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FACT: It’s not Love without the Vital Three: to be Seen, Known, and Accepted Unconditionally.

What is a User?

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Users do not see you because they are too fixated on their own needs. You are not a valuable and separate individual, but a tool.

They will make you feel known and understood, but that is because they study you like a salesman studies a prospect. Instead of being fully accepted and loved, you are controlled for their interest.

Users do not bond or share for any reason other than to use you. Users won’t mean harm, but they are careless because they are selfish.

Users seek people who keep them on a pedestal. This is an unhealthy relationship that needs serious boundaries and support.

You are unseen, known and selfishly used.

Characteristics of a User

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  • Experiences great difficulty taking responsibility or blame
  • Lacks sincere empathy for the hurt he’s caused another
  • Is defensive, blame shifting, passionately aggressive about protecting his ego and/or reputation
  • Has a strong sense of entitlement to special privileges, treatment, and attention to his specific needs
  • Has an inflated sense of self-importance and superiority, and a fragile, sensitive ego
  • Is hypersensitive to criticism or the appearance of failure and may inappropriately react with anger or  tantrumming
  • Because they believe they are inherently more special than anyone else, they believe they have the right to  use, step on, and lie to people in order to get what they want without thought to the pain they cause
  • Has an insatiable need for admiration, approval or praise
  • Discusses his own life, desires, concerns at length while giving little or no time to listen to others
  • Expects to be given whatever he wants or feels he needs, no matter the cost to others

How it Feels to be in a Relationship with a User

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  • You are afraid of doing something to upset your partner, and think if you could just do a better job of meeting his needs, he would treat you better
  • You find yourself trying to make him happy, especially when he’s moody
  • You feel like you’re not treated as an equal with equal needs and values
  • You often give up your plans or needs in order to meet his needs
  • You often feel afraid that he will find someone else more interesting, more beautiful, or younger than you
  • You feel anxious or guilty when you are not with your partner or doing something for your partner, like you’re  doing something wrong
  • You feel like you exist to support him, and he would not make it without you
  • You find yourself making excuses for your partner’s indiscretions, rude or selfish behavior even though you  know he is wrong
  • You find it difficult to stand up for yourself because of fear of retribution, the silent treatment, him  embarrassing you in front of others, or losing your freedoms

Action Steps

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If you are trying to change the dynamic in your relationship with a User, you can’t do it alone. You will need to get the help of someone who understands this kind of unhealthy cycle. Your User may be charming and skilled at shifting his responsibilities back to you. You will need a counselor who can see through this tactic and help you:

  1. Set appropriate boundaries for emotional, financial, social, and sexual safety
  2. Effectively communicate your needs and limits so that you are heard, affirmed and respected
  3. Address your own possible co-dependence and stop taking responsibility for your partner’s moods, needs, and behaviors.

If your User is hell-bent on not participating in the healthy transformation of your relationship, you will need routine individual support from counseling or groups to help you with your next steps. You may need the help of a therapist or trained pastor in communicating your boundaries and holding your partner accountable to their adherence.

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