Posts tagged ‘Manipulation’

June 24, 2012

Before you say “I do”……

by Rod Smith

Planning a wedding? Resist engaging a wedding planner until you take a look at these pointers to see if you think it’s worth proceeding….

  1. Examine finances. If money is an issue with one, but not for the other, turbulence lies ahead. Nothing can stir love woes like money woes. If both are financially challenged, and I don’t mean poor, I mean poorly equipped at managing money, run a proverbial mile. All the love in the world won’t impress the bank or keep a financially stressed marriage going.
  2. Assess the source of the energy behind the wedding plans. If the bride is the powerhouse and the groom is tagging along because it is “her” wedding – guess what is unlikely to change? If it is his or her mother, run hard, fast, and soon.
  3. Honestly assess the bedroom (metaphor for sex and all things intimate). The person who least desires sex, is the one driving the relationship. Note, I said, desires. I said nothing about acting on the desires. Also, many a really hot pre-marriage bedroom cooled to polar temperatures soon after the honeymoon. If intimacy is used to gain power, it will soon cease.
  4. Examine integrity. Cheats, liars, and addicts can change, but usually not very much.
June 25, 2011

Women, and jealous men…

by Rod Smith

Jealousy serves no useful purpose. Jealous men (It’s men in my experience) try and tell me it comes with love. Nonsense.

Ugliness is never a symptom of love.

Placated? Appeased? Entertained? Jealousy won’t dissipate. It will grow. And grow. Become increasingly demanding.

The sympathetic, those allowing jealousy to do its ugly work, will discover the virus to be insatiable. It will only becomes more restrictive and ridiculous.

“I stopped talking to men at work, I stopped dressing in pink, I stopped calling my sister, I stopped smiling – these behaviors of mine made him jealous,” she says, “now he doesn’t want me talking anyone, or wearing clothes he didn’t pick out for me, or talking to anyone in my entire family!”

Rings of pure love, doesn’t it?

It is common for a woman to believe she causes a man’s jealousy.

“I make him jealous,” she says.

“No you do not. You are not that powerful,” I say, “his jealousy predates you, and now you are the unlucky victim of the virus.”

Don’t mess (negotiate) with it. Stand up to it. Or it will get you every time. It will contaminate your every move, your every thought. (This is the nature of a virus.)

Address him with: “This is your issue, not mine. I love my life too much to allow your jealousy to manipulate or dominate me. If you want me, you have to accept that I will not allow your issues to have any power over me. It’s sad enough that your issues control you, I am certainly not going to let them control me. I’m interested to see what YOU will decide to do with YOUR problem.”

June 21, 2011

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that a modified perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationship: There is no element of either winning or losing; it is not a game. It is free of tactics, ploys, moves, and agendas.

October 26, 2009

My children manipulate their stepmother….

by Rod Smith

“My son (12) and my daughter (14) don’t like their stepmother but when they play their cards right for her she buys them stuff. I don’t like to see my children manipulating to get things from her. Should I step in and say something? We are not really on good terms with each other.”

Let then be...

Let then be...

I’ll be the first to admit that the challenges I will place before you are most difficult to achieve – but I repeat: parenting is for grown ups; successful co-parenting is for saints. So…

Do all you can to get on good terms with the other woman who is co-parenting your children. I am not suggesting you become bosom pals but “cordial adults” would be a helpful arrangement for all concerned.

Avoid stepping into the mix with your children and their stepmother. All three have a lot to teach each other. Approaches from you will hinder the process. While no parent wants to see his or her children develop manipulative habits, this is a matter for you to directly address with your children. Your children will manipulate if it works, and will not, if it doesn’t. Take care of how they treat you, and allow their stepmother to discover her own unique relationship with her stepchildren.

January 29, 2009

I want a divorce, she does not….

by Rod Smith

“I want to know how one can facilitate an amicable divorce when the other party opposes the prospect. We’ve had marital counseling for 6 months. Despite telling the psychologist the past 40 years of our marriage was torture, my wife refuses to accept that we have irreconcilable differences. Our life as a couple is a sham but appears good. She wants us to stay together to maintain an air of perfection. It is purgatory. I am miserable. She is attractive and intelligent so does not need ‘us’ to succeed. I am willing to provide for her and ensure she is secure and comfortable financially. When I broach the subject of divorce, she threatens to protract any divorce proceedings until I die and turn my (adult) children against me. She is more than capable of doing this. How can I be expected to stay with those vindictive threats? How do I leave this toxic relationship without hurting anyone and in particular without losing my children?” (Minimal edits for space)

dsc_0642“Amicable divorce” is possible when mutually desired. Even then, it is tough. You want war without casualties. Hurt is inevitable and inescapable. Your relationships with your adult children, if sound, will weather any storm. Speak your truth to your wife AND your adult children.

December 3, 2007

Toxic Binds: Is he dangerous?

by Rod Smith

Are you dating or married to a man who could physically harm or kill you, or harm or kill someone you love?

Dangerous relationships are easier to endure than to address, so it is not surprising that the murder of a wife, an ex-wife or lover usually takes everyone by surprise.

Secrecy, cover-up and denial are the hallmarks of toxic binds.

Some women could use a set of criteria to evaluate whether they are involved with a man capable of committing a violent crime against them. Accurate or not, the list could help a woman escape a potentially abusive relationship, or at least eradicate the virus in the relationship before it destroys her.

Men capable of killing a “loved” one often leave a trail of early indicators, like rose petals around an open grave, before they commit a horrible crime. Perhaps someone’s life will be saved because this list, incomplete as it might be, will assist someone toward getting appropriate help:

  1. He tells you how to dress and insists you obey his wishes in this regard. If you resist he becomes irrationally hurt or angry. You are beyond choosing what you wear because your dress is his domain.
  2. When you resist (voice your opinion, appear combative) his “loving” control he goes from calm to very angry to irrational and crazy faster than a speeding bullet. In the “early days” you’d think, “Woah! Where did THAT come from,” but now you’ve become conditioned to see it as just him.
  3. He checks up on you for “your own good.” He wants to know where you are, what you are doing and whom you are with. Time unaccounted becomes an accusation. You find yourself explaining or hiding everything, to avoid the laborious conflicts that inevitably ensue.
  4. Any move toward independence on your part is rewritten as betrayal.
  5. He tells you when you are happy, and rewrites what you feel if you are unhappy.
  6. He tries to keep you from your family, suggesting they are not good for you.
  7. He tells you when you are hungry and what you like to eat.
  8. He says he knows you better than you know yourself.
  9. He is jealous of your friendships, even those that predate him and those that are over.
  10. Keeping peace is second nature to you. Ironically, the peace seldom lasts because he jumps on the smallest issues, magnifying them into major breaches of trust.
  11. His highs are very high and his lows very low.
  12. It seems as if your response to him is inordinately powerful in changing or determining his mood.
  13. He pouts easily. He manipulates truth so you are taken by surprise.
  14. He plays “hurt puppy” if you’re not happy, thereby making your emotions his business.
  15. He expects you to always be glad to see him and to drop whatever you are doing to focus on him.
  16. He demands his own way and has an inordinate perception of his own importance. He shows off his “power” by threatening to “talk to the manager,” when he is not given the service he thinks he deserves.
  17. He becomes irrationally angry at the smallest of inconveniences.
  18. He accuses you of “taking sides” if you suggest he is being unreasonable.
  19. He lives on the edge of “white hot” anger, becoming very angry with children, animals and anyone or anything that doesn’t obey him.
  20. He hides this anger from people outside the “inner circle” and his mood quickly changes if an “outsider” appears so that his anger is kept secret.
  21. He removes your car keys or your purse to restrict your movements and then denies doing so.
  22. In the early days of the relationship you felt like you were on a fast ride on an unpredictable roller coaster. Everything was too much, too soon, but you did not know how to say it. Any comment about wanting to “slow down” on your part was ignored. You felt invisible, as if you were just along for his ride.

For such men, winning is everything — losing control is not an option, even for those whom they proclaim to love the most.

November 28, 2007

Women, and jealous men…

by Rod Smith

Jealousy serves no useful purpose. Jealous men (It’s men in my experience) try and tell me it comes with love. Nonsense.

Ugliness is never a symptom of love.

Placated? Appeased? Entertained? Jealousy won’t dissipate. It will grow. And grow. Become increasingly demanding.

The sympathetic, those allowing jealousy to do its ugly work, will discover the virus to be insatiable. It will only becomes more restrictive and ridiculous.

“I stopped talking to men at work, I stopped dressing in pink, I stopped calling my sister, I stopped smiling – these behaviors of mine made him jealous,” she says, “now he doesn’t want me talking anyone, or wearing clothes he didn’t pick out for me, or talking to anyone in my entire family!”

Rings of pure love, doesn’t it?

It is common for a woman to believe she causes a man’s jealousy.

“I make him jealous,” she says.

“No you do not. You are not that powerful,” I say, “his jealousy predates you, and now you are the unlucky victim of the virus.”

Don’t mess (negotiate) with it. Stand up to it. Or it will get you every time. It will contaminate your every move, your every thought. (This is the nature of a virus.)

Address him with: “This is your issue, not mine. I love my life too much to allow your jealousy to manipulate or dominate me. If you want me, you have to accept that I will not allow your issues to have any power over me. It’s sad enough that your issues control you, I am certainly not going to let them control me. I’m interested to see what YOU will decide to do with YOUR problem.”

November 21, 2007

Relationships suffer…

by Rod Smith

1. When being right (correct, moral, accurate) is so important, so insisted upon, that it is at the expense of being loving. A healthy person can sacrifice his or her need to be right in order to love.
2. When anxiety and love are confused. “I am anxious about you” is a far cry from “I love you” and are not the same thing. Anxious people often believe true love necessitates worry. “How will he know I love him if I don’t worry about him?” is the plea of the anxious partner or parent. A healthy person remains non-anxious.
3. When love and control are synonymous. “If you love me you will dress (speak, think, see, hear) according to my will,” says the controller, “or I will question your love for me.” Healthy love celebrates freedom.
4. When love means “melting” into each other, giving up individual identity in the name of love. “We’re so close we even think each other’s thoughts,” proclaims the unhealthy couple. Healthy love elevates separateness, space and individuality.

October 15, 2007

Do you think like a victim?

by Rod Smith

I’d suggest that if two or three of the following ring true you might want to get some professional help (or coaching, or peer supervision or whatever is available to you):

1. You think someone has more power over your life than you do.
2. You think your future is not primarily in your hands.
3. You think other people’s needs are always more important than your needs.
4. You feel surrounded by eggshells and therefore monitor everything you say.
5. You live as if someone close to you is carrying a big stick and looking for opportunities to punish you.
6. You generally think you deserve punishment.
7. Everyday you have a sense, a conviction even, that you are going to lose a little more, that another shoe is about to drop, or more unwelcome news is coming.
8. You feel guilty on the rare occasion you are moderately happy.
9. You lie to friends and say you are busy or unavailable when the truth is you are afraid to make plans that might upset your partner or family.
10. You find it difficult to receive favors especially favors you cannot repay.
11. You are suspicious when people enjoy each other and wonder what is really going on.
12. When people are kind to you, you wonder what they really want.

October 1, 2007

His venting is out of control. What should I do?

by Rod Smith

“My husband’s venting has gotten out of control and I’m considering a divorce. Talking about it yet it ends up in a fight. When I first met him, there were times I had to put down the phone and take a walk. It drained me. I married him, only to find out this venting was a regular thing and I became a target. It’s not what he says but the delivery, the energy behind the words. It’s gotten so bad that I can’t sleep, or concentrate, and I have a hard time being around him. Do I divorce or separate from him?” (Edited)

Get your attention off you husband’s behavior and onto your own. Like many people, you observe the finer details of a partner’s behavior while ignoring your complicity that helped fuel the very behavior you now reject. Why would you marry a man when his pre-marriage behavior was already draining you? Things would be different if you’d made a radical stand the very first time he was inappropriate.

Divorce? Separation? I have no idea. I do know nothing will change – actually they will deteriorate – until you do something radical. You are a target but you have legs! Use them. When he sees you will no longer tolerate his hurtful outrage he might do what it takes to grow up.