Dealing with a Relationship that has Become Toxic (Gaslighting)

Posted by kla1960 @kla1960, Aug 10, 2020

My relationship which is an engagement has become toxic. He has become officially verbally and emotionally abusive and used gaslighting. I am a trauma survivor as well. I am also new to this group and a retired RN but there are so many red flags here beyond what I just mentioned especially during a pandemic and very unstable geo political situation. I have a plan already. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.Abuse is never the quote unquote victims fault . Yes I am also a survivor of domestic violence. My ACE score is 4.

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Thank you so much. Already looking online at apts and making inquiries. My friend and I are looking at apts for me beginning tommorow. I will also open another bank acct. So he is not on it.


Hi @kla1960 As you will see, I added a word to your title in case anyone else on Connect is looking for members to discuss gaslighting or other narcissistic behavioral disorders. I also added your discussion to our Mental Health Group located here There is no need to reply to both threads as they are "merged" in a sense, so everything posted will show up in both locations. I am very familiar with the term, but I know it's not as widely known as some other terms used within these disorders. I wanted to share these two videos with you and others and applaud you for seeking medical advice/psychiatry for resolution. and


Never stay in abusive relationships


Thank you so much. I applied for my own bank account today. Moving forward. He is home from work. Unhappy. I am civil but not really talking. It is hitting home with him. I have put other effort in today. If he loses emotional control again I call 911 he goes to his RV now that is it. Sars cov 2 very high here in Mo. The universal god law of cause and effect as I like to say is in motion.


I'm glad to hear you are getting out and that he doesn't seem violent at the moment. I am concerned though that you are worried enough to mention calling 911 if he loses control again. The bank account is a great start. Is there a way to get him out of the apartment into his RV or is that the 911 call?
I am in the process of getting out of a toxic relationship as well. I told her I was moving out and getting an apartment. It went from F You on Sunday to we're are doing so much better today, why don't you stay? Be safe and take care of yourself.


Good morning, I just read the definition of gaslighting as when someone presents altered information to make another doubt their own observation? So, if not accurate, then you'll know why I'm a bit off on adding to your story. I was married at 26, for 8 years, have 2 children now 36 and 32. Ex-wife and I haven't talked to each other more than a paragraph or 2 in 25+ years. She hates me and I just voided her in my mind to survive the divorce. That survive term was taking place then only lies were not used to open up the ill conversations, only after talking a bit on,,, name the topic. My taking note of it when I would say, "I remember now. Tom and John were there. They wouldn't say that because….". And, I'd give a factual recall of the event to help her memory, so I thought. It took me a couple years to figure out it was intentional later if not at the start.

It's approx 28 years later. I'm remarried to a great woman actually. Dated and lived together for 7 years, now married for 7. Two days after the marriage it was day and night for a lot of things from our first 7 years. One would think it was for money but I don't have any. I have had epilepsy since I was 20, and I'm 65. My best memory is remembering small elements of an event but, 30 days later, a 2 hour long event may seem like 60 or 14 days ago. My spelling is now is only as good as it was at 10-12 yrs old. It's real nice to be able to have programs that clean spelling up for me. I had an excellent memory before a seizure where I lost a 50k per year job in 2002. I had a seizure unlike the others before. I couldn't drive after for 2 years. Long/short,,, It was about a 2 year memory recovery and I only got 70% of memory back, and daily memory ability 80%. I couldn't, still can't today, hold a full time job because of the memory alone. I get approx 1200 per month disability, our house is paid for, have medicare (another joke), seizures controlled 90%, but it only takes a little loss for big trouble and you can't live on 1200 if you are going to groceries and utilities too. Enough history.

It's happening again with my current wife. No anger blow-outs, no set-ups, although some denial on her part but, silence when communication is needed. It's done to not have to deal with what I think are some mental health disabilities outside our marriage from 30+ years ago. Not physical abuse or sexual. I think some of the gaslighting, but she was the victim back then. Only a guess because like I said silence and avoided conversations start before they can get to conflict, days before. No manufactured lies though. She doesn't laugh at me. The avoidance has a reason and this much later I don't know 90% of what it is, just observations. I don't believe she is hiding an affair or some other crash.

You, kla1960, don't need to get married to have it get better, go away, promises it will stop or just poof, it's not happening any more. I keep my mouth shut most of the time and listen. She, oddly (and others with alike behavior) are not a good at it as one would expect, especially when I'm keeping quiet and just watch. Some of the dysfunction needs excellent short term 10 minute memory. When you are someone doing this, commenting from my own observation, they loose track of denied history. But, the epilepsy does it's share of damage to my memory which helps someone like this. During the last 2 years I've been consciously deciding that that portion of our lives doesn't matter or is not worth having a stroke over. It's not all day long and, I've learned how to avoid the junk that gets her where she wants to use it. I consider it a loss, of portions, of someone I used to know better. I have her in other portions of our life but since I had become a bit of a loner for alike reasons for the last 45 years, it's easier. I now keep that dysfunctional time out, and I'm alone if needed while doing dishes or name it. About 6 months ago it started getting much worse.

For you, don't get married if you "don't have to" because living with it is a compromise you need to evaluate. If you do marry you might be compromising something that could likely get worse, because you are already selling to yourself that it's not that bad or asking people, "what they think." My moving away from the behavior started with my mother who is a classic. And I have 1 brother and 1 sister that are better at it than she is. I only in the last 2 years have said goodbye to them, not to their faces and ears, to my mental involvement with 95% of ANYTHING. They have each other. I have told them that I won't discuss other people with them and will come to funerals. I haven't heard from my brother for 8 years, my sister the same, but she was gone in her own mind much before.

Ask yourself, what the compromise will be. Alone, sit down and name the things done to you, simply, on paper, a couple words for each, maybe 3-5 total, big ones or small. In most cases people like us will lie to ourselves about the discomfort. So, before asking yourself about just how far will you go, drop the idea that you will be fair with yourself to some percentage. If that doesn't answer some things ask yourself if you'd be willing to live with worse than it is today. If you had to ponder that, then you'll probably let yourself in for bigger trouble than you want to handle. Stick that paper in your pocket and read it 2 days later to see if one of them sticks out to you, or if you forgot one.

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