The manipulation hurts so badly. I just never expected it from him.
Hearing someone I care about process the hurt of divorce wounded me, but I knew the experience well. Whether someone is chronically manipulative through the length of a relationship or someone takes a turn as the relationship ends and manipulation becomes the lasting devastation at the end, it’s difficult to deal with.
As difficult as dealing with it is, we can make it worse.
In my experience, healing from the effects of manipulation and disrespect have been hard. I knew something different. I knew love. Most of our relationship was not defined by the chaos of the end, although I could see manipulation and disrespect in other areas of his life at times. But I would have made the healing process much more difficult with a kneejerk reaction to heal the wounds in the wrong ways.
When in a hurt place, we can make decisions that deepen the hurt and invite more manipulation. Unless we get to a healthy place, we cannot move forward well with the people around us. Our relationships matter. Our families and friends and coworkers need the healthiest versions of ourselves we can be—and so do we. We won’t be perfect; we’ll still be healing. The fractures caused by manipulation are deep and long-lasting. They make us question and doubt truth yet cling to nonsense. Our perspectives get distorted.
Truth remains. Peel away the hurt. Prune the unnecessary stuff that stunts your growth. Choose the difficult discerning work to trust God to purpose the pain and transform you into an emotionally and spiritually healthy person. He will never manipulate you. He will never lie to you. He will never disrespect you.
Despite the broken trust in your life, you can trust God.