Is it true that many bad relationships are the outcome of one person trying to manipulate another?
This is indeed true. There are many forms of subtle manipulation which cause a resentful reaction. The most common form is when a person becomes irritable or stressed because someone else is not doing what they think he or she should be doing, or doing something he or she should not be doing. Eventually the other will begin to feel resentful at having to comply with the wishes of that person in order to keep the peace. This is a recipe for disaster. The resentment more often than not will be subconscious and will express itself in such a way that it will accentuate the irritability or stress of the other, and so there is a vicious circle. Another form of manipulation is where a husband, without criticizing his wife’s cooking or housekeeping, will praise someone else’s cooking or
housekeeping. Or a woman, failing to get her husband to do some repair, will take one of his tools which she is incapable of using properly, and let the husband know she is going to do the job herself. He, knowing the only outcome will be a damaged tool and botched job, has to leave what he is doing and do the job. Parents manipulate children and children manipulate parents, and the consequence is the sowing of seeds which lead to defective relationships later.