I Dated A Manipulator & It Nearly Ruined Me

He was an unpredictable liar with serious entitlement and control issues, but for some reason, I loved him. I couldn’t help the way I felt — trust me, I tried. It took me a while to realize what the relationship was doing to me, but when it ended, I was finally able to see things clearly. Here’s what it was like dating a master manipulator:

I never knew where I stood or what to expect. Some days were great and others were catastrophic — it was completely dependent on his mood. If he had a great day at work, he would shower me with love and affection; if he didn’t, it would be a miracle if he said more than two words to me. Our relationship was like any other — we had highs, lows, and middles — they just all happened on his terms.

He was incredibly well spoken. He knew exactly what to say and how to say it. He was a politician in training — every word out of his mouth was well-thought out and meticulous, but it was also usually a lie! He knew how to target my weaknesses and use them against me. He also knew what I liked to hear. When he felt me pulling away, he would creep back in by saying those three little words — “I love you” was just something he would say to get out of trouble, not something he really felt.

I put in all the effort. I was always doing more in the relationship — I kind of had to, since he was only capable of doing the bare minimum (if that). I was the one texting him every morning and making the plans to hang out. To be honest, I don’t think we would’ve ever seen each other if it hadn’t been for me. I gave 100% in the relationship, while he sat back and gave 5%. My ex-boyfriend was a taker and I was unfortunately a giver.

My life revolved around him. When he showed me affection, I was happy, but when he ignored me, I felt like the sh*ttiest person on the planet. My mood was completely dependent on my ex! I wouldn’t even make plans with my friends until I spoke to him. His schedule was always “changing” so I felt like I had to always be open on the off chance that he was available to hang out. My life completely revolved around him and I think he knew it. Hell, I think he loved it!

My friends were annoyed. I can’t blame my friends for being pissed off with me and my bullsh*t relationship. I would be annoyed if I had someone constantly complaining about their boyfriend, especially if I thought that boyfriend was a manipulating prick (which all my friends did). They didn’t understand why I was still with him and I didn’t either. All I could tell them was that I loved him, but I couldn’t even tell them why since I didn’t know.

He was unwilling to compromise. There was no such thing as meeting me halfway — it was either his way or the highway. I’m the kind of person who can go along with anything, and it blew my mind that he couldn’t. Something as simple as going to the movies was work — if he didn’t want to see a movie, we wouldn’t see it (no matter how much I wanted to). He had no excuse for being unable to compromise with me, especially since I was someone he supposedly loved.

I lived in fear. My ex-boyfriend was emotionally abusive. His moods were all over the place and it seemed like his feelings for me changed randomly. One day he would tell me that he loved me and the next he would say, “You aren’t what I envisioned when I thought of my wife.” What was I supposed to do with that? I lived in fear that he would wake up one morning and break up with me. Looking back, I wish he would’ve.

He was completely in charge. I did everything he said. Granted, he never asked me to do anything super crazy, but I would pick up his groceries, edit his papers, really anything that he needed, whenever he needed it. He made all the decisions — he pushed our relationship forward and moved it backward whenever it suited him. I didn’t think twice about it because I was so in love with him —  I thought our relationship was just like everyone else’s, but obviously I was wrong.

There was no such thing as “talking things through.” His favorite thing to do was use my own words as weapons against me. If I said I was upset about something, he would spin it around and turn himself into the victim. Seriously! One minute I was angry with him and the next I’d be apologizing for hurting his feelings. WTF? It made no sense. To be honest, it was almost impressive how quickly he could manipulate a situation. Didn’t a lot of famous dictators have that skill?

He didn’t change until I left. The second I called it quits, he changed his ways (or so he claims). After we broke up and he realized I was serious, he flooded me with emotion. He told me that he loved me and that his insecurities were the reason he acted out — yeah, okay. He might be telling the truth, but unfortunately, I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth anymore. The damage has been done and there’s no going back. I would wish him the best, but he already had it — and completely squandered it.

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