Bom­barded by ma­nip­u­la­tive con­troller

Penticton Herald - - LIVING - ELLIE TESHER

DEAR ELLIE: On my first date with a co-worker, he said that he loved me, which I felt was too fast too soon.

That month, he said that he wanted to have a baby with me. When I said things are mov­ing too fast, he thought that I wasn’t in­ter­ested in the re­la­tion­ship.

He’d con­stantly text me at work. He bought me a $78 box of makeup and said I look good in makeup, though pre­vi­ously he’d said he liked me with­out it. He then wanted to marry me on my birth­day. I said again that it’s mov­ing way too fast for me.

I even­tu­ally had to com­plain about him at work be­cause I of­ten felt pres­sured and stressed out. He said that it’s ei­ther mu­tual love or mu­tual leave.

I’m hav­ing a hard time deal­ing with hurt and con­fu­sion, and see­ing him at work. I was be­gin­ning to feel that he did love me.

How can Ideal with this re­la­tion­ship hav­ing gone bad and for­get about him? I feel guilty for telling on him. — Hurt and Con­fused

AN­SWER: You’ve been bom­barded by a ma­nip­u­la­tive con­troller. You’re well rid of him for your men­tal health.

Feel no guilt. Feel re­lief in­stead, be­cause a long-term re­la­tion­ship with him would have you far more stressed out, al­ways try­ing to sat­isfy his lat­est wish.

Ev­ery­thing he did/said was de­signed to have you jump­ing to his lat­est com­mand: Love im­me­di­ately, wear no makeup, then start us­ing makeup, marry when I de­cide — etc., etc.

No won­der you reached out for help with your com­plaint. That was your in­stinct to save your­self from fur­ther ha­rass­ment.

Ma­nip­u­la­tive peo­ple draw you into their plans for them­selves, by try­ing to con­trol you. He loved him­self more than he loved you.

DEAR ELLIE: I re­cently bumped into a man I once dated half a dozen times.

He called me daily and even met me for lunch sev­eral times.

Af­ter be­ing away a week with friends, he came tomy home.

He was ob­vi­ously want­ing to be in­ti­mate, and I thought there was enough in­ter­est and af­fec­tion between us to start a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship.

The sex was okay, though brief. Then he was gone. No con­tact for a week.

I guess it was a form of “ghost­ing.” I fi­nally called him and asked if that one sex act was his sole goal. He mum­bled that he didn’t think we were go­ing to have a fu­ture, but gave no rea­sons why.

When I saw him again — seven years later, me hap­pily mar­ried — I could barely look at him and was very cold. I don’t un­der­stand why. I wouldn’t want to spend an­other minute with him, so why did I care enough to turn away? — Long Ago Hurt AN­SWER: Back then, you felt hu­mil­i­ated and used. He han­dled the in­ci­dent badly with­out any sen­si­tiv­ity. Time to shed any re­ac­tion, he’s mean­ing­less in your cur­rent life. BUT you don’t have to be pleas­ant or chatty with him. He cut you cold, you’ve now done the same. It’s even, and over. TIP OF THE DAY When pres­sured ro­man­ti­cally by a ma­nip­u­la­tor, know that he/she is seek­ing to con­trol you. Email ellie@thes­tar.ca.

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