The thing about manipulation is usually the person behind it knows how to wrap it up in a disguise. Making you think its love when in fact it is anything but. When your boyfriend does something thoughtful and sweet, you might think, “Aww, he loves me so much.” Here are 14 subtle signs that reveal your awesome boyfriend is a jerk in disguise:
1. He likes to “check-in” incessantly.
When you are out with your friends or even at work, is he constantly checking in with you? Sweet at first but more frantic if you don’t immediately respond? Sweet, hey? Not really. It’s more likely that he’s checking up on you, not checking in, if he does this all the time. A sign that he’s controlling and insecure.
2. He uses the, “… But I love you so much!” excuse often.
Love should never excuse bad behavior. So if your man has fits of jealousy or rage and explains them away by saying his love for you caused it, that isn’t a good sign. Does it seem like every time your boyfriend does something that pisses you off he quickly tells you that his bad behavior is only because he loves you so much? It could be a way for him to distract you from his BS and get back into your good books. But don’t ignore the behavior — see it as the red flag that it is.
3. He can’t live without you.
Hearing someone loves you so deeply they would die without you sounds romantic, right? Wrong. In reality, this is usually a precursor to more abusive and entrapping behavior. He tells you that you mean so much to him emphasizing how you should never leave him. For some emotional abusers, this could end up with them threatening suicide as a way to control you when you don’t do what they want you to do.
4. He says you’re his whole world.
This is a lot like the last sign. A truly healthy relationship is well rounded. Meaning your entire universe doesn’t exist within one another. No one should have the pressure of being someone’s everything. If he’s saying this, he’s hinting at how he wants to be isolated with you, instead of integrated into the world. Don’t be surprised if he starts pulling you away from your loved ones so he can have you all to himself — and control you.
5. He spoils you with gifts you don’t need.
Thoughtful gifts are always nice to get! But not when they come with a hidden agenda! If he puts you down for the things you have or do not have and is replacing them with the things he thinks you need this may be another red flag. If he’s replacing your furniture, clothing, or any other items with ones he prefers for you, he’s not giving you a surprise gift — he’s trying to turn you into something you’re not.
6. He tells you when you’ve had too much to drink.
You were at a party together and he told you to stop drinking so much after he saw you having fun with your friends. The reason? He cares about you and doesn’t want you to be badly hungover tomorrow. Thanks, Dad. You know what? Maybe he was pissed off that you were having such a good time because he’s a jealous, insecure jerk.
7. He tells you how much better you are than other women.
It may seem harmless at first. How he always tells you his exes were psychotic and you’re so much better than them. Hey, maybe you’re the best woman he’s ever met. These can even be compliments, but not if he’s showing signs of being sexist and discriminatory. He might say, “Women are so [insert negative adjective here], but you’re not like them.” Um, hello? You’re a woman! It’s damn insulting.
8. He loves to joke around.
Everyone loves a good joke! But not when it is at the expense of your self-esteem. He’ll call you “crazy” or “dumb,” but only in a joking way. He says it’s his way of showing love. Um, no. It’s not. It’s his way of pretending to be joking but hoping that the comments lodge themselves in your mind so that you start to believe them. That way you lose your ability to see your true worth.
9. He suggests things “for your good.”
He tells you it’s for your own good and that he loves you. He cares about you so much that he’ll show you a better way to do your job, speak to your best friend, make a cup of tea and even lose those extra pounds (that you didn’t even notice). It’s not for your own good at all — it’s his way of controlling you. But screw that, you’re a grown woman who can damn well decide what’s best for you.
10. He becomes super sweet after arguments.
You had a big fight after which he became loving and sweet. It’s a way to guilt you for confronting him on something that caused the fight. He’s the guy who’ll say, “You misunderstood me,” “I don’t like drama,” or “Is that what you think of me, even though I show you I love you every day?” as a way to make him seem like the sweet, reasonable guy and you like the crazy girlfriend. It’s messed up and you need to get out ASAP.