Are You Being Manipulated By Your Spouse?
Manipulation in marriage often starts off as something that seems to be fairly “cute” or even playful on the outside. Some spouses will test the waters of reception to manipulation by doing things like bringing you breakfast in bed and then requesting a night out with his or her friends.
Sometimes those early manipulation techniques are spoken in phrases like, “If you don’t do (insert name of activity here) I might not want to have sex with you later.” In those early days, it’s possible that you smiled or even laughed those words or actions off. However, perhaps more recently you’re noticing that the manipulative behavior has grown to be a big problem in your marriage.
SIGNS OF MANIPULATION IN MARRIAGE
If you’re not sure you’re being manipulated, there are a few key things you can look for. Does your spouse:
•Argue with you when you say no?
•Sulk when he or she doesn’t get her own way?
•Threaten to leave, withhold sex or affection or verbally abuse you when you set boundaries?
•Pressure you to give in to his or her wants or demands?
•Blame you for his or her choices?
If any of these sound familiar to you, your husband or your wife is most likely manipulating you.
When people are manipulated, they experience a range of emotions and feelings. Perhaps you’ve found yourself feeling anxious that you might not be able to meet a future request, or maybe you feel like a bad partner if you have to say no to something, so you reason with yourself until you give in. You may even struggle with the feeling that giving in is an act of true love, and if you say no, that means you don’t love your spouse as much as they need or as much as you thought you did. These responses are normal. However, in reasoning and making excuses for your spouse’s behavior, you are enabling him or her to continue.
HOW TO BREAK FREE
The only way to break free from being the victim of manipulation is to learn how to detach yourself from your spouse’s anger, bad moods and threats. It’s difficult to learn how to stop giving in and continuing your enabling behavior, but it’s essential if you want things to change in your marriage.
As Christian Marriage Coaches and Counselors here in Beaufort, SC, we’ve seen so many couples struggle when one partner is being manipulated by the other. The result is always pain, low self-esteem and guilt. If you’re being manipulated by your spouse, it’s not too late to turn things around. Healing is possible, even in marriages in which the manipulation has grown considerably over a short period of time. We would like to help you learn the skills you need to make a change.
If you’d like to make an appointment, please contact us at 843-379-0288, or you can schedule an appointment with us online using our convenient online scheduler. We would love the opportunity to talk with you about the way God views marriage, and together we can find a solution to end the manipulation so your marriage mirrors God’s perfect plan.