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Are You Being Manipulated? Here's a Checklist
Six common ways addiction tries to manipulate us
I am so thankful you’re sharing this newsletter with other people who need help. I don’t do any marketing, partnerships, or social media right now. Your referrals are how we are going to reach other women. Thanks for sharing:)
When we love someone who struggles with addiction, it’s important to recognize when we are being manipulated.
Addiction tries to convince us, “It’s not really that big of a problem.”
But it feels like a huge problem.
So we are left doubting ourselves.
Loving someone who struggles with addiction means quietly wondering: are we making it a bigger deal than it is? Are we overreacting?
We crave the truth as much as they crave their substance of choice.
Because if they PLEASE JUST admit the truth - we can start to fix it. Together. As a couple.
But here’s a bit of truth for you….
Most of the time - we’re not overreacting - we’re just being manipulated.
Here’s a checklist of the most common ways we are being manipulated by addiction:
Lying - How many times have they looked us right in the eye and swore they were telling the truth - leaving us feeling like we’re crazy? But we came to find out - they were lying.
Hiding their substance of choice - Here are some common areas where we find empty bottles, and baggies of drugs or pill bottles: closets, drawers, under the sink, glove compartments, pockets of jackets, under the mattress, in the garage, etc.
Sneaking around - In other words, not being where they should be or where they said they were.
Blaming you - Next time you call them on the carpet for their addictions, pay attention to sentences like, “If you were not such a _______ I wound’t need to ______.”
Another common pattern of blaming when they get caught is to bring up their past trauma and try to tap into your compassion or empathy. We recognize trauma could have led them to their addiction but let’s ask ourselves: are they using their time and energy to receive professional assistance to receive help with their addiction, or are they blaming us?
Threatening - Unfortunately, intimidation tactics are a very common reality for most of us. Whether it’s threatening to leave us, drain our bank accounts, cheat, or physically harm us. Some of us live in fear while living with addiction. If they make us feel afraid - they can control us. One of my biggest rules when I was married to a man who threatened me (I had to get a restraining order and call the police several times) was: safety first. For me, that meant if I was afraid: biting my tongue, grabbing my kids and keys and leaving, locking myself in the bathroom, or calling the police.
Promising to change - If we had a penny for every broken promise… when they sense that we are pulling away, they work overtime to reassure us, this time will be different. They will say or do anything to get us back. And they learn very quickly what we need to hear.
These are just some of the ways we can be manipulated by addiction. The longer they have suffered with addiction, the more skilled our loved ones become. Manipulation is the only way addiction survives.
So what do you need to do if you are being manipulated by addiction?
Nothing. Well, not nothing. But nothing too difficult because you’ve already done it - yay! By reading this - you have become aware of how addiction might be manipulating you. So next time it happens, you won’t fall for it.
How have you been manipulated by addiction? I would love to hear from you.
P.S. If you are experiencing abuse, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org/. They are a very helpful organization with valuable education and tools that I have personally used in the past.