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Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

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Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

Postby forvirretogfortvilet » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:22 am


I am new to the forum. I have been desperate to talk to someone about my problems with my boyfriend, but haven't found the right people to ask. Maybe this is the place..

My relationship with my boyfriend has lasted just over three years. The last year has been very rocky, after he shattered my trust in him last fall. I have been reflecting a lot on the relationship and talked with some friends about it, and I came to the realisation that more than anything I felt guilt towards my boyfriend. I hadn't realised what it was I was feeling, I just knew I felt really bad and down about us, but suddenly I realised it was guilt. I found this a bit strange and did some research into guilt in relationships, and came across a lot of information on emotional abuse. I don't really feel like I have been abused as such because he's never put me down or been mean or nasty to me, but there were still some bells ringing at the back of my head. Then I came across this list "Eight ways to spot an emotional manipulator", and with the exeption of the 5th point,I could relate to all of them completely.

Read it yourselves here: http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/em ... lation.htm

This really upsets me, I had no idea that he was pulling my strings like this all this time... But then I started wondering how legit this list really is..? Because the website seems a bit over-the-top.. But I don't know. I have also been wondering whether he was aware that this was what he was doing. It might be me still not completely seeing things clearly, but to me it seems unlikely that he has been manipulating me in a cool and calculating manner... So I looked around some more, and I came across this article, on a BPD website, where they link manipulation with desperation, and say that people "who appear to be manipulative usually act impulsively out of fear, loneliness, desperation, and hopelessness- not maliciousness. "

This is the link for that website: http://www.bpdcentral.com/resources/abu ... tion.shtml

That sounds a million times more plaucible to me, but my boyfriend doesn't have a BPD diagnosis nor any other mental illness diagnosis. However he does have asberger traits (only according to the online tests he's taken, mind) and he has been told by others that he seems to have bipolar tendencies (again very vague, but he does have family members with the diagnosis). Also he suffers a lot from depression. So now I am wondering whether maybe his mental condition is what caused him to manipulate me emotionally...?

I guess the biggest hook he has had on me all this time is that he's expressed, without using that many words, that he would kill himself if he lost me. He has never threatened me with it, not even said it out loud, but he has told me little things along the way like how he's had several suicide attempts, and that he didn't know whether he'd be alive right now if he hadn't met me, and that I am the only thing he lives for, and later, that I shouldn't let my worries about what he might do if I leave stop me from leaving if that is what I want - without saying anything to actually make me less worried. Doesn't this sound like mind-twisting to you? There has been a lot of things like this, he's basically done anything to cover up for things he knew he'd be in trouble for, done whatever he can for me to feel bad for him, and he has all along the way told me he's scared I will "give up on him" one day, because he constantly gets things wrong, does the wrong thing, puts his foot in it. Told me things like I deserve better than him, making me feel really guilty to think that maybe I do... It has made me feel like I can not possibly ever "give up on him", I don't want to prove him right... Even if it might be time for me to put myself first. But is this me being manipulated?

I am so confused. I have always thought of him as a really sweet, caring, kind, loving guy who've just had a really rough life and a troubled childhood, and he has always taken care of me and when I was really really ill he looked after me for months. Could this guy still be an emotional manipulator? Or has these websites actually manipulated me into thinking he is?

Right now he is pretty heavily in depression again. I have finally started telling him how I feel about our situation, after many months of walking on eggshells to avoid making him more depressed, but I haven't talked to him about the manipulation thing. I have told him that he needs to start caring about himself, that he can't keep running himself down into a dump, he's gotta look after himself, care about his health, his body, his life. For us to have a chance to get better, I need him to care about SOMETHING other than me, and that caring about himself is where to start. By saying this I have just placed him deeper into his depression, of course... And now that I have realised this emotional manipulation has been going on, I don't know if there's any point in giving it another go.. According to various sites I've been on, manipulators don't stop, they don't get better. And anyway I am so tired of trying to help him "get better". I am actually worried that I am getting depressed myself from this whole situation... :(

He owes me a whole lot of money too. Was I manipulated into lending him all that money? Am I really that gullible? Does he realise what he's been doing all this time? I feel so sorry for him, and so angry at him at the same time because I don't know whether to trust my feelings anymore because of him. :cry:
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Re: Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

Postby CrackedGirl » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:42 am

I am sorry you are struggling with these questions. I think that it may well be that he is troubled and as part of that he manipulates you - whether or not this is intentional I dont know. As for what to do it depends whether you want to invest the time and energy into the relationship. Lots of things that lead ppl to manipulate, like BPD are treatable so it is not a lost cause, but it might be a long road.

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Re: Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

Postby XxJewelxX » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:57 pm

Man, I know EXACTLY what you're going through. The crappy thing is that, unless you've emotionally manipulated someone yourself before, it's really hard to spot when someone else is doing it. But, ask yourself this-- Do you feel like you give and never receive? Does anything he says just instantly make you upset or angry? And do you find yourself taking care of him in a situation you thought would call for the exact opposite? Don't abandon him if it turns out he is manipulating you, but help him to realize it and stop it, and work through it. If he chooses not to accept the help, there's nothing more you can do at that point. Good luck to you both, God bless
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Re: Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

Postby butterflycaught » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:20 am

Sounds to me like he's a nice and caring guy, who is also an unintentional emotional manipulator. The website you quoted on "Spotting Emotional Manipulation" doesn't seem serious to me, as it says "$#%^" too often.

See, if he has Asperger's, is bipolar or has BPD he needs PROFESSIONAL help. You cannot help him out of mental illness. If you want, stick around. But only if he recognises that he has a problem, seeks help and sticks with that help. Is he on any medication? Antidepressants, anything? If he is genetically linked to Manic Depressive Disorder, then he has a high chance of having this disorder when we look at his behaviour and emotional ups and downs.

If he is not willing to seek help, then you're in trouble, as things won't change for the better.

AND: if he ever threatens you with suicide call the cops! It might be what he needs (wake-up call).

Take care of yourself, you're number 1, right? :wink:
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Re: Does he realise he's emotionally manipulating me?

Postby brandgirl » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:42 pm

Wow..I actually feel like I could have written your post! I am going through the exact same thing right now. Feeling like it's time to end this relationship, but dealing with the guilt of seeing him sad and hopeless over the idea of losing me (his life).

My biggest issue is the trust. He broke my trust a little over a year ago and I don't feel like I ever fully recovered. I gave me another chance, after days of begging, pleading and promising to "get help" for the issues that caused him to hurt me...only for him to break my trust again. I'm on my 3rd time in this situation, thinking it's time to break the tie with him and he is still promising change. Each time this happens he comes up with a new "reason" why his efforts didn't work the last time...how this time is different.

And I'll admit...he's VERY convincing!!! Sometimes I feel like he could convince me the sky is purple. I've often doubted what I KNEW to be true because his story/explanation was so convincing!!! I guess that's part of the manipulation??? I dont know...he seems so sincere, so hurt.

Did you come to any decions? Where are things in your relationship right now?
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