Before you can begin to cope with an abusive relationship, you must first be able to recognise that it's abusive.

The very nature of the abusive relationship can leave victims confused and uncertain of which way to turn.  They will often question whether the relationship is indeed abusive, or if the problem is with them; “I’m over-sensitive” ” I take things the wrong way” or ” I’m reading too much into it”, ideas reinforced by the abuser.

Abusers are extremely manipulative. Understanding the 3 C’s of Manipulation and how they work, may help to lift the fog of confusion.


People who set out to manipulate and abuse others, begin by taking control of the situation. They will use their knowledge, skills and powers of persuasion to talk people into things that they may not otherwise be inclined to do.


People who manipulate and abuse others, aim to confuse. They may overwhelm their victims with information, focusing and narrowing their attention and preventing them from ‘stopping and thinking’. This may be experienced by the victim as overwhelm or bombardment. Should the victim be given the opportunity to stop and think, they may realize how awkward or uncomfortable they feel, which is dangerous territory for a manipulator who has an agenda


Abusers often use a technique that I refer to in the training as the Invisible Seduction, which aims to influence the victim and coerce them into the manipulator’s way of thinking.
The manipulator’s intention is to reach an outcome that is advantageous or in some way beneficial for themselves, often, without giving consideration to the victim.
An unsuspecting victim may assume they are reading too much into a manipulator’s actions, failing to recognise the manipulator’s true intentions.
As a result, the victim is often left confused and compromised, having inadvertently responded in a way that may not be of their choosing and which may not reflect the victim’s true values or beliefs.