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    • #16279

      Dear ladies,

      I remember my ex occasionally using the terms reverse psychology and plausible deniability. I didn’t know what either of those thing meant. Apparently this was something he felt it normal to use. I had no physical but mental abuse during our time together. I gave him my trust and my heart and he broke both. Please be careful, my ex was deceptive and crafty and did not have my best interests in mind when we were together, I did not know.

    • #16284

      Not only did mine not have my best interests in mind but he deliberately caused terrible mental problems for me. From anxiety to depression to suicidal thoughts. The hardest thing to believe is that someone you love and you think loves you in return would try to destroy you to a level where you were so crushed you were more easily manipulated by them. Looking back he pre planned his assaults. He let slip when I threatened police that my son had never seen him angry. I had no witnesses. At the time I brushed it off but the assaults only took place when the house was empty. Now I understand why I unconsciously used my son as a human shield. I got so nervous when he went out. Thought I was worrying about my sons welfare out of the house but it was actually what was going to happen to me when he left me alone with his dad. My brain just couldn’t work it out at the time. I had decades of abuse that I just didn’t recognise as abuse. It wasn’t until I found women’s aid that it all made sense. I even used to have panic attacks and rush back home. Where the monster lived.

    • #16291

      Mine uses reverse psychology all the time…and double bluffs.

      Reverse psychology:
      ‘Fine. You carry on not listening to me and we’ll see what happens.’ I start to feel guilty and question myself and then end up doing what he wanted me to do in the first place.

      Double bluff
      where he’s cleverly telling the truth to intentionally deceive me because I think he’s lying e.g. “I’m a selfish person”
      At first I didn’t believe him and most people wouldn’t because he appears to go out of his way to help people all the time, buys things and gifts even when you don’t ask for it and you feel so grateful and indebted to him. So when he says out of the blue ‘I’m a selfish person really’ you immediately deny it thinking that he’s being too harsh on himself for some reason. It’s all part of his game to have power and over control you.

      • #23040

        I spoke to my husband about a mail he sent me about all the things he did to me, his mail containing a mild form of apology for some of the pain he inflicted on me.
        But he recently told me he only wrote it to rein me back in, so he never meant to apologise, it was just a trick. He is not sorry one bit anyway, what he did is unforgivable and killed trust instantly (the physical abuse). All he wants is for me to be quiet, and he even pricked his ears open when I suggested all I can do is move on to acceptance level, but he understood by that that I would have to accept what he did and be happy to accept him for who he is, he never understood what acceptance meant in terms of the journey you make when you are in distress (denial etc, till acceptance is the last thing you can eventually feel, similar to facing a fatal disease).
        So he would be happy for me to ”give in” once more so I can find myself at the same level as I was when he strangled me. In other words if I don’t become nice and happy again, I am at fault for not moving on.

        I often remind him of things he has said to me and I am told I am inventing.
        I often get told if I ”don’t stop”, he will do something, but he never does. (bluffing)
        He has now started warning me once more that he will resign and tell his boss about me. I have had that threat for so many years…He is now wanting to use this psychological tool once more with his new job. (bluffing again)
        Intermittent reinforcement : my husband kept saying how he missed his soul mate while I was at the refuge, and texted or facebooked loads of messages using psychological manipulation to make me think he was a different man etc. He seemed to have ”understood” but he never said what he had understood…confusing.
        Or as above, starting doing lots of jobs to guide me into thinking he thinks about my best interest and wants to solve house issues to make me feel better by helping. Then once the crumbs are thrown, I eat neglect and abandonment all the time.
        It just goes on.
        I do think that to make sure they stay on top of the game, abusers train themselves. I recently found a set of photocopies of articles on a particular psychology subject he had researched and annotated for me to read. If he had done a research on that subject, who knows what else he researches. He also seems to have researched ”controlling people”, I realised this because of the vocabulary he was using.
        And at the professional level he is at, I am sure they get trained by coaches to reach high levels of performance thanks to courses on psychology at work, so why not apply it at home I guess?

    • #16316

      Sounds like your ex- like mine- was an effective mental abuser.

      Plausible deniability: being careful of your actions and the words you use, so that later on, if you are challenged about your behaviour, no one else has adequate evidence ( because you’ve been very careful to use words and actions that can be interpreted another way).

      My ex does this ALL the time! It’s his life’s work!

      Sometimes,nI wonder if it just comes naturally to them, or if they research mind game techniques to hone their abuse.

      For your ex to know the correct term, he must have researched it.

      Maybe these mental abusers are secretly accessing websites and articles to improve their abusive techniques! Who knows!

    • #16321

      Healthy Archive

      They do this to everyone.

      For them, the world is a playground, a ginormous chess board. Their life is a series of tactical moves to win. Other people are just pawns. He is the King, in his mind. This is the mind of the sociopath.

      He will only be being nice to people who it serves him to keep on side or who massage his ego. Their only worth is what they can do for him.

    • #16347

      Now, this is impressive. They seem to be the masters of the game. What if we women did the same, research how to subtly use psychological methods to drive them mad and do that? How would they know? Why can we not be as bad as them or worse and beat them with their own weapons?

    • #16355


      I have started this already- the weapon of research!

      So,I find the Grey Rock method very effective in order to handle my psychopath.

    • #16356

      The terrible thing is, for me certainly, you don’t know it is happening as it is so subtle. It was only when I overheard him talking in other situations that he let his mask slip. He would mention in a comical way how he used plausible deniability and reverse psychology to deceive people or get something he wanted. He didn’t realise, he probably wasn’t that clever was that I had heard and had made a mental note of these things. The combination of these sick behaviors combined with gaslighting is a recipe for disaster for the normal functioning person. I know about the pre-planning & that makes it all the more sinister i think. I remember my ex being so casual and convincing, without batting an eyelid as he withheld information or lied to me. I wondered at one point whether I had met a conman.It very slowly eroded my self worth, in the end due to all of these mental tactics I almost had a MH breakdown. To increase the smoke and mirrors he would throw in the odd crumb (intermittent reinforcement) where he assured me I was his world & his soulmate. I just cannot fathom how as a normal, clear communicator you can have a relationship with a person who operates on these levels, it is not possible to have innocent conversation, day to day chats as there are so many games going on, its almost like being in a boxing ring but not knowing it, believing you are in a loving relationship. I would be constantly trying to understand his statements and meanings.

    • #16361

      Oh my god, I had never heard of plausable deniability before. That is my ex all over!! The amount of times I’ve nearly called the police and he’s just pulled it back. I got a threatening email from him and said as such in a statement to the court, in his response statement he screen shot it and said ‘I wasn’t threatening anything look, she’s crazy’ and I realised you could read it and it seem reasonable. Such crazy making behaviour, I hate it so much, dreading his next statement

    • #16367

      Yes, it is one tactic to keep in mind when your dealing with a manipulative controller………..
      After I finished with him and was heartbroken, i send him an email, in the email header I wrote, “i miss you and love you”………… He replied to this email pressing the reply button, so when I looked in my inbox i saw this email which said “i miss you and love you”. I believe it was a deliberate calculated tactic. In the actual body of the email he agreed that we should end our relationship, what I had said in my original message to him. I believe that he was playing mind games with me, giving me a carrot, a small crumb, did he miss me & love me? why press return, why not just open a fresh email and type where the title is blank, it was all deliberate and a form of plausible deniability. I spent my life on tenderhooks with him never knowing where i was, then i was accused of being an insecure neurotic.

    • #22808

      Plausable deniability, my ex said this a few times with a chuckle, it was his answer when he was telling a bare faced lie. Intermittent Reinforcement, rose tinted specs, there are all terms associated with mental abuse. I love these books which explain it all so well:

      30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics: How Manipulators Take Control In Personal Relationships

      Covert Emotional Manipulation Exposed by John Mentory

      Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship by Lisa Aronson Fontes

      Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

      N********t Free & When Love is a Lie by Zari Ballard

      All books (about 12 short Ebooks free to read on Amazon) by HG Tudor

      Gaslight, 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman, available to watch for £2.49 on Amazon

    • #22843

      Having a baseball bat and nail gun hidden outside the house. That had tied in with talk how he’d like to kill me. I found them, hid them and got someone to take them away and spent the last week wondering were they harmless tools or were they him actioning his plan. Was i paranoid and they were harmless tools was it a genuine threat or was the intention for me to find them and for it to frighten. I guess that would be plausible deniability? He is brilliant at that and then it can be interpreted anyway you like.

    • #22847

      You are exactly right, it can be interpreted any way, that is plausibile deniability. And they lie so coninvingly. I discovered something once, I had evidence. I asked my ex if he had done this thing, he looked me straight in the eye, without a flinch and no bodily movements and said no he hadn’t done it, cool as anything. I showed him the evidence and he quickly thought something up to counteract his lie, again quickly and without flinching. They just cannot be trusted.

      Dramaqueen, i think it will help you to read some of the covert abuse books, you will get a much better understanding. I think that we know in our hearts when we are on the receiving end of plausible deniability. Before i met him and now i’m not with him, i don’t suffer from massive confusion, fogginess and repeatedly having to question things. I think and see clearly. Funny how when I was with him it was one big fog, internal doubt and questioning of reality.

    • #22852

      He has not said a word about it but i watched from my window as he went to retrieve them and i was waiting for uproar as he realised but there was nothing. To be honest the one thing i thought needed an electrical cable so he probably could not have done a lot with it unless it was manual. I didnt keep it around long enough to tell but it was enough to give me the heebeegeebees.

      Are these books readable on phone. He is forever hacking everything else nothing is sacred in our house.

      I do have a tendency to over react sometimes so i always question everything i do and its good to read that you are out and in a far better place without him x

    • #22857

      The majority of books are freely available on Amazon, you can read most of them for free on Amazon Unlimited or put them onto a kindle. If you have to pay I think they are only a couple of pounds and immediately available. It i know covert abuse, your partner may currently be devising some sort of plan in how to bring up the missing tools, a double bluff, some sort of manipulation trick or something to screw with your thinking. Of course this will be done calmly. I think a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: “Is this logical, i am a normal, bright intelligent person, I recognize good and bad, does this really make sense?”…………….In my relationship I felt my mental health was at breaking point, i was questioning reality. Funny how before and after I met him I have none of those problems. I think it would really help you too to watch the film Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman. You can buy it from Amazon for £2.49, it is riddled with plausible deniability and gas lighting by an abusive husband. You would watch it soon. You see what I mean, you save said that you have a tendency to over react. Is it possible that you have been living in an environment so full of these mind games you think everything is your getting it wrong.

    • #22863

      I struggle with whats a threat and whats not. I dont know anymore the other night i wanted to pick up the phone and say you were right he really is planning to do something. (They are telling me we are high risk but i keep saying no) but then i thought i was being a drama queen and it was probably nothing.

      As well he carried on like everything us fine and normal and I was expecting him to go mad so that convinced me even more i was wrong x

    • #22866

      Dear Dramaqueen, i believe these tactics are deliberate and calculated to make you feel confused. The books that I have mentioned go right into detail about how this is done. I was confused and doubting myself so badly, it was all due to his blame, never apologizing, moving the goalposts, lying, I could go on and on. I thought I was the guilty party and that there was something wrong with my personality. Funny how since we split I don’t have any of these thoughts or doubt. I just have run of the mill life problems that everybody has. X

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