16 October 2012

P.S. on manipulation

SO!  In my last post (read it first if you haven't) I sort of alluded to the fact that I often "manipulate back."  Last night after I published I went to the forum and read an awesome comment by Alicia. 

I love Alicia as much as I can love someone I've only met online.  Check out her blog

Anyway, she talked about how much she hates it when someone doesn't agree with her 100%.  In my response to her on the forum I said

"Alicia- I'm having such a hard time with this. I get all kinds of crazy anxiety with my husband doesn't agree with me. I want to talk all night, until I'm blue in the face, making fantastic points and presenting mounds of evidence to demonstrate my rightness. And he still doesn't agree. And then I crumble into a pathetic heap and cry and cry. I don't know how to let it go. Every night for the past week we've gone to bed in awkward tension because we're so STUCK. I've at least stopped the pathetic sobbing, but inside my heart feels empty because I am sure we are doomed if we can't AGREE ON THIS!!!"

Then it hit me that part of the reason this is so hard, is because I've been a master manipulator myself.  In the past when Pete didn't agree with me I would do exactly what I described above.  I would cry and sob until he had no choice but give me some kind of concession.  Without acknowleding that what I was doing was exploiting HIS guilt, I did at least recognize that I needed to stop. 

Which I have.  I have stopped trying to manipulate back.  Which means it goes unresolved.  And that is what is killing me. 


  1. I love you too, lady!
    And I love how honest you are online and with yourself. It's inspiring.

    1. Alicia nailed it ! You are such an inspiration!

  2. AH! Okay, I can't believe you are posting about this, because it has literally been on my mind all day. This line right here: "Which means it gets unresolved."


    I. can't. handle. no. resolution!

    That's where I can relate to you so much! There is a problem - a stand-still. I pull out my logic, all my thought-out points, philosophies of wisdom. No resolution.

    So I pull out humor. I break the tension with silliness. I try to lighten the mood so our minds can think more clearly. No resolution.

    I pull out the logic again. The calm speaking. The open ground of sharing. Most of the time the resolution falls here, but sometimes it doesn't.

    So then my last resort - emotions! I cry. I get angry. I start emotionally manipulating.

    It's like the lack of a resolution spurs you TO emotionally manipulate because you have exhausted all other efforts!

    I can completely relate to you! So this all comes down to how to resolve with people who don't have the same way of problem-solving. Who don't have the same vested emotions. Who can't draw insight and understanding as quickly. Who aren't as perceptive or don't have willpower to change their behavior. How is that done?

    I don't know how Pete is, so I'm not speculating in any way. But I remember with A., it's like his brain would just shrivel up and he was entirely useless in problem-solving. So EVERYTHING remained unresolved unless I was able to single-handed cure world peace and solve cancer while he just ran home to mommy and daddy to bask in a childish life of no responsibility. (Gag, sorry to release that on here).

    But it's not like you and I can manipulate them in to problem-solving like how we problem solve, so there has to be a high principle to seeing more clearly with each other.

    (I'm thinking through my writing here). Okay, so if we move up a tier to a higher approach. An approach that doesn't lead us directly in to the trap of emotional manipulation. Hmm... I guess the best thing I can think of is to refocus on the foundational principles your relationship is established on. You LOVE each other. You are COMMITTED. You make each other LAUGH. So for a few days, I would say erase everything as best you can, and focus on this higher, eternal tier. Love each other, do something fun, remember just how much you both mean to each other. Then in a few days when you are refocused in love, revisit this and see if any new insights flood in and allow more understanding.

    I feel out of place giving advice but just know that I understand you, and you aren't alone in feeling this way. And if all else fails, just be grateful that Pete will still be by your side tomorrow morning :) I LOVE YOU JANE!

    1. Sorry that was really long. I'm on a conference call right now (clearly not listening), so I got really absorbed in your blog. :)

  3. This is so interesting and actually, it reminds me a little bit of something Pete wrote on his blog where he said that he would manipulate, but not even realize he was doing it. So dang, I'm caught red handed because I think I manipulate in a similar way to you...but I think I don't even realize it. And now I am thinking my husband probably doesn't realize it either! Marriage teaches you so much - it's a definite refiner's fire!

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