Don’t Dance: Breaking Free from Emotional Manipulators
By Ross A. Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
This book is about real-life relationships – common everyday relationships – relationships that many of us have experienced but wished we didn’t. In this book, I will explain the very human ache to be understood, connected and loved; the innate emotional, physical and sexual drive to find our “dream” romantic partner. This “love drive” motivates us to seek our perfect mate, who we hope will instinctively comprehend our struggles, validate our pain, affirm our dreams and, most of all, co-create an explosion of emotional and sexual excitement. We can’t help it; we are naturally designed to seek someone who will share with us our desire for everlasting love.
Since the dawn of the first romantic kiss, men and women have been magnetically and irresistibly drawn into romantic relationships, not so much by what they see, feel and think, but more by an invisible and irresistible force. When individuals with healthy emotional backgrounds meet, the result is a loving, reciprocal and stable relationship. However, when Codependents and Emotional Manipulators meet, they are enveloped in a magnetic and seductive “love force,” it begins like a fairytale, but later unfolds into a painful “seesaw” of love/pain and hope/disappointment. The soul mate of the Codependent’s dreams becomes the Emotional Manipulator of his/her nightmares.
It is my belief that we all fit somewhere on my “Continuum of Self.” All of us have a “self-orientation,” which is a personality type that is either oriented toward the care and needs of others or the care and needs of self. My model accounts for the full range of relationship possibilities, from healthy to dysfunctional. On the farthest ends of my continuum lie the Codependents and the Emotional Manipulators. In this book, I will tie together my continuum-of-self concept and the ubiquitous “love force” that affects each and every person who desires to find the romantic partner of their dreams.
I will explain why patient, giving and selfless individuals (Codependents) are predictably attracted to self-centered, selfish and controlling partners (Emotional Manipulators). Like “clockwork,” Codependents and Emotional Manipulators find themselves habitually and irresistibly drawn into a relationship that begins with emotional and sexual “highs,” but later transforms into a painful and disappointing relationship (the “dance”).
In this dance, Codependents and Emotionally Manipulators are naturally and unconsciously attracted. This dance is paradoxical in nature because the two disparate, but perfectly matched, people participate in a dance that begins as thrilling and exciting, but ends up rife with drama, conflict and feelings of being trapped. Within the comprehensive understanding of the nature of this dysfunctional relationship dance lies the hope for a sustainable and life-affirming romantic relationship.
This unique, fresh and innovative relationship model will explore the traits, symptoms and origins of both Codependency and various Emotional Manipulation Disorders (Borderline, Narcissistic and Antisocial). Both mental health professionals and the layman alike will learn what drives and sustains the Emotional Manipulator and Codependent relationship.
In this book, I will examine the intricacies of relationship dynamics shared by the Codependent and the Emotionally Manipulative personality types. The attraction dynamic will be illustrated through my Continuum of Self model, as well as through other theoretical examples. The model ties together the complex web of underlying psychological forces that inescapably draws the Emotional Manipulators and Codependent into an enduring relationship. The reader will gain an appreciation for the nature of these binding relationships, which are often immune to personal or professional assistance.
The Codependent reader will learn that they may have a broken “relationship picker.” They will learn about their propensity to pick Emotionally Manipulative partners, while also learning how to disengage from their destruction relationship pattern. Armed with an understanding of this “magnetic” relationship force, the corrective psychotherapy process can be empowering, focused and effective. At the end of the day, the reader will have a deeper understanding of Emotional Manipulation, Codependency and the relationship dynamic that keeps them tied together.