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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:22 PM
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Re: gaslighting

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Maybe he did say it that way - but when questioned by the therapist - realized that his words weren't an accurate reflection of how he actually felt or what he meant to say.
This is very possible. I've done that.

The correct thing to do in that case is to say "Yes, I remember that is what I said in the moment. This is what I actually meant..."

Not "You're crazy! I NEVER said that!"

It can be solved easily with a combination of honesty and humility.

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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: gaslighting

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Originally Posted by nice777guy View Post
First - maybe off topic - but why was he talking to her therapist without her?
No idea.

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Second - I'm not good with remembering "exact words." My Ex - and my oldest daughter - both often expect(ed) me to recount conversations word-by-word. Nope. Not happening. I remember feelings, moods, etc.
The way she described it was not an exact word thing but 2 conversations where he said something to the effect that she was not nurturing by her nature that he later changed to not nurturing to him having no recollection of the by nature element of the 2 previous conversations.

The thing is that she is accepting that her whole recollection of the conversation is basically wrong.

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Maybe he did say it that way - but when questioned by the therapist - realized that his words weren't an accurate reflection of how he actually felt or what he meant to say.
She thinks he did not change it until its acceptability was challenged by the marriage counselor.

Anyway I think I will listen and node and suggest she speak to her own therapist about it. It just makes me feel bad to see her question her own reality.
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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:57 PM
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Re: gaslighting

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My question is, do people who are doing this KNOW they are doing this, or is this some kind of subconscious coping mechanism to avoid their own sense of culpability? She says her husbands HATES to feel blamed for things. Like anything. I have seen it to some small extent.
I agree with @NextTimeAround on this: if you do something often enough, it becomes a natural way of life, but they should still be held culpable. I also think that some people do it intentionally.

My STBXH exhibited a lot of gas lighting signs, but I'm not sure he was aware of them. He is very highly educated, and thinks very highly of himself and his abilities. Looking back on things now, I believe that he may be on the spectrum. I think that because of how highly he thought of himself, he had a hard time admitting fault to anything. He was also overly sensitive to things, like my bringing up an issue in our relationship, he would often perceive that as him being blamed or me attacking him, so he would swing the fault back on me, twist my and his words around, dodge the subject at hand and keep changing the subject until I forgot what the original issue was. He also told me many times that memories change all the time, and that I don't remember things correctly, but that he had photographic memory. So yeah, I was always second guessing myself, feeling totally nuts, and like I could never do/say/remember anything. It basically felt like I was losing my mind. Luckily, I found myself and my mind again and dug out of that hole.

My ex put himself on a pedestal, and felt that he was above most of the population, myself included. He saw me as a project or one of his students that needed someone to teach/mentor them. What I really wanted and needed though was a best friend, a partner to travel through life with. He's just incapable of providing that.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: gaslighting

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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I think there are people who do this with intent, maliciously. They know exactly what they're doing and why, and they have some goal in mind for it - usually firm control of their partner.

But I think in other cases, it's not really done with malicious intent. My ex-husband was very prone to gaslighting. But I'm fairly certain he wasn't really aware of it. It was more that his worldview and his perceptions of himself simply would not permit him to be at fault in any way for anything, ever. That meant that if he said something mean and I mentioned it later, I must have imagined it. Because a great guy like him wouldn't be unkind or say mean things. If he did something stupid and something was ruined, it wasn't him and how could I imagine he would have done such a thing? He's a good person and a responsible man, he wouldn't make that sort of mistake or error in judgment. I must be mis-remembering what happened. Basically, there was zero capability to accept responsibility for his words and actions. His ego simply did not allow him to accept that anything that might reflect poorly on his image/self-image had happened, or could possibly have been his fault.

What that also requires, though, is a pretty profound level of disrespect for the partner that's being gaslighted. My ex-husband, deep down, really does see women as less capable, less intelligent, basically weak, highly emotional creatures that are prone to hysterics and generally "acting crazy". Thus, his default assumption was always that he was the rational, honest, man while I, being a woman, was...not. He's an intelligent rational man. Anyone whose experiences/recollections of events/feelings differ from his own, must therefore, be reacting irrationally. He felt it was his job, as my husband who loved me, to help me understand when I was being irrational. And it was totally irrational for me to remember hearing him say words that he'd never said (actually that his ego would not permit him to admit to having said). Didn't I want to speak with someone, a professional maybe, who could work with me on calming myself enough to think things through clearly? Wouldn't I maybe be happier if I were taking something that would help me be more rational, a little more grounded in reality?

It wasn't intentional malice. It was deeply fragile ego, narcissism, and a profound disrespect for me.
Oh my Lord, were we married to the same man?!? Everything you said, I echo, right down to my own ex suggesting that I seek psychological help, but because I liked my living space clean and organized, and he differed from me in that respect. So, I couldn't possibly be "normal", could I? :-)
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:10 PM
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Re: gaslighting

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Originally Posted by dallasgia View Post
Reading this I thought, ďmy gosh- we are married to same manĒ.
Apparently, he was 3-timing, because that post also described my STBXH, spot-on!
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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: gaslighting

I personally don't think the gaslighters I have come across are doing it consciously. I think they have the ability to make things up and actually believe them. They believe their "truth" is the only truth.
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 03:22 PM
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Re: gaslighting

I'm always right until I'm wrong 😉😉😉
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 03:55 PM
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Re: gaslighting

When I first heard about gaslighting, I was pretty sure I was being gaslighted. I was confused and doubted my memories a lot. Eventually I came to the conclusion that if I was being gaslighted, it wasn't consciously. The gas lighter had no recollection of the contrary statements. When I ruled out malicious intent, all that was left was the fact that I can't count on what she says, until after the action fulfills the promise.

The damage to the relationship is a loss of trust. We still feel the same way about each other, but I don't always believe her. More of, OK that is the truth for now, until you say different. I have to be more independent. I have to be prepared for whatever the truth turns out to be in the end.

The other thing I learned was that just because you are confused and think you are going crazy, it doesn't mean you are being gaslighted.
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 11:48 PM
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Re: gaslighting

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Originally Posted by NobodySpecial View Post
I was talking to a relative about gaslighting. So I googled it and came up with this

https://www.yourtango.com/2018310020...aslighting-you

This fits the husband's pattern it seems and her feelings. I would not say he CALLS her crazy, but he infers it. The other stuff seems spot on.

She is trying to work with him in therapy. She does not want to broach this because he SAYS he is not.

My question is, do people who are doing this KNOW they are doing this, or is this some kind of subconscious coping mechanism to avoid their own sense of culpability? She says her husbands HATES to feel blamed for things. Like anything. I have seen it to some small extent.

I don't think I will be much help. But she talks to me.
Hi,
I was gaslit for a decade. I knew something was up and I refused to look at it nor had the guts to leave. Gas lighting never stops. Get out now. Read all the John Gottman P.h.D. relationship books you can get your hands on and read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage. All these books will give you a good education and knowledge of what you have been missing of what a real healthy relationship is. My case. It nearly destroyed me. [email protected]
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