You might be damaged, but you’re being manipulative.
The issue with having any sort of relationship with a “damaged” person, is they aren’t always quite as damaged as they make themselves out to be. They want you to think they are, but they aren’t.
In fact, those kinds of people are very aware of their baggage; claiming it to be emotional damage from past experiences, forcing you to be the one who makes their entire life better because they’ve chosen you.
The thing about dating a person like this is you never see it coming until it’s too late. You don’t see it coming until you’re stuck feeling like every time they have a melt down, you’re to blame. You feel like you can’t do one thing after another because it might hurt their feelings even though you aren’t doing anything wrong.
When a person chooses to use their past experiences to force someone to act a certain way, they are purely being manipulative. Regardless of whether or not they see what they are doing, the demands they are making of you can be hurting you because they are controlling. They make you feel like you’re the root of their happiness and if you make one wrong move, you’re screwed.
This kind of relationship is emotionally draining and can take a toll on every aspect of your life. Relationships like these can start at any age, even in tween years. 62% of young people in relationships claim to know someone who has been verbally abused in their relationship, and 41% of those same tweens say they know someone who has been verbally abused by the use of technology.
This can lead to a slew of unhealthy adult relationships later in life. When you grow up hearing things like, ‘why didn’t you answer your phone?’ ‘where were you?’ and ‘who’s John Doe… why are you talking to them?’ over and over, you think it’s the norm. In reality, you’re being manipulated into thinking you’re the only one who can save this person from their own insecurities.
Each person will always believe that they would be able to tell the warning signs of an abusive, manipulative, or toxic relationship, but that’s not always the case. When you care for someone it’s difficult to see their faults; but if someone is treating you poorly, you should know the signs and end the relationship immediately.
The major warning signs of a toxic relationship aren’t always obvious. Some are very clear: the abuser yells frequently, blames every discrepancy on you, refuses to work on themselves, and always feels like they are in the right.
Others are not so clear. If you find yourself apologizing all the time for things you know you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about, it might be the wrong relationship for you. If you’re willing to work on it and you’re the only one committed, you may be being manipulated into staying. If you’re feeling like you are tip-toeing around your own life to spare their feelings, it’s time to leave.
The worst parts about these kinds of relationships is the difficulty of separating the good from the bad. Your manipulative partner might apologize after a big fight filled with insults and low-blows, but what is an apology without change?