Manipulation or emotional dependence? These signs that show that your partner is taking advantage of you

Love or manipulation? A Chinese study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology looked at romantic relationships. The experts define there what is the “perspective of instrumentality”, that is, the way in which one partner uses the other during the relationship to achieve his goals and get what he wants. From services of any kind to financial loans, requests can be synonymous with manipulation. But if we want to support the people we love, we can not help but wonder: “what if he took advantage of me? “.

The signs that reveal that you are being manipulated

“When we take an instrumental approach, we only worry about how this person can be useful to us,” reports psychologist Mark Travers in the columns in Magazine Psychology Today.

For psychotherapist Erin Leonard, certain signs may indicate that you are the victim of some form of manipulation on the part of your partner. Together with our colleagues from GQ, the specialist describes the 5 indicators that must be taken into account and which can betray this type of behavior:

  • You always seek your partner’s approval;
  • You do not celebrate your successes for fear of his reaction (feeling of worthlessness, threat, or jealousy);
  • You prioritize your partner’s interests and activities and neglect your own;
  • You feel that no matter how hard you try, they are never enough;
  • Your partner is not looking to hear from you (or at least less than at the beginning of the relationship).

But beware of hasty conclusions, these signals can also show up when you are suffering from emotional dependence. But to distinguish between the two behaviors, certain signs are not misleading.

Emotional addiction: what is it?

Affective addiction or addictive personality disorder can be caused by lack of love. If it can sometimes go back to childhood, this disorder affects both men and women. When we are dependent on someone’s devotion, we tend to forget ourselves, to no longer take into account our own interests in order to devote ourselves to the happiness of the other.

“Being attached to your spouse or family is healthy. But in addictive personality disorder, there is something ‘too much’ that causes suffering. Either these people consider themselves incapable, which prevents them from coping with themselves. “Either they have the impression of not being loved, which gives them a sense of emotional insecurity. In both cases, the relationship with the other is used as a means of security”, explains Christophe Versaevel, a psychiatrist in a public psychiatric institution in Lille Métropole at Figaro.

What are the signs of emotional dependence?

When should you worry about yourself and your couple? What signs show that we are suffering from emotional dependence and that our life partner is using us? To find out if you are suffering in your relationship without knowing it and are “dependent” on your companion, you need to dissect your exchanges.

“The addict does not send text messages to check who his companion is with, but rather to be assured that he is still there,” explains Quentin Debray, professor of psychiatry and co-author of the book Pathological personalities (Ed. Elsevier / Masson).

Also, an addicted person “cannot live alone because they constantly need someone to validate their decisions,” explains Marlène Fouchey, a psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapies in Lyon, who confirms that this disorder affects 2% of the population.

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