Violence, Manipulation and Denial In Relationship

The collective tends to defend itself against reality. Here’s an example of what I mean. People pretend that violent criminals are not aware of what they are doing – Crimes Of Passion Don’t Exist.

I think what is true at the end of the continuum is generally true in milder form. This is one of the reasons I’m so fascinated with the outer rim of everything. What you learn “out there” can be applied closer in.

As for a common day example, how many times have I had friends ask in regards to someone they are dating – “Does he know what he’s doing?” The answer invariably is, yes.

Yes, he knows he is not calling you.
Yes he knows he is not supposed to sleep with your friend.
Yes, he knows how you feel about blah, blah, blah. You’ve only told him one hundred and fifty times!

People pretend otherwise, because they don’t want it to be the way it really is. They come up with scenarios and make up excuses  to explain their boyfriend’s behavior.

At best, the offending person is oblivious to the stories you tell yourself. Because if  they’re not, they’re exploiting your tendency delude yourself.  They’re using it to manipulate you which drops the whole thing down to a level so uncomfortable many won’t venture there at all.

Note – I wrote this is 2007. It’s even more true today.

Do you pretend people are unaware they are treating your poorly? Where is Neptune in your chart?


Violence, Manipulation and Denial In Relationship — 81 Comments

  1. yes, and when you find out you can’t help but ask yourself why would someone knowingly do something so cruel? and sometimes the answer to that is too disturbing. in an effort to understand we have to cast it into a more benevolent light. what other choice is there?

  2. Yes, with Neptune- 4th house square Venus- 7th house how could I not, but as Saturn approaches the opposition to Venus things are happening.

  3. I did . . . nothing like lots of pain – physical, mental & emotional – as a wake up call. Moon conjunct Neptune in Libra – a natural born “rescuer” (or fool in Love). A therapist asked me what my ideal relationship would be . . eye-opener as it was so not the reality at the time! 🙂

  4. I am confused, as stated earlier today – and unlikely it will change any time soon. I do not know whether I am too demanding or he is not treating me right, or whether I am a hag and he IS in fact giving me all sorts of things without me appreciating it enough.

  5. constantly– fourth house scorpio neptune aspecting chiron.

    I like what everyone said… and ana’s evaluation is spot on for me as well. it’s hard for me to acknowlege that other people can be so cold, calculating, or cruel. maybe if I can internalize that rottenness can coexist with sweetness I can accept that I am not 100% good or bad myself and quit beating myself up for being human.

  6. for a very long time.. Neptune on 7th house cusp. What’s funny is that sometimes I get carried away thinking and imagining that my good acts and love will magicaly (Neptune) change how they behave. Not once did I think about what I want and what I like.

  7. This is sooo interesting! I too have Neptune in the 7th House (Scorpio)and is highly aspected by most of my other planets. I too can relate to the themes of born rescuer and fool in love. Elena’s comment of magical thinking is a classic in terms of deluding oneself into believing anything and everything. However – I’m an older person now and hopefully more astute these days and far less willing to con myself and let others con me. One can learn (over time) to strengthen ones guard against these pitfalls. Now I’m downright tough on people! as my Neptune is now an accurate antennae for people’s incongruency.

  8. Nope, never. In fact, I have always felt people who treated me badly were fully conscious of it, and simply didn’t like me. Or worse, that I was a loser that deserved it. Depressing eh? Well, I’ve moved beyond that now, for the most part.

    Neptune in the 12th house. It plays hard with everything.

  9. Neptune in the twelfth. I definitely have deluded myself at times but I like to think I operate at a higher level of awareness these days. I try very hard to see people for what they are and recognize that their behaviors are their own issue and not necessarily a reflection of me, but they don’t get to treat me badly anyway.

  10. I don’t think it’s so much that I’m in denial that they’re aware of what they’re doing, but more so that I’m agast at the audacity! Don’t they know who I am, dammit?? How dare they!

    I’ve got Neptune in Sagittarius in my second house (heh, I have to go do some research now).

  11. Yeah I do, this is a pretty thought provoking post. Neptune in Sag, opps Venus/MC, sqaure Saturn/AC, trine Mercury Moon/Mars/Jupiter, sextile Pluto.

  12. I do, yes. And I’m always shocked when the veil gets ripped off.
    This is (sort-of) happening now in my current relationship and I’m teetering between absolute faith that I can make it work out okay and abject despair that it never will no matter what I do. *sigh*

    Neptune in 6th, trined Sun, Mercury and Saturn; sextiled Mars, Venus, and Pluto.

  13. Interesting question. I have Neptune in the 7th, right on the DC, in Sag. I don’t believe I’ve ever been in denial about people’s negative actions towards me. I may not have come right out and made accusations, but I would typically just withdraw from that person or people. Perhaps, as I think of it.. I would deny how much it hurt me.
    Nowadays though… I’m pretty sure I won’t let anyone treat me badly at all, or get away with it silently. They are going to know what bothers me or hurts me. As I’m quickly learning, denying or burying certain things just isn’t helpful, not in the long run anyway.

  14. I like what Kashmiri said, it rings a bell with me. I am sure they’re aware of how bad they are to me, but I just don’t think they care. I’ve come to think (just a theory) that people treat us the way we feel about ourselves. Like its our “unconsciousness” acting out. Does that make sense? Kind of like that movie with leonardo di caprio where they go inside the dreams. Weird stuff, but it does make you think. What if what goes on outside is just an inward projection of what is happening inside. How we feel etc.

    • Yes, this is what I think too – for example, I have a deep seated belief that I am unlovable, I have tried to conscioulsy change it for more than a decade now. I was supposed to be “perfect” in order to be loved (virgo in the 12th); and well, that didn’t work out, as one might imagine:), so I stopped trying; but the belief won’t change, and the men in my life confirm it times and times again.

  15. Aries,Cancer Rising, Cap Moon, Venus in Pisces. I used to tell myself that their behavior was a reflection of them and not me. Which is true, but then I had to ask myself “Why would I stay around to be someone else’s verbal punching bag?”
    I am an eagle whom can fly strong into headwinds of any type. But, I have learned not to constantly seek out those headwinds ie put up with crappy behavior from loved ones.

  16. I go back and forth. It is very hard for me to believe that people would do things to deliberately hurt me. But then again, when I think about it rationally, I visualize them sitting and plotting and maybe even laughing about the harsh affects of their actions later. Neptune conj Midheaven, square Pisces Moon in the 1st–that’s where the “don’t want to believe it” comes in. 8th house stellium goes the other way. I usually find my truest answer in the balance between the ideal and the extreme hell of it.

  17. “It is very hard for me to believe that people would do things to deliberately hurt me.”

    They may not be deliberately hurting you. They may just be focused on taking care of their own needs and you are inconsequential to that.

  18. Usually I perceive the world like a nebula. Indoubtly I have a ADHD (atentional disorder) as a adult, however I function very well assisted by virgoes and scorpios. I need a partner to keep me focused and it is not problem with lots of libra in eleven house. May be a person treat me poorly and may be I will not perceive it for awhile. However when I realize the thing (mercury in the scorpio cusp) I could cut off the person then what I don’t understand is that face of “WHYYYYY” “why do you react that way so intempestively?”
    My neptune is in twelve house…and mercury too

  19. any suggestions on how to work with neptune energy?

    i fancy myself a pragmatist – and with all my leo, i can’t stand the idea of being manipulated. i believe this has actually led me to be hyper-defensive about being subject to these types of delusions (virgo merc on the AC). once a relationship is over, it’s over – i’ve never stayed in one longer than 2 years. i’ve been single for 5 now. i’m done being single.

    however, my stellium is in the 12th, i have neptune on the IC opposite mars….& pisces on the DC. which seems like a whole lotta neptune.

    what are some positive ways to work with it? i would like to assuage my paranoia of delusion and put down the shield.

  20. Neptune in the middle of a stellium with Uranus and Saturn in Cap conjunct IC; sextile Moon.

    I allow myself to be deceived, but I can see the lying. I’m trying to change. I have a relationship with a man who’s addicted to drugs and dealing with a lot of heavy things, I want to be close to him but I’m keeping him at arm’s length because he can’t keep promises and I’ve told him that and I refuse to swoop in again and try to save someone. I will listen but I will not hand him a ladder, he has to climb out of the hole himself.

    I have a lot of delusions about my family, which is extremely dysfunctional and especially my mother and grandmother. There’s a quote from a cartoon that I love “Families are those people which you hate.”

  21. Neptune in the 7th(Placidus) or 8th (equal) inconj my Pisces rising. So yeah it happens big time. If I give them the benefit of the doubt it usually bites me in the ass but it is cause like Elsa said in #21

  22. @elena and @allison

    I never thought i was a dreamy person or that I wasn’t too well grounded in reality. I have an enormous amounts of aspects to sun, mars and my chart (its planets) are very fixed.

    And I always just thought I was a good person, and liked giving people the benefit of the doubt. I liked the idea of forgiving. Key word here being IDEA, because I almost savour knowing that I am the kind of a person to forgive and to help people find salvation.

    What?! That’s so Neptune in the 7th! Who does that? Recently my friends have said to me “You’re kind, but that doesn’t mean that he/she will be kind back to you.”

    YES. You’d think your goodness (amazingness, haha) would cause others to return it to you – in general, over time, perhaps over life times, yes. But your kindness isn’t going to change how a person either screws you over, or as Elsa in the above posited, how they’ll continue to focus on their self interests.

    Man, I have Neptune right on the DSC, and so true – I truly don’t quite focus on what i want, what i need, what I desire. How un-Leo of me.

  23. Neptune and Chiron in Libra: I’ve always been very aware when people are behaving badly but always been far too willing ot explain their behaviour so as to giv ethem the benefit of the doubt, and esp my lovers. It’s so ingrained for me to do this, all I can do to protect myself is to stay away from men…

  24. Oh my gad, yes (total 180 from the past). Just like BP said, I’ve been far too willing to explain their crappy behaviour….eg they had a bad childhood or whatever.
    My therapist has helped me move through this. Though he actually looked like he was going to fall over when I described everything I experienced in a former relationship. He thought my ex was very cold and calculating. I told him all the loving feelings I invented for my ex…verrydisturbing to come to some realizations but I am working through this with his help and I have faith I’m going to crack this nut, as you say!

  25. Ha. Thanks for this. I always did wonder about it. In fact half the relationship was about asking why why why why are you doing this, or that, or the other thing? I would think that if I just explained very carefully how and why I was being hurt, he would stop it.

    But he remained awesomely dense. And I would think, is it me? What is it?

    Well, it wasn’t me and of course he knew. And I let myself be utterly deluded because *whenever* the moment would have been that I ended the relationship, it would be ( and was) almost unbearably painful. Now that I did that, I feel like I got into an accident; some terrible, life-changing injury. I’ll always have a limp, there will always be a twinge and a stiffness where my back got broken. But it actually happened a long time ago — maybe even as long as ten years ago. I just preferred to allow this man to lie to me and treat me like shit because *I* couldn’t face the truth.

    Neptune in Scorpio, tenth house, conjunct the moon, square mars in leo.

  26. Wow. Thanks for the post Elsa. I have to do some resarch of my own. Finally, at this late date, starting to think about Neptune differently. Eye opener. Neptune in the 4th in scorpio square Mars in Leo Rising and square jupiter in aquarius on descendent – yes in a t-square. Yes – it has held me back. Interesting – this Neptune conjuncts my mothers south node in Scorpio. Yes – difficulties there. Pisces in my eighth house, with my south node and chiron conjunct my south node in the eighth house. Problems with love relationships as well. Interesting. I am grateful for all this fire energy I have (Mars in Leo and Venus in Aries in the 9th house) – after I have cried my ocean I just my chin out and try to go forward (but it takes a while sometimes).

  27. Great question. Neptune in Scorpio in the 1stH conjunct my Moon in 1st. My answer: I used to do this and the result was massive disappointment, I do not do it anymore as I have gotten older my willingness to compromise and delude myself is not there anymore. I cut and run these days I don’t stick around to see if I can ‘fix’ something to make it work. Life is too short.

  28. Neptune 3rd house, conjunct IC and Venus (4th house). this was the story of my life….until I earned not to. I am sooo aware of this tendency that I now force myself to be hyper realistic about every romantic situation. Thing is I also have Venus/Saturn which gives me the ummmph to be hyper realistic.

  29. Oh my this is a tough one. Neptune in first/Scorpio squares my 4th house Aquarian sun; and squares my 10th house Leo Mars; square 4th house Aquarian Saturn. I believe wanting to be able to handle THESE issuse is what drew me to astrology. So much to learn.

  30. Neptune on the 7th in sag. Conjunct moon in 6th in scorp. I want to believe the best and in the past I have left the blinders on. It was just easier… why face reality? Well because eventually the viel drops. You said in a consult that what I see in others may well be present in me (not exact words but as close as I can remember)

    My Neptune and moon oppose my Saturn conj ASC. I may have been afraid to see the truth. Now I want to get serious abt it and use this to get to the depths and have something of deep value. Not gloss over, but wear away the grim and find
    something glorious.

  31. Neptune is in the 9th Libra. For much of my life explaining others’ bad-for-me behavior started before I could find words to call ’em out on the actions. The transformative world view lasted more than fifty years. And then, I lived through it. The Universe presented me with chronic illness and called me to set the boundaries, or she would. It’s a work in progress at this age, and more and more I see where I fit inside my own boundaries.

  32. I used to. Neptune conj Sun. I would give people the benefit of the doubt far too long. I didn’t realize that people pretty much show you their shadow in their behavior up front.

    I will add that once I finally accepted, it became much easier for my Plutonic self to let go when the time came. Not easy, but easier.

  33. After years of counseling, I refuse to make excuses for other people. My mother is constantly making excuses and stories to explain other people’s crappy behavior. She ends up internalizing everything, so it’s never the other person’s fault. Without knowing it, she ends up bearing the burden herself, feeling like if she only did more or something different, the person wouldn’t treat her poorly. I was raised that way and it’s very difficult for me to stop making excuses for other people, but I work on it everyday. There are those of us that don’t take enough blame and others that take too much of the blame.

  34. It’s called “Daydreamer” for reasons. Living in my own little world, daydreaming, not connecting well with others, etc. hahaha

  35. Another Neptune in the 7th, conjunct the Desc. here. I guess I have pretended people didn’t know they were treating me poorly – sometimes, but at other times I:
    1) simply blame myself for the fact that they shat on me – somehow, some way I should have been different and then they wouldn’t have treated me this way;
    2) get into victim mode – how could you!?!

    The underlying theme, in my case, is similar to Elena’s comment (#9): “What’s funny is that sometimes I get carried away thinking and imagining that my good acts and love will magicaly (Neptune) change how they behave.”

    I don’t know if I was expecting that my good acts or love would do it – but somehow, I was supposed to be some way that would get others to treat me well, recognize my worth, etc.

    The delusion was that this “being some way” was magical and didn’t particularly include policing my boundaries and insisting on respect.

    And, I have often been “merged” with someone else’s opinion/treatment of me – how they see me/treat me defines me.

    It’s very weird, when you think about it. Thinking that somehow I have or should have this power to be such and such a thing that will MAKE others behave a certain way. It’s a huge burden to carry – trying to redeem/transform someone else’s behavior – and it’s totally delusional.

    I’m speaking in the past tense. I’m much more effective at this now, but I’m late middle-age and have finally reached a stage where I can look back and see what I was doing.

  36. We so much want to believe there is good in those we love, we so much don’t want to face the fact their shadow side may be driving them… self-deception in love relationships (of any sort, lovers family and even close friends) is very hard to avoid imo

  37. Elsa, your comment is brilliant: that they may not be deliberately trying to hurt you but may just be trying to take care of their needs and you are inconsequential to that. But it HURTS to feel inconsequential to someone you trust. And it hurts even more when they get angry when you tell them.

  38. I’m gonna have to come back and read all the comments… What a great topic!

    What you said about the ‘stories’ that you tell yourself, jumped out at me. As one with Neptune in the 1st, I’m learning that by stopping myself from attaching ‘stories’ to things has helped me more than I can say.

    Neptune can be quite imaginative, but with all that fog, the actual facts are more often than not blurred or not visible at all. Those ‘stories’ can then be so ‘off’ that it allows for that manipulation you speak of (or worse).

  39. One time only. If someone treats me rudely, it irritates me completely. Neptune Scorpio 9th. Knowing people are flawed, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt once. Sometimes, people are oblivious of how their actions affect others because they are too involved in their own soap opera.

    However, If their behavior is confirmed by repeat instances, I lash out, and dump them.

    After all, who are they to treat me in such a manner? They are no better than me. I don’t treat them that way, and I expect the same respect in return.

  40. Neptune con IC, is also ruler off my 7th, and is Rx… ppl also always hide something from me, that i figure out later.

    My Neptune, just like my Mercury, is highly aspected in my Chart, with 13 aspects. Being part of a Yod with 6th Moon, 11th Sun/Merc.

    Huge family manipulations, everywhere.

  41. If I’m being treated badly I nip it right in the bud. I’ve had to cut people off mid-sentence to do it, but I do it in the most clear, level-headed, and organized way possible. ie: I was sharing an idea with someone and then that person proceeded to tear down my idea, twist it around, turn it into something it wasn’t. I couldn’t let it slide and LAID IT DOWN for them. Things are made clear and It never happens again.
    I fully accept differences in opinion and love honesty (somehow esp when its something i dont want to hear) but can’t stand for lack of sense, reason, fairness. I do find myself saying “You are not quoting me” a whole lot. Sheesh, it’s probably happened on this board.
    11H Neptune in Sag conj Mars & Jupiter in Cap

  42. People *do* often know when they are treating you badly. One thing I have noticed is that they will frequently find things about you to dislike in order to justify it. Like, “I wouldn’t have done X if you hadn’t done Y first.” Even if X is ten times worse than Y, it’s a handy excuse.

    I think this can then snowball, where the transgressor convinces him/herself the victim deserves it, and the bad behavior gets more and more unchecked. The person can’t admit their guilt to themselves, so they find more and more reasons for why the victim “deserves” it. The cycle continues.

  43. Topaz, I agree with you but I still don’t think the transgressor is conscious of the mechanics of their actions. I think it needs to be called out immediately and rationally. If the person gets pissed or is in denial and can’t meet halfway at the very least then I consider that enough to amputate or distance depending on the relationship. People need to know they can’t f- with you and to be made aware of their tendency if anything is to improve.
    In my case, I feel if nothing changes, well at least I tried. Can’t accept a victim role.

  44. YellowTopaz, that sounds very familiar to me. It’s a hard cycle to recognize when you’re in it, and takes a lot of work on oneself to break out of. Very salient point.

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