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Is it gaslighting, or am I just more mental than I thought?

S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Ontario
Hi there, new here and hoping that the anonymity of this forum will give me some unbias help.

My husband and I are recently married, we were together for four years almost to the date before we tied the knot, but he proposed after just over a year of dating, citing that he wanted to "lock me down".

Obviously the pandemic has been a real struggle for us as it has for everyone. He is an essential worker while I started a dream career in the middle of everything. He is a quiet guy which I like because it helps me stay balanced (I have bi-polar semi-diagnosed, anxiety and PTSD) so my manic states are brought under rein by having a steady person beside me and has helped the crash-and-burn tendencies of my past relationships be averted.

He comes from a divorced family and although it happened when he was older, it affected him greatly. He has trouble speaking about issues that are bothering him and in my opinion, uses alcohol as too much of a crutch -I used to like to party a lot and have since realized that there's a time and a place to let loose, although he doesn't see his nightly drinking as a problem.

After we got married, we started getting post-wedding blues. I understand that this is normal and people say the first year is the hardest, however he has changed and not for the better.

He regularly tells me things I feel or have seen aren't true (eg. I told him it might be nice if his work reduces hours again so that we can spend more time together, he vehemently denied the hours ever changing even though they did and told me I was wrong), he doesn't acknowledge my mental health struggles and in my latest depressive episode I told him I was considering suicide and that I hated being sick. He told me that I wasn't sick.

Another example is a discussion we had recently regarding our housing. We live next to two halfway houses and in the winter of last year, our house was broken into and my things were gone through, no one else's things were touched apart from a broken ipad that was stolen. Ever since then, I have been very scared and have a hard time sleeping at night. He told me that I can't live in fear and when I explained that the break in felt very personal because the person clearly had a very specific interest in me (nothing was ransacked, just all my drawers were opened and personal items were spread out on the bed like clothes and paychecks etc.) I took our dog to work with me that day of all days, which also made the attack seem very intentional and planned.

Every issue is somehow turned on me. He throws something and it hits me by accident and it's my fault for standing in the way.

He knows that I am very much against domestic gender roles and believe that if we are both working we should both be doing the household cleaning 50/50, however I have to ask him to do anything around the house and when he does he does half of the job and then leaves it.


Of course this has built up some resentment, and as such our sex life is suffering, which doesn't help the situation. Our last intimate encounter made me cry because I could feel how much I physically did not want to be touched by him.

We have had a few very serious sit-downs about our relationship, always lead by me, and whenever I'm upset he gives me the silent treatment and I have to spend hours coaxing him to tell me what he feels.

He told me that he thought I wasn't smart, and when I asked what he meant he said I'm just smart about "different stuff, like conversations". When I brought it up again to ask him why he would say something like that to me, he refused to speak about it.

I don't know what to do, if this is a communication issue, if I'm his emotional punching bag, if I'm being gaslighted or if I am just not well enough to take care of myself enough to work on our issues and see past the things that normal people go through.

My family is very religious and is against divorce, and I don't want to divorce either until I've really given it a chance to get better. I also think I will feel like a failure and the idea of being single again terrifies me, especially because I know there is so much good in my life right now despite the bad things. I also don't think my dog can handle being separated from another partner (I know this sounds silly but dog owners know this), I also don't think I could afford to be on my own again or have enough time to look after him.

Is this gaslighting, just negativity being projected on me because of all the stress, or am I just very sick?
 
N

Nukelavee

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Messages
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Location
London, ON
I think some of this is gaslighting. I very much feel there is some control games being played here.
 
B

bpd2020

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Hello and welcome to the forum. It sounds to me like your husband is invalidating your feelings and has no understanding of your mental health. As he seems to struggle to talk it is very difficult for you to communicate your concerns. Maybe couples counselling could help? He may feel a bit better about opening up there and the therapist will be able to lead the conversation.

I too would be frightened after being broken into and it is horrible the way only your things were touched. Maybe you could get some extra security on your home to help you feel a bit safer.

With a separation your dog will feel anxious but in time he would get used to it and enjoy visiting both of you as long as you were both calm. I would not put yourself through misery because your dog will adapt.

It is hard to get used to being single after being with somebody for so long but it can be done and I do not think you should stay in a marriage that makes you unhappy due to the fear of being single.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

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Joined
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Messages
23
Location
Ontario
I think some of this is gaslighting. I very much feel there is some control games being played here.
I agree. Could you explain what you see as control, I just feel so lost in it I can't sift it out.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Ontario
Hello and welcome to the forum. It sounds to me like your husband is invalidating your feelings and has no understanding of your mental health. As he seems to struggle to talk it is very difficult for you to communicate your concerns. Maybe couples counselling could help? He may feel a bit better about opening up there and the therapist will be able to lead the conversation.

I too would be frightened after being broken into and it is horrible the way only your things were touched. Maybe you could get some extra security on your home to help you feel a bit safer.

With a separation your dog will feel anxious but in time he would get used to it and enjoy visiting both of you as long as you were both calm. I would not put yourself through misery because your dog will adapt.

It is hard to get used to being single after being with somebody for so long but it can be done and I do not think you should stay in a marriage that makes you unhappy due to the fear of being single.
Thank you for your reply and for your support! We did try couples counselling, and he responded very well to it but as with all things, he just eventually went back to his old ways and unfortunately with wedding planning and COVID, we never got to follow up. I might ask him if he would pursue it again.

I don't know if I would mind being single, I just know I wouldn't want to be with anyone, but I need daily support and my family is not able to give it. I would also miss him terribly, although you always see things better than they were.
 
B

bpd2020

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Thank you for your reply and for your support! We did try couples counselling, and he responded very well to it but as with all things, he just eventually went back to his old ways and unfortunately with wedding planning and COVID, we never got to follow up. I might ask him if he would pursue it again.

I don't know if I would mind being single, I just know I wouldn't want to be with anyone, but I need daily support and my family is not able to give it. I would also miss him terribly, although you always see things better than they were.
As you have tried couples counselling you have worked very hard on your marriage. It is exhausting being with somebody who goes silent and will not discuss anything.

I understand how difficult it is to be alone and even more so when needing support but it does not sound like he is giving you the support you need.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
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Messages
23
Location
Ontario
As you have tried couples counselling you have worked very hard on your marriage. It is exhausting being with somebody who goes silent and will not discuss anything.

I understand how difficult it is to be alone and even more so when needing support but it does not sound like he is giving you the support you need.
Thank you, I agree. I also feel as though he has an immature attitude when it comes to marriage. He knows I have a very independent spirit, and yet our marriage has turned into a haven for complacency and being very subdued, which he knows I am not built for. I am not one to kick up a fuss but I prefer energy and acting on issues if there's a problem. I appreciate your support.
 
B

bpd2020

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Thank you, I agree. I also feel as though he has an immature attitude when it comes to marriage. He knows I have a very independent spirit, and yet our marriage has turned into a haven for complacency and being very subdued, which he knows I am not built for. I am not one to kick up a fuss but I prefer energy and acting on issues if there's a problem. I appreciate your support.
It does sound like he is squashing your personality. I know as somebody with mental illness, I cannot be with somebody who does not understand or support me.
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
3,389
Location
London, ON
I agree. Could you explain what you see as control, I just feel so lost in it I can't sift it out.
All these little things to make you doubt yourself, to make you accept his versions of events, etc. Wanting sex despite your indifference. Insulting your intelligence.

those things added up reduce your independence, and position him as an authority.
 
U

Uther

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Earth
I don't think it's gaslighting. It sounds like your husband is the one who's not intelligent. You seem to be.
It sounds as though your husband doesn't understand his emotions and taking it out on you isn't fair at all. He sounds like a bully actually.
Would he treat another guy this way? I doubt it, because he'd get his head knocked off.
He knows he has a physical advantage over you so doesn't have to worry about the physical repercussions for doing things like throwing things at you then blaming you for getting hit.

I say be careful what behaviours you accept from him. A lot of domestic violence cases start off just like yours, but slide into much more serious offending and one day you'll be asking yourself "How did it come to this?".

I know the thought of separating is scary. I've been through it. You WILL survive. You may even find someone who will love you and treat you just the way you deserve to be.

But you have to start by loving and respecting yourself. There is NO excuse for the way he is treating you.
You can always pm me if you need someone to talk to.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Ontario
All these little things to make you doubt yourself, to make you accept his versions of events, etc. Wanting sex despite your indifference. Insulting your intelligence.

those things added up reduce your independence, and position him as an authority.
Ah ok, yes those little things are interesting. Especially because I always push back and it seems to just hurt my case rather than help it. I have this idea that he honestly thinks I am too feeble minded to be taken seriously, and my reactions are not really real.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Ontario
Hi there, new here and hoping that the anonymity of this forum will give me some unbias help.

My husband and I are recently married, we were together for four years almost to the date before we tied the knot, but he proposed after just over a year of dating, citing that he wanted to "lock me down".

Obviously the pandemic has been a real struggle for us as it has for everyone. He is an essential worker while I started a dream career in the middle of everything. He is a quiet guy which I like because it helps me stay balanced (I have bi-polar semi-diagnosed, anxiety and PTSD) so my manic states are brought under rein by having a steady person beside me and has helped the crash-and-burn tendencies of my past relationships be averted.

He comes from a divorced family and although it happened when he was older, it affected him greatly. He has trouble speaking about issues that are bothering him and in my opinion, uses alcohol as too much of a crutch -I used to like to party a lot and have since realized that there's a time and a place to let loose, although he doesn't see his nightly drinking as a problem.

After we got married, we started getting post-wedding blues. I understand that this is normal and people say the first year is the hardest, however he has changed and not for the better.

He regularly tells me things I feel or have seen aren't true (eg. I told him it might be nice if his work reduces hours again so that we can spend more time together, he vehemently denied the hours ever changing even though they did and told me I was wrong), he doesn't acknowledge my mental health struggles and in my latest depressive episode I told him I was considering suicide and that I hated being sick. He told me that I wasn't sick.

Another example is a discussion we had recently regarding our housing. We live next to two halfway houses and in the winter of last year, our house was broken into and my things were gone through, no one else's things were touched apart from a broken ipad that was stolen. Ever since then, I have been very scared and have a hard time sleeping at night. He told me that I can't live in fear and when I explained that the break in felt very personal because the person clearly had a very specific interest in me (nothing was ransacked, just all my drawers were opened and personal items were spread out on the bed like clothes and paychecks etc.) I took our dog to work with me that day of all days, which also made the attack seem very intentional and planned.

Every issue is somehow turned on me. He throws something and it hits me by accident and it's my fault for standing in the way.

He knows that I am very much against domestic gender roles and believe that if we are both working we should both be doing the household cleaning 50/50, however I have to ask him to do anything around the house and when he does he does half of the job and then leaves it.


Of course this has built up some resentment, and as such our sex life is suffering, which doesn't help the situation. Our last intimate encounter made me cry because I could feel how much I physically did not want to be touched by him.

We have had a few very serious sit-downs about our relationship, always lead by me, and whenever I'm upset he gives me the silent treatment and I have to spend hours coaxing him to tell me what he feels.

He told me that he thought I wasn't smart, and when I asked what he meant he said I'm just smart about "different stuff, like conversations". When I brought it up again to ask him why he would say something like that to me, he refused to speak about it.

I don't know what to do, if this is a communication issue, if I'm his emotional punching bag, if I'm being gaslighted or if I am just not well enough to take care of myself enough to work on our issues and see past the things that normal people go through.

My family is very religious and is against divorce, and I don't want to divorce either until I've really given it a chance to get better. I also think I will feel like a failure and the idea of being single again terrifies me, especially because I know there is so much good in my life right now despite the bad things. I also don't think my dog can handle being separated from another partner (I know this sounds silly but dog owners know this), I also don't think I could afford to be on my own again or have enough time to look after him.

Is this gaslighting, just negativity being projected on me because of all the stress, or am I just very sick?
*Update: He has a day off today and I work from home so I won't be able to post very much in the afternoon which is when he'll likely wake up from his hangover*

Last night was interesting; did all the dishes and the tidying up, garbage out too -no mention of thank you from him.

He asked me if I wanted to go down to the pub for a drink after he got home from work, but I thought it might be too late so we just had an indoor picnic in the living room and played cards. He had mentioned he wanted to have a "drink chat" so I thought he was actually going to bring up what's been going on but when I asked him if he had anything he wanted to talk about it was a very casual 'No.' Which really was exhausting, coupled with little jabs here and there such as "What do I even keep you around for?" (I imagine the original sentiment was playful) and I ended up feeling quite disheartened and I know once again I'll have to be the one to address the elephant in the room.
 
B

bpd2020

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Messages
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It feels kind of like mind games. He wants to talk then refuses too. Then the slight digs which he says are jokes. Very cruel in my opinion.
 
S

SilverLiningGirl

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Ontario
It does feel very much like a manipulation.. and he knows I hate to break a good streak so I'm in the position that I don't really want to have to bring it up but I am going to end up snapping, which will also make it my fault.
 
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