abuse, abuse red flags, abusive relationships, emotional abuse, gaslighting, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Abusive Partners “Bait and Switch” the Relationship

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One of the reasons I hear from my clients that makes it hard for certain people to to leave an abusive relationship, is that they are not fully sure in their own minds if the partner is abusive them intentionally. 

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Here’s the thing…It doesn’t really matter. 

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If someone is making you feel like you are crazy and interfering with your ability to live and thrive, then it is okay to leave them. 

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But what about the agreement? What about the commitment that I made to that person? 

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A commitment like  a marriage or a partner agreement had two sides to it. You are not the only one who should be accountable for your behaviors. You are not responsible for keeping up your end of a verbal or written contract, when the other person acts as if they have no obligation to that contract. 

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When you ask “What about my commitment?” …what you really should be asking is “What about the partner’s side to that agreement?”

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Have they made a “bait and switch” arrangement with you. You can look up the term bait and switch on google and you will find how it is used in the context of business deals.

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If you see an advertisement for a certain product at a price that you find fair, and then the sales person tries to get you to buy a different product (usually more expensive) , telling you that the original product is no longer available, then this might be a bait and switch.If they advertised the original product with no intention of giving you that product. and with the premeditated plan of talking you into the other one. then it is a bait and switch.

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How does the narcissist or psychopath pull of a bait and switch?

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Well, it is really the same thing as the way this tactic is used in business. Your partner pretended that a certain kind of relationship was available to you. They manufactured a personality that you would like, and then lured you with that persona.

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They had no intention of fulfilling any promises they made you. They had no intention of keeping up that personality during the relationship. They were aware that they had no desire to maintain a fair and balanced relationship.

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Now, we come back to the question of the partner’s behavior being intentional and whether or not the particular person is aware of their behavior being unfair and abusive. 

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Here’s the thing…

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If this is an adult that is unaware when they are being abusive to you, then you do not want to be with them. If this adult is incapable of understanding how adult relationships work, then you will never have a fulfilling relationship with them. 

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So, whether or not they are aware that their behavior is abusive….if this person is abusive to you, then you do not need to feel obligated to stay in the relationship, or to be “a good person” by putting up with a miserable relationship. 

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It is a bait and switch if the person has intentionally mislead you. If they have not intentionally mislead you…then why did their behavior dramatically change after a few months of being in the relationship?

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How could they be thoughtful and kind to you for a few months, and then suddenly change into a completely different person who is cruel and selfish?

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If they were able to maintain a certain persona during the idealization phase. then truly they are probably fully aware that they manipulated you into falling for them by pretending to be someone they are not. 

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But if they acted like a selfless, caring person until they entrapped you, and then changed their behavior in a dramatic way after that…and they are not aware that they did that…then this is a disordered person that you cannot change, and you will not be able to have a loving relationship with. 

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The issue of whether or not the person knows how abusive they are simply cannot be a factor in whether or not you have to feel obligated to continue to tolerate their abuse. You are not “a bad person” if you leave the relationship. 

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In fact, if they suddenly change back into that thoughtful person again, just when you mention wanting to eave them, then that should be your clue as to whether or not they are able to control their behavior. This should be a clue to you, as to whether or not the person is intentionally being selfish and abusive.

 

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