When someone guilts you into loving them. A lot of the time (maybe I’m still lying to myself) it’s unintentional because we all are products of our environment, right? I mean I know to some degree people can identify when a certain behavior is working. You know what I’m talking about the…
“You’re the only thing in life that makes me happy.”
“If you broke up with me I would have no purpose.”
“I’m trying as hard as I can for you and I’m sorry if it’s not enough.”
Unfortunately, I am easily manipulated. The moment someone tells me I am mean or hurting them I immediately feel an excessive amount of guilt and beat myself up over it. It’s more than OK to be self-aware and hold yourself accountable, but when no one else in your life calls you mean, when you know deep down you’re trying your best to be careful about what you say then it’s not you. I promise.
You start to question everything you do. You start to feel bad for sleeping when your partner is working because they tell you it’s so hard they have to wake up early and can’t talk to you for those few hours you’re asleep.
You feel bad when you want to go to sleep earlier than them even though they know your sleep cycle is extremely important. Even though they know about your illness and you’ve told them numerous times it’s imperative you stay on a set schedule.
You even feel bad when you get upset with them about it (but then they say)
“I’m am trying so hard to remember for you. I’m sorry that I forget.”
“You don’t know how hard I am trying. I would do anything for you.”
Every night before you have to leave the next morning they get so upset they cry and tell you how badly they are going to miss you. They tell you don’t know how hard it is for them without you there.
It’s an overused expression but you sincerely feel like you’re walking on egg shells.
You bring things up when they upset you then they tell you, you need to bring things up more often. They don’t like how you hold things in. This makes you question how much you hold in. It makes you mad at yourself because you’re doing something wrong.
You’re not doing anything wrong.
You’re constantly having those late night talks (fights) then they turn into midday talks (fights) then you’re always talking (fighting) but they refuse to call it fighting they tell you, your relationship is fine. You guys are so healthy. They tell you it’s the perfect relationship.
You believe them. In fact, they believe themselves. They are so scared of losing you so they find a way to emotionally manipulate you. Sometimes they even point it out themselves.
“I’m sorry I guilt you so much. I promise I don’t mean to and I’m really working on it.”
“I don’t mean to do that. It’s just how I was raised.”
“I’m afraid you’re going to leave you because I’m too needy.”
“I will never leave you. You’re going to have to leave me.”
“In five years we will be married… that is if you haven’t left me by then.”
This confuses you, you think to yourself “well they are being really honest and transparent AND they are genuinely working on it.”
That’s the problem though, they are all talk. Over and over they will apologize and beat themselves up for not being good enough for you. Then when you bring up how they keep saying sorry but don’t ever actually do anything about it they get very upset.
“It just feels like I am trying so hard and I feel helpless. It hurts me when you say that because I feel like I can’t do anything right.”
Annnd you’re pulled right back in.
I know this isn’t new to most of you (probably all) but trust me it’s different when it’s happening to you. Your love for them clouds your judgment. You want to be a good partner. The last thing you’d ever want to do is hurt them but you feel like that’s all you’re ever doing.
The worst part is you know you won’t be able to make them understand because trying to explain will only lead to more guilt trips. It is very lonely. It’s painful to let go because even though you realize it isn’t healthy the last thing you’d ever want to do is hurt them.
Here’s the thing. You’re going to hurt them, unfortunately, that is unavoidable. Here’s another thing, you deserve so much more. They may claim to love you more than they have ever loved anyone else and maybe they honestly do but never and I say never let someone guilt you into loving them.
Also, a paradox does exist. You can still love parts of them and in a lot of ways, they can be a really great person. It’s their insecurities that lead to this behavior. Now I’m not saying it’s OK or even justified but we should still try and show compassion because after all, they are human. (Ps. emotional abuse can get much, much worse than this and I do NOT overlook the people who are ugly through and through.)
This is a specific example and in this case, they were one of the nicest people I’ve ever known and I still love them, I also love myself enough to put myself first. It’s hard not putting their feelings before mine and I’d be lying if I told you I don’t miss them like hell right now. I’d also be lying if I told you we had a healthy relationship.
I hurt, they hurt and it’s going to hurt for a long time and that’s OK. I want the best for them just as I want the best for myself.
Phot Credit:unsplash-logoJakob Owens