Manipulation in relationships is usually subtle; self-serving acts shrouded in seeming good intentions and what feels like simple displays of affection.
It is easy to get carried away and miss the signs of being manipulated by a partner. But the steps below would be helpful for those who want to know what manipulation in a romantic relationship truly looks like:
1. He looks for your weaknesses
One way for manipulators to get control over the one they are exploiting is through targeting their victim’s weakness. So if your partner uses your insecurities, fears, worries and concerns against you, better know it is a kind of manipulation.
2. Silent treatment
The silent treatment in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of times, being silent and thinking about the issue can help you gain perspective and reach a better, more informed decision on the issue.
On the flipside, and particularly in the context of romantic relationships, this silent treatment can be wielded as a weapon to punish a partner, and beat their will to submission especially when there is a conflict of opinions on a certain matter.
If your partner sticks to the silent treatment going until you apologize, even if you weren’t wrong, then you have a master manipulator at your hand, and you need to address this issue as soon as possible.
3. Withholding sex to get what they want
Now this is perhaps the commonest of all the things listed here in this piece. You must already know how this tactic operates between partners: one partner wants something that the other may not be willing to do ever or at that point in time. So in revolt, they withhold sex so the other partner can be manipulated into doing their bidding.
Sometimes, it is to punish a partner for doing something they didn’t like.
4. Guilt trip you… a lot!
A partner who can make you feel guilty for your actions, even when you’ve done nothing wrong), is nothing but manipulative.
To get more perspective on guilt tripping as a form of emotional/romantic manipulation, check out this insightful article here.
5. If you love me, you will do so and so
A partner who uses the whole relationship as a means of making you do stuff you don't want to do is simply being manipulative.
Staking the whole relationship, or attaching your action to the possible end of the relationship is a toxic, unhealthy and unfair trick to pull by a partner, especially when you are really holding back from doing that said thing for valid reasons.
For example, wanting to abstain from sex till your wedding night is a valid choice to make. Being asked to throw all of it away by a partner who knew about your decision before the relationship is simply manipulation at its sickest.