relationship videos"Hoovering?"  Yes, it's a thing! It happens in relationships with Hijackals®.

Have you been "hoovered?"

Have you walked away from the relationship for very good reasons?

You were strong. You knew what you were doing and why you were doing it.

And, then, somehow, you got sweet-talked, bargained with, promised, and cajoled into taking your Hijackal back.

You were hoovered!  Sucked back in!  Learn more about how this happens so often in this video. (Transcript below)



Hello, I’m Dr Rhoberta Shaler, The Relationship Help Doctor, and today I want to talk to you about another maneuver that Hijackals™ have in their toolkit or in their modus operandi and this is “hoovering” and yes it is just what it sounds. It comes from that famous vacuum cleaner company, and what hoovering is: is when you just want to leave your partner or you may be set some stronger boundaries and make it a little bit afraid or you have had an incredible outpost or they have and they are really concerned that you are not going to appreciate her very much then they pull back and try to suck you back into the relationship .

They don’t want change in the relationship, they want to stay in power, they want to stay in control, they want to always be winning and you have listened to my videos and all those things so you know those are the hallmarks of a Hijackals™. But when they get scared, when they are afraid that you are going to leave or that you are becoming demanding or that they have gone too far, they may even be afraid that you are going to retaliate or you going to walk out on them and at those moments; and I know you know those moments, they seem to have this unkind ability to all of a sudden to have the capacity to say they are sorry, to identify that they made a mistake, to be in the wrong which is most hard for a Hijackal™ as you well know.

And you can’t believe it again - a little incredulity like wow! Maybe he or she is really changing, maybe he or she is finally seeing the light , maybe there is hope for the relationship and because you are just moving away or they were concerned that you are moving away or maybe you have moved away and they are very very clear they want you back, then they know that they have to pull out the big guns and they will do that; you will get flowers, you will get apologies, you will get a wonderful night in bed, you get all kinds of things to slowly suck you back to the relationship and this is what we call hovering and you know when it happens you kind of resisting, you don’t want to go, you know better. But a part of your brain says maybe there is hope, maybe this will be alright, maybe this will work, it is engaged and whoop! There you are, you are back in the relationship and it can take less than an hour or maybe less than a week before you are right back in the thick of it, they’ve got the control, they’ve got power over you and now they have you in their clutches once again.

And then there is this moment when you just feel so defeated that like "really I couldn’t resist this, I got caught again, you know, foolish me, why did I do that?" And then you have to pick yourself back up, and find the resources and start to see the behaviour inside the Hijackal™ again for what they are and to know whether or not this is acceptable to you on any planet, and if it is not, then you have to start extending your boundaries, first of all clarify them then express them then maintain them, be very straight about it, tell your Hijackal™  how you want things to be; what works for you what doesn’t work for you, and yes of course I hope you know the violent Hijackal™ is not going to take that but you have the right you know because breathe, you take up space, you have the right to say what works for you, what you want or what you need or how you feel . That’s not a question; you don’t need permission to say any of those things in an unhealthy relationship. So if you know you are unable to say those things, you know you are in an unhealthy relationship.

But back to hoovering, Hijackals™ always want to win anything that looks like loss or potential loss, oh no! no! I have to get the power in the control back and so when they get scared, they will hoover you back again. When they are afraid that they have been too hard on their behavior they’ve settled down something maybe you can then see they are not physically violent. All of a sudden they are so repentant and so so sorry and they want you to come back and they know, you know this is how they got you in the first place, that they can say exactly the right thing to trigger you and your emotions into responding to them in the way that they want.

So know that hoovering is a thing and you don’t want to allow yourself to be sucked back in just something you are extracting yourself from whether that’s the way you have been interacting or from your whole relationship. But you don’t want to get sucked back in because it’s part of the abuse cycle and I hope you are thinking about this as abuse because that is what it is; Hijackal™ behaviors are usually verbally and emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive. And so it’s part of the abuse cycle to get hoovered back in, to get sucked back in, to give it another go and you will justify and rationalize and make excuses for it; maybe you did it for the children, you did it because they were under stress, you did it because you don’t want to cause upset before the end of the school year, whatever the story is you are telling yourself, you will be sorry in the morning eeeh! So know that hoovering is at thing and that it could happen to you, you may look back on your relationship with your Hijackal and know what has happened and let’s not let the hoovering begin again!


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