The Lies and Manipulation of an Emotionally Abusive Partner

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by Annie Kaszina on July 11, 2017

 Can an emotionally abusive partner change?

Q.  Can an emotionally abusive partner change in a heartbeat when he suddenly realizes that he actually risks losing you once and for all?

A.   No. Because

a) He has no heart to mention.
b) It’s a bad question. The real question is not whether he can change but whether he will You already know that an emotionally abusive partner never does what he doesn’t want to do.

All emotionally abusive partners use lies and manipulation to retain power and control over their partner/victim.  So, what makes it so difficult to see the lies and manipulation for what they are?

If you have ever been vulnerable to an emotionally abusive partner needs to understand,

  • How their lies and manipulation work.
  • What makes it so hard the relationship and liberate yourself from his tentacles, once and for all.

The relationship is not over just because you finally find the strength to tell your emotionally abusive partner that you want out. That should signify the death knell of the relationship and the beginning of your journey to freedom and happiness. Unfortunately, it does not. Instead, your emotionally abusive (ex-)partner simply ramps up some of the best-performing lies and manipulation he has always used to bamboozle you.

When the going gets tough, your emotionally abusive(ex)partner simply applies the best strategies  he can come up with – invariably, lies and manipulation –  to ‘play’ you.

Most commonly used lies and manipulation

Obviously – although it’s probably not at all obvious to you – Mr Nasty refers, immediately, to the Emotional Abusers’ Hymn Sheet.  That’s the Hymn Sheet he always sings from – and runs his emotionally abusive relationship from. He knows there are 3 hymns that are PERFECT for the occasion. His take on,


  1. The Whitney Houston number: “You have NOTHING, if you don’t have me…”
  2. The Police’s “Every breath you take (I’ll be blighting you)” and,
  3. Kelly’s “If I could turn back the hands of time”.  (That’s about the nearest an emotional abuser will ever get to an expression of heartfelt regret.  Still, it begs the question of who on earth he thought he was to behave so badly in the first place.)

It’s the third, and most persuasive, option that we need to look at.

Happily my very own Mr Nasty, provided me with a textbook example of how to “play” a disgruntled and disenchanted woman – after I had shown him the door.

It is often said – and rightly so – that a victim of domestic abuse is most at risk when her departure becomes a reality for her abuser.  The risk of violence escalates.  But so, too, does the risk of massive emotional and psychological manipulation.

The way my Mr Nasty went about it was, I have to say, masterful.  I had already left – which meant that he urgently needed to reassert his control. Since I refused to speak directly to him (a sane choice when dealing with a manipulative snake) he had to get creative.  Knowing that I am a total dog nut, he sent me a card bearing a photo of a cute, wistful-looking dog. (This was especially impressive since he hated both cute cards and dogs (as well as cats, and pretty much any living animal you can name.)

The message that he wrote (he also hated writing “loving” messages) was a masterpiece. 66 exquisitely crafted words. It read simply,

L1 “Dearest Anne,
L2 How are you?  How was Budapest?
L3 I’d like to open up a dialogue with you.  Would you like to as well?  Or is it too soon.  If you L4 prefer to leave it until you feel it is time, do let me know.
L5There is so much that I would like to share with you.  You are always on my mind.
L6 I love you.
L7 xxx 

His lies and manipulation deconstructed

L1.  He never, ever called me “Dearest”.  So the word was calculated to prove to me, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he was a Changed Man. (FYI, he never called me Annie, either.)

L2.  He actually asked me how I was!  (This uncharacteristic interest in my health and well-being proved his transformation. Previously he didn’t ask because he didn’t care. Now, he had become a sensitive, reconstructed man, in touch with his feminine, touchy-feely, caring side.)  What’s more, I’d been to Budapest on my own, and he could mention that trip (which we had planned to do and booked together) en passant, without having a hissy fit. What more proof could I possibly need that he had become a resentment-free zone.

L3.  How much more reasonable and reassuring could it get than a man who wanted to “open up a dialogue”?  What kind of heartless, unreasonable bovine would I be NOT to want to do the same thing?  “Or is it too soon?”  Sheer G-E-N-I-U-S!!   He subtly conveys his underlying conviction is that we both know that we will open up this dialogue – t he only question is when.

L3-4.  “If you prefer to leave it…”  Just “let me know…”  Could anyone, in the whole history of the world, be more reasonable than that? How he must have grown up emotionally  to be prepared to face a possible rejection!  Well…. not exactly!  Rather this seemingly insignificant sentence points up the deviousness and low cunning that all emotional abusers use to great advantage. You need to understand that “opening up any kind of dialogue” is actually abuser-speak for, “Give me an opening, however small, and I promise I will use it to mess with your head until you don’t know if you are coming or going”.

l.5. “So much I’d like to share”.  One neat little phrase to stir up massive amounts of hope, curiosity and, above all, the What’s-In-It-For-Me? factor.  Then there’s the “S” word – Share: that could only imply a whole new departure on his part. What had he ever shared before except anger, criticisms, and negativity?)

L5. “You are always on my mind.” Super-smart.  Here he piggy-backs on the late, great Elvis’s heartstring-yanking expression of remorse.  How could something so romantic NOT be sincere?  (N.B. My Mr Nasty always sounded most sincere when he was being utterly insincere.)

L6. “I love you.”  Gosh! The “L” word freely volunteered. Then again, he did always know to pull that word out of the bag when he needed to.

L7.  Three whole kisses!!!  Was this a subtle hint to start planning the renewal of our wedding vows.  Certainly, he was well aware of my long-term fantasy about showing the world and making the relationship work – even after a gazillion false starts.

I’m sharing this precious piece of literature with you because this was happened to me and, one way or another, something similar happens to every woman who walks away.   .  Any woman who has ever tried to walk away from an emotionally abusive man has experienced this entire formula – in one form of words or another. (And, yes, the lovey-dovey messages surely alternate with threats and anger.)

What an emotional abuser knows

An abuser knows full well that when you’re down, you really want to believe the dream that his words still hold. But remember this:

An emotional abuser goes to the trouble of lies and manipulation because he sees it holds an advantage for him. You are convenient to him. Having you around to do his bidding and exercise power over makes him feel better about himself. It’s all about him.
How did my Mr Nasty’s efforts pan out?  That’s a story for another day.

A much better question is:  What happens to me if I believe him?

The short answer to that one is:

“You’ll be suckered.  All over again. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few nice promises, and things may look up – for all of 5 minutes.  Then, you’ll be back to business as usual.  The only difference is that you will be even more weary, discouraged, and broken-hearted than you were before.”  Can you afford that?

If you’re still struggling to resist your abusive partner’s lies and manipulation, then my Complete Emotional Abuse Recovery System may well be exactly what you need.


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