Red flags are behaviors like never apologizing for their part, punishing you by suddenly breaking up OR cutting off all communication and not talking to you for days when they are mad, emotions turning on a dime (i.e., splitting: loving/valuing you then hating/devaluing you), wild accusations when you ARE trustworthy, requesting sex after insulting you, telling you repeatedly your bond is so rare and special that you’ll never be able to replace them, telling you that any other man would just want you for your body, impatience or anger with differences of opinion, inability to effectively cope with frustration, oversensitivity to perceived slights, criticizing you using irresponsible labels such as "selfish", "lazy", "pathetic" "disgusting", "evil", and degrading phrases like "you're not smart enough for me", and "you have no mental acuity". These verbal attacks are interspersed with many moments of loving adoration, attention, compliments, romance, affection, and passion to keep you intrigued enough to stay! Emotional or verbal abuse? They are definitely not messages of self-love or authentic love for the other. Could they be tactics for deflating ones sense of self-worth so the victim won't abandon the abuser? Manipulators have no self-love, don't feel worthy, don't trust others fully and therefore believe they have to 'persuade' love to happen to meet their needs consistently in the future.
But their methods to keep the victim 'locked in' will eventually push that victim away (if the victim's strong enough), and the Manipulator experiences a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now the very person they were trying to manipulate for fear of leaving them, is gone - due to their own destructive behaviors. Typically their love history includes a trail of broken relationships and unfulfilled dreams. But if you ask them why, it's always because of the other person, or because they just chose badly before!
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Love is a two-way street in a mature and healthy relationship...but for dysfunctional relationships, it's a one-way, dead end highway. Manipulators use 'romantic love' as a means to an end - using their perfected charm and adoring affection to get their selfish needs met. They sniff out vulnerability and can read you like a book, including all your insecurities and needs. In fact, that’s what initially makes them seem so great - that intense attentiveness! But that same ability to zero in on your needs is also the same ability they have to find your weakness and critique you for it over and over again. And even worse, be prepared for their temper when you've angered them (maybe by just not accepting their verbal abuse as 'warranted') - Narcissistic rage is scary and something you'll wished you hadn't witnessed. How could someone SO loving also be SO mean? It feels like something out of the 1931 horror movie, "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde". Only when it's too late does the unknowing victim realize their nearly fatal car crash. And, like a totaled car, it can take a lot of work to get back to original condition to be drivable again.