I noticed this 1st incredibly effective manipulation dynamic in multiple people who, many times, turned out to be narcissistic. A husband being an emotional bully.
To this day, I don’t even know if it’s intentional. Maybe any mind consumed with itself becomes programmed to think like that.
The sincerity of their self-focus can sometimes help convince an empathetic person that narcissist truly is “trying their best”.
They may even demonstrate actual empathy. Despite the glaring contradictions when it comes to how they believe they should be treated and how they treat you,
Scenario #1: When THEY WANT YOU TO DO SOMETHING UNREASONABLE FOR THEM
“If you love me… (insert pained expression, crying, and deep hurt here)…then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t do this for me if I asked. You have the power to do it.”
Followed by a their iron-like commitment to be silent, wounded, confused, and distant until your rights, common sense, and reasonable boundaries have been erased by a noble but fruitless determination to prove your deep love to the empathy lacking vampire wrapping you around their talon.
This is Pavlov for humans. They are training you on multiple levels, and you probably know it to a certain extent. However, you internally tell those levels to shut up because you want the closeness/intimacy/excitement/acceptance you were getting from the soul-less boyfriend or husband earlier in this relationship when they were drawing you in and setting you up for obedience training.
Scenario #2: When YOU WANT THEM TO DO SOMETHING VERY REASONABLE FOR YOU:
“Just because I love you doesn’t mean I have to do everything you want me to do! If you really loved me, you’d love me the way I am! You wouldn’t want me to do anything I don’t want to do!…and you wouldn’t keep me from what I want.”
Followed by a their iron-like commitment to be silent, wounded, confused, and distant until your rights, common sense, and reasonable boundaries have been erased by an noble but idiotic determination to prove your deep love to the empathy lacking vampire wrapping you around their pinky talon.
This is Pavlov for humans.
You possibly know it on multiple levels. They’re training you.
But you internally tell those levels to shut up because you want the closeness, intimacy, excitement, and/or acceptance you were getting from the soul-less user earlier in the relationship.
When they were drawing you in and setting you up for obedience training.
I was the willing fool loving these hollowed out people for years; until I realized I was committed to doing, saying, forgiving, changing, ignoring, compromising, tolerating, and being whatever they told me they needed.
It’s an innate desire to be able to prove my desire to make sure they know they’re loved.
Meanwhile they only stayed committed to me staying committed to all those same damn things.
If you call them on this – if you attempt to hold them accountable for this, they’ll attack you for being too dependent or weak or needy.
If they believe you to be unable to emotionally endure losing them they will use the confrontation as an excuse to breakup – claiming their motivation is protecting you emotionally or claiming the weight of your very reasonable expectations are too much for them to be able to carry.
It will be a lie.
You will both know it’s a lie.
But your emotional bully of a husband/boyfriend will be counting on you not having the emotional endurance to walk away.
WALK AWAY ANYWAY!
They will not change. They don’t love you. There is no respect for you, and as my close friends, and one therapist, all told me in similar words:
“I don’t think you have any idea how pathetic and weak they believe you to be. You keep coming back for one degrading mountain size helping of dignity stripping humiliation after another…All in hopes of proving you love someone THAT NEVER FELT A SHRED OF LOVE FOR YOU AT ALL!
I know – you have all these intense undeniable moments when the passion was so intense it was intoxicatingly overwhelming. But no – you were wrong even then. THAT ISN’T NOT LOVE. And sadly yes, I do mean EVEN THOSE MOST PRECIOUS AND CRAZY PASSIONATE MOMENTS YOU CAN’T FORGET…forget them too. No love at the core of those moments either.
And I can prove it.
Try this for yourself. Go ahead and pick any “drunk with love” moment you want from those first few whirlwind-romance-deep-soul-level-connection you got caught up in for whatever reason.
But now think about that “special moment” again.
Chances are huge that you were, somehow, useful for a time. There’s a chance you made them look good for a while in some circles or situations.
Maybe you still do from time to time. Maybe, in the beginning, you could make them feel good about themselves by virtue of something impressive. That might’ve made them feel good knowing they could draw you in.
The point is – there’s always something attached to being with you that was always the point more than you were.
Eventually the buzz of feeling like a masterful manipulator by catching you in their web wears off – happens much faster once you start voicing any flaws in them that eventually become impossible to miss – and then the loathing of you begins. The belittlement, the rage, the blame warping, and emotional perversion of reality and constant victimizing of themselves kicks in with more fury than that rarely to ever be seen again “love” you thought you’d found.
You never found it. They never felt it for you. They never sincerely felt anything good for you as deeply as they constantly feel love, deep admiration, and eternal pity for themselves – The pity for themselves is the worst part. It seeds the kind of hatred and rage most humans can’t comprehend. Once that insane anger and pity have had time to cook with some long term evil planning you’re brutal ending is close enough to taste.
Chances are you’ll still be fighting to prove how enduring true love is. Sadly, that doesn’t prove anything. Except for how blindingly oblivious you are to all the insane rationalizing you do by instinct to excuse abuse and selfishness you never thought you could be broken enough to take from another person.
Eventually the little voice will get louder. You’ll either let a vital part of your own mind and sense of reality shatter. You can accept the hell your new master will daily provide for you (see my ex-wife’s dad as exhibit A). Needless to say, not recommended…
OR you wake yourself up . You force feed yourself the truth about the shell person you thought was worth taking an endless beating for and decide a shred of self respect tossed to you in tiny morsels just big enough to keep you hanging around a little longer were never enough for a healthy grown up to survive on, you clench your jaw, refuse to excuse the most shameful moments of your life even one more time and you throw them into the section of your memory all things end up when you finally decide they can go to hell and stay there.
Then you feel the first sensation of your identity start to come back.
Maybe you have a chance for the first time in a long time to not die alone, used up inside. Maybe like me you even learn how happy you can be with a real person. Someone who loves you as sincerely as you love them.
Choose the second option.
Run far and run fast from any relationship with a person like this.
It will ALWAYS backfire – they will only think less of you for staying as long as you did.
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