Toxic men typically function in contrast to sensibility, but there are also times when they bahave in normal manner.
You may experience long stretches of time when a guy is being is being loving, kind and accommodating, leaves you feeling conflicted over whether or not he’s actually good or bad for you.
Their inconsistent behavior creates a silent uncertainty in the partner’s mind, causing the partner to stay put and try harder to make things work, and that is exactly what toxic men rely on.
In the beginning, women fall for destructive men in the moments the guy seems like a normal guy or when he appears to be a victim because then he is seen as vulnerable. Women get trapped by these guys because the ;over-empathize with them, ;never expecting that a guy’s victim story may have been invented in order to pull her in emotionally.
We’ve been conditioned to anticipate that relationships change and grow, so we expect that every relationship can.
But the unspoken truth is that there are many relationships — and many people — that cannot ever grow or change significantly enough to become healthy.
Without expecting it might be possible to be in a relationship that can’t improve, we don’t think to look for unsustained changes, keeping us stuck for longer than is good for us.
When you start paying attention to the patterns of change in a relationship, as well as to the way you respond to those changes that don’t stick, you can begin assessing the situation more accurately and determine if the man you’re involved with is trying to keep you trapped and under his control.
Toxic men have many game plans, and some are tricky to spot if you don’t know what to look for.
Here are 5 manipulative strategies men employ that are signs he’s trying to trap you in a toxic relationship:
1. He insists on calling the shots and deciding how and when communication happens.
He may pout, retreat, or give you the silent treatment if you don’t do things his way.
There will be many cyclical arguments during which he twists what you’ve said and hyperfocuses on isolated words in your discussion, argument, or point, harping on them out of context, and perhaps even weeks later.
2. He insoncisitently showers you with (and then withholds) kindness and generosity.
He may experience sudden mood shifts for no apparent reason and without warning.
This kind of behavior can be subtle, it can be an eerie calm or quietness, or a sudden, senseless withdrawing.
3. He approaches various topics with dramatic intensity.
This may be his job, success, money, or romance. Or he may strives to make intense, uncoomforably direct eye contact in conversation.
4. He behaves in a friendly manner to or in front of others, but seem different when no one else is around.
Manipulative men are often highyl skilled at putting on a good show of being the perfect gentlemen around your friends, family or coworkers. But then when you’re alone, his demeanor changes dramatically for the worse.
5. He gaslights you.
This means that you are made to feel like you misunderstand things, that the conversation you had was not actually had, or that you are in some other way “crazy” and not experiencing what you know to be true.
He may claim that a promise he made was not actually made, or that it wasn’t made in the way you understood it, but you know better.
Do you notice there is a lot of word play going on? That’s common, and it’s meant to keep you on your toes doubting yourself and your own judgment, and spinning as you wonder if it’s you who got it wrong or him that made it up.
A woman in an unchangeable, toxic relationship typically has the same expectations she would have of a changeable, healthy relationships so she gets caught up waiting and expecting the situation to get back to the “normal” she saw in the beginning.
A toxic man’s tactics and actions play mind games on her and keep her second-guessing herself, always wondering if she was right about the beginning and he changed, or if she assessed him incorrectly right from the start and he deceived her.
She cannot decipher which is the real guy: the vulnerable one she met in the beginning, the one who acts normal for the long stretches of time, or the one who is playing games and hurting her.
In the day-to-day moments, she questions herself because he acts like she’s imagining all the stuff she’s experiencing. She starts to wonder if perhaps she is misunderstanding him. Privately, she thinks, Could it have been my mistaken memory? Did I forget? Is he really right and he never did say X or agreed to Y?
But then she remembers he did, and the cycle in her mind continues.
Again, it’s a total mind game these warped guys are very good at playing.
If you notice these strategies or a pattern of incomplete follow-through, start watching to see if there’s a lot of word play going on or if you feel he’s being secretive.
Watch to make sure any changes you request happen, and if so, for how long they last. Improvements don’t last long with guys who are truly toxic.
This is crazy-making stuff, and it’s not easy to see when you’re in it. But if you do, you’ll be on your way to breaking free and finding a peaceful, healthy relationship with someone who deserves you and makes you feel happy.