Watch out for emotional blackmail in a relationship

divers-681516_960_720With ‘dating’ over and the relationship starting to settle into – well a relationship – you may look back and wonder where your individuality went.

This may show up in hobbies or interests that you no longer participate in or friends you no longer see.

Be sure to look at yourself first before seeking to blame your partner.

When relationships function on a level that isn’t healthy for either partner, it’s time to weigh up the pros and cons which will lead to the decision of whether to stay or go.

When your love for each other and desire to remain in the relationship is stronger than the problems you’re going through, then no doubt, you will choose to stay.

As you invest your time and emotional commitment further be aware of emotional blackmail. If your partner behaves inappropriately, levelling the blame at you, it’s time to lift the blinkers and see what is happening.

For example, your partner, takes a significant amount of money and blows it on an underwater camera for his diving hobby, and you have discussed plans of renovating, this is clearly an inappropriate act.

If he blames it on you for stifling his freedom to spend there is a clear problem. Taking on the blame, you will start to feel guilty and rationalise that he could be right. This is a sure way to give away your power.

And in the worst-case scenario you will want to try harder to succeed, telling yourself you must do whatever it takes to please your man.

Do not succumb to this emotional blackmail. Recognise it for what it is. Emotional blackmail is not just about money and can apply in other areas.  Your partner might make you take responsibility for failing to get ahead in a career. You might find that some couples blame each other for being held back physically, for being overweight or for having no social life.

No matter what the issue, emotional blackmail is often the cause of a relationship breakdown.

To make it right you will need to confront your partner. Remember that it’s not your job to take responsibility for another person’s actions and choices. Your partner made the choice to act a certain way in a certain situation and he was not forced into anything, although it might make it more comfortable for him to believe that there is someone else to blame.

Talk calmly and rationally about the behaviour and find out why your partner believes you’re at fault for his actions. Don’t accept responsibility for his actions.

When both partners take responsibility for their own behaviour and actions, it’s much easier to build a strong partnership based on trust and respect.

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