A Manipulative Relationship (Am I A Bully?)

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“Know-it-alls may have a cluster of personality characteristics, including impulsivity, poor listening skills and an inability to read social cues. These could be symptomatic of certain mental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcissistic personality disorder,” says Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Linda Lewis Griffith. My husband and I are married for more than a decade now, and as far as our relationship is concerned, I never thought I would consider myself someone that tries to manipulate my partner. I know I am considerate at all times and I properly make my decisions positive as much as possible. However, complications arose recently when my husband broke down and complained about a lot of things. I was clueless even after the divorce. That’s when I questioned myself if I’m actually a bully.

“You’re A Know-It-All Person”

My husband thinks that I am a know-it-all person just because I always tell him that I know everything about him. The truth is, I believe I do. I honestly don’t understand how my character affects his emotions, but I’m confident that I’m capable of determining his damaging thoughts and ideas.

“You Don’t Listen”

I guess that’s because I know that I’m ideally correct. I manage to stay in this long-term relationship because I know how to handle emotional stress and marital issues. Therefore, I am entitled to get positive feedback on everything I do.

“You’re Selfish”

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I don’t know how he presents ‘selfishness’ in a way that he understands it, but it is helpful in our relationship. My selfishness brought us to a situation where we have to take care of each other and not to mind the people around us. Dr. John A. Johnson, PsyD., says that selfishness is not always bad.” He says that In addition to bad selfishness and neutral selfishness, there is also what I call “good selfishness,” which benefits both ourselves and other people. Dr. Johnson advises, “as long as all partners in these activities are willing participants who are getting something of value that is worth what they are investing in the activity, these are all examples of two-sided transactions. All are forms of good selfishness—interactions that are good for both people.”

“You’re Inconsiderate”

How will I ever become an inconsiderate person when I allow him to be with people that value him and contribute to his benefit? As a wife, I would never let my husband go along with those individuals who only take advantage of him.

“You Don’t Let Me Explain”

Yes, I do. I always make sure that my husband tells me everything I need to know. I hate it when he lies about his financial status, places he visited, things he does, and it makes me angry when he insists on his invalid excuses.

 “You’re Always Right”

That’s because I am. I always base my decisions on things that both of us can benefit from instead of getting nothing out of it. My choices made us more comfortable with each other and helped us reach our goals in a much smoother way.

Those statements and accusations didn’t mean anything to me because I know myself and I believe in what I can do. But the way I see how I dropped myself when he utters the words that I know I shouldn’t hear made me realize that I am a controlling freak.

However, this is not entirely an accurate way of thinking. Dr. Seth Meyers, PsyD , considers that people who act as if they’re always right is a defense mechanism. He adds that “their need to always be right indicates a strong and pervasive defense mechanism (including, but not limited to, a denial of their vulnerability, an inherent part of everyone’s human experience, whether one likes it or not).”

“You’re Hurting Me”

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I love my husband so dearly that it pains me to know that after all these years I was causing him so much pain. I made him doubt his personality just because I am trying to force him to become someone that will benefit me. I was inconsiderate the whole time for not knowing how he feels about me taking control over things that supposedly both of us should manage. I was wrong for thinking that I’m someone perfect. I became the reason why he got depressed and emotionally unstable.

One thing I learned from my married life experience is that no person is allowed to tell someone what they can or cannot do. Our significant long-term years together did not guarantee both of our happiness. I know it’ll be too late to fix what I did, but I’m thankful that I have come to understand myself better now. I sustained a manipulative relationship, and now I admit I was a bullying partner.

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