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Lovebombing and gaslighting

(54 Posts)
Solero Thu 03-Aug-17 18:38:28

I am convinced I am being subjected to both by my husband but I am doubting myself. I have done loads of internet reading recently about both as forms of emotional abuse and as I look back over our 7 years together I can identify with a lot of the information. However I am an anxiety sufferer on 40mg of citalopram everyday and I wonder whether its all in my head. ( He has intimated this in the past when I have tried to raised concerns with him)
I would love to hear any 'survivor' stories.......

FlyButterflyFly Thu 03-Aug-17 19:03:37

What makes you think your husband is love bombing you?

c3pu Thu 03-Aug-17 19:12:29

What exactly is he doing?

Solero Thu 03-Aug-17 19:41:23

When we first got together it happened very quickly. We met and chatted online for a few weeks, had a couple of dates and then he began telling me how wonderful I was, how I was perfect for him, how he couldn't imagine is life without me, I was an amazing person etc. He moved in with me (after claiming to have been kicked out by his landlady) and things escalated from there. I had not long separated from my first husband and was feeling a little low and his constant flattery boosted me I guess and I accepted it as real. However it didn't last long because once ha had his feet under the table he began berating my lack of desire, ambition, my home making skills, my emotional stability (in that if I ever questionned him or called him on a behaviour it would be all in my head or 'never happened') He has opened my post, accessed my laptop and phone and gone through my personal things.
During our relationship it has been a cycle of this berating me until he wants/needs something or can sense me pulling away then I get the 'oh you are my soulmate, i love you, i couldn't live without you, you are my life.
Fast forward to this year and after a pretty horrendous family event I have begun to look at my life a little differently and I have told him some home truths about our relationship and how I have been feeling. I told him that I think that our issues may not be fixable. Now i am in the 'lovebomb' phase he is taking me out, being so attentive, telling me he couldn't live without me, i am is everything, his rock, his foundation, i am a wonderful wife and mother and he would never find anyone like me as he tries to convince me to stay. But at the heart of it I am still being treated like a housekeeper. Steam cleaning the oven at 9pm on Saturday night because he didn't want our visitors on Sunday to see it. I was sat there on the floor thinking what the hell am I doing but didn't stop cos I didn't want his reaction. I feel a lot nowadays that I am walking on eggshells and its not a fun way to live.

Solero Fri 04-Aug-17 21:14:52


Blanca87 Fri 04-Aug-17 21:18:57

Yes it sounds like classic emotional abuse. I am sorry you are experiencing this. X

DancingLedge Fri 04-Aug-17 21:24:38

Need to walk on eggshells = emotional abuse
All in your head/never happened =gaslighting

But you know this.

Knowing this stuff and still not feeling sure if it's you or him= he's got inside your head.

Do you want to carry on like this?

ImperialBlether Fri 04-Aug-17 21:26:44

He really thought your guests would look at the oven? If so, why didn't he clean it?

There have been so many women on here who have been taking anti-depressants, only to divorce and find they didn't need medication at all. I count myself as one of them.

If you are walking on eggshells, you're with the wrong man, OP.

ImperialBlether Fri 04-Aug-17 21:26:44

He really thought your guests would look at the oven? If so, why didn't he clean it?

There have been so many women on here who have been taking anti-depressants, only to divorce and find they didn't need medication at all. I count myself as one of them.

If you are walking on eggshells, you're with the wrong man, OP.

BornOnTheSolstice Fri 04-Aug-17 21:33:13

Didn't want to read and run. I am sure lots of better qualified people will be along with helpful advice. Your situation sounds abusive and I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are in this situation. flowers

Tofutti Sat 05-Aug-17 08:31:33

Please leave him. Do tou own the house?

MrsBertBibby Sat 05-Aug-17 08:42:07

Send him over here, so he can find out what a filthy-arse oven really looks like.

DownTownAbbey Sat 05-Aug-17 09:56:41

What Imperial said. What was he cleaning on Saturday night?

Maelstrop Sat 05-Aug-17 15:29:04

Steam cleaning the oven?!

I think it sounds like you need a break. If it's your house, tell him to move out temporarily at least.

FoodArtFreak Sat 05-Aug-17 15:39:01

Sorry OP flowers yes I've been in a whirlwind similar romance though it ended as fast as it began thankfully. It's like waking up from a dream once you leave

I agree with everything said by DancingLedge

Solero Sun 06-Aug-17 08:34:22

Thank you for your replies. This is a long one please bear with me.

In my heart I know this is not right I feel it every day and I worry for my daughters growing up in this and the effect it could have on them. He is using them as blackmail material, threatening to take them away and telling me if I leave it would be damaging to them. And do i really think leaving him is in their best interest? I know he is just working on my fears and using them but I feel as if I don't have the strength or confidence left to battle him although I know deep down it is absolutely the right thing for me and them in the long run.

I told him I thought our relationship was broken about 6 weeks ago and despite feeling strong in that instance and so sure in my thoughts I found myself agreeing to attend relate. He promised to change and be better and fix everything he had done. I caved and I hate myself for it. His promises mean shit and I know it.

He phones me 3 or 4 times a day asking what I am doing or where I have been ( in the guise of an 'innocent' chat about the day). If I don't answer on the house phone, he rings my mobile but not just once he will repeatedly call until I pick up. 6 times in the space of 5 mins the other day. He shouts at me for not keeping my phone with me ( in case I have an 'emergency') but then the other day commented that I seem to have become very attached to me phone all of a sudden. I can't win.

Despite bemoaning my lack of standards he does nothing round the house at all. However if I call him on it he gives a great long list of the things he does in the garden. However somehow the garden has become my job too. I have found myself mowing the lawn and weeding the last two weekends while he goes out and plays golf.

I had to give up work because of the thing the happened to our family and he thinks that because I am at home all day everything should be pristine. But we have two children and two cats we are never going to live in a show home! he house is tidy and clean. It won't necessarily pass a white glove test but I am ok with that. However it never seems enough. I noticed a few weeks ago that he had written the date in the dust on the bathroom mirror obviously marking to see when I cleaned it. He didn't understand at all why I found this upsetting and disrespectful. Its got to the point where I don't feel I can sit and chill out (especially if he is at home). I feel I must be cleaning. To the point if I am having a break and I see his car pull up outside I jump up and start doing something, anything so he can't accuse me of doing nothing all day.

He calls me cold and unaffectionate in one breath but in the next he says how wonderful I am. He is a clever wordsmith so invariably any conversation I start about feeling unhappy gets twisted up and turned back on me or I get so frustrated I end up shouting and screaming which then means I lose my credibility and he can accuse me of being irrational. Or letting my anxiety get the better of me. He completely discounts my opinion. For example we can have a conversation about not buying something because we can't afford it. We agree to save over a few months and then I find out a few days later he has gone a head and bought it anyway regardless. He has an issue with spending and its always a 'keeping up with the jones' kind of thing, wanting bigger, newer, flashier etc.

Now he's talking about us buying a bigger house and doubling our mortgage, buying me a new car on HP ( despite us still paying off a previous car loan) and consolidating our (mostly his) debts into one joint place. He wants a new set of golf clubs and a new sofa. None of which we can afford with me not working or working part time when the children go to school. I know its not all about the 'things' but largely about tying us closer together so its harder for me to leave.

We bought this house together but because his credit rating was so poor he couldn't put his name on the mortgage so its all in my name. However he is now pushing me to put his name on and I am scared of his reaction when I tell him no. I don't think he would ever physical hurt me but the mental barrage is exhausting.

I look back and the women who walked away from a cheating first husband with her head held high and new hopes for the future, the woman who had a measure of confidence, self belief and an ambition to succeed in her work has been lost somewhere along the way and it makes me sad. All thats left is someone struggling with stress and anxiety and the physical and mental symptoms they bring. I take so many meds i should rattle.

We have a family holiday booked in a couple of weeks, only 4 nights away in a caravan and I don't want to go but its cost us ( well him)£300 so I feel obliged and its for the children as well. It wouldn't be fair on them.

I know I need to end the marriage but I am totally reliant on him to pay the mortgage and bills. I don't even know where and how to start extricating myself from this. This was not how I expected my life to be at nearly 40. And I am scared.

SandyY2K Sun 06-Aug-17 09:03:28

He sounds like a manipulative man and I sense the love you once had for him has gone and you don't want to remain married to him.

Not that I'm saying he can change, but if he could, would you want to stay with him?

If you do have the counselling, then please make sure to say what you've said here and how he'll improve for a short time, then revert to the critical behaviour.

When he talks of ruining it for your daughters, you should say that you don't want them raised thinking it's right for a woman to be treated the way he treats you and that is more damaging. That you staying, would mean an unhappy mother and that isn't for their benefit. It's actually detrimental to them.

Could you get a part time job?

thethoughtfox Sun 06-Aug-17 09:09:34

Don't take out any more credit or put his name on the mortgage. Make steps to quietly prepare to end things. He is a bad man.

Chloe421 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:50:19

I just wanted to reiterate what has been suggested above. And say that although you may not feel it right now, you are still that strong willed, confident and ambitious woman inside. You have just been worn down by a man with many issues of his own who projects these onto you. You deserve to be in a healthy, loving situation in which you can relax and be appreciate for you. Best of luck however you chose to move forward.

DancingLedge Sun 06-Aug-17 09:58:27

Is there really any point in relationship counselling with someone who's not being honest? Someone who twists and turns and using his words can tie you up in knots?

IrritatedUser1960 Sun 06-Aug-17 10:00:30

Sorry it's real abuse, I'd get out of there as soon as possible, it only gets worse.

DoubleHelix79 Sun 06-Aug-17 10:12:22

Please don't agree to any more purchases, and definitely not to consolidating both of your debts into one. It's pretty obvious that he wants to trap you in the relationship by saddling you with as much debt as possible.

In your situation I would start getting some money together if you can, by any means necessary. Also document any assets that he has. In case you need the evidence later on.

Then make a plan to get out and do it. I promise that once the (no doubt difficult) separation is over, you will feel so, so much better.

You sound like a lovely person, please don't let this man define the rest of your life (and your daughters')

Onecutefox Sun 06-Aug-17 10:15:39

Oh dear, poor you. OP, you really need to talk to someone who could help you to separate from him. He is suffocating you because he is a partner-parasite.

Solero Sun 06-Aug-17 12:48:04

Onecutefox, I never thought of him as a parasite but I have just read a few pages on it and he fits the profile. He has leeched my finances, my emotions, my energy and my sense of self.

So I married a narcissistic, parasitic, lovebombing, gaslighting master manipulatir....... Didn't I do well? confused

DancingLedge Sun 06-Aug-17 12:54:24

Don't blame yourself.
These people are SO good at what they do.So good at manipulating people.Strong wise professional women get sucked in.

But you, you're strong. And clearheaded enough to open your eyes to what's going on. Congratulate yourself for that. Sorry it's also a painful awakening.
But you're taking the path that leads to freedom and happiness. You can do this.

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