SO tells me all my assumptions are wrong, but won't actually tell how they feel

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melw82

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Hi. new on here. I'm just starting on a personal journey after fearing I may have fallen hard into a manipulative or controlling relationship. I've been told group therapy is a good way of learning how to understand what's going on with my emotions or what may have happened to me. So thought to try out a forum before committing to a face to face group.

As my post title states, I've absolutely no idea how to think for myself anymore and I'm scared of that. My SO, during what are supposed to be conversations about issues in our relationship logistics, constantly tells me my assumptions are completely wrong. There's a lot of history - too much to even attempt to explain on here. However when ever I've had feelings somethings not quite right and I've wanted to talk to him about it. I simply ask what's going on for him as I feel like 'x' and that's because of 'y'. He never actually answers about how he's feeling. Instead it turns into a circle of how what i think or what I assume are wrong about him. I try so hard when this happens to keep it focussed on him simply just telling me how he's feeling and that I don't want to assume which is why I'm asking. He tries everything he can to avoid just saying anything to do with how he feels. Instead tells me how I'm wrong and that's not how he feels, that I'm always quick to make up my mind about him, that I dig my heels in when I get an idea in my head about him, that I don't listen, that he possibly can't be in the wrong all the time and that sometimes I need to apologise to him. He throws mud in my face with things not related to us, like stuff about my friendships with others. When I ask him to stop that and to keep focused on how feels, he says it necessary to say that stuff to explain how he feels, but then still continues to not actually say how he feels.

The latest episode has come about from me wanting to know why he hasn't told his parents about us trying again after 8-9 months with months of couples counselling using the IMAGO technique.

He also does this thing where he tries to get me to agree to a condition before he'll say things to me or get me to answer yes or no questions. When I reject or answer no, he tells me it's my fault we're going to split up as I'm too stubborn and all he's trying to do is talk to me. But he needs to know for sure I'll listen to him. He does this after I've already asked him what he's feeling to explain behaviour or explain things to me.

I don't really know what I'm asking, or even if there's a question for others in there. I guess I'm just sharing a particular instance of a recent happening to see what others think.


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1footouttadefog

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I recognize some of this as things my pdh does or used to do alot.

You are being manipulated but likeyself you seem not to have words for what you know and feel is wrong.

I used the 100 traits list in the toolbox section of this website.  It was a tremendous help for me in sorting out and having a name for the various manipulation and other tactics my pdh was employing.

Also there are tools for handling these things and not playing into it all.

Below my comments are in green within a quote of your post.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 04:48:37 PM by 1footouttadefog »

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1footouttadefog

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Hi. new on here. I'm just starting on a personal journey after fearing I may have fallen hard into a manipulative or controlling relationship. I've been told group therapy is a good way of learning how to understand what's going on with my emotions or what may have happened to me. So thought to try out a forum before committing to a face to face group.

As my post title states, I've absolutely no idea how to think for myself anymore and I'm scared of that. My SO, during what are supposed to be conversations about issues in our relationship logistics, constantly tells me my assumptions are completely wrong. There's a lot of history - too much to even attempt to explain on here. However when ever I've had feelings somethings not quite right and I've wanted to talk to him about it. I simply ask what's going on for him as I feel like 'x' and that's because of 'y'. He never actually answers about how he's feeling. He is avoiding answering you honestly, avoiding emotional intamacyInstead it turns into a circle of how what i think or what I assume are wrong about him. I try so hard when this happens to keep it focussed on him simply just telling me how he's feeling and that I don't want to assume which is why I'm asking. He tries everything he can to avoid just saying anything to do with how he feels. He is deflecting, blame shifting and protecting his inner core.  Personality disordered people have an inner core of shame, guilt and feelings of inadequacies.Instead tells me how I'm wrong and that's not how he feels, that I'm always quick to make up my mind about him, that I dig my heels in when I get an idea in my head about him, that I don't listen, that he possibly can't be in the wrong all the time and that sometimes I need to apologise to him. blame shifting and gas lightingHe throws mud in my face with things not related to us, like stuff about my friendships with others.triangulation, devaluing, reaching for straws When I ask him to stop that and to keep focused on how feels, he says it necessary to say that stuff to explain how he feels, but then still continues to not actually say how he feels.

The latest episode has come about from me wanting to know why he hasn't told his parents about us trying again after 8-9 months with months of couples counselling using the IMAGO technique. his parents are likely a source of his inner turmoil, perceived or real, he is playing his cards close to his chest, likely fears disapproval

He also does this thing where he tries to get me to agree to a condition before he'll say things to me or get me to answer yes or no questions. When I reject or answer no, he tells me it's my fault we're going to split up as I'm too stubborn and all he's trying to do is talk to me. this is pretty spooky, it's like it's all a game of technicalities.  This shows no true regard or empathy.  Like he could kill if he figured a way to make it self defense or something equally dangerous.  But he needs to know for sure I'll listen to him. He does this after I've already asked him what he's feeling to explain behaviour or explain things to me.

I don't really know what I'm asking, or even if there's a question for others in there. I guess I'm just sharing a particular instance of a recent happening to see what others think.

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Artemis T

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This reads very familiar, my emotionally abusive ex employed similar tactics to make me question what I thought I remembered and had me thinking I was going stark raving mad.  He'd usually shut me out of communication for days, sometimes weeks and when I asked what was going on with him he'd simply respond 'I can't talk about  what I'm going through right now'. Then when the inevitable blow up happened when I got tired of being constantly ignored after I had attempted to give him space, and couldn't stand having to wait extended periods of time before he'd communicate with me, he'd tell me I was self centered and only talked about how I felt...when he literally refused to talk about how he felt or what specifically was going on with him.

This seems like standard gaslighting, deflection, and manipulation tactics for PD abusers. They like creating a cycle of circular arguments that allow them to eschew responsibility for their actions that compel you to apologize and make you think your otherwise reasonable needs are selfish, unwavering demands. I'm sorry you're going through this, but if it's any consolation you're not the unreasonable, selfish, and irrational person your SO is making you believe yourself to be.

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melw82

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Hi thanks 1footouttadefog, I'll take a look at the toolbox for the 100 traits when I've got a bit more time. Thanks for your input on my message too. I hadn't considered that he might be terrified of disapproval.

I do see some of the stuff he does, and I don't fall for it. Even called him out on a few things at the time he does it. After about 5 years and a very tough emotional road. I've just got to a point where I find myself questioning myself about everything I feel. Not even necessarily the things he's said to me, but the thoughts I have for myself. The things he has said to me, I do find myself asking it 'what if he's right? What if I am stubborn on thinking I'm always right?'

In the recent incident I've started this thread with, he also said that he feels lonely in my company and that he might as well watch tv on his own when i fall asleep on the couch next to him - we're both night owls, so he's actually talking about when it gets to midnight or 1am. I have recently been working some very long hours and with travel, so I have been tired. But that's not me withholding intimacy from him, like he says I have been.

I'm ridiculously sad about the whole thing. I've known him for like 9 years or so and been in a relationship with him for 5 years, but only in the last 3-ish years has he started to act out this way. We've got so much history together and some incredibly happy times where we've been in tune perfectly and equals. I just don't get it at all.

One really odd thing he does that's completely baffles me is sometimes he'll start talking to me about something completely 'normal' (so in this case - these fancy wifi light bulbs he's got & how he can't get them to work), so I'll respond with a thought that it's a conversation between 2 people ('have you tried this?' sort of responses). All of a sudden he explodes and tells me that he doesn't want me to talk about them to him or want my help, but that he just wanted to tell me about it and nothing else.... ? That's happened a few times about really normal things.

What ever now and ahead holds, I know I can't cope with how I feel. Very little is making sense to me anymore & I'm far too overwhelmed with just about everything. so I'm starting CBT therapy.

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1footouttadefog

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Sounds like your company is no longer registering with him as narcissistic supply.

I noticed over the years when I was super busy with work, sick kids, or overwhelming amounts of life happens g all at once, that is when a manic episode would get triggered in my spouse.  It was like he felt abandoned to the other demands in my life. 

The reduced attention perhaps even caused a since of competing and loosing out of attention getting.

I guess it never occurred that he could jump in and help for attention.