The number one way you're being manipulated by your addicted loved one is guilt, and that guilt button is causing you to do and say everything you don't and shouldn't be saying and doing.
You must manage your guilt.
Five ways someone might be pressing your guilt button:
1. "It's your fault!"
The number one is the most direct pathway to guilt when being told or hearing messages implying it is all your fault.
Here are some examples of how that might look in a real-life situation.
"I wouldn't have to drink if you weren't nagging me constantly."
"I wouldn't have to hide my use if you weren't uptight and crazy about it."
"I developed this problem because of what you did to me in the past, and now this is my only way of coping."
"Hey, I was like this when you got with me. You knew what you were in for, and now you've changed your mind."
Those are all straightforward ways a person might press your guilt button.
2. You're letting me suffer
Now, this usually happens when you're trying not to fix some of the consequences that the addiction has cost, like not paying bills or not paying for a lawyer, not letting them stay in your house, or not taking care of any of their obligations, for that matter because you feel terrible when you see them be uncomfortable.
But what you're forgetting is it's the uncomfortableness that's most likely to get someone to want to change. So when you remove the uncomfortableness, you remove the motivation for change.
3. You're making me suffer
You'll most likely see this one when trying to force a boundary.
For example, you can't be around the kids when you're drinking, or must complete this treatment program. Or when someone's in treatment, they call you and say, "It's horrible here. I can't believe you're making me be here."
Those are just different ways that somebody says you are making me suffer.
4. You don't care about me
This one kind of piggybacks onto you are letting me suffer, or you're making me suffer.
So if the suffering issue isn't hitting the right button, they're going to throw on top of that another layer of, you don't even care about me, or You want me to fail, or You don't want good things for me. This can come out in a few different ways, but the basis is that you don't care about me.
5. I can't help it because ...
This one is through the side door, and I will call it "I'm pitiful, and I can't help it." This one is usually about making you feel guilty for trying to hold healthy boundaries. So the person says, "I can't help it because this terrible thing happened to me in my past, or this is all because you and Dad got a divorce, and now look what you did to me, and this is my only way of coping. Or I have this terrible anxiety issue, which only makes me feel better." So it's a play to make you feel bad for the other person, making you feel guilty for setting a limit or a boundary, refusing to fix something, or helping in some way.
Now obviously, guilt isn't the only way you're being manipulated. There are several other ways that you're being manipulated. So I want you to watch this next; it's all about the different lies they tell...