This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Dragon 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #85169

    Sorry, I feel like I’ve posted lots lately it’s just that I am finding this whole thing really confusing and I feel like now everything that happens I view through an ‘abuse’ filter which I am not sure is right, and might be making me unreasonable.
    He can’t seem to see anything from my point of view. We have had 2 arguments today and both of them I have ended up taking responsibility for which I am starting to resent because he doesn’t seem to be able to do the same. He shouted at me this morning and said that it hurts him the way I respond to things. Basically when I push back, don’t agree or assert a boundary he seems to say he is hurt. This has got to a point that I now feel really nervous saying anything I feel because he gets angry/hurt/stressed and it’s all my fault. It is like my feelings don’t matter to him. I am always the one who says sorry and he doesn’t when it doesn’t always feel like it’s all my fault. Can anyone else relate to this?

  • #85171

    From what you describe I would suggest that he is gaslighting you. And I expect that most, if not all, of the ladies on this board will be able to relate to what you’ve said.

    You have a clear feeling that something is not right. You have needs and boundaries that you are trying to communicate to him and he is undermining and diminishing the way that you feel. You are starting to doubt and question whether you are being reasonable. This is gaslighting. If he had a need that wasn’t being met or if he had a boundary that was being encroached upon I expect he would tell you about it. You would listen and try to work it out. You would compromise by trying to see his view. You would apologise if you needed to. Is he doing this? Is he acting like a mature and healthy adult would in a relationship? It doesn’t sound like it. He is shifting the blame onto you. He is telling you that you make him feel bad. He is telling you that it is your fault and that you should feel guilty. This is him distorting, pushing, testing, trying to exert his control. And it’s working. You are accepting responsibility where there should be dialogue and compromise. Any time you begin to doubt yourself and there hasn’t been a proper discussion, it is almost certain you are being gaslighted. After the gaslighting the behaviours escalate as he is winning. He got you to apologise and accept sole responsibility. This is not a healthy relationship behaviour and is really very insidious. A person who must have everything on their terms is abusive. The red flags are up. Hold onto your reality as he is slowly trying to erode it until you feel like you are going quite mad. Post here all you need to as his behaviour is not correct. A healthy person would be able to see and accept their own shortcomings and look to work on them because that is what a partnership is. The scales of power and control are tipping in his favour every time he manages to get you to take the burden of responsibility for everything. Please don’t doubt yourself. Your body is clearly trying to tell you something is not right. Our instincts on this are powerful and quite often correct but post if you’re not sure as you will find support and truth here x

  • #85192

    I totally get it. It he upsets me it’s brushed under the carpet/ it’s in the past(even if it was the day before!) / I’m over reacting etc…but if I in any way upset him – well that’s a whole different ball game! We don’t forget those moments! We analyse them to death!!

  • #85333

    Yes it is. All the behaviours your describing I have experienced every time you try to stand up or point the abuse out you will receive this treatment. I have spent countless times trying to reason with my abuser and I’ve only ended up feeling more confused in the end.
    You will analyse them to death and get nowhere.
    You cannot reason with them.
    They always have an answer or it’s your fault in my experience.

  • #85419

    Hi Dragon

    Yes it’s part of it. I’d go further and say the verbal stuff is at the heart of it. It’s easy to identify abuse when there’s bruises. Not so easy when it’s ‘just words.’

    I never bothered with arguments before the ex but then found I was having a couple a day.

    They came out of nowhere. I’d stick up for myself over some imagined misdemeanour then the topic would shift to the old favourite and how I made him feel. He never backtracked from accusing. If I got the upper hand he’d say I was cold and rational, not emotional like him. Sometimes he actually foamed at the mouth.

    I never felt anything was resolved. They couldn’t be resolved because reaching a resolution wasn’t his aim. It was done to make me crazy, for the drama.

    Often he’d just walk off and leave me shaking with frustration. Not once did he ever hug me after a row or say sorry. I’d get the silent treatment. When he started to speak to me again it was as if nothing had happened at all.

  • #85425

    Camel, the last paragraph is the same with me. So often I am shaking with frustration with the ridiculousness of the argument and he just walks off, no remorse, no hugs, no resolution then just talks to me later like everything is normal. And gets upset when I am not affectionate.

  • #85426

    Hi. This kind of abuse is so insidious and has the effect of leaving you off kilter all the time. I’m sorry to hear how he’s treating you and how frustrated you feel.

    Behaviour like this can sometimes be a sign that they have a cluster B personality disorder. ( Many abusers do) They can ONLY see things from their own point of view. Their view is the world view and so it’s futile to spend any time explaining your point and constantly trying to get him to understand. Sadly, He won’t.

    Like you I had to think before I spoke , always checking that I was saying things he would be ok with. Trouble is , that’s impossible as they constantly twist things and move the goal posts. He loved to put me down and tell me that my mouth and brain were never in the same gear.

    Thankfully I’m out now but the after effects are still hard to deal with. Once I understood that he would never be capable of seeing my point of view or caring about my feelings I found it easier to keep hold of my truth.

    Keep posting and get as much information and support as you can. No one deserves to be treated like this. Take care x

    • #85631

      Hi Dragon

      I’ve found out that what we think of as arguments with abusers are not arguments in the true sense. A real argument means you’re both working from different viewpoints and trying to get to some kind of middle ground – a compromise or some other kind of balanced resolution.

      However, ‘arguing’ with an abuser is very different. It comes from nowhere. You don’t have a point of view yet because you didn’t start it and don’t know what it’s about.

      it will soon be all about defending yourself against his accusations. You’ll stand up for yourself because you think it’s a real argument. It will go on and on, constantly shifting focus, doubling back over things you think you’ve sorted.

      No matter what you say you never get close to any middle ground. That’s because he’s not ‘arguing’. He’s attacking.

      It’ll get physically and mentally exhausting quite quickly because you’ve been on alert anyway, walking on egg shells and monitoring his mood. You’ll get shrill. The dump of adrenaline will make your body shake.

      He’ll say something like ‘I’ve got better things to do than argue with you all day’ then walk off. You’ll be left confused. When you try to go over what was said you can’t seem to grab hold of anything concrete.

      I wish I’d known then what I know now. That ‘arguing’ with an abuser is a complete waste of effort. He wants you off balance, feeling crazy and always in the wrong.

  • #85435

    Yes, Dragon, darling, this is totally part of it!

    An abuser like him can never be in the wrong; that’s a given. So it follows that your place, your role in his ‘Me Show’ is to be the one in the wrong. The blame game he plays is just so much flak, distracting noise and fuss, to silence you this time and all the times you might protest an injustice or defend a boundary, while he steadily encroaches and takes over your entire life.

    There’s nothing – nothing! – wrong with you.

    This is his problem, his mindset, his pattern of behaviour, his MO. He’s probably been like it most of his life, so don’t worry you’ve somehow caused him to be like this. He won’t change, either, not unless he realises and wants to and puts in the work (at least a year’s worth) – three things that are very unlikely to happen.

    I’m afraid all you can do to make it stop is remove yourself from his reach as quickly and totally as it is safe and practical to do so.

    Flower x

  • #85639

    Thanks Camel, a lot of that makes sense. It is still hard to accept these things as abuse but they his behaviour does fit the descriptions, and talking about it to people who understand helps

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