Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Is your partner using you?

10 December 2013, 08:16Susan Erasmus

Abuja - You desperately need a night off from the kids, but somehow you find yourself looking after them alone. Again. Point is, you’ve been manipulated by a skilled partner. How do people do this? And, more importantly, why do people fall for this?

Think of your partner, your parents and your kids. And if you’re working fulltime, you’ll have little time to think of anything else after hours!

While relationships are all about give-and-take, there are some relationships that are about take-and-take. Question is why people in relationships allow themselves to be so easily manipulated.

“People often want to please their partners and be liked by them. While this is understandable, this constant desire to please can be abused by the partner who feels he/she is in a powerful position to give or withhold approval. This approval is based on whether he/she gets the other person to do what is wanted,” says psychologist, Ilse Terblanche.

“This sort of manipulation does not only happen in long-term relationships, but also in friendships or in workplace relationships. The withholding of approval, especially if someone has been made dependent on that approval, is a very powerful tool,” according to Terblanche.

She also mentions the fact that many relationships are characterised by power struggles – and an attempt at manipulation is often a weapon in this war arsenal.

But we all have to give in for the sake of peace, every now and then. But if you keep on finding that you’re the one who’s giving in, you’re being manipulated.

So how do people manipulate others?

Make them dependent. If you’re beginning to feel that you could not possibly cope at all without this person in your life, alarm bells should start to sound. Every now and then we are all dependent – when we are ill, have small children, are unemployed – but if this person is starting to feel like your heart-lung machine, it’s time to get back on your feet. If you’re too dependent on someone else, there is almost nothing they cannot make you do, especially if they start playing the ‘it’s-us-against-the-rest-of-the-world’ card.

Withhold love and approval. These two things, by their very nature, should not be conditional within relationships. We all get angry with partners or friends, and sometimes we don’t like them very much, but love should not waver. When someone is using your need for their love and approval to get you to do things, something is wrong.

Make them go on a guilt trip. We all feel we could do more for others and that we should think less of our own interests. It’s just the strange way we’ve been brought up. Noble thought, indeed, but if we don’t look after ourselves first, we can do nothing for others. Guilt trips can be recognised by the sentences, “If you loved me, you would…” or “After all I’ve done for you”. Point is, if the other person loved you, they would not be saying this to you.

Control money matters. Controlling the purse strings is one of the oldest ways of manipulating someone. Making them sing for their supper, in other words. If you have to ask for every cent (unless you’re a complete shopaholic, or a gambling addict), you are being manipulated by means of money. Sometimes people who do this don’t like their partners to work, as it gives them too much freedom. Or they insist that the whole salary be handed over.

Attack someone’s self-image. If you think very little of yourself because you are constantly being put down, both in private and in front of others, you will do almost anything to win the approval of the one who is cutting you down. Once you are in this kind of mind frame, you are like putty in the hands of the manipulator. You feel unattractive, penniless, unaccomplished and lacking in skills. In short, you’re trapped, with the manipulator as your only lifeline.

Signs that you are being manipulated

- You constantly find yourself having to do unpleasant tasks
- You have little money of your own, and if you do have quite a bit, you keep on having to foot the bill for the two of you
- There are frequent cutting comments about your appearance or character. These can sometimes be disguised as constant teasing
- You find yourself doing things for this person that he/she would never have done for you
- When you show any resistance, you are made to feel worthless, stupid and lacking in insight
- You are always expected to put your own interests or wishes second
- A normal discussion is almost impossible with this person, as he/she gets aggressive and insulting and refuses to discuss the issue at hand
- You find yourself constantly apologising for things that were not your fault
- You are made to doubt your own observations and opinions, and their validity is downplayed

- Health24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...