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What's the best way to deal with emotional blackmail from a partner?

66 Answers
Last Updated: 01/15/2021 at 4:23pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
December 6th, 2017 9:50pm
The best way is to cut ties fully. Block them, report them, etc. Blackmail is a crime and you can report it to an official to get them to stop. Be strong. You can do this.
November 22nd, 2018 8:05pm
I would firstly tell anyone they are in the wrong! If you feel this is starting to happen start keeping a diary of the events when they happen and where they happen and note down a time too so that there is an accurate timeline in case needed in the future, then if it started to get worse I discuss this with someone you feel close too and discuss your option in terms of the future and if it becomes serious then I would report it to the authorities because emotional blackmail is classed as mental abuse and in some countries it’s illegal.
June 30th, 2019 5:01am
By putting yourself first before this person, and loving yourself more than this person. You matter and your feelings matter. Being constantly stressed and in tears over someone isn’t healthy for you. You’re not obliged to help anyone get mentally better and you shouldn’t beat yourself up because you were not able to prevent this person from beating themself up. If they threaten to hurt themselves if you leave, then leave. Leave if you want to. 1. They most likely wouldn’t really hurt themselves but they’ll try to get over it and 2. If they are willing to hurt themself in someway over you leaving then they would be willing to hurt themself for other reasons even if you stay. Don’t tie yourself down. If someone keeps hurting you psychologically or making you want to hurt and hate yourself, then avoid them. Leave them. Stay away from them. It’s not only good for them (because they will realise how they should not depend on someone or rely their happiness on someone) but it’s also good for you because you can do better without all the poison and toxicity that comes with those simple words and long nights you fail to sleep in. Good luck with everything or whatever you or someone else you know is going through and I hope my answer was able to help (: There are many kinds of emotional blackmail so I don’t know what exactly you’re referring to but I still hope that this was better than nothing. xxx
July 31st, 2019 5:09pm
If a partner is emotionally blackmailing you, that is a very unhealthy relationship and to me sounds like verbal abuse. My advice would be to ask yourself if you are happy, truly happy, in the relationship and if it is worth the pain your partner is putting your through. Although I do not know all of the details in your particular situation, I do know one thing; no one deserves to be verbally abused, especially by someone who you hold dear and love. That being said, I hope you can listen to your heart and find your happiness.
October 19th, 2017 4:49am
The best way is to empower the self. To create an atmosphere of confidence. To take steps to calm the mind and body and respond with confidence. Some external help can be taken if needed.
November 24th, 2017 12:37pm
I think the best way is to make it clear that you know what your partner is doing and that it is unacceptable. Try to express your own feelings and let them know how their behaviour impacts on you
March 2nd, 2018 2:32pm
Draw strict boundaries and express them clearly to your partner. Stay consistent with this, while showing love and empathy for them, calmly let them know that you will not respond to this form of communication.
March 4th, 2018 4:34pm
The best way to deal with emotional blackmail from a partner and by confronting them and telling them that it isn't okay to do it so they can take the time to think about their actions and change if necessary.
April 11th, 2018 11:55pm
Ignore it. This is one of the hardest things to do sometimes, but in the long run it will make you a better person. Don't get caught up in the present, get caught up in the future!
May 2nd, 2018 6:37am
Talk about it and tell them that it's not okay. Take a stand for yourself and don't give in to them until they see your point.
May 5th, 2018 5:49am
Well you could try to speaking to them directly and trying to solve the problem they may have with you or you could try speakiing to a parent for advice or both.
May 24th, 2018 7:27am
Well, I think the first step is to realize that you need to get away from said partner. Obviously this is the source of the pain. You will need to work through it all, involving support from the ones that you love, friends and family. Be open. Be willing to express these problems with people. Love always wins.
June 6th, 2018 10:15am
The best way is to distance yourself from them as much as you possibly can. You should not be blackmailed by anyone and it always helps to talk to someone to trust and ask for help.
June 6th, 2018 4:31pm
I found that telling someone I trusted really helped. By someone else knowing, it reduced the leverage they had over me.
June 16th, 2018 2:24am
Take a step back and observe your emotions and his actions. How are you feeling? What is your partner doing, and how are you reacting to their actions? Talk to your friends and family but try to look at things objectively
June 27th, 2018 4:16pm
The best way is always ignoring him, it is not easy but I can guarantee the best and probably only way
June 28th, 2018 1:28am
Tell someone it’s domestic abuse and it isn’t ok,they shouldn’t boss you around unless it’s your parents
July 21st, 2018 9:42pm
This can be really hard, but not impossible. I;d talk to your partner and be honest about what they are doing and how unhealthy it is for you and the relationship. Blackmailing is same as manipulation. And having that in your relationship doesn't work out. Be firm but kind on your talk with them also have an open mind to what they share to you.
August 8th, 2018 1:44pm
Talk to them about this. Be direct and calm when explaining how their behavior makes you feel. "I feel like ____, when you do ______" You have to brainstorm with your partner on how to communicate and compromise rather than manipulate each other.
September 23rd, 2018 8:53pm
The best way of dealing with emotional blackmail is to be oneself and never allow another person to get the upper hand on your emotions. One should not do what the blackmailers tell the to do. In case of threats, they should be reported to the authorities. The faster the threats are handled, the better. One could also try reasoning with the person but this option is not for all blackmailers. One could reason by making them understand their emotional situation. This may be by asking them such questions: If it were you, how best could you have reacted emotionally, in this situation? If it were you, how would you feel if your emotions were used to blackmail you?
May 22nd, 2019 3:49pm
That person is not behaving like a true partner. It is not something anyone should ever have to go through, and it's wrong that you are. This isn't on you. You don't have to put up with this. If you feel they are blackmailing you, the only way to deal with it is get out. Get out of that situation. Get out of the relationship if you can. Don't let this happen, because if you let them get away with it once, they'll do it again. You have to save yourself from this, as quickly as you can. Tell them you won't stand for being blackmailed, and that if this is how they'll be, you're not going to continue the relationship.
June 21st, 2019 3:10pm
If a partner is blackmailing you, it can be a large red warning flag the relationship may be becoming toxic or unhealthy. Talking to your partner is very important, so make you sure you make them aware of how you feel, even if they brush it aside. Partners who use abusive tactics tend to follow a cycle, so it's important that you learn to recognise the signs and learn to avoid their behaviours. This may be things like: being more assertive about the things you want and need, ignoring their demands, communicating more, compromising, not being afraid or guilty to say no to them.
October 26th, 2019 6:04am
First step is to identify it as an emotional blackmail, whether it's in terms of making you feel like the culprit or asking you to do things for that person, if you said no then they should respect that. The next step would be to take a step back from them and do something that you yourself enjoy which relaxes you so you can think about everything that's happening. The last step is to stand up for yourself and tell that person that what they're doing is not okay and that it's making you uncomfortable. You have every right to out your self first and step away from something that doesn't make you feel like your best self
November 28th, 2019 12:49pm
This is a difficult question. It sounds to me like you're talking about gaslighting. I was with someone who did this to me, and even now it's difficult to say a definitive way to deal with an emotionally blackmailing partner. It drains you emotionally and physically. All I can say is, if you suspect that your partner is emotionally blackmailing you, address the situation. Ask for opinions. If it is the case that this is happening, then you need to end it immediately! You need to think of yourself and your own happiness 💕 A lot of people don't, and forget how to truly live.
January 10th, 2020 9:57pm
oh la la. It seems like that you stuck in with emotionally abusive partner. usually narcissistic personalities or borderline personality disorder use this tactic to keep their partner. Blackmailing is a pure manipulation and that's totally unhealthy behavior in any kind of relationships. I think you should not deal with it, but to loose the bonds with your partner, unless your partner will start to control you fully and abuse emotionally leading to further a one-way street of sacrifice and compliance. This could be hard but you should regain your freedom and independence. No relationship is worth the cost of emotional and mental wellbeing.
January 25th, 2020 1:44am
It's always tough to deal with something that's external, because we can't control or change others. I find it helpful to remember the control circle - you can put the things to concern yourself with in a control circle, things you can control. Things that you can't control then go out of the circle. The things you can control are your own reactions and emotions surrounding that emotional blackmail. How are you going to react? How do you feel about what they are doing? That way, you can work through your own feelings about it in a realistic way and then make a decision on how you want to react to that. I hope this helps, I know it can be so hurtful in these situations so I am thinking of you!
April 19th, 2020 12:46pm
you stand up for yourself and you tell them that you do not deserve to be treated in such a way. If someone is doing that have an assertive conversation with the,, if it gets to a point where you can't stand it- make sure you get help. Remember you are not alone and help will be given to those who seek it. I would also think about why you are in a relationship with someone toxic and mentally abusive. I think it would be wise to take a step back and reflect on what has happened and the choices you can take.
May 3rd, 2020 6:33pm
When dealing with emotional blackmail from a partner, one needs to take a step back and assess all aspects of what is going on. Having a clear plan of attack to stop the person from mistreating you is the best way to stop it from happening and getting the person to stop acting in such a way. The person that is doing the emotional blackmail may be neglecting to see the damage they may be causing the person involved. Some people refuse to see the big picture and do things before realizing the effect their actions can have on a person.
June 26th, 2020 8:56am
If you are experiencing emotional blackmail from a partner, I would definitely recommend speaking to someone you trust face-to-face because then you feel as if you're fighting this battle with someone else. Another recommendation I might be able to suggest is to speak to the partner in a safe and open environment like a public park/bench on a well walked path because if anything bad happens then there's other people who could help. If the partner is being abusive physically or using blackmail as emotional abuse, then it would be advisable to speak to local authorities and receive professional guidance and support.
July 15th, 2020 8:09pm
I believe the best way to deal with emotional blackmail from a partner is to evaluate how often it happens, and how it makes you feel. Sometimes we tell ourselves it's just because the partner is having a bad day, but sometimes it may be more often and worse than we think. As they say, love is blind. Emotional blackmail can make us feel obligated to do something even if we do not want to. Sometimes staying with the partner who is committing emotional blackmail is a toxic environment and you will find yourself not being able to grow with your partner in this environment because one or both parties are unhappy. The best thing to do is to try and confront your partner about how emotional blackmail makes you feel, and if they do not listen leave. Sometimes we do not realize it was a toxic environment until we have left the relationship.