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Nothing specific for me just now but it came up in another thread so I would like a thread just to show how gaslighting is hadled. EG Why, when or how to ask. Is suspiscion sufficient? Honing intuition? Pro s and cons of disclosing evidence? Stages of discussion? Checking perceptions? Confrontation without accusation? There must be plenty of personal expertese here and plenty in old threads. I hope this thread may become an effective reference resource.
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I think the first thing every BS should know about gaslighting is that nearly all WS' do it. Also, its important to recognize that the spouse you are used to, the one you love-is not the same person you are dealing with while they are having an affair. By definition cheaters are lying. So, the most important thing to know is that your cheater is no different than anyone else's cheater. To realize that cheating follows a 'play book' basically. And to take the advice of people who have more experience than you. Dont white knuckle the idea that your spouse is 'different' than those 'other cheaters'.

Once a WS goes down the road of betrayal they are no longer predictable. They are not your loving husband/wife nor your childrens wonderful father/mother. They have become someone different and that wont change while there's contact of ANY kind with AP. You will be gaslighted for absolute certain during the affair and likely for a good while after-until the fog wears off. Dont buy into the bull they sell. Follow your gut. And set your boundaries.

Also, realize there are many forms of cheating. Until recently an emotional affair wasnt really considered cheating per se. And its also the most difficult to recognize initially for both ws and bs. Again, if you think your spouse may be getting too close to someone of the opposite sex beware. EA's are devastating and have lasting effects on a marriage. And a ws will do all but kill to keep it alive. Most often they have to be dragged out kicking and screaming and it takes years to repair.
 

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I think it's tough to discuss in the abstract because it can take so many forms.

My husband's version was to act like he was baffled as to why I was asking certain questions. Like, almost outraged that I would imply he was still in his affair, even indirectly. It's probably one of the more hurtful memories I have, because there's lying, and then there's baldfaced, stare in your eyes, pure unadulterated mendacity.

When I discovered by accident my H was still in an affair, he crumpled and admitted how wrong it was immediately. His 'gaslighting' was never more than an attempt to hide the affair--very, very wrong, but it ended upon discovery (of course, finding a secret email account open on your computer, or receiving a text meant for the OW, is pretty hard for most people to deny).

Unfortunately, I have something else to add--while I didn't experience this, with the worst cases of gaslighting, you will likely never, ever get your spouse to admit the full truth. In the worst case they will never admit to the affair. These are people who keep right on lying and gaslighting as far as you will continue to listen. Some examples:

--Affaircare, whose first husband told her that the hotel security tape showing him coming and going with the OW had to be doctored by...Affaircare...yea right :rolleyes:
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/47176-how-did-you-find-out-about-infidelity-12.html#post784014

--hurtingbadly, whose husband failed a polygraph with very clear, specific questions and to this day will not admit that the polygraph is accurate...she caught HPV but he claimed it was from a single BJ received many years ago as a random ONS...the truth is obviously more complicated than he'd like to pretend.
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/56688-ws-failed-poly-morning.html

--Bronwen, who hired a detective who took a photo of her husband kissing the OW in a parking lot, albeit on the cheek--but he had already claimed he had completely cut off contact with the OW and thus the photo totally caught him in a lie.
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/52894-found-out-he-has-secret-phone-25.html#post1013354

The point is, if every effort at confrontation simply produces more "you're crazies," then you have your answer. Stop confronting, because your spouse will never admit to what they've done. They won't say so directly, but the message is loud and clear: they are incapable of being a full marriage partner because they are terrified of full emotional intimacy. Be done with such a person--they are not worth your time.
 

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My case is not a good example, but should show how not to handle things such as A.

Something in my inside told me that things are not alright.

She was becomeing distant, and emotionally absent. And she was finding fault with me even for very trivial things.

I, out of blue, asked her what was wrong. I started asking, without any evidence, questions.

She said I better stay away from those questions.

I became a wreck. Suffered miserably. (Note: I stay away from my family).

I confronted her over a phone call. Then came some revelations. More were to come later. I became angry, and she could not bear it anymore.

In the meantime, I found TAM.

So, dont confront without evidence, which is hard. Stay composed until you get the details you want.
 

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When my (future) fiance could not make time to see me the day I got back from a month long trip, I laready had the idea that he had had a date earlier that day and didn't want to make any commitments later in the day.....just in case.

I said that to him and denied it, claiming that I didn't try hard enough to pin him down.

then I found receipts dated that day for museum visits in his house. and when I finally looked at his FB account, the woman that he claimed to be "just friends" with had put on her wall that she would be visiting those exact museums on that day.

Even with all that detail in hand, he still told me that I was crazy until I told him the evidence that I had.

These days, my fiancé does everything to make me feel secure, but he still maintains that he was "just friends" with that woman despite all the evidence of how he treated her when they were in contact with one another.
 
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