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How to Recognize a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship

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As your relationship with a new person in your life has developed, you have found your old friends falling away, while family members have commented on how you do not seem like yourself.

Are you losing yourself to an odd, and ultimately destructive relationship?

Before you can regain your individuality and strength, you will need to determine if the relationship is taking something away, and if it is, you may want to put an end to the destructive cycle. The following steps to evaluating your relationship can pertain to any you have, potentially unhealthy or not:

1. Evaluate it honestly.
Is this a healthy relationship? Be objective as you analyze how things have changed since this relationship began.

2. Are your family relationships suddenly filled with tension every time your partner’s name comes up in conversation?
You should be concerned and alarmed if everyone who cares about you is getting worried or being pushed away. Does this person bring out your best or worst traits? Do you feed each others’ best self, or have you seen your attitudes change to more closely mirror your partner’s, which in turn makes your family and friends not want to be involved?

3. Recognize your blindness to your partner’s faults.
Infatuation is not a bad thing. It can actually be necessary and good; however, it can make one temporarily have a very difficult time for the first part of a relationship. Sometimes our infatuation can make us blind to obvious warning signals. Ask yourself: do you find yourself apologizing or making up excuses for your partner’s behavior? If you find yourself getting defensive when someone questions you about your relationship, you are most likely already aware that there is something wrong and you have not yet come to accept it. Remember that people in healthy relationships have nothing to hide.

4. Notice if your plans are continually overturned in favor of his/hers.
Are you are always changing plans to do what he/she wants, and/or always meeting up with his/her friends? Be aware of the way he/she behaves around your family and friends, especially if he or she interrupts them, contradicts them or behaves dismissively.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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