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How To Tell If Your Ex Is Manipulating You? 15 Squeaky Clean Signs 

How To Tell If Your Ex Is Manipulating You? 15 Squeaky Clean Signs 

Published on Nov 10, 2023

How To Tell If Your Ex Is Manipulating You 15 Squeaky Clean Signs 

Do you want to know how to tell if your ex is manipulating you

Breaking up is rarely an easy feat. But it’s even worse if your ex, instead of letting you heal and move on, decides to throw a wrench in with words. 

It may be quite difficult to navigate the emotional turbulence and storm of contradictory sentiments that come with being in a relationship. 

So, to be alert to their manipulation techniques, dive right in to find out!

How To Tell If Your Ex Is Manipulating You? 15 Signs 

Manipulation is a technique that can be as subtle as a whisper or as blatant as a neon sign. Learning to recognize the signs of manipulation is your first step towards regaining your emotional independence and protecting your well-being. 

So, delve right in to explore the complex realm of emotional manipulation of your ex. 

1. Their Words And Actions Don’t Match

When someone’s actions and words align together, it implies sincerity. So, notice their behavior, and if there’s any discrepancy between their actions and words, it is a clear sign of lying or manipulation. 

For instance, they’ll promise to change, but they won’t. They’ll repeat the same old toxic habits.

2. Spot Their Narcissistic Tactics

Narcissists employ manipulation techniques after breakups and divorce. They use words and deeds to entice their ex-partners back into their lives without showing true devotion. 

Techniques like guilt-tripping, intimidation, and love bombing can help you know whether your ex is controlling you.

3. They Are Always Playing The Victim

If they’re manipulating you, they’ll play the victim even in cases where they are blatantly at fault. This way, they want to win others over or deflect criticism from themselves. 

They place the blame on you and paint you as a villain. Simultaneously, they boost their own self-esteem and ego.

4. They Drag Children Or Mutual Friends Into The Mess

If you have children or common friends, they may be involved in the plots of manipulative ex-partners. It can entail employing them as messengers or turning them against you. 

This kind of coercion may become worse, beginning innocently enough with accusations about shared friends and eventually including kids. 

They may even place false accusations and contact with child protective services against you in extreme circumstances. 

5. They Might Want To Make You Feel Like The Loser

Some manipulative ex-partners present a successful and happy picture of their lives after the separation. This is a strategy to make you feel inferior or as if you missed out on a big jackpot!

They’ll post perfect pictures on social media and pass passive-aggressive remarks. They’ll quietly imply that they are ‘winning.’ Your ex may purposely incite your envy to control you. 

6. They Bait You For Conflict

Baiting is a typical manipulative technique used by ex-partners. They deliberately attempt to incite disagreements or unfavorable interactions with you using this tactic. 

For instance, they may bring up delicate subjects or say hurtful things in an attempt to provoke a response from you. 

7. They Use Selective Memory And Gaslighting

Selective memory is a ploy where ex-partners casually ignore all the painful things they’ve done and concentrate on the good things that happened in the past. This is essentially gaslighting since it makes you doubt your judgment and memories.

They try to make you eager to reconcile with them and ignore red flags. 

8. They Check In On You Frequently

Your ex wants to keep control of your life if they keep getting in touch with you. 

They constantly ask to know where you are and what you’re doing. And if they keep sending you texts and phone calls, you are doomed. 

They could keep a careful eye on you to make sure you don’t move on or make new friends. When this continues even after you set boundaries, it is obviously manipulation.

 9. They Try To Guilt Trap You

Guilt is one tactic a controlling ex could use to make you feel bad about moving on in your life. They may accuse you of being self-centered or imply that you owe them something. 

Notice if you find yourself feeling guilty about anything or needing to apologize all the time.

10. They’ll Repeatedly Lie To You

A manipulative ex will also lie to you repeatedly to gain sympathy. They may say that they’re in trouble or even give you suicidal threats. 

They’ll guilt trip you if you don’t fall for those lies. If you don’t fall for those, they’ll even make that the cause of the breakup.

10. They Provoke Jealousy

They’ll talk about how you connect with others or make people feel as though they are missing something. 

They constantly try to make you feel insecure about yourself and establish their superiority. Such deceptive actions may be harmful to your mental health.

11. They Disregard Your Boundaries

If your former partner consistently disregards your clearly set boundaries, it is a clear sign that they’re manipulative. They don’t appreciate you as a self-sufficient person. 

They may even paint you the bad guy for having “boundaries” in your “close bond.”

12. They Isolate You From Your Loved Ones

Another sign of a manipulative ex is them trying to distance you from loved ones. For instance, they’ll prevent you from interacting with them.

They could try to convince you that they are the only ones who understand you and that everyone else is your enemy. 

13. They Try To Invade Your Privacy

When your ex refuses to move forward with their life and invades yours, it signifies a lack of respect for your boundaries and your right to move on. 

This is another manipulative way to make you feel disturbed and think about them. They want to use this tactic to make you feel you can’t get away from them and have you back in their life.

14. They Love Exploiting Your Insecurities

Emotional manipulators use a crafty tactic to take advantage of your weaknesses, worries, and insecurities. 

They may purposefully bring up your fears while you’re already feeling down. They may focus more on your shortcomings in public to further erode your self-esteem. 

Furthermore, they might provide backhanded compliments, disguising their criticism or insults under a veneer of flattery. Their subliminal criticism would probably make you feel offended and upset.

15. They Resort To Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Passive-aggressive techniques are often used by emotional manipulators as a covert way to communicate their unpleasant feelings or thoughts. 

So, notice if they make seemingly lighthearted yet attacking remarks and ignore you after asking you to talk. 

This tactful way of expressing annoyance or displeasure keeps you in a condition of doubt, worry, and discomfort. All of which are crucial to the manipulation process.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

If your ex tries to reach out or somehow bother your social circle, it is advisable to look for these signs. Your suspicion is probably right, even if just two of the indications from the list materialize.

So, once you recognize these signs, seek loved ones’ and therapist’s help to deal with it. Fight hard and overcome the effect of their manipulation!