How to End a Relationship with a Manipulating Person

Table of contents:

How to End a Relationship with a Manipulating Person
How to End a Relationship with a Manipulating Person

Ending a relationship with a manipulative person is much more difficult than starting. Many people think that those who live in situations like this do not have the courage to report or cannot live alone - even if they live in risky situations with their partner or partner -, but the truth is that the hole is deeper. If that's your case, prepare in advance, formulate a plan, and put it into action. The most important part is taking the initiative.


Part 1 of 3: Preparing to End the Relationship

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 01

Step 1. Learn to identify if you are in an abusive relationship

Many relationships with manipulative people last much longer than they should because the victim (and sometimes the abuser) lives in denial. You may even feel that the person is moody or needy - in fact, he or she gradually dominates every aspect of your life. See some red signs:

  • If you've noticed that the person is beginning to dominate every aspect of your life, from your interactions with friends to small everyday decisions.
  • If the person has tantrums or other such reactions and then begs for your company and your love, it is because they are trying to emotionally blackmail you.
  • If you've tried to break up, but the person threatened to have violent reactions (even commit suicide), it's because they manipulated the relationship.
  • If the person is very jealous and doesn't like it when you go out with friends, even more so if they are of the opposite sex, and it makes it difficult for you to interact with other acquaintances.
  • If the person criticizes you in front of your friends and relatives, they suppress your voice in public places and grimace when you do something "wrong".
  • If you give in to the person's wishes because you're afraid of how they'll react if contradicted.
  • If the person forces you to do things you don't want, especially when it comes to sex.
  • If you go out of your way to fulfill the person's wishes at any cost.
  • If you feel that you have no escape from the relationship and that you will never find someone who is really good for your life.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 02

Step 2. Think of all the reasons why you should leave

Once you've come to the conclusion that you're in an abusive relationship, it's time to start thinking about how much better your life can be if it all ends. This can still kick-start the whole process. List all the reasons and reread them until you memorize - without delaying or stalling. See some examples:

  • You will be able to regain your independence. Think about the things you enjoyed doing before dating, from hanging out with friends to being alone, contemplating life.
  • You will be able to enjoy your other relationships more. Think how cool it was to hang out with friends and relatives before you started dating. List your favorite memories and look for ways to recapture them when the abusive relationship ends.
  • Your self-esteem will go up. For now, your self-esteem may be based on your relationship with the person. Once you're done, you'll get a better sense of how you feel about yourself - and you'll probably be happier when it's all over.
  • You will no longer have to live in fear and uncertainty. It's going to be a lot easier to enjoy life rather than worrying about the person's reaction to the things you say or do.
  • You can even ask a close friend for help in thinking of compelling reasons. Maybe he has his own view of the situation and breaks a stick.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 03

Step 3. Plan well what you are going to say

Be brief and concise so the person doesn't have time to try to change their mind, beg your forgiveness, or promise you will change. Also, you don't have to give her a series of explanations about your reasons for leaving - this will only prolong the suffering.

  • Say "It's not giving me any more" or "It's time to say goodbye," say a few more short sentences and walk away.
  • It's no use being cruel or vindictive. The person will only become more emotionally volatile.
  • Keep calm when expressing yourself and don't cry, scream or get nervous. Be cordial, even if you're hurting, or the person will try to manipulate your decision.
  • Once you've decided what you're going to say, rehearse your speech to get more used and comfortable.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 04

Step 4. Plan well how you are going to express yourself

How you express yourself is essential, especially when dealing with an unstable or manipulative person. The most important thing is to think about her possible reactions. For example, if she has violent tendencies when she is contradicted, leave it to finish in a public place - and, if necessary, ask a friend to keep an eye on her.

  • Send a message if you don't even want to meet the person face to face, especially if the situation is very tense and dangerous.
  • Even if you've already decided on the end, leave the conversation for the right time. It's no use trying to talk to the person after they've had a drink or during a stressful event. Use common sense and choose quiet times.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 05

Step 5. Think of an escape plan

If you live with the person or have left your belongings at their house, think of ways to get everything back. You can even get there quietly, but it's always good to have the help of friends and relatives - who can sort out possible fights and create a safer environment.

If you live with the person, find a place to spend a few days before you break up. That way, the temptation to give up and come back will be much less

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 06

Step 6. End the relationship mentally

Before making your speech, convince yourself that the relationship is over and begin the grieving process with the breakup (even if it was earlier). It will be easier to get it over with if your mind is used to it, even if you haven't talked to the person yet.

Part 2 of 3: Executing the Plan

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 07

Step 1. Be firm

This is the most important part of your final conversation. Once you say what you want, there's nothing more she can do or say to reverse the situation. Get ready to leave right away. Even if the person cries or makes a scene, remember your list of reasons to break up.

The person may say something like "You didn't even give me a chance to explain myself!" but don't believe it. You gave too many chances

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 08

Step 2. Be brief

Don't hang around, or the person will appeal to your emotional side - or you'll end up spilling the word too much. The shorter your explanation, the less likely she will have to question your motives. Remember, this is not a negotiation, it is a final statement.

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 09

Step 3. Keep your distance

Stay at a distance from which the person cannot make physical contact. If she tries to take your hand, for example, you may be tempted to give in and give up on leaving (which is the only right decision).

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 10

Step 4. Don't let yourself be manipulated

If the person manipulated you throughout the entire relationship, it's likely they'll try to do it again at break-up time. Protect yourself emotionally: Don't believe her pleas and lies or any lip service as if she says she's going to seek treatment.

Remember that you are leaving because you got tired of exactly this behavior. The litany no longer works

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 11

Step 5. Don't tell the person where you are going

It may be obvious that you're going to spend a few days with your parents or friends, but don't make it clear. Otherwise, the person will try to go after or even start to follow your routine closely.

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 12

Step 6. Leave right after you speak

If a friend or relative is waiting for you, find him. Don't look back, or the person may try to appeal to your sympathy. Walk with your head up and in the right direction.

Part 3 of 3: Going with the plan

End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 13

Step 1. Avoid any form of contact with the person

Block her number to avoid calls and messages; delete it from Facebook and other social media; and, if necessary, take legal action. Things will only get confusing (and even dangerous) if you talk. Again: don't believe her when she says she's changed and wants to come back.

  • If you have to talk to the person for whatever reason, always be accompanied by a friend and make an appointment in a public place.
  • If you and the person have a lot of common friends, stay away from them for a while. Don't go to the places she frequents and, if necessary, stay a while without going out.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 14

Step 2. Don't fall into temptation

It's normal to be sad and lonely after the end of a relationship. If the person controlled every aspect of your life - and now that responsibility is yours again - it is understandable that you might be tempted to give up and go back to your "comfort zone." And that's exactly what she wants: her addiction.

  • Trust that things will get better and they will get better.
  • Remember, before the relationship, you lived alone without any problems.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 15

Step 3. Spend more time with the good people in your life

It's good to spend time alone and reflect after it's over, but you don't have to isolate yourself altogether. Count on friends and relatives at this stage of life and, as difficult as it may be, try to "force" yourself to have fun and entertain a little.

  • You need some time alone after you break up, but it's no use isolating yourself after an abusive relationship - or your chances of getting back are going to be much better.
  • Count on the support system formed by your friends and relatives. Talk about what the relationship was like and ask for all the help they can give.
  • Don't be afraid to go after these people, even if you lost touch because of your relationship. Be honest, say you made a mistake and ask for another chance at friendship.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 16

Step 4. Take your time

You're never going to get over the person for good if you watch television or stare at nothing all the time. Occupy your mind, go out with friends, pursue your personal goals, study, work etc. If possible, look for new hobbies in your life.

  • Try to leave the house. Do whatever it takes to feel less alone, even if it's reading a book on a park bench.
  • Plan each day of the week. Take time to reflect, but remember to schedule activities that interest you.
  • View this moment in life as an opportunity to experience things you didn't do while you were with the person. For example, if she didn't like sushi, but you do, go to a Japanese restaurant.
End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship Step 17

Step 5. Think about how much happier you are

This part may take a while to materialize, but you'll eventually understand that it's better to be alone than in an abusive relationship. Every night, before you go to sleep, think of something different you can do now. List everything gradually to gradually return to normality.

Whenever you have a moment of weakness, reread this list or recite reasons why your life is better now. In time, it will be easier to see that this was the right decision


  • Reach out to your support network. Talk to friends and relatives you've estranged from because of the person, admit your share of responsibility, and ask for another chance. Say something like "In the end, you were right: My relationship was toxic, and when I realized it, I ended it. I'm grateful for your concern" - without speaking ill or getting into trouble with anyone.
  • It may seem cruel to cut off any form of contact with the person, but they will want to take every opportunity to try to dissuade your decision. The faster and clearer your message, the faster the post-finish process will be. Be careful that things don't get out of your control.
  • As difficult as it is, don't express any positive feelings for the person. It's no use: this will only make it difficult to finish.
  • Admit your weaknesses. Often, one manipulative person tries to exploit another person's vulnerability (which is always wrong). Resolve this issue to avoid similar problems in the future. Never think you can help someone like that improve or change. Take care of yourself and your happiness.
  • Don't ask your mutual friends how the person is doing. In addition to the possibility that she isn't hurt by the breakup (which hurts for anyone!), you'll also take longer to get back to normal if you insist. Still, if there's any chance she's trying to do something stupid, go to someone who can intervene.
  • If you live together and the person refuses to leave, take the initiative - if the house is not yours. The situation is boring, especially when you have no one to turn to, but there is no other alternative. If necessary, even take legal action.

    If the house is yours, call the police, explain what happened, and ask for help in evicting the person. Then collect all the copies of the keys she has and, if necessary, change the locks. Finally, protect yourself in any way you can

  • In most cases, people develop manipulative traits due to external factors, which they cannot control. You can't change who's like that, no matter how hard we try. The best way to help is to refuse to take on the role of victim.
  • Don't delete the person's messages, but don't reply either. If she starts stalking you or does other things in a threatening tone, use the messages as evidence when filing a police report. If necessary, take a print and record voice messages to bring everything together in one place.


  • Don't assume that any reunion with this person will end well, even if it starts out calm.
  • If the person has violent tendencies, be very careful whenever interacting with them.
  • Not every manipulative person is dangerous, but some are. Most of them like to feel in control - and when they're not (if you're with friends or refuse to have any form of contact, for example), they get the message. If this is not the case, go to the authorities to find out what to do to protect yourself.
  • If the person tries to manipulate their mutual friends, don't get angry enough to try to get satisfaction from them. These friends will realize on their own that you are the victim and will naturally withdraw from it.
  • Young children and teenagers are more susceptible to manipulation by adults. If you have children with the person, be careful they don't believe their stories. This is why it is ideal to seek professional help to deal with the situation.
  • If you have children with the person, be careful not to alienate their relationship. Only explain certain behaviors to young people, especially if they are hurt. If there is a possibility that the situation could become dangerous, inform the authorities and ask for help.
  • Take all your valuables away. Leave nothing behind, or the person may try to take the opportunity to convince you to resume the relationship. At worst, she might even try to blackmail your stuff.

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