Marital Problems: Are you Feeling Manipulated?
Manipulation is the act of influencing someone’s feelings, beliefs or behavior through mental and emotional exploitation. The manipulator’s end goal is usually to get what they want without asking for it directly and to mould the other person into someone who serves their purposes. It goes without saying that this can cause a lot of marital problems.
How Do You Know If You Are Being Manipulated?
Often, the person being manipulated cannot tell that they are being manipulated. It is very easy to become someone’s unknowing puppet if you don’t know the tactics these puppet masters use.
Constantly Being Guilt Tripped
If a manipulator can make you feel guilty, they’ll have an easier time convincing you to do what they want. One common guilt tripping technique that manipulators use is making their spouses responsible for their emotions. For instance, if they get angry, they say it’s because their spouse made them angry.
Constantly Being Made to Feel Insecure
A manipulator takes your insecurities and uses them against you. They make you doubt yourself to the point where you no longer trust yourself to do anything right.
How do they do this? By constantly pointing out everything you are doing wrong. They constantly “show” you how you can do better and make you believe that they are only doing it because they want you to be a better person.
While one of the most common pieces of advice on how to fix marital problems is to compromise, you’re not supposed to set aside all your needs and wants for the sake of a “happy marriage”. In other words, you should not be the only one compromising and your spouse’s needs shouldn’t be the only ones being met.
How to Stop Manipulation in Marriage
The best way to stop a manipulator is to call them out on their manipulation! However, you don’t need to do it aggressively or in an accusatory tone. Just give a clear description of the manipulation and how it makes you feel.
Never brush off manipulative behavior as no big deal. The last thing you want is for the manipulator to think they are getting away with it because then they have no reason to stop.
If the manipulation continues despite you pointing it out multiple times, it’s time to seek counseling for your relationship issues. Manipulation is sometimes rooted in deeper issues such as growing up in a dysfunctional family and the only way to end the manipulation and related marital problems is to deal with those issues.