Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do you deal with mind games, being belittled, lied about and denial?

(31 Posts)
Blinkers Fri 03-Jan-14 20:23:18

Hi to everyone. I'm a newbie and came across this forum a few days ago and want to ask for some advice after a hellish month. I've been with my partner for nearly 10yrs we don't have young dependent children which is probably just as well, and we live together.

I don't know where to start and I find it really hard to describe what has happened without sounding like a paranoid, gibbering idiot or an attention seeker. My OH is a professional older man with a large circle of acquaintances. He comes across as a very laid back, easy to talk to man with a wide range of interests. Superficially he doesn't show any signs of being a bully or controller or liar. Over time I've found that he has never really had a long term relationship and can't really explain why but it was the woman's fault or their high powered job got in the way. Over the years he has run down my jobs either directly or indirectly: "that's de-skilling you" or "my mate is doing a really moronic job" exactly the same work I was doing. My appearance has been chipped away at " I won't take that photo too close or it will show all your imperfections" or "where's that nice skirt?" - the one which is one size too small. "Mental illness runs in my family" my sister was on anti depressants. When I used to go out he would want at least a day's notice and recently had a go at me when a friend couldn't give me notice about a meet up.

He has misrepresented people to me, either their character or what they've been doing. When I've questioned some of this he's laughed and said I take things too literally, he's only kidding. He has lied about me to some of his friends who believe it's him who's bullied etc so I get the double whammy of his friend's annoyance. To some of his friends I'm probably an evil old witch.

He wants to know my work rota for the week but he will not always share his with me. Same goes for a lot of things - he should have open access to me but not vice-versa. He used to go through my bag and phone but I've secured those. I have done that back to him and he did not like it.

In the recent past I've challenged his behaviour but he would go round in circles or off on tangents. I would usually give up. A lot of my own reasoning and words are now thrown back at me so it's impossible to have any discussion. He has physically threatened me in the past and recently grabbed me around the throat, not hard, but enough to put the wind up me. Later I kicked him in the butt without shoes. Not great, is it?

I've spoken to a few people trained in this area but they're overburdened with violent cases or it's been too expensive to continue. As I'm writing this I wonder if he will see this and use this against me - that I am doing this to him. I have a very low paid job but I am crushed at the moment and I really want to build myself up to get the hell away from this. How do I protect myself? I don't want to dish his own behaviour back to him. I also hate how this plays in the background but can never be talked about. We've been sitting here and he's trying to talk about normal things, it's mad! He knows he does it but can't stop, I think he's proud of this.

HissyNewYear Sat 04-Jan-14 16:52:55

If you report your thread, ask them where you can post that's not visible to the world at large?

You'll need support and we're all here to help if you need us.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-Jan-14 16:38:00

Do contact Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 and have a chat with them. You may not be in immediate danger or in need of emergency accommodation but they are a good source of information for anyone wanting to walk away from an abusive relationship safely and who doesn't know where to start. It may shine a light and make that black hole you mention look a lot less scary. Courage!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 04-Jan-14 16:35:23

Good luck, OP. Sounds like you have him sussed. Plan it well and get away from him. Who cares what "the gallery" thinks...this is your life.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:33:37

Good luck OP. I wish you all the best. Always trust your instincts.

Blinkers Sat 04-Jan-14 16:29:47

Thanks for all your replies. When I tried to get advice in 2012 I wasn't able to describe what was happening, it had robbed me of my train of thought. I'd never heard of gas lighting until I started looking on this website. He has boasted about his ability to evade any difficult questions. I've also seen this behaviour in other members of his family so there's been a long history. They all seem to enjoy bonding over a common enemy and have no difficulty lying to create a cause. There's also a common pattern of anxiety issues, OCD with some family members enjoying a laugh over it. Their comments are then projected onto someone else - they are never the ones who have uttered these words, it's always someone else. This has been happening to me recently.

My OH is very persistent and when I leave I strongly suspect he will either try to approach me at my workplace or create a chance meeting somewhere. I've been on the receiving end of this before and I need to think very carefully how I will deal with this.

At the moment I am being passed off as paranoid by my OH. "If I talked to your friends or family for 5minutes they will confirm you are paranoid". I am very isolated here and my choices are limited but I will work with what I've got. My family have some health issues and are scattered across the country. They are not the easiest people to approach.

I will contact some of the helplines but I'm not considered under immediate threat as the hands around the neck incident was over a year ago. The game playing, lying, negation and playing to the gallery has stepped up over the last few months possibly because he has sensed distance from me. I've also been more effective in standing up for myself " it's like arguing with inspector logic!" was one response to me blocking some of his tactics. However this has resulted in him enlisting help from some of his permanently single friends and awful family. I don't understand how some people believe all the crap, especially when his personal life has been so sparse. Surely somebody out there must think it strange. I guess it's easier to spin stories to people who only see him every few weeks and are only party to the edited highlights. He makes the Tabloids look accurate.

Thanks for the advice about removing this thread. I will ask for this to be removed tomorrow. He doesn't have access to my computer but I don't want to take the risk and I can't take the risk of him seeing this online.

Thanks again. I feel like I'm staring into a black hole but the alternative is living with a man whose character is a collection of other people's characters, I don't know who the hell he is.

Meerka Sat 04-Jan-14 10:53:21

another good book is In Sheep's Clothing.

It's best to leave, yes.

If you can't for one reason or another, then the only way to get even the slightest change is to detach emotionally, to keep calm, and to hold to your guns. Make records of what he's doing when and look back at them when he has you doubting yourself.

Im sorry, there is no other way than to detach physically or detach emotionally. You won't get any real love or affection or caring.

But hands round throat is a giant no-no. Get out.

winkywinkola Sat 04-Jan-14 09:31:44

It's great you don't have children together.

Get out and leave.

He makes you unhappy. He is not good to you at all.

You have the opportunity to find happiness.

Flee woman!

HissyNewYear Sat 04-Jan-14 09:26:51

You've had some very good advice here love, there is,kt any alternative to leaving i'm afraid. He's abusing you. sad

Anniegetyourgun Sat 04-Jan-14 09:08:12

If he's been doing this to you for ten years it's really not terribly likely he's going to suddenly see the light and turn into Partner of the Century, is it?

I suggest you start looking at how you could manage to survive without him in your life - financially, that is, because emotionally you will be immeasurably better off - think about where you could live, whether you could stay with family or friends temporarily or flat share, check up on benefits etc - make a plan. You don't have to go through with it right away, but knowing you could walk away any time will help your confidence no end.

There is absolutely no reason why you should have to stay with someone who does not make your life better by their presence.

Kandypane Sat 04-Jan-14 08:58:48

Are you ok OP?

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:30:02

This blog has a wealth of information:

I recommend you start with the Gaslighting, Hoovering, Invalidation. It might help you make sense of what is being done to you. You are not imagining it and you are not losing your mind.

Read, get out, get a better life.

if there are no children, don't stay because when you have children or a child it will be harder to leave.
men like this don't change I have not experienced what you have but have seen it from a distance

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 03-Jan-14 22:11:14

Don't deal with it. Leave.

BillyBanter Fri 03-Jan-14 22:10:20

Log out and delete from your history!

BillyBanter Fri 03-Jan-14 22:09:43

I've only read your title. Deal with it by getting rid.

GoldfishCrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 22:06:30

He's abusive and controlling. You can't change him, you can only leave. It's not you; it's him. There's a reason he's got no friends, only acquaintances, and has never had a long term relationship. Superficial harm will only get you so far.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 21:28:22

Yes, do stay safe. Get MNHQ to delete the thread if you need to.

Deathwatchbeetle Fri 03-Jan-14 21:27:06

How unfortunate that such a catch as he is has had such continued problem with women! Of course, it couldn't be that he is the problem could it??!!!!! What kind of a man belittles someone else and puts them down to big up himself? Sad creature.

I hope you do not intend on staying?

handfulofcottonbuds Fri 03-Jan-14 21:20:42

Delete your history and your cookies. Can you go on MN in private browsing?

Blinkers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:05:00

Sorry for not posting earlier, it's awkward as my OH is in and wanting to know what I'm looking at. It will be easier tomorrow.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 20:51:33

Are you OK OP?

something2say Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:12

I would deal with this by not talking to him about it. Don't expect him to agree with you whatsoever. But do plan your exit and always, always trust yourself. X you are not paranoid, but if you mistrust yourself, he can control things. No.

pictish Fri 03-Jan-14 20:46:37

You deal with it by not. In other words...leave.

bewilderedotcom Fri 03-Jan-14 20:46:28

Like so many others on here too your story is just like mine. The same mind games, accusing you of things or motives you don't have, talking about you to other people and belittling you. I have been with my H longer and the children are teens, but everything you say is what I have said!

This book is enormously helpful and will help clear the mental fog this type of behaviour causes

This is how he behaves in a lot of ways

I am currently making plans to divorce. Its a hard and scary choice but its my only hope of peace. You need to get out too.

EllieInTheRoom Fri 03-Jan-14 20:46:19

Find the emotional abuse support thread on page 2 of relationship topics blinkers and click on the third link down in the OP. It talks about a lot of the examples you give almost word for word. It's definitely emotional abuse.
(Sorry I can't post links on this phone)
You need to get away as quickly as possible

As cog says, stay safe

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now