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Recognizing Manipulation

Old 12-29-2010, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
His family has been very supporting (again, excluding his mother), and many of them are actually asking me about my future plans and whether or not I'll stick around. Apparently being around me in the beginning "fixed" this drinking problem of his for awhile (2 years), and he stopped trying to control their lives (and hadn't started to try and control mine yet), and they thought that little old me had cured it, but it's back with a vengeance now.
This is a major red flag for me, but I'm completely remembering the beginning of my relationship with XAH. His family was soooooo happy that I was having a 'settling down' effect on him. Do not stick with this guy just because some one else thinks you're good for him. (Not saying that would be the reason if you did, but... Don't let it be the only reason.) A relationship is a two way street, he needs to be able to fully participate in it as a partner.

Last edited by theuncertainty; 12-29-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tjp613 View Post
How old is this guy anyway?
He'll be 59 next month.
Although I have realized in the last six months that the "12-year-old attitude" doesn't just apply to exploring the sights on the weekends. It used to be that we would have wonderful weekend, exploring the city, exploring the countryside, traveling everywhere within a 2-hour radius to the point everyone told us we should write a book.

It's only when I moved physically close to him six months ago, so that I didn't have the giant distance from him during the week, that I realized how manipulative and controlling he really was. When I lived an hour away, it easily passed as him worrying about me getting home safe, etc.

I can honestly say that I don't regret the last several years with him, which surprises me considering where things stand now. It really was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton of things that will be really useful later in life. I can also pick out a good restaurant from a mediocre one by simply reading the menu, I have learned to predict basics of the country's economy based upon current events, and all sorts of things. (I actually moved all my stock money into foreign funds just before the US stocks tanked, and then into stable funds just before the foreign ones followed suit - not that it matters now because he spent it all anyway).
I suppose in some ways I could say that all this money I contributed to his sinking ship was "tuition" - because I have learned a great deal (and that's not counting all I have learned about alcoholism!)...

The psychologist at work told me that if G didn't care about me so much he wouldn't have gone into rehab this quickly, and that it was a credit to me... Then realized that's the last thing a codependent needed and added a hasty, "Please don't take that as a requirement to stay or anything - it's up to you and what you want for yourself." But nonetheless, it's comments like that making this decision so difficult, since I have learned so much, and I have quite a few wonderful memories (five scrapbooks full)...

If only that smile could have stayed.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by theuncertainty View Post
This is a major red flag for me, but I'm completely remembering the beginning of my relationship with XAH. His family was soooooo happy that I was having a 'settling down' effect on him. Do not stick with this guy just because some one else thinks you're good for him. (Not saying that would be the reason if you did, but... Don't let it be the only reason.) A relationship is a two way street, he needs to be able to fully participate in it as a partner.
That paragraph you quoted came out a bit wrong when I typed it... His family is actually asking if I'll stick around, and saying that they wouldn't blame me if I didn't. His daughter actually told me I was crazy, but I think I conveyed to her that in the short term I was still here, and as far as the long term was concerned I was working on sorting that out.

His mother is the only one who has been cruel to me, and right now she's being extra sweet to try and convince me to stay. His sister and his daughter are appreciative that I am sticking by them to figure this out, and that as long as I communicate my feelings about this whole affair to them, and lend my more recent experience to their own past experiences to help them figure out what's going on (since they're relatives they really are going to push for him to solve this, although his sister has mentioned cutting off all contact if he doesn't), they won't blame me whatever I decide.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:06 PM
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The psychologist at work told me that if G didn't care about me so much he wouldn't have gone into rehab this quickly, and that it was a credit to me.

Um...pardon my french, but...horse hockey!! That psychologist doesn't know your boyfriend. He hasn't got the slightest clue why he went to rehab. A manipulative person will do all kinds of things that outsiders might interpret to mean they have the best intentions. It isn't necessarily so. He could just as easily have been looking out for his own welfare and knew that he could keep you on the string by going to rehab.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:20 PM
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My take on it is this-

The counselor really wants to know where the relationship stands because how he approaches therapy might be different if the patient is in a relationship vs. not. If he has convinced the therapist that he wants to save the relationship, then the therapist contacting you to get your take on it is not really all that strange.

BUT---this is a manipulative person we're talking about. Manipulative people can manipulate therapists as well.

This is easy for me to say, but I would tell the therapist the relationship is over. That you have no interest in getting back together, drunk or sober, and see what happens. My guess is he will walk out of rehab because it no longer serves as a means to get what he wants. If, on the other hand, he throws himself headlong into recovery, then he is serious about it. And then you can decide if you want to consider reconciliation or not.

L
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:23 PM
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Caring about you and caring about controlling you are two different things. From what you've written here, it seems like everything he does is to manipulate you to get HIS needs met. Maybe there's more to the story?

I'm not being a smart aleck here, I'm really asking: What are you getting out of this relationship? What does he do for you (without expecting anything in return)? Does he encourage you to have a full life with interests outside of the relationship?
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tjp613 View Post
Does he encourage you to have a full life with interests outside of the relationship?
No.

Inside the relationship we have done some amazing things (really, many have been once-in-a-lifetime things), but even the smallest comment about doing something without him has resulted in jealousy. He is not afraid that I will run off with someone else, but he is jealous of my time and doesn't want me spending it without him.

Gosh, since you've asked this question I'm thinking back, and I actually remember a time before we were even dating, before I even knew how to get in touch with him outside of work, I commented that I had gone to a particular museum over the weekend by myself and he asked why I didn't invite him. I had forgotten that.

He hasn't really changed, it's just that its impact on me has changed since I've become closer in proximity to him. That's quite a discovery in and of itself...



tjp613, I bought that book you suggested, here's hoping it comes before he gets out. I had his credit card information saved in my account, so he's buying it for me now, maybe it will be the best gift he ever got me, even if he doesn't know he's getting it for me! *Grins*
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:58 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
He called and left the message, yes.
By the timestamp, it was about 15 minutes after I hung up on G and turned my phone off, and only about 5-10 minutes after G's last spiteful message, which has scared me into wondering why this phone call?

Also, the "once per day" thing is from me. I lay that law down today, because he called me six times and I can't get well if he keeps calling.
I am highly suspicious of this phone call. Within 15 minutes he called you, left you a spiteful message, met with this counselor, who then had time to make a call to you?

I wouldn't think a counselor would call a girlfriend at all but more then that....I can not imagine a counselor leaving all that information on a voice mail. There are privacy laws with him sharing any information at all about sessions and even if he had releases and that wasn't an issue - most will not leave messages on voice mails and if they do the absolute most is just a name and number.

He is keeping you confused and foggy from inside rehab - or at least I'd be confused and foggy if I were in your shoes. I think even once a day is to much. He has counselors galore to help him through his days and you deserve a break.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:05 PM
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tjp613, I bought that book you suggested, here's hoping it comes before he gets out. I had his credit card information saved in my account, so he's buying it for me now, maybe it will be the best gift he ever got me, even if he doesn't know he's getting it for me! *Grins*
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I am highly suspicious of this phone call. Within 15 minutes he called you, left you a spiteful message, met with this counselor, who then had time to make a call to you?

I wouldn't think a counselor would call a girlfriend at all but more then that....I can not imagine a counselor leaving all that information on a voice mail. There are privacy laws with him sharing any information at all about sessions and even if he had releases and that wasn't an issue - most will not leave messages on voice mails and if they do the absolute most is just a name and number.

He is keeping you confused and foggy from inside rehab - or at least I'd be confused and foggy if I were in your shoes. I think even once a day is to much. He has counselors galore to help him through his days and you deserve a break.
I am sincerely hoping that talking to his councilor tomorrow helps things...

The reason I got scared about the councilor's intentions was the timing.

To top things off, I was talking with G's daughter tonight... She called the councilor around 5:30 and they were talking about G (he signed paperwork so that she can know exactly what is going on with him whenever she wants; G claims he signed the same for me, but the nurses won't give me any answers if I ask - either they didn't look it up, or he didn't sign, I don't really care either way, better for my health if I stay out of it). He walked in while they were still on the phone, and his daughter said that he talked to her a bit about how great he was doing before she drove through a bad connection zone and got cut off.
There wasn't much time between when her call got cut off and when the councilor called me.

I sincerely hope I'm just being paranoid.


And yes, it did feel good to hit the "purchase" button. He's spent so much already, at Amazon.com before going to rehab, he won't even notice.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:31 PM
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I guess anything is possible, but....I really don't think you're being paranoid. You have a feeling in your gut, and I have found, that when I trust my gut instincts, I'm very rarely wrong.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:55 AM
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I guess I'm not getting it -- what are you paranoid about?
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:42 AM
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Gosh.

Good plan on NOT letting him back into your appartment when he comes out BTW.

He really doesn't seem to be focussing on the internal work at hand does he? seems much more focussed on making sure you don't get out from his control, get time to consider what is best for you. Whilst the counsellor invitng you to ring them might well be usual (I have no knowledge of that) seems odd they would go on about him being highly emotional, devastated, etc about the relationship, within an answerphone message that in itself seems a little coercive/manipulative.

I would hope that someone who ahd been round the block would attempt to refocus a client who was obsessing about their relationship back onto the reason they were there: learning how to beat their addiction.
still - not all counsellors are good counsellors
or capable of recognising and dealing with manipulation,
and if this is what you are worried about: no - not all people who ring up and state they are counsellors neccessarily are. If you are going to ring him can I suggest ringing the facility and ask to be put through rather than ringing the number he gave you, just on the off-chance.

Your BF clearly is pulling out all the big guns to manipulate you into beleiving he is NOT an alcoholic (he is chosing to stay there for you even though the facility doesn't think he needs to, his nurse and doctors think he isn't an alcoholic and could do with some life coaching instead - HA! HA! HA!), it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he roped in a helper to contact you. Even if he didn't and this counsellor is for real, that doesn't mean the rest of what he says is true.

I am wondering if you could do with some independent support, not just alanon, not just his family, but a counsellor of your own: not the psych at work, not someone connected to the facility, someone to work with you, just for you. Seems you are under a lot of pressure, seems he may be very good at roping people in to help apply that?
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:47 AM
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Oh - and you're not being paranoid, he clearly is very manipulative and lies alot. whether this is a set up by him or not, doesn't make you paranoid. He is untrustworthy, and is waging a campaign to get you to percieve things the way he wants, you don't know how far he'll go with that: distrust is sensible in this situation.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:44 AM
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That's all so true JenT -- all very good points.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:48 AM
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The counselor is real - I know that because it's the one his daughter has been speaking to regarding G's progress (SHE got the number to call from the nurse's station phone where a nurse made the mistake of allowing G to "borrow" the phone the first night there. He called me 15 times that night, so I had to call sometime he wasn't there and tell them to put up a sticky saying that G wasn't allowed to use the free nurse's station phone for any reason - then he'd be stuck using up his quarters.)

We spoke about a half hour this morning, most of the time was spent with me summarizing what has been going on. (I did a great job summarizing, too. It took 20 minutes to get it all out there, but I hit on everything just lightly enough that someone experienced with this sort of thing could fill in all the blanks. Take that, G and your "You talk to much"!)

He advised me to go to counseling, which is something I had actually decided I needed to do last night. Does anyone know how to find a good counselor?
He also advised me to set my boundaries now, while G was still in rehab, so I would be familiar with them when I got out. So that's something I am going to work on today...

I may be back to you guys later for some insight into other things to add, but I need to get it started on my own. So far, he is not getting the keys to this apartment, and I am seriously considering saying that he's not allowed to visit at all. Also, I will not run his bills anymore, he has to do it so that he can see the damage his spending is causing. And I removed any mention of my name or salary from his budget sheets, including the $100 I traditionally started sending to him each pay - I will not let him take me down with him, not even gradually. Beyond that, I have to do my thinking today.


Thank you so much for all your input, especially Jen and LaTeeDa. This isn't an easy thing to do, but I am starting to feel better, little by little, so I know I'm on the right track. (((HUGS)))
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:24 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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I was listening to the Michael Card CD my parents got me for Christmas. They bought me things that I used to be interested in five years ago, and at first I was mad at them for not getting to know me enough to realize that my interests had changed - now I'm starting to realize that I'm still interested in those things, G just taught me that I wasn't allowed to be interested in them.

I was listening to the CD, and the lyrics at the beginning of this song made me cry again... It's a Christian CD, but just change a couple words...



Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord?
And why did he use a kiss to show them, that's not what a kiss is for.
Only a friend can betray a friend, a stranger has nothing to gain.
And only a friend comes close enough to ever cause so much pain.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:51 AM
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A recovered alcoholic early on has a slew of other issues which in a way is harder because in your head you think: "but they have stopped drinking, why is he still nuts? Maybe he IS just nuts? Oh great now I am not in love with an alcoholic, but I am in love with a nut." Then I pull out the handbook on how to date a nut!

For you it would be a manipulator. It may just be who he is. In which case, sounds like you are very tired of it (of course). Take away the booze and there will be core issues to deal with. You may not like the sober version.

I'm sorry that you are getting tangled up in his rehab program. That alone is suspicious to me because drug counselors are NOT relationship therapists. They have no business in my mind to even give relationship advice or help. All they are to do is give the recovered person tools to deal with his life outside of rehab, including relationships.

The fact that he can get away with calling you so much maybe means they have very inconsistent rules. I don't know. Maybe I am just comparing your bf's rehab with my RABF rehab and they do not want me involved in any way and would not ever call me or intervene. Its like they put a moat around him so he can focus on his recovery. It sucked but hearing what you are going through tells me that maybe keeping me at a distance is the best thing.

You can tell the rehab place not to contact you or not let him contact you. Period. They need to honor that.

Sorry for a ramble but I feel for you having been dragged into his rehab mess. it is very odd to me that a rehab would do that. Particulary because you are a gf and not married or have kids together. If you were, then they may try to involve you but even there they take very careful steps. His counselor sounds very inappropriate to me and poorly trained.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:57 AM
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When my son was in rehab (a very well-respected one), he had access to the phone whenever he wanted...just that he was kept so busy that he had little time to make phone calls. If we wanted to call him, we were put into a voice mail box and could leave a message. We were encouraged to keep things light ("just letting you know I'm thinking of you!") and not to expect return phone calls. He actually only called me about 5 times the entire 6 weeks he was there. He was tooooo busy!
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:17 PM
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In this case, G has an issue where he spends 100% of his time worrying about one person, and expects that person to do the same with him. He'd call me during every single free chance he got, wake up an hour early and go to bed an hour late, skip lunch if he could manage to sneak away, because talking to me is his other drug of choice.

I've come to the conclusion that he's addicted to alcohol, spending, and being in a "close" (in his mind) relationship with one person of his choice who he takes all over the place without listening to the sorts of things they want to do and buys things for without listening to the sorts of things they'd really like.
He thinks that what he wants should be what everyone wants, and that those who disagree with him are either morons, or just haven't "seen the light" and he has to show them what they're missing.
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