Marla Rondo

Author Archives: Marla Rondo

What Is Verbal Abuse in Marriage?

You haven’t felt good about your marriage in a long time. You know, or suspect, that your spouse is verbally abusive, and a part of you wants out STAT.

But the other part of you is afraid. What if your spouse gets angry at your decision to leave, and decides to make things worse for you or your loved ones? 

What if there’s a chance your spouse will revert to the loving, kind person they used to be, and you regret leaving them behind? 

What if everything you’ve been through is all in your head, and you just need to sit it out until the storm blows over? 

Know this: Regardless of the reason, no one deserves to be abused, verbally or emotionally. It’s one thing to anger people every now and then. It’s another for them to take it out on you on a regular basis for no apparent reason — other than they can. 

So what is verbal abuse in marriage? Here are some of the signs you should watch out for:

  • You get shouted at on a regular basis. 
  • You don’t feel free to talk about certain things with your spouse, because they either blow up at you, or shoot you down with invalidating remarks and backhanded insults. 
  • You’re consistently on the receiving end of derogatory comments about your gender/religion/social status/etc. When you call them out on those comments, they respond with, “It’s just a joke!” or “Geez, you’re so sensitive about these things.”
  • You’re blamed for all their problems, even the ones they bring down on themselves, and expect you to take 100 percent responsibility for those problems. 
  • You’re given the silent treatment. There’s a “Cold War” in the house more often than not. 
  • You never hear from them when you do something good. But when you make the tiniest mistake, they can talk all day about what a pathetic wretch you are. 
  • You feel guilty when you’re out with people who are not your spouse, because you feel like you’re neglecting them somehow.
  • You always feel like they need to have the last word. 
  • When you threaten to leave them, they apologize over and over, only to go back to their old ways once they “earn” your forgiveness. 
  • You’re beginning to question your sanity and intelligence, because they somehow manage to make you look and feel like the “villain” all the time. 

Even after reading those signs and symptoms of verbal abuse, you may still be reluctant to do anything. Maybe there’s a perfectly rational explanation for your spouse’s behavior. Maybe your spouse didn’t get the love they needed when they were children, so it’s up to you to fill up that hole in their heart. Maybe, just maybe, they’re also trying their hardest to make your marriage work, but can’t express themselves properly. Continue reading

11 Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

Finally, this is it! You have met the man of your dreams. 

The two of you are joined at the hip, and he is constantly guiding you in every move that you make. You can’t help but believe he’s madly in love with you. 

After all, he calls you throughout the day and wants to keep you all to himself every chance he gets. Isn’t he sweet? 

His attentiveness seems to show he’s basking in the newness of your relationship. However, there’s a side to this scenario that suggests your boyfriend is already starting to control you, and maybe you’re not fully aware of it. 

An emotionally-manipulative boyfriend often uses subtle tactics, making the unsuspecting woman think that he is acting in her best interest, when in fact, he always wants to have his final say in the relationship. 

It’s difficult to discern if this overly-attentive guy is being manipulative or if he just cares about you a lot. If you find it hard to tell the difference between the two, there are major telltale signs to see if your guy is micromanaging you.

Here are 11 signs of a controlling boyfriend you need to be aware of:

1-He wants your world to revolve around him and only him.

An understanding partner will appreciate that you have a life of your own and will be happy that you are able to nurture your friendships with other people. 

However, a manipulative man will subtly try to convince you to avoid your friends or stop you from talking to your siblings. He might also persuade you to cut back on your work, as it impacts your time together. 

Why this is bad: Aside from feeling jealous of your attention and time, he also wants you to cut ties with your network of friends and your support system, so that eventually he will be the only person you can depend on Continue reading

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5 Signs of Emotional Blackmail

Once in a while, you and your partner may not see eye to eye on certain things. And that’s fine.

After all, these little differences are what make the relationship even more interesting and exciting.

However, if you feel heavy-hearted because you can never reach a healthy compromise, or you end up feeling guilty after every argument, then you’re probably at the receiving end of an emotional blackmail.

It does not matter if it’s subtle or direct, emotional blackmail can make you feel crazy and insecure. A partner who does this wants to get in your head, as a way to control you and make you acquiesce to whatever he or she wants.

Here are 5 signs of emotional blackmail that you might recognize:

1-Your partner won’t accept anything less than a “yes.”

Requests between couples are normal, especially on matters where they don’t always agree.

When you and your partner disagree on certain issues, both of you should try to look at it from the other’s point of view. In the end, you may reach a compromise, or you may both agree to revisit the issue another time.

These conversations can go back and forth between you and your partner, creating a dynamic of a healthy, two-way relationship.

However, emotional blackmailers don’t see it this way. For them, with every single issue or request, they need an immediate affirmative answer.

Regardless of what they want, they expect you to say, “Yes” without arguing or disagreeing.

If you do push back and tell them why you feel uneasy or don’t want to comply, they try to guilt-trip you by showing extreme disappointment, pouting, or even shouting angrily. It’s clear that when you don’t give in, you’re partner is going to make you feel really bad.

2-Your partner transfers the weight of the blame to you.

Obligation and guilt are two of the major emotional responses a manipulator wants his partner to feel. By tapping into these vulnerabilities, the controlling partner knows that they will eventually get what they want.

When you passionately try to get your point across, he or she will turn the tables to make it appear that you are overreacting.

Related Post: Signs of Verbal Abuse in Marriage

Your partner may argue that you wouldn’t be fighting if you just agreed with him in the first place. When caught cheating, your girlfriend will defend that you didn’t give her enough attention, so she slept with someone else.

Just by changing the perspective, a manipulative partner can easily shift the blame to the unwitting partner.

Two different scenarios occur when you allow your perception to be swayed.

If you believe in your partner’s justification and assume that you did something wrong, then you become guilty and apologetic. Manipulators delight in the idea of “forgiving” their partners, as it makes them feel they have the upper hand.

If you feel obliged to make your partner happy and satisfied at all times, you become the only person accountable for the stability of the relationship, including the well-being of your partner.

3-Your partner constantly threatens unpleasant consequences.

Using threats is a common tactic for emotional blackmailers. The subtlety or directness of the threat depends on the tactics used and the personality of the manipulator.

For example, a controller who wants to explicitly intimidate you suggests that a punishment awaits if he doesn’t get what he wants. When you don’t comply, he will straightforwardly tell you that he’ll cause a scene, end the relationship, or even cause physical harm to you or your loved ones.

A self-punisher, on the other hand, will pressure you to constantly give in to her whims, or she will hurt herself or even commit suicide.

And then, there’s the subtlest tactic where your partner promises to reward you rather than threaten you, through material, physical, or emotional means, using whatever enticement they think will best tap into your vulnerabilities.

4-Your partner wants you to always feel pity.

Not all emotional blackmailers are overtly intimidating and dominant.

On the other side of the spectrum is a controlling partner who clings on to you for dear life and acts needy and pitiful.

This can be confusing since their go-to strategy is to make you feel loved and cared for — but then create a “bait and switch.”

Constant declarations of love and showering you with gifts are great. However, for each “I love you,” and for every gift that you receive, you’ll hear a story about how your partner will be devastated if they lose you.

He constantly reminds you of the time he was cheated on by a past girlfriend and presents this as a justification for his reactions.

She gets jealous when the name of another girl comes up in a conversation with your buddies and behaves like a tearful schoolgirl to get your attention.

Your partner inserts daily doses of drama into your relationship, even during those moments that should be fun and light.

5-Your partner consistently use the same tactics to get what they want.

The thing about emotional blackmail is that it is repetitive in nature.

When a manipulator gets what he or she wants the first time, using their preferred methods, he or she will employ it again and again because they know it works. When you oppose them, the pressure to say, “Yes,” will grow more and more intense, until you yield to their demands.

No matter how much you love your partner, there is no denying that emotional blackmail can destroy the strength of your relationship.

What is quite surprising is that many manipulators do not have malicious intentions, and their needs within the relationship are often legitimate.

The problem arises when they use certain manipulative tactics to get what they want without considering the feelings and opinions of their partners.

What made you take notice that your partner is possibly manipulating your emotions? Were there any steps that you have taken to break the cycle of emotional blackmail? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.