In your relationship, have you ever noticed that the other person is always trying to make you feel bad for one thing or the other? Have you also noticed that even when you mean no harm in your actions, they sometimes blow things out of proportion and start making you look like the bad person? Does it seem like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, and you always have to apologize? If so, you’re in a textbook case of emotional blackmail.
It means that your partner is constantly turning your emotions around on you and making you choose between one thing or the other. Usually, it involves having you choose between them and something else you want to do.
We can’t force you to leave a relationship that you’ve been committed to for several years. But, we can tell you how to handle emotional blackmail in a relationship.
Be honest with yourself
The first thing you need to do is to take a long hard look at the situation and try to determine what’s happening. Are you making excuses for the individual or are you actually in a relationship of emotional blackmail? If they keep making it seem like things are your fault and you have to be sorry all the time, the chances are that you’re being emotionally blackmailed.
More often than not, emotional blackmail comes with threats. Some of these people don’t mean what they say. But, if you find your partner constantly saying that they’ll do this or that to you, you should probably take steps towards protecting yourself and your children (if any).
Ask for help
Ordinarily, you really shouldn’t be allowing your partner to treat you like this. It’s possible that there’s something at the back of your mind – a trauma response of some sort – that makes you feel like you deserve this treatment. So, ask for professional psychological help so you can stand up for yourself more.
Recommend therapy to your partner
If your partner keeps acting this way, they might have a real problem they need to deal with. Help them through this by recommending a therapist. However, if they refuse to change, you might want to reconsider the relationship.
Emotional blackmail is one of the many red flags you should be wary of in a relationship. Depending on how bad it is, you can either decide to leave or try to deal with it until it gets better. Here, we’ve shown you how to do the latter. But, if it gets too much, the former might be a more practical solution for your sake.