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10 Signs of Manipulation in Relationships4 min read


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Manipulation in relationships is bad for any kind of relationship growth as it has some negative impacts on another partner.  No one deserves a manipulative husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes it can be hard to detect when you have a partner who is manipulating you. You love them dearly, and it can be hard to imagine that they don’t share that same passion.

If you’re starting to suspect your partner isn’t what they seem, here are ten signs of manipulation in relationships. Read on:

1. You feel guilty all the time10 Signs of Manipulation in Relationships

No matter what the issue is with you and your partner, you can count on feeling guilty about it. Even when the issue at hand has nothing to do with you, you can feel a wash of guilt for not being there to support your partner or handle the situation for them.

If you always seem to have a guilty conscious around your partner, even though you haven’t really done anything wrong, the possibility this is the sign of manipulation in relationships. This kind of toxic relationship is harmful to your mental health.

2. Playing innocent victim, even when they aren’tSigns of Manipulation in Relationships

Did your partner cheat on you? You are the reason it happened. If it weren’t for you leaving your partner alone with them or making them feel bad over doing something else, it never would have happened.

If your partner is the one who is taking the victim role, even though you are the one who was hurt. Then this is the sign that your partner is definitely manipulating you.

3. They push your buttons, so it becomes a fightManipulation in Relationships

Sure, your partner didn’t exactly start the argument. They simply pushed your buttons again, and again, until you can’t help but snap. Manipulating you into arguing is a bit subtler than the other signs, and it can be hard to tell apart from simple obliviousness, but it is one to watch out for.

4. They don’t care about your problems, only their ownWarning Signs of Manipulation in Relationships

Another common sign of manipulation in relationships that your partner does not have time for you. You’ve never been able to sit down with them and talk about a hard day of work or what happened that day with the kids. Your day is nothing compared to what they went through, and they don’t want to hear about your petty nonsense. They’d rather monopolize the time with their issues.

If your partner can’t be bothered to listen to your problems but has plenty of time on their own, they are manipulating you. The worst part of it that your manipulative partner going to twist your thoughts, actions, wants and desires into something that better suits them.

5. They make you feel bad for wanting out10 Warning Signs of Manipulation in Relationships

Finally, had enough of a relationship that isn’t any good for you at all? The drama begins. Your partner will die without you. They need you in their lives. If you leave, they will commit suicide. You can’t go no matter what because they need you. This is a classic form of manipulation. If you can’t leave because you’re worried about your partner, it’s a warning sign of manipulation in relationships.

6. They make you question your sanityJealous girlfriend showing a phone to her boyfriend while having suspicions

“I never said that! What about the time you did this?” Many manipulators employ a trick commonly known as gaslighting. They pretend an event never occurs, or may even fictionalize their own ‘memory’ so that you start to feel insane because you don’t remember any of these things.

The fact is they never happened in the first place, and are simply invented to make you feel crazy, guilty, or both. So, beware of this sign of manipulation in relationships as quite often you don’t even know it’s happening.

7. You end up apologizing, even you the one that was hurtSigns of manipulation in a relationship

Did your partner forget date night again? It’s all your fault. You know what a bad memory they have and you forgot to remind them. Now they missed out on a wonderful time because they couldn’t remember. This ties into several of the other classic signs of manipulation relationship, including becoming the victim and making you feel guilty.

If you find yourself apologizing when you were the one sitting alone in a restaurant booth, you’re being manipulated.

8. They constantly criticize your actionsMan blaming his girlfriend

In order to make you easier to manipulate, they need to make you feel like you can’t do anything right. That means second-guessing your every decision, blowing up your mistakes, and making you feel sorry for everything you do. This can also extend to embarrassing you publicly, by

  • Letting slip a fact about your life you’d rather have stayed private
  • Pretending they didn’t know it would hurt you, or flat-out acts like they don’t care that it did.
  • Either way, the goal is the same, to make you feel smaller and weaker so you’ll stay under their control.

If you are constantly unfairly criticized (and you may need help from an unbiased friend to figure that out if you’re not sure), you’re being manipulated in the relationship.

9. They isolate you in relationships manipulative relationship

The number of friends you keep in your daily life is dwindling rapidly. It’s impossible to escape for a night out, because your partner may need you for something. It’s not worth the constant barrage of texts about how much they “need” you when you finally leave.

Your friends and family aren’t exactly made welcome when they come over, and they don’t understand how to behave around your partner in order to keep things running smoothly. If this sounds familiar to you, then you in a relationship where your partner manipulating you, you need to run, don’t walk away!

10. When you’re really angry, they throw on the charmGirlfriend comforting boyfriend

If your manipulative partner was horrible all the time, you’d no doubt quickly make your escape. The truth is genuinely manipulative partner frequently throw on the charm when they sense your patience is wearing thin, and play your heart strings to the fullest so you won’t leave them.

These acts of ‘love’ can be brilliant, memorable, and exactly the sort of thing that makes you keep on going. They can play your heart like a fiddle either way and be doing something they know you’ll love a great tactic to hold you in place. Be forewarned though this isn’t loving, it is simply keeping their partner close for more manipulation.

If these signs of manipulation in relationships all sound familiar, you should leave your relationship in a hurry. A manipulative partner can do lasting damage to your psyche, and even to your physical body. Don’t get caught in a vicious cycle that never ends. If your partner is manipulating you, leave. A manipulative relationship isn’t doing anyone any good in the long run.


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