3rd August 2020 at 8:37 pm #111535Anonymous
Hi ladies, quick question.
I’m utterly exhausted with my partner constantly denying he said things when I repeat them back to him – a few months ago, I remember thinking “this cannot get any worse”, oh, how naive am I!
He will flat-out deny saying both positive and negative things and I feel utterly lost as to how to respond when this happens so frequently. I try my absolute best to not re-hash conversations if I feel there’s any chance of a row (I know, it’s awful to feel like you can’t clarify something someone said at a later date). I can’t help either feeling frustrated and saying something like “no, you did say, you remember the conversation…” or have absolutely no comeback (usually when he denies saying positive things, things we could do or compliments he may have made) and I end up just walking away upset.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to react and what to say when this happens? I don’t want to keep getting into an argument with him, or sound ridiculously needy. I know my truth and I don’t need him to verify it, but it’s so hard when you’re up against a compulsive liar.
Thanks in advance x
3rd August 2020 at 8:46 pm #111540iliketeaParticipant
Mine was/is a compulsive liar too. Advice. Don’t engage. Don’t bother. Don’t care. Record it? So you can hear it back and clarify/verify to yourself you’re not going mad.
Leave? Only thing that has helped me. And I dont regret a single minute. Still early days. But that constant circular trying to prove they did say things when they flat out deny. In the end I just reached my limit and *BANG* <— That’s the sound the door made when I left.
3rd August 2020 at 8:59 pm #111542Anonymous
Iliketea, thank you so much for your reply. And well done you for getting out! I don’t often get a chance to write on the forum at the moment but I’ve followed your story and I am so, SO proud of you. You and all the other ladies who have escaped are a true inspiration.
It’s horrible, isn’t it though? I try to keep the resolve of not believing anything he says unless I have concrete proof now. He also has the knack of turning a conversation that is going down that kind of road into some kind of accusation towards me. It’s remarkable how he manages to do it.
He lives in my home, pays nothing and I am getting counselling (secretly) from my local domestic abuse service. They have been wonderful. I feel stronger every day, but these events are just so annoying. You’re right, they turn circular. I will take your advice starting right now and just simply not engage when it happens. He “simply doesn’t engage” with me whenever he feels like it, I shouldn’t feel I have to either when it’s impossible to have a normal conversation anyway.
I have a voice recorder hidden on my phone but keep forgetting it’s there… x x
3rd August 2020 at 9:27 pm #111547iliketeaParticipant
Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how calm life is without all that. I know its easy to say, and it took me a long time to leave, but zero regrets, and its when people post like you have that it reminds me of exactly how it was. Because they all do the same! Its mad but its true. Im so honest and a bit a factual person so I was always trying to prove it, or question it, and it was so exhausting. When I knew I was going and I stopped it was interesting how the change in me happened too, I just did not give a f*** anymore and couldn’t be bothered, because I think it was I just didn’t care anymore. Didn’t care if he was wrong and I was right. I knew I was. I knew he was.
Hearing it back through recordings really helped me a lot to not feel crazy. And the other thing was the audible books – Healing from Hidden Abuse and Covert Passive Aggressive N********t. They are both therapists so its like having a free one in your ears. But both helped so much to clarify things and to validate literally everything I was going through, in real time. It might be worth you doing that too? Might help. Things like you mention are talked about in detail.
Stay strong, you’ll get there. I think another piece of valuable advice someone gave me was “He’ll never change, and you can never change him” the old “Leopards don’t change their spots” They won’t ever admit it because they believe what they are saying and doing is correct. They believe and feel fully justified saying and doing what they do. Its power and control. We are the source for them. Unfortunately. Its how they get their energy. So if we’re ill, or strong, either way, it has a detrimental effect on them.
5th August 2020 at 6:26 am #111622CatjamParticipant
Thank you for this question. I have been having the same problem. Talks do become circular and I need to be heard but I think you are right @iliketea we do need to stop needing to be believed about things they have said or not said. I keep thinking I have reached the point of not caring but after so many years it’s hard not to react.
5th August 2020 at 9:13 am #111630WiseafterParticipant
It is called gas lighting and the lying is completely pathological and without remorse, its like they believe their own lies completely, I reckon they would pass a lie detector test all day long. Gas lighting/crazy making is actually really harmful to your mental health and now counts as domestic abuse/coercive control I think I’m right in saying. I had years and years of it. Mine would tell a whole story and then if I brought it up again, flat out deny he had said anything or change it, including dates/times/places/people etc etc. He would also do this with arrangements or plans, and when he had been abusive to me and wanted to distract the focus from his s****y behaviour to everything being my fault, changing the story to justify his actions and avoid responsibility, or simply leaving when I was mid sentence, smirking and telling me he didn’t want to discuss it anymore, that I was impossible to talk to etc. He lied and twisted everything so much so that it was completely impossible to converse with him without chaos. I used to check what I said, or say nothing to avoid the confusion. He told me I had early onset memory loss, was menopausal, was losing my grip on reality, that the problem was me, not remembering things correctly, making stuff up, talking rubbish just to wind HIM up. He was so manipulative. In the past it would drive me to distraction because I KNEW he was lying! I lashed out and called him every name under the sun in the past, yelling and literally becoming the crazy person which was exactly what they want!! Yes, bingo, they got the result then they can put the blame on us and avoid accountability. I agree, the best advice is don’t engage. Go ‘grey rock’ it means just blank face, no response. When I detached emotionally it was the best thing I ever did, I had to train myself and that took a while to learn but staying out of the ‘drama triangle’ is really worth it (look up drama triangle online its really good to learn about it).
5th August 2020 at 9:19 am #111631WiseafterParticipant
Just to add also that therapy and counselling really help with this because I have spent so long not being heard and not validated it is really emotionally powerful when someone finally listens and ‘hears’ me and I’m learning that I am not losing my mind. Don’t underestimate how important that is. I felt invisible and lonely alot of the time. That is terrible for self-esteem and also starts to seep into other areas of your life. Work etc, I stopped being as confident with friends, stopped speaking in meetings at work, was self conscious about whether colleagues saw me as ‘old’ ‘crazy’ ‘invisible’ etc. I stopped being a happy confident person. I doubted every thought in my head and all my decisions and intuition. That’s the long term effect of being lied to and gas lighting.
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