Toxic relationship: how to free yourself from a psychological grip?

In an age of the emergence of cases of sexual abuse, the revelation of uninformed consent and the success of #Metoo and #balancetonporc, the concept of control colors all the victims’ testimonies. The grip, however, is not so easy to imagine, or to accept. No need to donate yourself, intelligence, talent or maturity in no way protects against danger.

What is the psychological team?

“The team is a psychic burglary, a toxic asymmetrical relationship of the dominant / dominated type, masked by various forms of manipulation, from the ‘gentle’ to the most violent, and more or less subtle perverse strategies, explains psychotherapist Sylvie Tenenbaum. It arouses fear, then terror, and constitutes an attempt, sometimes successful, at psychic murder. “

The grip sets in insidious, with an increased frequency of scenes, humiliations, humiliations. According to shrinks, it affects as many women as men. Even after four or five years of deteriorating couple life, there are solutions to get your head above water. before remodeling.

You need to become aware of the poison that your spouse has instilled little by little, and understand that he wants only one thing: to take power, to possess you, to command and control you. Psychoanalyst Saverio Tomasella distinguishes between three key stages:

1. Seduction or harpooning. “During this period, which can last for several months, the seducer uses flattery, multiplies the gifts, encourages self-confidence and gradually leads his goal to give him more time, ideas, energy. He makes him believe that it is a good and genuine relationship. “

2. cannibalism or vampirism. “The charmer utilizes his prey’s body, his ability to experience emotions, but also his money, possible trips, his relationships and his vitality,” he continues. What results in an initial resistance to the oppressed.

3. destruction / revenge. You express your reality to your pursuer, believing that he is a sentient and sensible being. Error! The grip tightens, the other becomes jealous and violent, makes his grip feel guilty, plays on his emotional and / or material dependence.

For him, the affected live an idealization phasethen a phase of fatigue with a feeling of suffocation until an emotional burnout, then a legitimate rebellionquickly muffled by the excuses she finds for her executioner.

If you are lost in your couple because nothing is as before, ask yourself, “And if it was influence?”. Find the worrying signs that your partner’s behavior is awakening in you. Sylvie Tenenbaum listed them: confusion, anxiety, guilt, shame, sleep disturbances, memory loss, affection for others, difficulty communicating with him (her) and his loved ones.

“Keep a ‘secret notebook’, consult a general practitioner, write down and describe what your partner says to you, make you suffer, to assess why you are so bad: he makes you doubt, downgrades you, humiliates you, even sexually. “

Examples: “There you say some nonsense”, “See what you made me do” … He (she) forces you to have a sexual relationship? No, you’re not in a normal relationship.

And to be sure, distinguish the attachment of love, warns Saverio Tomasella. “Love respects diversity and the autonomy of the other, while the vampire ties you up in a pathological clinging to you to his only advantage.” Also watch out for Scottish showers that alternate between verbal or physical abuse and gestures of pacification and tenderness. A terrible trap!

Get out of isolation to free yourself from psychological influence

The tyrant cuts off his “subject”, which he is aiming at depersonalize, of all kind, family ties… Only the world of work escapes him. To get out of this psychic confinement already requires that one stop judging oneself. Then to reconnect with benevolent third parties, friends, brothers and sisters, doctors who will pressure you to recognize and accept the reality of the excesses in your marital relationship. “They want to help the victim regain his critical sense, to name his suffering, to free himself from guilt,” psychologists Pascale Chapaux-Morelli and Pascal Courderc explain in their book, Affective manipulation in the couple (ed. Albin Michel).

If you were able to move forward on this path alone and your loved ones do not believe in you, bring your diary forward. “It is necessary give up trying to save your buddy and seek protection from himbefore you escape it “, the two authors claim. Then use tricks. Use a secret phone. Learn to lie. Sylvie Tenenbaum also recommends a liberating exercise: write a letter to your prison guard that you never send where you want to pour out your anger, your hatred, your pain. “Then read it aloud in front of a trusted friend or therapist, and address them as if they were there. This will allow you to re-narcissize you, “says the expert.

Also resist physical confinement. The man who imposes on his wife schedules, to return before such and such time … imprisonment. “You need to reclaim your living space“, insists Saverio Tomasella. Open a bank account in your name, to deposit your savings there, you will build financial independence, useful when the time comes.

Reconnect with yourself to put this toxic relationship aside

“I do not deserve this … I am the most important person to me.” Autosuggestion is a good start to regaining self-esteem. For after such a business with “debraining” it is a matter of reconnecting to oneself.

“Make a small balance of what you want to re-contact in you, desires and feelings,” advises the psychoanalyst. “What do I like to eat? What do I read? …”

This exercise forces you to think for yourself, rediscover the taste for things and reconnect with positive emotions, assuring shrinks. You will find out what you do – or did – under the influence and what really suits you. Therefore, cultivate PPAS, the little anti-stress pleasures, recommended by Sylvie Tenenbaum: an exhibition, a walk, an evening with friends …

Note the gradual changes. Then resume regular activities. “Take full advantage of your successes,” Pascal Courderc writes, “even if your spouse tries to minimize or discredit them.” Also, if the separation is busy and your ex is gone, remove everything reminiscent from your home.the theater of your suffering“: move the furniture, donate items … If you’re moving, everything’s new! You start on the right foot, even if it means consolidating this psychological follow-up.

Psychological impact: 5 traps to avoid so as not to lose your footing

Resisting a predator requires skill. Beware of impulsive reactions that make things worse than better! Specifically:

  1. To get angry He will turn it against you, and if you prefer him, he will double his aggressiveness regardless of the context.
  2. Contradict the disqualification He will be stronger in the argument. Better to answer “You’re wrong”, “I do not believe you”, “I do not agree” to signal that it does not take.
  3. want to understand This gives him carte blanche in his behavior. That he suffered does not give him all the rights.
  4. Let yourself be softened Beware of love oaths as insults and blows will follow. Judge facts and deeds.
  5. Pamper him to appease him He will take advantage of your weaknesses and will use them at the slightest opportunity.

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