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How not to get into silly games…..

(59 Posts)
curiousgeorgia Fri 28-Sep-12 14:22:26

I've heard the gas lighting term used often and although I've read a lot about it's effects I'm not sure….

So this is a bit of how it is. He is charming and caring, attentive and committed to a future (indeed has begun moving in, bit by bit, although rather sooner than I'd anticipated it has to be said).

Yet when I open up and make myself vulnerable (about my insecurities - we all have them) he seems to go off the radar for a bit and I'm left wondering what that's about. I don't chase him after the first text to say hi, I wait. He tends to avoid conversations that he finds difficult himself.

Our shared vision of where we're at is not the one he tells other people, namely family. It's a partial version. For that reason I have made it clear I will not make our plans public with my family until he decides he can do the same - openly and with us there together.

I AM NOT OW and never have been, although I have been the injured party in a rather seedy love triangle of my ex's making !!!!!!!!!!

I hate game playing and don't want to feel as though this is what is happening - but my usually razor sharp mind is, to say the least confused.

Abitwobblynow Fri 05-Oct-12 19:03:00

Well done for not agreeing to being USED. He knew you weren't going to settle for lip service and being manipulated.

God there are some twunts out there.

PLEASE change the locks. Google it, go to the hardware store, you can do this yourself!

KirstyWirsty Fri 05-Oct-12 16:59:14

Sounds like your radar is finely honed .. Well done for getting rid

Abitwobblynow Fri 05-Oct-12 10:31:54

So I think what I was trying to say to the OP this is a big red flag, don't dismiss it, test it further and see if he is capable of 'hearing' you.

Because if he won't/can't, you WILL be very lonely with this man. Forewarned is forearmed.

I was warned not to marry my H 'because he will make you very unhappy'. But I wasn't told why and I was too hooked to listen. The fact that 'my' friends subtly didn't like him flew over my head also.

I made my own bed of suffering, IMO.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 03-Oct-12 19:52:55

Thanks, GB - sorry to take a while to notice, I wandered away for a bit!

garlicbutty Tue 02-Oct-12 22:33:23

It's Mark, Walkacross. He takes it as read that Carla will be endlessly fascinated by his issues and supportive to him, yet punishes her if she dares to express thoughts & feelings of her own. Like most people in her situation, Carla's learned to self-censor and ignore her own feelings.

Good to hear your cocklodger has lodged somewhere else, georgia, and reassuring that you have lovely friends to shore you up through your disappointment! I agree it's a good idea to get new locks, change all passwords, and so on. Horrible to have to think that way; the man seems to have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement, so it's best to be over-cautious here.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 02-Oct-12 18:55:00

I'm not following, wobbly - in your extract, is Carla the narcissist and Marks response because he is trying to cope with her - or is it Mark who is the narcissist? Sorry to be dense...

Abitwobblynow Tue 02-Oct-12 18:28:20

"Yet when I open up and make myself vulnerable (about my insecurities - we all have them) he seems to go off the radar for a bit and I'm left wondering what that's about. I don't chase him after the first text to say hi, I wait. He tends to avoid conversations that he finds difficult himself. "

Read this. Ring any bells?:

Carla often feels lonely, but she's not sure why. Things look pretty good to outsiders. She struggles with self-doubt. She has tried so hard, for so long, to make Mark happy. She is becoming exhausted and yet, things don't seem to be getting better. She feels frustrated, because no matter what she does, she can't seem to connect with Mark on a deeper level. Sure, they talk. They talk about the bills, chores, doctor visits, the neighbours. Things seem to go fairly well as long as she supports everything he does - and never shares a differing opinion.
And Carla has certainly learned to not be too vulnerable, not to express too many emotions. When she forgets this and begins sharing her heart with Mark, he often says nothing and then quietly dismisses himself into the next room. He gives no response and acts as it she wasn't speaking. She has learned to not follow him to persist in continuing her conversation, lest she get the look - the look scorning her for being to emotional, too sensitive, too intense, always negative, always going on and on. Or the 'Oh no, here you go again' or the 'What, are you crazy?' look.
Carla has learned to shut down, because experience has taught her that nothing productive happens once she gets the look. She has come to know that no matter how hard she tries to express her thoughts or her feelings it only gets worse. She only gets further devalued'

'You might be a Narcissist If... How to identify narcissism in Ourselves and Others and what we can do about it' Paul Meier, Lisa Charlebois, Cynthea Munz

(They go on to describe coldness and withdrawing of affection, sex, and then affairs and the reason why. And believe me they aren't exaggerating)

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 02-Oct-12 15:38:59

Yes, change the locks.

I'm afraid that no matter how much you would like "closure" it's unlikely you will get it.

Your instincts seem spot on, he's not able to be honest with you so he's no great loss, even if you are feeling crappy about it now.

Gather up his things, leave a matter of fact message about collecting them and then move on, with the support of your lovely friends (and Mumsnet).

ClippedPhoenix Tue 02-Oct-12 13:06:51

Get those locks changed today OP.

Lavenderhoney Tue 02-Oct-12 12:19:35

Do you mean he let himself into your house while you were out? I wouldn't muck about now, just a figure of speech btw - Put his stuff in a box and leave it outside. Change the locks and don't let him in. When he comes to get his stuff don't answer the door. Personally I would be nervous of him coming and going.

In the distant past a bloke tried similar with me, and I was way too nice, dropping his stuff off . The stuff he left behind and kept meaning to collect, I gave him a deadline then gave it to a charity shop. I was moving house though!

curiousgeorgia Tue 02-Oct-12 09:53:34


I don't know how to bump this thread so I'll just hope someone else is as MN geeky as me this morning!!!!

It wasn't my RL friend who said "ditch the bastard" (although she did say that!).

It was him. When he told me last week that he is a fucking good liar (although he hasn't lied to me, of course) - that's when it killed it. He was telling me that I am too good for him and if I've any sense I'll get rid.

What a twunt.

curiousgeorgia Tue 02-Oct-12 08:52:37

Oh I hope someone reads this.

I went to RL friends last night and stayed the night. We talked it all through and I told her everything. I decided that I would tell him that until he :

1. Actually IS divorced
2.Actually has a PROPER job and is solvent (I didn't care what job it was)
3. Actually was honest with his family about 'us'
4. Actually sold his house and settled with his stbx -

I wanted us to separate. And then, if we still felt the same about each other we could begin again, properly and with no secrecy.

However. I arrived at home this morning and guess what? He moved out in the same way that he moved in - under cover of darkness.

Some of his stuff is still here. He just took his clothes but there's other stuff. He didn't leave his key.

I now have to contact him to arrange to be here when he gets the rest of his stuff. I imagine he will be totally cold and detached if I get to speak to him at all. But I don't want him here when I'm not here. I guess he will want to get the remainder of his stuff today. luckily I am off work.

I don't think I'll get a chance to have my say. I think that I had started asking too many questions that he just couldn't answer honestly and he got scared. I had started making (reasonable) requests that he wasn't prepared to fulfil. You know the kind of thing - show me respect not just 'lip service'.

I'm shocked TBH. But I shouldn't be, should I?

olgaga Mon 01-Oct-12 15:01:39

I have a chain and bolt on the door until I can get locks changed.


It's not uncommon for people to "change" into someone you don't recognise. No-one would ever give them the time of day if they hadn't developed plenty of superficial charm.

Ultimately, they always revert to type and let themselves down - and everyone who gets involved with them too.

You're bound to feel a bit of despair, that feeling of "back to square one" is grim. But bear in mind that giving people the benefit of the doubt, giving them a chance, is normal and kind. Taking advantage of people's good nature is abnormal and unkind. The problem here is his, not yours.

The good thing is he'll take his problem with him when he goes.

curiousgeorgia Mon 01-Oct-12 12:33:53

I have a chain and bolt on the door until I can get locks changed. Actually i think he will just accept it anyway - he hates confrontation and will probably think i'm being a typically hysterical woman any way. So be it, if it means a calm break I'm ok with him thinking that.

I've shed a few tears today and I don't think that's a bad thing really. But I don't feel utterly heartbroken or rejected. Thing is, all along i've felt a need to hold back, not give everything to him. I'd be feeling a whole lot worse now if i was looking back and cursing myself for doing that.

There isn't anything here which will serve as painful reminders if he doesn't take them, you know, gifts and stuff.

olgaga Mon 01-Oct-12 07:58:25

curious, you really do need to change the lock as a matter of priority. Don't tell him in advance you want his key, but bear in mind he may already have a duplicate.

This is for your safety and security, and it's important.

curiousgeorgia Mon 01-Oct-12 06:56:43

Thanks lavender and shaggingarea.

I've slept on it. I am convinced that his behaviour shows the hallmarks of an insecure and needy individual. That's no bad thing but it's better to just ask for reassurance and admit you feel vulnerable than play it out on someone else so THEY feel like shite. I guess it's not in his repertoire to own up to feeling out of control of a situation.

He'd be wanting to see sites I've visited such as fb or other social networking sites i guess. I don't do anything like that but since we met through a dating site hmm I suppose he might want to check if I've been having a sneaky peek (I haven't).


Because he did this to stbx.

Having a look around the house he's actually got quite a lot of stuff here and not just clothes. I'll need a blooming big box to get that lot in!!!!!!!!!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 01-Oct-12 05:33:47

Hand holding always available here smile

You do sound as if you would be much much happier without him.

Keep reading your posts, and good luck with getting rid.

Lavenderhoney Mon 01-Oct-12 03:30:08

Oh dear op, I hope he doesn't turn up and upset you. agree bx his stuff up and can yo get someone to be there when he comes? And if he is moving tell him to bring his key, better yet meet him somewhere busy and swap. Although he coud get a duplicate anyway. Really think you should change the Locks ASAP plus put on a chain, just in case. Oh and btw, if he doesn't show then tell him you'll leave his stuff outside til next week then it's going to oxfam. Otherwise it's there, a reminder.

What woud interest him on your pc? Are you online banking? Personally I would change all my passwords and the password into the pc, and the wifi password.

You are lucky to have nice rl friends

curiousgeorgia Mon 01-Oct-12 02:34:57

He does have a key and he WILL turn up here.

I also believe he has been accessing my email account from his laptop as I am on there as a second user and, inexplicably, I noticed the other day that it opens up automatically with my password already typed in. I didn't do that so he must have done. I have just changed all my passwords.

That and probably checking my phone.

I think he wanted to know what I am doing tomorrow so he could come here while i'm at work. I sometimes work from home so tomorrow I shall be here as I don't know what to expect - Mr Charming or Mr Arse.

mutha the scales have dropped from my eyes. I don't feel a twit because i've given this man house-room. I absolutely know that he is the way he is and it's not about me. So actually whether he has another one lined up already or is planning to go back to his estranged spouse (NO - I REPEAT I WAS NOT OW) - I don't really care. From the bits of story he has told me about his 'mad' ex I have been pretty appalled not at what he has said she is like but the fact that he has said some really nasty things. No doubt I will get the same treatment but, thankfully, if he tries that with my friends they'll tell him to piss off because they know me.

I shall probably need to keep coming back here for a bit of hand-holding though. It's not nice really sad

olgaga Sun 30-Sep-12 22:43:54

I think I've met an arse.

Yes, you have. It sounds as though you're about to make a lucky escape. I bet that now he realises you're not the soft touch he thought you were, I expect he'll soon move on to the next "prospect" - if he doesn't already have one lined up.

Box up his stuff and leave it outside the front door.

Hope he doesn't have a key...? If so change the lock. Get it done tomorrow.

SorryMyLollipop Sun 30-Sep-12 22:00:39

He has damaged your self esteem, he blow hot and cold, you know what you need to do.

You are already detaching from him, well done!!!!

curiousgeorgia Sun 30-Sep-12 21:15:00

Thank you mutha I won't.

As it has become customary, when he isn't here I just get on with my life and I've been out with friends this weekend. Each time I do this he goes AWOL or is like he is tonight.

But I have the right to a life of my own. HE was the one who suddenly made the sweeping statement about moving in and is now asking 'if you're not busy I shall come and see you tomorrow'. I am so angry. I have arranged to see a Rl mate tomorrow who has just told me how she sees it from her experience of him/us so far. It was enlightening.

MuthaHubbard Sun 30-Sep-12 21:03:52

Well if not same guy, at least twin or went to same school of fuckwittery.

If I've not seen him for a few days, he does the 'did you miss me' thing with no reciprocation.

The bit about him pretending he wasn't going to see you and then when you said you might be busy tomorrow.....he didn't get the soppy, pandering response he wanted which is why he's acted that way.

And it is bollocks - you seem a strong, sensible woman as you realise exactly what he's doing. And so do I. Yet it is hard to defuse that power to influence your happiness.

DO NOT TEXT AGAIN.......remember how fucking mad/confused he is making you feel - you (and I) know it should be like this barely a year in.

I am an expert at giving people advice I should take by the way.......

curiousgeorgia Sun 30-Sep-12 20:45:44

Bollocks. I have just texted him to say I don't want to see him tomorrow.

It's the first time I've done this in a year. But I have had enough. He is just a person and he doesn't have any power to influence my happiness other than what I have thus far given him. Hang on he has texted back….OK

So there we are.

curiousgeorgia Sun 30-Sep-12 20:35:42

Oh and he asked me if I missed him. He didn't reciprocate when I said of course I do.

He IS a shit. Isn't he?

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