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Is this gaslighting?

(36 Posts)
St0rminacoffeecup Sun 26-Apr-20 19:15:28

Earlier today I spoke to DH about something. Conversation got mildly heated and he accused me of 'marching in and shouting' at him. I definitely didn't do either of those things. I'm very careful not to be confrontational because he gets an almighty mood on. He does this very often, accuses me of behaving with aggression if I disagree with, challenge or question him. Is that gaslighting?

I've been meaning to post this since this morning but something else has just happened (for the second time in the last few months) and I need a sense check. DH has a sore hand. It's swollen and sometimes looks like a golf ball under his knuckle and his fingers can't fully move. It's been weeks but he won't get it checked out (which is not unusual and probably nothing to do with CV). DD2 just pulled it back accidentally and DH let out an incredible and loud of howl of pain at DD. She burst into tears and came to find me next door. She was terrified. Similar thing happened earlier this year. Would you think that's acceptable - for a grown man to yell (in pain) in a 2 year olds face?

OP’s posts: |
PiscesLady Sun 26-Apr-20 19:19:22

Sounds a bit like gaslighting.

He seems to turn the arguments onto you. Making your insecurities your fault.

That's actually a form of emotional abuse if you are questioning yourself.

OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 19:33:40

Yes. Been there done that. He's training you all to be obedient. Nightmare.

St0rminacoffeecup Sun 26-Apr-20 19:36:36

Thank you for your replies.

@ohio that has sent shivers down my spine. I've known for a while that he is towards me but it hadn't occured to me that it was also happening towards my girls (feel very foolish for saying that). Do you mind me asking if you've left him?

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LittleMissnotLittleMrs Sun 26-Apr-20 20:00:46

Name change fail, OP? Report your post to get it changed if so

St0rminacoffeecup Sun 26-Apr-20 20:16:52

Thank you @little!

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OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 21:16:34

I think he always did it but mine were really tiny. I thought he was struggling with all the nappies. It took a couple of years for me to stop loving him and even longer to realise he was doing it on purpose. On. Purpose. Women's Aid taught me that they weigh up your reaction. They watch carefully and assess how far they can push you, carefully and gently pushing further until you'd rather not speak or move because you can't be bothered with the consequence of their reaction.

OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 21:23:48

Yes he's gone. Nightmare.

St0rminacoffeecup Sun 26-Apr-20 21:30:16

@ohio I'm so glad to hear that. I'm building the resolve up to leave. My children are still very young and it's having them in this environment that has made me realise how toxic it is. Your posts are terrifying me because it is too close for comfort.

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OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 21:38:25

Please ask away. My elderly friend was married to a drunk wife beater and she witnessed my xh in action. She said her drunk wife beating xh had more compassion than my then husband.
Read, Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. I got it from Women's Aid but it is also on amazon. She'll have a chapter at least on your husband.
What happened to me was I almost entirely stopped fighting back. Essentially the reading he was getting from his scales was wrong so he pushed me further than he should. And he didn't see any need to keep me on side by buying shit carnations or pretending to apologise. He got more and more and more brave. It became so obvious and I just couldn't take one more minute. Do you have someone you trust to help you?

St0rminacoffeecup Sun 26-Apr-20 22:37:24

Yes I've got people around me. I feel like such an idiot. I've just read the bully section of the book on Kindle. I think that's the closest likeness,although there was a lot there that was very nasty and not familiar to my situation. He gets into terrible moods and I'm very careful about what I say and how I speak because he seems to always misinterpret my intention. He's not physically intimidating, he doesn't stalk around me, get too close etc. It's the moods and the whole atmosphere in the house.

How long ago did you leave him @ohio? Was he physically abusive or was emotional? I hope you're doing better now. Thank you so much, I can't tell you how helpful you've been.

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OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 22:48:11

Nearly 4 years. I'm still not over it to be honest. Little pieces of what he put us through come at me, I'm starting to be more ready for life and have get up and go.
If he's not really nasty it's because doesnt yet have to be. He obviously feels as though he's making suitable progress with you. You need to start making a plan under his radar. They have no mercy and they don't change. You need to copy all the important documents and start buying extras and hiding them with the people who will help you. Do you earn your own money?

OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 22:49:35

I wasn't brave and left him with bravado. I just couldn't stand it for one more second. Him going completely mental at absolutely everything.

OhioOhioOhio Sun 26-Apr-20 22:59:08

And twisting everything I said and putting me down. We had no plans because he wouldn't communicate. He had all of the information. If nothing else he became so absolutely fucking boring because he was creating this secret world that he was in charge of. I would feel sad thinking about the kids but thank fk we don't live like that anymore. It is so good that he is gone. And, you know that thing in The Twits where people who think ugly thoughts look ugly. Well he looks like shit now. Like he's not eaten a vitamin in years.

Blackandgreenteas Mon 27-Apr-20 00:09:18

The accusing you of being aggressive is horrible and sounds abusive and gaslighting.

Not quite sure about the howl of pain because it might have really hurt. I know that sometimes I have to scream if the kids accidentally do something that really hurts.

St0rminacoffeecup Mon 27-Apr-20 08:20:30

I downloaded that book and have read the pertinent bits. My husband doesn't really fit any of the 'types' described very well. He sulks and I temper myself to avoid him sulking, watch my words etc. That's seems closest to the Bully but he doesn't do most of the things described. We've been together 12 years so it's not a new relationship where I'm just seeing the start of it (unless I'm being incredibly naive about how abuse starts). I was talking to my mum last night and described it as not scared of HIM but scared of upsetting him. I'm a people pleaser and so the two things (his sulking and my people pleasing) sort of exacerbate each other. A few weeks ago I told him it was becoming impossible and he agreed to go to counseling with me, which he'd not wanted to consider a few weeks earlier.

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OhioOhioOhio Mon 27-Apr-20 08:41:24

That's how I felt. Give it a couple of years...
Counselling just gives them more tips.

Bluebooby Mon 27-Apr-20 09:21:08

Earlier today I spoke to DH about something. Conversation got mildly heated and he accused me of 'marching in and shouting' at him. I definitely didn't do either of those things. I'm very careful not to be confrontational because he gets an almighty mood on. He does this very often, accuses me of behaving with aggression if I disagree with, challenge or question him. Is that gaslighting?

My partner does this! Last week I asked him if he could stop buying the green top milk for me and dd and get us the blue one instead like I've asked him before. I know I could buy it myself and I do, but if he goes to the shop and we need milk he'll get it for us. He doesn't eat dairy, I'm trying to gain weight, and DD is 5 so I think it's better for her to have full fat versions of things (maybe I'm wrong but anyway that's what we were talking about). From me asking him if he could stop buying the green milk and I mentioned cheese too as he will always get us the low fat versions, he slammed a cupboard, said "fuck you" to me three times while pointing his finger right at me and then stormed off. Later he came back and said "I didn't like that earlier", tried to hug me and then asked me to apologise. I hadn't even raised my voice I'm sure. I was mildly annoyed because I've asked him loads of times to please stop getting us semi skimmed milk/low fat cheese, but I hadn't lost my temper or shouted or sworn. He does this a lot when we argue about things, he will raise his voice and swear at me and then come back when he's calmed down and say that I was the nasty one. It's making me think that I'm crazy. I've thought of getting a recording device to wear just so I can play them back later to see for myself if I'm as bad as he says, but I think it would be morally wrong to do that, and I would hate it if he did that to me.

Sorry op. I don't know if it's gaslighting or what it is, but I think I know how you feel. It makes me question myself completely.

St0rminacoffeecup Mon 27-Apr-20 09:55:15

@blue that sounds so familiar! My husband doesn't swear or get aggressive but he does have a way of twisting things. I think he genuinely believes I have shouted etc or been the cause of problems. He grew up in a household of nasty mind games between his parents and so I think he's particularly sensitive to it. BUT do did I! I grew up having to remember exactly what I had said during arguments because things got twisted against me and so I have a forensic memory for what I've said, I'm really careful to say what I mean and write things down. And I also have integrity and so I dont behave in a way I wouldn't standby.

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Cheeseandwin5 Mon 27-Apr-20 10:07:51

To be fair. its a difficult one.
He may honestly feel you are coming in and having a go, even though you think you are not, in exactly the same way as you honestly think he is gaslighting you,when he may think he is not.

The fact is if you cant discuss things without it turning into a heated argument, then you are probably both in the wrong and need to think about your communication issues.

Bluebooby Mon 27-Apr-20 10:48:25

I think he genuinely believes I have shouted etc or been the cause of problems.

So does mine. And it's his insistence that I'm in the wrong/I'm the cause that makes me question myself and why I keep thinking about recording things secretly - not to show him but just for my own sanity. I want to know if I really come across as badly as he says I do. I have never had this problem with anyone else. I've never lived with a partner before, I've lived with him for 13 years, but I lived with my family and then went to university and lived with housemates and then in a house share after I graduated. I mean sometimes he will react angrily to things I say that I never expected any kind of reaction to. I can't think of an example but things I thought were neutral statements or whatever. It leaves me so confused.

St0rminacoffeecup Mon 27-Apr-20 11:04:32

@cheese yes totally agree. Our arguments always center around communication issues. Either I literally can't hear him and he gets annoyed repeating himself or he attributes some negative or aggressive attitude to my words, which I'd never do on purpose. It's not my nature.

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OhioOhioOhio Mon 27-Apr-20 13:07:51

Yip. That's it. Classic.

Yas01 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:14:08

It's not a communication issue, he is an entitled narcissistic bully. You do need to make plans to leave him. Please get out of this one sided relationship.

Wanderlust21 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:16:40

Yeh, making put that you are shouting at them or being the aggressor is classic narcissist behaviour. I'm sure there are youtube videos along the lines of 'why the narcissist accuses you of being angry'

Lundy Bancroft lists different kinds of abusers. Can probably google them. I think one was the water torturer...but theres like 6 or so. And obviously combinations are possible.

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