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Going nuts over DH accusing me of having said things I haven't

(31 Posts)
Londonmamabychance Thu 06-Oct-16 09:19:07

DH and I are forever disagreeing on what I have said or haven't said. He misremembered so many things and then gets angry when I refuse to accept I've said the given thing. Ridiculously, we just had a fight about whether I said that a certain theatre where we are going tonight is by Westminster or Embankment. He insists I said it was by Westminster, when I know that theatre very well and know for certain that when we spoke about it two days ago, I said it was by Embankment, and he said "yeah, around Westminster," and I didn't say 'no, it's by Embankment" I just said "yeah round there, by Embankment" because in my head those two are quite close anyway. So in his head only Westminster stuck, and he now goes mad at me and says "that's the problem with you that you'll never admit when you said something wrong." It may sound silly but it's a reacurring issue for us and it creates so many big arguments. He forgets the details of the conversation and only remember the gist (or what he wants to remember) and then gets angry when I remind him of something else. In the case of the theatre of course it doesn't really matter, it's only because it's an example (and has ruined my desire to even have a night out with him) but when it comes to him for example insisting that I agreed to DD's name before she was born, and we're now trying to agree on our new, unborn child's name, it's a big problem. Because I did not agree to DD's name before birth, we had a short list and I said I wanted to see what she was like looked before deciding which name suited her. When she was born and the midwife asked "do you have a name" he then just said the name he preferred from the list all the time! I was so out of it that I just agreed, I don't regret it because I love her name and it suits her, but I'm upset about the decision process and don't want that to happen again. But he straight out claims I agreed to the name beforehand which I know I did not. I even asked my mum and sister, who'd know if we had a name for certain and they said no, you liked that name and a few others and you had not decided. There are many things like that and I just feel I'm banging my head against a brick wall, because he quite clearly is convinced that he remembers things correctly and is outraged that I am "lying" about what I've said in the past.

Shoxfordian Thu 06-Oct-16 09:48:48

Sounds like gaslighting; I know many others on this thread know more about it all than me but:-
www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

Pickled0nions Thu 06-Oct-16 10:03:44

I wouldn't be quick to say gaslighting. Though it does sound it.
Because for all we know he could genuinely be forgetting parts of the conversation and then saying he doesn't remember it being said that way.
If that was the case then he isn't purposefully gaslighting you.

If he was gaslighting he would know how the conversation went and would be trying to twist it to benefit from it, do you think he is doing it purposefully?

TheNaze73 Thu 06-Oct-16 10:06:05

Two things here. Firstly, it is most probably gaslighting, in which case, he's an epic cock. Alternatively, could he have something a bit more serious?? Where possible & I know it's faff & ball ache, get stuff written down. Guess you'll finally get your answers then.

Is he generally a nice man?? On the face of it, it does sound like gaslighting though

benbry Thu 06-Oct-16 10:09:23

He's got selective hearing, I've got one of those.

I just say "I'm cleverer than you and I'm right".

scallopsrgreat Thu 06-Oct-16 10:14:09

It's the getting so angry which is the red flag. So what if he thought it was Westminster but in fact it's Embankment? Why does he have to be right about such a minor thing? Why is so bent on being right that he'd ruin the occasion. In normal relationships this would have been sorted out by a "I must have misunderstood". End of very minor story. He accuses you of never admitting you made a mistake yet is doing exactly the same thing and escalates the problem out of proportion.

The choosing of your DDs name is even more worrying because you really aren't likely to forget agreeing to a name. That really does come across as him getting his choice no matter what you say. Not good.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 06-Oct-16 10:29:34

he quite clearly is convinced that he remembers things correctly and is outraged that I am "lying" about what I've said in the past

Have you noticed a pattern in when he does this? People have genuine misunderstandings all the time. They very rarely turn into arguments or accusations of lying. So that implies he wants a fight, which probably follows a pattern.

Sometimes troubled people use these manufactured arguments as a way of kicking you without touching you. Your day is spoiled and you are miserable.

Pretend for a moment that he is choosing to pick an argument to feed an emotional need in himself. OK, you might not believe that to be true but just pretend for a moment. Is there a pattern?

midcenturymodern Thu 06-Oct-16 10:30:21

If her was forgetful or had a hearing problem he would be doing it with everyone. Does he kick off with his friends and work colleagues about what they have said or haven't said and accuse them of lying?

FoofFighter Thu 06-Oct-16 10:33:46

Ah you could be me. Well me 3 years ago. Yes yes yes to gaslighting. It's awful to make another person think they are going crazy, losing their mind, becoming ill with dementia etc

Even regards the baby name, we agreed during pregnancy that if it was a girl it would take my surname, if a boy - his. We spoke about this with a few people too. At the reg office, he blankly denied any such thing (it was a girl) - and I was so mortified at the time, right in front of the registrar that I caved in.

I left a year later.

doorhandle Thu 06-Oct-16 10:41:43

Dp can be like this. It's infuriating.

It means you have to remember details about conversations that you really shouldn't have to. It makes you feel like you're being interrogated

Conversations that have been had and filed forgotton have to be dragged up again and you have to remember details about them that are so minute that it makes my brain hurt

I have recounted conversations word for word and have still been told I'm lying or wrong. I hate it

YNK Thu 06-Oct-16 10:41:44

It could be gaslighting but I fail to see any motive for this (although there might be a backstory).
Given his anger and frustration I hope he can be persuaded to see a doctor. The most common medical reason for losing memory and being angry is B12 deficiency (pernicious anaemia) and, caught early enough, this can be reversed. If not treated further serious problems can occur (and become irreversible).
it's worth, at least, screening this out with a simple blood test for B12, folate and ferritin with an FBC.

Londonmamabychance Thu 06-Oct-16 11:03:03

Thanks for all your comments. I don't think it's gaslighting, I'm familiar with the concept and my ex was definitely guilty of it. This is not DH's style though. Generally, he is a very nice man, very supportive and loving, says nice things to me, does his fair share around the house and with the childcare and is definitely loyal and faithful. He does have an aggressive and quite dominating streak though, a part of him that just wants to get it his way no matter what. I am also quite dominating and extremely stubborn (not proud of this but it's the truth) so I always thought I could handle his sometimes dominant behaviour and I can when it comes out in obvious ways, I just challenge it head on and we normally end up with a compromise.

I do think that he genuinly has a bad memory. He often forgets things and people he's met, he's even aware of it himself and has taken up chess as a way to try and improve his memory. I, on the other hand (sorry if this sounds like bragging) have an unusually good memory, especially for conversations, something people always comment on and which I use a lot in my job. So maybe it sometimes pisses him off that I remember things better than him. Or maybe he really is doing the selective hearing thing, like someone suggested, just to get his way, which is really shit.

Also you're right that maybe he's trying to pick a fight just for the sake of it to feed another emotion in him. I kee thinking he's feeling under pressure with a busy job, DD and a new one on the way, and plans of moving to my native country sometime next year. I kee asking him if he's okay and he keeps saying that he is, so it's hard to get to the bottom of whether he's subconsciously stressed or angry at me for something I don't understand.

I have to confess that I am also notoriously argumentative and not very good at just letting things go and taking a break from a heated conversation. I tend to say "you said this and that" and then end up presenting it not in his exact words but the way I know he meant with what he said, I.e. The other nights we were arguing about whether we should take the dummy off DD as she's nearing two and uses it way too much, but I was worried that me being pregnant and exhausted I can't deal witht he resulting tantrums, so questioned whether we should wait a bit. He then said "you'd rather cause her dental problems for life than do this for a bit" and I flipped and said that he had said that I'd rather cause her dental problems than having to put up with discomfort for me for a bit. Of course that wasn't exactly what he said, but to my mind that was totally implied, but that's the kind of thing that makes him v angry and accuse me of making things up. But in my mind I'm just making it clear how what he said came across to me, not making things up. But I'm aware it's probably a bad discussion approach and something I should change and may be partly fuelling this issue.

Naicehamshop Thu 06-Oct-16 11:15:12

Hmm. My OH used to be a bit like this. I have dealt with it by just saying "No. That didn't happen/I don't agree/that is not going to happen" and walking off. In other words - not engaging with that kind of twatty behaviour. It's surprising how quickly that takes the heat out of things.

Londonmamabychance Thu 06-Oct-16 12:03:45

Foo that's awful with the registry office. I like to think DH wouldn't go that far but I wouldn't be surprised if he did one day!

YNK good idea to test out for vitamin define isn't but afraid is never ever get him to do that sad

Naice you said you'd DH used to be like this, did he change for the better? And if so, do you know what made him stop doing it?

Midcentury no, he does not kick out like that with friends or colleagues. But then I guess many of us are guilty of doing things to partners we don't do to others blush

FelicityGubbins Thu 06-Oct-16 12:52:09

I would tackle it by buying a voice recorder and every single time he said something, I would pause and say " I'm just going to record this conversation as you have developed quite the habit of making all sorts of shit up" and if he objected (which he will) tell him point blank that he either gets over his gaslighting behaviour sheepish or everything will be recorded as evidence.
I can be childish though...

ThatStewie Thu 06-Oct-16 13:01:56

Your first post could just be about a man with a bad memory who is too embarrassed to admit it. Your subsequent posts about aggressive and dominating behaviour are much more concerning. He doesn't sound at all like a nice man - and caring for your child is the bare minimum not an indication of a lovely man.

ThatStewie Thu 06-Oct-16 13:03:10

And as Scallops says, his anger rather than getting things wrong is the real problem here.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 06-Oct-16 13:09:59

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

It sounds like you have swapped your ex who was not a nice man to another of a not too dissimilar nature. With this man his getting angry is the red flag.

What do you want to teach your DD about relationships, what do you think she is learning about relationships here?. You really want to show her this role model of a relationship?.

myfriendnigel Thu 06-Oct-16 13:18:12

My ex used to do this.
That's not the only reason he is my ex, but it didn't help!
Trying to sort out child custody and divorce stuff with someone like this is no picnic either I can tell you.
Trouble was that he would convince himself strongly that he was right.And that's that. No amount of evidence to the contrary would convince him. Fine when it's small stuff-hugely problematic when it's a bigger issue that you need to discuss.
I resorted at times to recording what was said.But then I realised that was no way to live.
It was more important to him to be Right, even when he was demonstrably wrong, than to be happily married to me.
I've no idea how you can make it better op-I certainly never managed it.But you do have my sympathy-it's maddening.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 06-Oct-16 14:03:58

Ah, grade 10 bastard exchanged for grade 8 bastard.

If he can choose not to do this with others, he can choose not to do it with you.

WittyCakeMeister Thu 06-Oct-16 14:08:12

I thought you could record conversations - with him knowing it's being recorded of course! Or if it's something really important - write it on a piece of paper and magnet it to the fridge! Both quite antagonistic, but depends how mad you feel!

Be clear with your preferences when you talk to him, not vague. Say 'This is important to me, so please remember this time that I said x - shall I write it down for you?'. OK, immature sarcasm again.

Sounds like he always needs to be 'right'.

Let things go that aren't important, just say 'I know I didn't say that, let's agree to disagree'. But stick to your guns on important stuff like baby names. Be clear in your choice and in conversations, write it down.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 06-Oct-16 14:59:14

Don't record your conversations please, I don't think that's conducive to a healthy relationship! - except in jest of course, or in the case of an already unhealthy relationship.

So the examples you gave in your OP, the first one I have to say you kind of did say the theatre was near Westminster. It may not have been what you meant but I can see why that's what he took away from it, and why it's equally not what you took away.

The others, you know, without being there when you guys were talking it's hard to say if there could have been a misunderstanding; plus you have to remember people do often hear what they want to hear, rather than what the other person thinks they're saying to them.

I'll tell you what, this is the kind of thing me and dp niggle at each other for all the time. He has a notoriously terrible memory and - like you - I consider this not to be a failing of mine. However there have been times when I have been red in the face explaining to him how he's "mis-remembering" (I don't like being told I'm wrong) only to realise this is that rarest of occasions... then I get even stroppier because the only thing I like less than being told I'm wrong is BEING wrong!!

When it comes to the small stuff such as the theatre I would say you'll have a less stressful time of it if you can both agree to let it go, especially if you know you're right anyway. It's not east though if you're both the types who like to speak your mind. For the bigger stuff such as naming your dc, I can relate to your frustration. I would say don't roll over in the heat of the moment and just agree to go along with it; that won't help. But do understand everyone's resistant to being told something they want that they thought had been agreed is not actually the case; perhaps "I understand you might have thought we came to an agreement (not remembering the specifics of the conversation) however that's not the impression I got. I'm not saying I don't agree, just that I haven't, but I will be happy to have that conversation with you again; no need to get stressed!".

Any of that helpful or am I completely missing the mark?

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 06-Oct-16 15:07:52

PS It does sound like he's stressed, and that will make him make mistakes more than usual AND be more defensive. But you need to tell him his frustrations are coming out in the way he communicates with you, and that's not cool! He can disagree, but snapping isn't nice. Is he fairly open about things when you guys talk?

Londonmamabychance Thu 06-Oct-16 15:42:02

Eastsleep yes, that is very helpful, I think you're right it's better to just let the small thing go, but not the big things. I do really think he's quite stressed out. We just had a stressy moment as it turned out he'd forgoten to leave the key for our house in the buggy at nursery for the nanny, and suddenly it looked like I'd have to go and meet the nanny at the nursery before the theatre to give her the key and then go back again, as his job won't allow him to leave earler whereas mine's quite flexible, something I just couldn't face being pregnant and quite tired and already being in a mood about this morning's disagreement. In the end, the nanny came to meet him in central where he works and got the key. He was v apologetic to me, to be fair. I can't believe he forgot to put the key there, we spoke about it just beore going to bed last night and about the theatre just before we parted. He really forgets A LOT of things. I am beginning to worry about his memory and whether it's a health and/or stress issue.

Witty Run Rabbit and Myfriend youre right ne heeds to be right all of the time and can't handle being wrong. But then, I have to admit, so do I. I am otoriosuly bad at admitting mistakes, that is true! and of course I make mistakes. Just not in terms of remebering things, I make other mistakes, such as taking tiredness and stress out on him in a strop. So I guess I should understand this part of him. What enrages me is, just like MyFriend says, it often seems that it's more important to him to be right than to live in peaceful existence with me. It seems I'm forever the one trying to patch things up after arguments and "letting things go", which makes me so frustrated. And yes, he shouldbe able to control himself with me if he can with others, that's the ideal. I think that's hit the nail a bit on the head, that we should both try to be more towards each other like we are with friends, instead of showing each other our worst sides, but so often that's what happens due to sheer exhaustion, you've been nice to everyone all day and once you're together you just let it all out, and the poor partner gets the brut end of it. That's the case for us, often, I think.

The thing is that I do geuninly think he is a good man. He has his issues and shortcomings, as well all do, but having had my fair share of relationships with different types of guys, I can honestly say he's the best one I've come across. And not because he's the best I could find in a settle-for-less kind of way, just that he's genunily a great guy. He just has this seemingly memory problem and the problem with controlling his temper when he's stressed, and yes, these are big problems.

Attila and "Stewie" yes he has anger problems, I think, and I am very aware that I do not want my DD to see her parents argue and her dad being aggressive. I have made that very clear to him. I cannot, however, imagine anything that would hurt her more than even contemplating splitting up with her dad and her having him less in her life, he really is an extremely loving and doting dad, has endless patience with her and always thinks of her before anything else.She is very attached to him and seeing them together is one of the iggest joys of my life. I just wish there was a way to overcome these consant disagreements of who said what and general problem with his temper

Naicehamshop Thu 06-Oct-16 15:45:36

I think that this is all about control. You ask if my OH got better when I started not to engage with the arguments as to who said what... yes, he did but if I'm honest I think that I may have distanced myself from him generally by doing this.

So, not ideal but better than putting up with his nonsense imo!

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