When our partner separates us from friends and family, they don't feel love. He feels the need to possess, to isolate us and to make us dependent.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2022
When a partner separates us from friends and family it is as if a prison of invisible and painful bars were erected over us. Often it is an imperceptible but progressive isolation. We can tell ourselves that it is love, that nothing is as romantic as living only for the other. However, gradually we find that manipulative love deprives us of our indispensable support network.
We know that the topic is not new, it could even be repetitive. Yet this problem still exists today. It happens every day, regardless of age, status or culture. It is recurring and intensifying among young people.
The mechanisms of partner violence are not always as obvious as we may think. Abuse, after all, is not just limited to beatings, insults, an aggression that can be recognized immediately on the basis of the damage done.
There are equally disturbing silent dynamics that are often mistaken for love. Subtle tactics aimed at exerting extreme control of the partner: read their messages, who sees, who he talks to and for how long.
Although the effects are devastating, this type of abuse often goes unnoticed. Moreover, there are also those who have the courage to justify them, those who see in this need for control a sign of love, concern and sincere affection.
However, it must be understood that this reality is a trap. A trap that is hidden under the cloak of Machiavellianism and psychological abuse that kills thousands every day.
Manipulative love: How does the partner pull away from family and friends?
Typically, a person gradually isolates their partner. Thus, when it separates us from family and friends, it resorts to a series of techniques and tools that we are initially unaware of.
Furthermore, we will tend to take some of his ways of acting for granted, even if they are unjustifiable. This attitude is the main problem. Let's see in the following lines the strategies used by manipulative love.
One of the most common tools for inducing isolation is emotional blackmail. Love becomes conditional and requires a series of tests that must be met and proved.
With phrases like "it is clear that you like to spend more time with your friends than with me" it is led to believe that "if you love me, you have to stop seeing your friends so much".
The sense of guilt as a control tool
The use of guilt is directly linked to emotional manipulation. However, it should be noted that this deception is to be considered the "king" of the psychological network of abuse.
The burden of reproaching the loved one for neglecting her, for not having considered her sufficiently, for having belittled her, for not having devoted time to her ends up having a notable impact.
A little bit at a time a cognitive dissonance is created for which we accept these ideas to stop suffering, in order not to experience the contradiction. We give in and show our personality less and less so that we no longer feel the weight of guilt.
"You belong to me and I belong to you"
When the partner separates us from family and friends, he puts the cage of love around us. Everything he does and says is the result of that manipulative, harmful, crippling and destructive love.
Those who control and isolate us try to possess us in an exclusive way, to limit our reality so that our world has only four walls: those in the house and in which the partner is.
There will be the typical phrases "you are mine", "we are one", "your world is mine" or "you belong to me and I am yours". Perhaps at the beginning these expressions arouse passion and enchantment, but they are simply a mirage. A very dangerous illusion that will soon give way to control over everything we do, let's say, we wear and, above all, on our mobile phones and social networks.
Manipulative love causes mental and emotional exhaustion
Dr Tyrone C. Cheng, of the University of Alabama (United States), conducted a study on the significant impact of violence and psychological abuse. Factors like isolation, which is sadly common in this kind of bond, they leave the victim in a highly vulnerable position.
Let's imagine suddenly losing all the support network we once had. When the partner separates us from friends and family, we lose that part of our identity that has been shaped over the years by the people we love.
Support is lost, sources of support, listening, entertainment, companionship and emotional contact are limited. All that it is devastating and often causes an anxiety disorder or depression.
But what is most striking is the mental and emotional exhaustion. The person involved is in constant struggle and contradiction. In fact, he must take care of every aspect of her life so as not to contradict or harm the manipulative partner.
His own identity, self-esteem and even dignity are thus lost. It is a state of profound wear that takes a long time to recover.
Beyond that, in the event that the person finds the strength (and loved ones take the responsibility to act to help him) to put an end to manipulative love, the path of emotional and psychological healing and reconstruction is however very slow and delicate. It takes a long time to recover any lost value, any manipulation suffered.
How to counter manipulative love
When the partner separates us from family and friends we must act. It will make us doubt ourselves, it will make us feel guilty, the shadow of fear and the constant feeling of not loving it enough.
Let us not be fooled! Genuine love does not cause this pain, it sets no conditions and leaves room for growth and to continue to cultivate bonds with the important people in our lives.