Energy vampires can be draining but you don’t have to ditch your marriage because you are married to one. It is important to evaluate whether you are truly married to this type of person, how bad they are, and how you can move forward with them in your life. In some cases, you may need to find an exit to the relationship.
Defining an Energy Vampire
Energy vampires can be found anywhere in all types of situations whether it is the workplace, your family, among your friends, and in romantic relationships. While movies like Twilight have romanticized vampire imaging, energy vampires are far from romantic. An energy vampire drains the life out of you. They thrive on bringing you down and seem to live better when they drain you of your energy.
Relationships are supposed to be given and take, but energy vampires constantly take without any giving. They can also be narcissistic and can seek to dominate other people.
Another trait of these type of people is they constantly complain about how awful their life is. They thrive off your positive energy, which drains you completely. They are a key factor is toxic relationships.
Effects of an Energy Vampire
Having a relationship with an energy vampire can take a toll on your mentally and emotionally, but doctors have proven it can also affect you physically. Data suggests that 75 percent of women in this type of relationship long-term develop autoimmune disorders.
Exposing yourself long-term to this type of behavior can change your brain to cause a type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) problem, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, adrenal fatigue, weight problems, diabetes, thyroid issues, Lyme disease, and even lupus. It can also lead to a host of mysterious illnesses with no known cause.
Marriage and the Energy Vampire
The typical marriage of an energy vampire is one of complete opposites. They are typically married to a highly optimistic person who loves life. The problem is the relationship can leave the positive person so draining, so emotionally and mentally exhausted with broken self-esteem. This is where many marriages hit the breaking point and end. Those where there is a stronger commitment and where ending it is more difficult because of finances or children can ride it out but it will take years to come to a complete recovery.
Whether you stay or go depends on the depth of the energy vampire’s traits. Some may have some small traits of it that can be rectified through discussion or marriage counseling. Others may be completely in denial and unwilling to change.
Types of Energy Vampires
There are four types of energy vampires. You have the nagger, the victim, the critic, and the narcissist.
The nagger is like a broken record. They will bug you relentlessly to get what they want. They could also tease you and pick at you to get their way. You defeat this behavior by saying no and telling them they are overbearing. This type of person can change because many don’t know they are doing it.
Those who play the victim sees the world as an enemy and seems to be happy when life around them is in ruins and everyone is supporting them. They tell you why everything you suggest won’t work. To defeat this attitude, offer sympathy and advice but end the discussion there. Step away when they are negative.
The critic uses every little thing to make you feel less worthy or to guilt you into doing what they want. This can leave you feeling defeated and as if you can’t do anything right. To defeat this attitude, point out their critical attitude to them when it happens. Tell them you want their input, but that what they are saying is more hurtful than helpful. This may help precipitate change.
The narcissist is the most difficult to live with and the hardest to get to change. Everything is about them. They must be the center of attention at all times. They don’t care about your desires and feelings because that would require them to give. This goes beyond selfishness to where they are the most important thing in their life.
You can try talking to them about how their behavior makes you feel because they could be unaware, but most will just deny their behavior. Other things you can do is to stop giving them over-the-top praise and stop celebrating every one of their achievements. Say you’re proud, but end it there.
The natural sponge is that person who is chronically needy. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed. As lovable as they are, sometimes you need a break. The solution is easy, take some time away to recharge. Go away with friends, visit family, or even get away by yourself. It will do you good.
Is Your Spouse an Energy Vampire?
There are several traits to tell if your spouse is an energy vampire or just annoying.
- They aren’t interested in what you love. They may pretend to be interested in the beginning, but show disinterest as time moves on.
- They don’t communicate. They don’t care about interacting with you and their interactions are confusing. They will shower you with attention, then shun you completely.
- They use ultimatums. They throw them out like candy at a Christmas parade. They use them to keep you from succeeding or to simply get what they want. They regularly say they will leave you if you don’t do what they wish.
- They blame you constantly.
They never blame themselves but always throw problems into your court.
- They weaponize sex. Energy vampires demand it or only want it as they like it. They withhold it if they are annoyed with you.
- They are scorekeepers. These types of people remember all your flaws and every argument and bring them up into new arguments a lot. They also keep a score of the good they have done for you and try to make you feel like they need a repayment.
- They insult you. They feel better when they lower your self-esteem so they put you down a lot. They may also withhold affection, embarrass you, ignore you and taunt you in public.
How to Manage a Marriage
There are some things you need to do if you find you are married to an energy vampire. The first thing to do is look at yourself, your attitude, and your behaviors. Start believing in yourself, your worth, and the idea that you deserve happiness. Having a strong mind will help in dealing with your spouse.
Don’t repress your anger but find a way to express it constructively. Also, practice self-care and don’t always feel obligated to put your spouse first. This could cause them to re-evaluate their behavior. Understand your love isn’t boundless. That will cause a quick burn out. So, set some boundaries and that includes boundaries on time. It’s okay to limit your time together for a while.
It’s important to never compromise on boundaries. You set the boundaries and stick to them. Move some of your focus off them and your marriage. Put it on other activities to allow both of you to cool off and relieve the stress.
Finally, you may need to just accept them and their draining traits as they are and deal with them on a case-by-case basis. However, if it is at the point of physical, emotional, or mental abuse, then you need to consider the options of ending the relationship.
Understanding energy vampires and their many different techniques is a start to reworking your relationship with them to a more positive one. It will take time to change the dynamic, but much of what changes will depend on how you change your reaction to them.