|Picture by Tekin Ture, IG
There is no one way to tell how you should fall in love, how love should feel or how it should work out between two people but when love happens, it brings hope. Sometimes, this hope keeps you locked in a toxic cycle. You try and try, you give and give hoping one day, you find a balance in love that is sustaining and empowering from your partner.
Healthy love has its hassles but manipulation is always a power struggle and agenda-oriented.
One time, I thought I was in love but it turned out that after several attempts of expressing my feelings, disagreeing with certain ideas, focusing on building a relationship, sharing honest opinions, and a struggle to be out of a mental shackle and embrace freedom, I failed. I failed because I was clearly in love with a manipulator. While I try to focus on having him as a partner, he focused on what he couldn’t stand about me. Each time with him came with bashing session over the smallest of oversights, not allowing room for human error.
I go back and start to overanalyze things and stress over his reactions and rigidity, send paragraphs and try to let him see things my own way too so no one misunderstands things but last last, I cried my ass out of the relationship, still painful tho cos I wanted us to work out so badly.
There are several ways to spot a manipulative relationship and here are a few things you should look out for.
You are always in a confused cycle
Sometimes, it feels as though you are walking on egg shells and never want to offend your partner. In a healthy relationship, you feel the freedom of intimacy. When you are being manipulated, there is no consistency in love, there is no room for love, only chaos and confusion.
You are constantly fighting over differing opinions
When love is healthy, difference in the way your partner perceives life should be welcomed without labelling or judging. Healthy people expect their parner to be different from them. No matter the disagreement, your shouldn’t feel offended or belittle the opinions of your partner.
You are always meeting their needs and not yours
In a manipulator’s mind, their idea of love is measured by how much you can do for them. Manipulators are not interested in loving you, they are interested in you loving them and conforming to their needs and leaving you convinced that it is love.
There is no honesty
Manipulative partners are driven by their ego rather than integrity to be honest with their partners. In a healthy relationship, defenses are down, there is vulnerability, feedback are received and given with a level of respect and understanding. This type of love inspires growth of each partner. In a manipulative relationship, when partners are confronted on their inadequacies, they become defensive, deflect, project all the problems back, give silent treatment or even threaten to cut you off.
There is no freedom
Healthy relationship is full of life, fun, open, relaxed and quiet. A healthy partner chooses to focus on the good qualities of their partners because they love them. When we focus on what we love about someone, it makes love easy. Manipulators seek to control their partners by projecting their insecurities to undermine the independence of their partners.
Manipulative partners fear the independence of their partners and purposefully withhold emotional support and feels good with not speaking with you for a long time. Healthy love communicates their needs and vulnerability verbally and emotionally.
You know and understand what love is when you have been in love and when you have an experience of what love is not. Healthy relationship is possible only when two partners are willing to be conscious, respectful and contributing to the grace they share. There will always be annoying qualities that your partner possess, if the relationship is healthy as they see them as endearing, adorable or at least tolerable. It is only in this way that your partner feels accepted and give you the best of them.