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Husband making me feel like I've lost my mind
48

zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 14:27

Name changed but am a regular poster.

Just want some perspective having just had a huge row over nothing. Husband regularly does this. Says I've said something/asked him to do something when I 100% know I haven't and I know it's because he doesn't listen to me. Happened when I got in today and he swore blind I'd asked him to do something and I know I hadn't. It escalated as he says he feels like he's going mad when actually that's how HE makes ME feel - like I'm losing my memory. Am menopausal and particularly sensitive to the symptoms. But on this occasion and many others I 100% know what I said. I lost my shit a little as he was so insistent, which resulted in me shouting at him. And then all he can focus on is the shouting and it aaaaaall becomes my fault.

If that isn't enough he then got exasperated and came at me getting in my face - I told him to back the fuck off and he acted all hurt like I was accusing him of being violent. I have a violent ex (and he knows this) so I have zero tolerance for this. My husband has never been violent but I do not want him in my face when we're in the middle of an argument.

How can I handle this with him better? It's a repeated argument that I'm getting very tired of.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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PianoHouseBanger · 23/09/2022 15:01

Is he the sort of person to insist you've said something when you haven't? Why would he purposely do that? Menopause and memory issues are linked, so is it possible you've mentioned this on another day, or something similar and he got confused?

He's entitled to say he thinks he's going mad, but if you've taken that personally, lost your shit and shouted at him, then you are wrong.

Clearly one, or both, of you are having memory issues and you can't keep arguing about it. Maybe a GP appointment?

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zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 15:13

He insists he heard something which I know I didn't say. I strongly believe that the root cause is him not listening to me. That's why I get frustrated.

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Rushingfool · 23/09/2022 15:40

I have similar with my dh, except it's more that he says I've not told him something, or he's not moved something etc etc. I feel like I need to wear a personal dashcam the whole time!

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warofthemonstertrucks · 23/09/2022 15:49

Literal gaslighting.

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BigEnergy · 23/09/2022 15:55

Can you suggest recording conversations as a way of keeping neutrality between you? I had this constantly with my ex and it was either mind games, or him just not listening and hearing what he wanted to hear, not quite sure which. My ASD dc has also been doing it, as he stops listening to me and then makes up whatever narrative fits with what he wants. He'll swear blind I said something like he could have sweets in 10 mins and I know 100% I said 'you have had sweets already today, maybe you can have some tomorrow.' I got rid of the ex for this and numerous other things, but obvs can't solve the dc issue quite so simply! If neither of you will admit to forgetting/misremembering stuff all I can think is you need a third party witness there or recording device. Also not saying you have serious health issues or it's not your husband, or to worry you, but might be worth a GP check up. My mum has had trouble remembering for years and was adamant we were all making things up, or that she told me something I know she didn't. It turns out extremely high blood pressure was causing problems within her cognitive functions and memory.

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zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 16:07

warofthemonstertrucks · 23/09/2022 15:49

Literal gaslighting.

Me, or him?

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DuchyCazalet · 23/09/2022 16:18

I've had this to a degree with DH. Last Friday he asked me if I was going to go in to the office or just not bother. Friday is the only day that I definitely wfh and he knows this. When I questioned why he was asking this when he knows I wfh on a Friday he started telling me that some Fridays I go in and literally gaslighting me. In his case I think it's just that he realises that what he asked didn't make sense but he then won't back down and starts trying to convince me that I'm wrong. Really annoying. We've been in counselling and I've said that I feel that he doesn't listen to me. I've learnt to hold my tongue (really, really difficult for me) and he did apologise later and say that he knew he was wrong. But very frustrating.
Maybe suggest counselling?

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LadyLolaRuben · 23/09/2022 16:20

He's either got hearing problems, memory problems or he's is gaslighting YOU. I suspect its the latter OP. Be careful. He could be trying to get a reaction out of you so he can then say its your fault for the escalation of the argument

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ofHardey · 23/09/2022 16:38

Could you give us an example of the kinds of things he says you've said but haven't ?

This post has my instincts on instant high alert.

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Yupsuuuure · 23/09/2022 16:42

He's gaslighting you.

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NoSquirrels · 23/09/2022 16:42

It sounds odd mostly because it’s usually that they claim you didn’t say something: you didn’t tell them you’d be going out, you didn’t tell them the kids needed picking up, whatever. The remedy in that case is to get them to repeat it back to you instantly, so that you can prove they were listening & assimilating the information. Not sure how you can do that if they claim you said something that you did not.

Can you give an example?

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MzHz · 23/09/2022 16:43

how long have you been with your husband? When did this behaviour start?

do you have kids? Did he go weird before or after they were born?

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diddl · 23/09/2022 16:44

So you haven't asked him to do anything?

So not as if he could have misheard/misremembered?

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zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 16:45

Ok the example today - I got in after lunch and he said to me 'what cleaning did you want me to do this afternoon?' (He has the afternoon off, and our cleaner hasn't been). I was confused and was like what? I never said I wanted you to do any cleaning. (I had just commented earlier that the house was a bit messy but I never asked him to do anything about it - thought it could wait.) He was insistent, I got frustrated as I felt like he was accusing me of lying. It then transpired that he had confused me of asking him to walk the dog when he finished work with doing some cleaning.

What I'm most upset about is him getting in my face mid row. I'm still upset about it now, and I've told him why. But he's turned it around to him being offended that I would accuse him of being violent, and that's not what I said. I said I didn't want him in my face mid row as it triggers negative feelings for me.

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Aquamarine1029 · 23/09/2022 16:45

You've gone from one abuser to another.

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MissHavishamsMouldyOldCake · 23/09/2022 16:46

This is like the actual film Gaslight, source of the phrase.

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Sparkletastic · 23/09/2022 16:57

Gaslighting and DARVO

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Sparkletastic · 23/09/2022 16:58

BUT if you as a couple struggle with being direct in your communication he may hear 'Golly this place is a mess' as 'You need to clear this place up'.

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zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 17:01

Sparkletastic · 23/09/2022 16:58

BUT if you as a couple struggle with being direct in your communication he may hear 'Golly this place is a mess' as 'You need to clear this place up'.

I am extremely direct, he is the opposite. It's like nailing jelly to a wall getting him to be specific about anything.

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IrisVersicolor · 23/09/2022 17:21

Gaslighting really depends on whether he’s doing it intentionally or it’s due to not listening, inattention and poor memory.

Some people have poor “auditory processing” where they can’t understand what they hear well due to poor coordination between auditory nerves and the brain. It’s quite common in ASD and dementia.

As he says it makes him feel like he’s going mad I suspect it may be geniuine.

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Pixiedust1234 · 23/09/2022 17:23

Get an A4 notepad. Anything you/he ask each other to do or not do gets put in there immediately after, with time and date. Do this religiously.

If things get better then its just different communication styles and can be fixed. If things stay the same (or he forgets to look or write) then its him.

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MILLYmo0se · 23/09/2022 17:27

I dont think this fits the criteria of gaskighting at all, usually that involves acting like you DIDNT ask him to do the cleaning. In the example you ve given it sounds like a misunderstanding or poor communication, you say the place is messy, he asks what cleaning you want him to do because thats how the mess gets sorted.

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Lolreally · 23/09/2022 17:31

If my partner said to me oh the house is messy, and I had the afternoon off I would definitely say what cleaning would you like me to do? And I would be very confused if they then turned that in to an argument about me not listening.

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dworky · 23/09/2022 17:36

From your post, it sounds as if your husband is also an abuser, an emotional rather than a physical one.

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zeroshitsgiven · 23/09/2022 17:40

Very mixed answers. I don't know what to think now.

I can see how he confused things in his mind. It was the insistence at what I said (and he has done this before) that annoys me. And the way it all escalates every time.

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