times. Low blows during arguments. One partner spending all the mutual funds without notifying the other. Talking to outside people about marriage matters (meaning an individual, not fluther!)

Signs you are in one really varies based on the type of abuse or manipulation.

zenvelo's avatar

Emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical or sexual abuse, and maybe more because it is not as self evident.

If the abuser isolates the person; if the abuser continually blames any problems on the person; of the abuser regularly criticizes the person with deprecating statements (for instance “you’re so stupid” or “you’re ugly” or “I don’t know why I am with you, no one else would have you”).

If the abuser regularly tells the person they are wrong despite all evidence to the contrary (“gaslighting”).

All that points to emotional abuse.

I suggest reaching out to a battered women’s shelter to see about talking to someone and getting support.

chyna's avatar

If you are in a relationship in which you are uncomfortable with the way things are going, whether or not it is abuse in the traditionally defined manner, you should end the relationship now.

Jeruba's avatar

• If you are in fear all or a lot of the time, and specifically fear of annoying or angering the person.

• If you’re constantly apologizing.

• If your confidence in yourself and your own perceptions is weakened or lost.

• If you take pains to keep some perfectly normal or innocent things secret, like whom you talk to or where you keep anything that might be used against you.

Talk to someone about what’s actually happening—preferably someone who has professional training and who doesn’t have an emotional stake in your relationship—and see what they say.

I disagree with the statement “If you have to ask you probably are not.” If you have to ask, your own sense of yourself may be so damaged that you don’t feel entitled to better treatment. That’s a pretty strong sign in itself.

Disclaimer: This is a layperson’s view. I’m not a healthcare professional.

flutherother's avatar

The fact that you are asking the question is a sign that all is not well. The warning signs are unhappiness in the relationship, a feeling of a loss of control, constant thoughts of leaving, being made to feel guilty or being threatened and criticised. I am a guy but you can PM me if you like as I have experienced such behaviour.

seawulf575's avatar

My ex used to complain all the time about how she was overworked and how I needed to help out. I was the only one working and was away from home about 12 hours a day. I also did all the grocery shopping, most of the cooking, most of the house cleaning, and did all the parenting responsibilities as soon as I walked in the house. If I asked her to watch the kids while I mowed the lawn, it was a tense negotiation. I realized she was manipulative and lazy. She contributed about 10% to the family, I did 190% (I believe a good marriage isn’t 50/50, but 100/100). That lasted 9 years.
When you are in a relationship where you no longer look forward to being with your partner and you feel like you are being taken advantage of and you end up in a huge argument if you dare to voice your feelings….cut and run. You will be happier.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Forget about the issue of whether you are being abused, and concentrate on your feelings of self worth and the contentment arrived at through interacting with this individual.

janbb's avatar

I would reverse what @josie said and say if you are asking, you probably are in an unhealthy relationship.

Kardamom's avatar

If you feel uncomfortable a lot of the time.

If you are made to feel guilty a lot of the time, even if you know (logically and realistically) you haven’t done anything wrong.

If you are called upon to explain yourself, rather than simply having a normal one on one, give and take conversation.

If you are “called out as doing the same thing” everytime you notice or bring up something bad or unethical that your partner is doing, even though YOU have done nothing wrong.

When your partner tries to accuse YOU of doing bad things that you are pretty sure your partner is guilty of. Abusers often try to accuse their partners of doing the crappy things that they have been doing. It’s a classic abuser’s move.

If your partner often uses passive aggressive remarks to make you feel foolish, stupid, or crappy, even though you’ve done nothing wrong.

When your partner never takes responsibility for their own wrong-doings or mistakes. And usually blames YOU for why things didn’t work out exact way they expected.

When your partner expects you to deal with everything from schedules, to payments, to remembering their events and appointments, then blaming you when they forget.

Your partner interrupting you, and then getting angry and claiming that you interrupt him.

Your partner having angry fits over minor things.

Your partner telling you to shut up.

Your partner telling you not to share/gossip/repeat what he says. Abusers try to keep you quiet. Normal people share almost everything with their best friend. Not with the world on FB, which was is never a good idea, but with one’s best friend.

We had to do an intervention with a family member when we found out she and her kids were being abused. I know all about this shit.

Make a plan. Save money that is hidden from him. Talk to people outside, and let them help you make a plan to leave/escape this person. Make a plan as to where you will go (in secret). Then go, and don’t turn back.

Feeling guilty is over rated and a waste of precious time. Don’t let yourself get drawn into feeling guilty. Escape, leave your past beyond, and move forward with your new life. Ok

SergeantQueen's avatar

Thank you all for your responses. I really want to elaborate but am scared.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t say anything you’re not entirely comfortable saying. This place feels small, but it can be seen by anyone in the world who has a connection to the Internet. Better to err on the side of caution.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SergeantQueen messaging is pretty safe, unless you leave your device where he can get on to your accounts. You can also delete messages. PM with details if you want, or just to vent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@josie Sometimes it’s really hard to tell that you are in an abusive relationship. It’s been the status quo for so long, plus the abuser has ways of making you feel like it’s your fault, or going to elaborate lengths to apologize, and just be this great guy or gal for awhile…only to have it start all over. It can really leave you confused.

snowberry's avatar

Look up “how to deal with a narcissist” Whether or not your abuser is one, the same advice applies.

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