Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Gaslighting/psychological abuse in relationships

Hi everyone


I have been in a relationship for two years with a man - we are both in our late twenties. At first he was charming and said all the right things - "i love you like I've never loved another" "i want to marry you" " i wonder what out kids will look like" and so forth.


Three months in it degenerated and he began name calling - stupid, retarded, everything under the sun. He also began to 'punish' me for even the smallest of things - i didn't close the tap properly meant i had to leave our apartment in the middle of the night, stand in the rain for an hour or so  until he calmed down, called me and said he was sorry. This cycle continued - every time i did something 'wrong' i had to leave OR he would leave for hours leaving me wondering where he was, is he safe, is with with another woman. I think he enjoyed playing on my insecurities - insecurities which i believe he instigated in me. I had a relationship for almost ten years with another man and i never felt the slightest inclination that that man would cheat on me. 


I began to learn over time i had to play by his rules - don't hang out with other guys etc. Yet HE didn't abide by these rules. Over the entire two years he would always ask me to leave our mutual home (we split everything financially), telling me this isn't my home and i never contributed to it so i had to leave. For the majority of these two years i had a suitcase that was being packed and unpacked at least once a month when he decided he needed space from me and i had to stay at my parents whilst he decided whether 'i was what he wanted'. I began to be confused, tormented, in fear of his reactions, desperate to prove to him my worth/value, and as a result my self esteem is now at an all time low. 


I placed the word 'gaslighting' in this title as i believe he was gaslighting me in several ways. Here's an example: He once.... and immediately i said: "..........", he said: "........I began to question reality.. further losing my sense of self and confidence. 


The effects this? I began to feel nervous even about the smallest of things - scared as to what would trigger an outburst by him. Even using the "wrong" frying pan made me nervous - i would ask him for his advice - "which frying pan should i use the big or the small?" ... so scared to make even the smallest of mistake by him.... unfortunately this is a real example and unfortunately i was scolded on many occasions for using the wrong frying pan..... 


These are just two examples of his gaslighting.


What's happening now? We have just recently broken up - i finally moved all of my belongings out of our place as per his request. When he came home and saw all my things packed he seemed irritated and said he didn't ask me to leave (he had) but then said "well F you leave!" and then he .....  


I'm at the stage now where i can see what was happening. But unfortunately i still am in love with this person and am struggling to see the light to move on. I fear getting sucked in by his charm again and by the little nice things he would do and say to me. He has contacted me but he isn't addressing what occurred. It makes me hopeful even though i know i shouldn't be.


I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience - what it meant for you and how you finally overcame it. 


How do you fall out of love with someone you know is toxic for you and doesn't truly love/care for you or have your best interests at heart?


Weeps x


Re: Gaslighting/psychological abuse in relationships

Hey there @Weepss, what a rough situation you are in. Thank you for being so brave as to share your story on the forum.

In answering your question, it seems like you are questioning coming to a future decision about your relationship and how you want to be treated (vs. how not to be treated)?

On a more admin note - I've had to edit parts of your post in case it triggers other users. And I can also see that you are over the 25 year old age range of the forum - I am thinking to redirect you again to a more age appropriate service like the 1800RESPECT line or Relationships Australia? Sorry about any confusion