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In a real marriage, there are no secrets.

He is without doubt being secretive about his correspondence with another woman.

He will continue to deny your accusations and counter accuse you.

You have all the evidence you need.

Move on. Life is short. You are wasting time.
 

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So I confronted him and now he is gas lighting me. Telling me that my paranoia and insecurities will drive him away and that I need help.

How do you deal with it when someone is gas lighting you?? I need to get to the bottom of this, I have zero proof of anything.

I dont know if he is currently in any sort of affair with sally. But I'm sure that there was something going on between them not long before H met me. And he's gone and deleted the facebook messages that likely had some proof in them. And I can't retrieve them. So basically it's just his word against mine.

@Catas1,

The gaslighting technique is a way to control the moment in the relationship, to stop the conflict, to ease some anxiety and feel “in charge” again. It’s a way for someone to deflect responsibility and to tear down someone else, all the while keeping the other person hooked, especially if what they are hooked on is the desperate need to please another person — or prove that person wrong. In your specific instance, your husband is gaslighting you to stay in control of his affair and also keep you hooked--because he wants to have his cake (you) and eat it too (Sally). He knows that adultery is wrong, so he is trying to deflect responsibility from the choices he has made to you...he is committing at least emotional adultery because you are so insecure and paranoid. See how that deflects from HIM and HIS ACTIONS (and choices) to you? He's also gaslighting to tear you down and make you second-guess yourself, because if you question your own self, maybe you'll quit.

So now that you know he is gaslighting you, let's look at the infidelity. First, I suggest that you call it what it is so that there is no nice euphamism to make it sounds better: he is committing adultery, if not physically, then at least emotionally. Second, I suggest that you strengthen in your mind what IS and IS NOT adultery. Here's why: many people sort of take the stance of "How far can I go before it crosses the line and it's infidelity?" or "Where is the line between friendship and emotional affair?" as if the idea is to go just as far as you can go but not quite cross the line. If you take that tactic, then you and your husband will obviously argue about "where the line is" and his definition of the line will move almost daily because every day he crosses more and more and more of the line because he wants the good feeling! So instead of looking at it like "How close can I get before I cross the line?" I recommend thinking of it like "What is FAITHFULNESS? What would fidelity look like? How would I define 'forsaking all others'?" Here's my definition: "Faithfulness is giving 100% of your affection, loyalty, and companionship to your spouse." Now, I realize that people have parents, siblings, and children whom they will love--but the love between spouses is affection that is different than the familial affection. So 100% of marital/romantic/intimate affection goes to the spouse and that means 0% is left to give to any other person, male or female! 100% of loyalty/allegiance/devotion goes to the spouse and that means 0% is left to give to any other person! And likewise 100% of companionship/togetherness/camaraderie goes to the spouse and that means 0% is left to give to any other person!

So it's not just your word against his. Both of you made a vow, which is a sacred promise before your deity and your family and your friends that you would forsake all others (or words to that effect). That means 100% of his affection, loyalty and companionship has been promised TO YOU and to no other. He is giving some percentage of his affection to Sally because given the option of pleasing you or pleasing her, he is pleasing HER. He is giving some percentage of his loyalty to Sally because given the option of being devoted to the spouse to whom he promised it, or "a friend"...he is giving his devotion to the friend! He is giving some percentage of his companionship to Sally because he is maintaining the "friendship" at the cost of the marriage!

So to combat his gaslighting here are some steps:

1) Recognize what drives the behavior. Gaslighters don’t have a strong sense of self and have to feel 'right' all the time, or else they feel threatened. Gaslighting is a way to control the moment in the relationship, to stop the conflict, to ease some anxiety and feel “in charge” again. It’s a way for someone to deflect responsibility and to tear down someone else, all the while keeping the other person hooked, especially if what they are hooked on is the desperate need to please another person — or prove that person wrong. So just remind yourself that a gaslighter is a person too, who is wounded and learned poor coping techniques--they are a fellow human being, but they are indeed gaslighting. Name it!

2) React to their gaslighting the right way. Remember, arguing with a gaslighter is a losing strategy. Defensive behavior is their fuel, and they'll respond to you by saying that you’re being hysterical, acting crazy, or other inflaming, frustrating statements. The more you try to defend yourself, the more they gaslight. So, instead of digging in your heels, tell your husband that while you hear him, what he's saying is not your experience. One of my favorite phrases is: "I hear that you think/feel ___ but my opinion differs greatly." In your instance, when he tells you that you are insecure and paranoid, use the phrase "I hear that you are suggesting I am not secure or not trusting, but that is not my experience and I disagree with you entirely." The end.

3) Don't second-guess yourself. Gaslighting works in part by wearing you down. So be aware of when you begin to doubt what your gut tells you is true and real. It can be helpful to ask yourself the question, "What do I really believe is going on?" as opposed to "What am I being pressured to believe?” You may also find it helpful to jot down notes or keep a journal. Write down your conversation in a journal so you can take an objective look at it. Where is the conversation veering off from reality into the other person’s view? Look for signs of repeated denial of your experience. If you're second-guessing what you know deep down is reality, check in with a friend who can back you up. Ask them if you seem like yourself and do a reality check on your spouse’s behavior. Ask them to be brutally honest.

4) Seek help if the gaslighting continues. Individual counseling (IC) will help you determine your next steps, from working to repair the relationship to leaving it. IC can also be a confidence builder. Gaslighters will erode your self-esteem; therapy can be very helpful in rebuilding it.

5) Get out—and don't look back. You tried to address the behavior, but the gaslighter hasn't made an effort to change--or in your instance, you tried to address your husband's affair but he refuses to end it AND he continues to gaslight you. A marriage can not survive adultery. At this point, the only solution is to split; an emotionally abusive relationship is an unhealthy one. Unfortunately, calling it quits with a gaslighter is not easy. Often, gaslighters ramp up their behaviors when things come to an emotional head, as they so frequently do during a breakup, so just skip explanations and exhaustive conversations. You’re wasting your energy if you’re looking for them to take responsibility or acknowledge or validate anything that you’re saying. Instead, state simply, clearly, and definitively that you want to end the relationship. After the breakup...complete radio silence: block your gaslighter’s phone number, ignore calls from unknown numbers, and delete emails unread.
 

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So I confronted him and now he is gas lighting me. Telling me that my paranoia and insecurities will drive him away and that I need help.

How do you deal with it when someone is gas lighting you?? I need to get to the bottom of this, I have zero proof of anything.

I dont know if he is currently in any sort of affair with sally. But I'm sure that there was something going on between them not long before H met me. And he's gone and deleted the facebook messages that likely had some proof in them. And I can't retrieve them. So basically it's just his word against mine.


Do you need to prove the affair to leave him?
 

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@Catas1 Been there, done that! But from the position of your husband.

I had a good, safe, female friend. However, it transpired that she wasn't too good, nor was she particularly safe. She really wanted me to be a father to her twin boys.

And as I am already married, I said "no thank you!" and ran away, quick.
 

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@Catas1 it's perfectly ok if you do need concrete proof of an affair to call it quits. Some people need it, some people don't. There's no carte blanche right or wrong answer--it's whatever is right for you.
If you need definitive proof, why don't you hire a PI to check into him/her for a bit?
 

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Discussion Starter #88
AN UPDATE..

I packed a couple of bags and came to my parents home yesterday. H contacted my older sister, he told her of what's gone on and asked if she could help. I've spoken to my sister and told her my side of the story (also a side note here) my sister met Sally once. Back in the summer I was hospitalised for a week and Sally visited me, my sister was also there. When Sally left my sisters reaction was like 'who even is this girl? I get bad vibes from her... she seems pretentious and fake'. That was her judgement without me even saying anything about Sally.

So my point is I'm sort of glad H got my sister involved and the fact that she has met the girl and is not going in blind. After telling my sister everything, she said well H has a lot of questions that he NEEDS to give answers to. Usually my sister tries to be fair and unbiased but is also a very straight talker and will tell you when you're in the wrong. So it seems that the 3 of us will be sitting down at some point to talk this out. Possibly on wednesday.

There maybe some of you that will comment saying that a 3rd person shouldn't have to get involved. Whilst I do agree with that and I'm the kind of person that will always keep my marital issues to myself... I do find sometimes its beneficial to get someone else's perspective. Also it's the norm in my culture/community to have a 3rd person, an elder to try and mediate between a couple before they call it quits.
 

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AN UPDATE..

I packed a couple of bags and came to my parents home yesterday. H contacted my older sister, he told her of what's gone on and asked if she could help. I've spoken to my sister and told her my side of the story (also a side note here) my sister met Sally once. Back in the summer I was hospitalised for a week and Sally visited me, my sister was also there. When Sally left my sisters reaction was like 'who even is this girl? I get bad vibes from her... she seems pretentious and fake'. That was her judgement without me even saying anything about Sally.

So my point is I'm sort of glad H got my sister involved and the fact that she has met the girl and is not going in blind. After telling my sister everything, she said well H has a lot of questions that he NEEDS to give answers to. Usually my sister tries to be fair and unbiased but is also a very straight talker and will tell you when you're in the wrong. So it seems that the 3 of us will be sitting down at some point to talk this out. Possibly on wednesday.

There maybe some of you that will comment saying that a 3rd person shouldn't have to get involved. Whilst I do agree with that and I'm the kind of person that will always keep my marital issues to myself... I do find sometimes its beneficial to get someone else's perspective. Also it's the norm in my culture/community to have a 3rd person, an elder to try and mediate between a couple before they call it quits.
You’re husband is a gaslighting bully and despite your decision to leave I still get the impression that he intimidates you. So yes, it is a good idea to have your sister present and don’t let him tell you different.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
@Affaircare

Wow thank you for your post. It has really helped. I will probably keep re reading that anytime I start to doubt myself. I've been the victim of emotional abuse & gaslighting before and although you'd think I would come out stronger, I still find myself questioning and doubting myself at times... I have to keep reminding myself to shake that self doubt.

Also what you said about what is faithfulness? For me a huge part of faithfulness is loyalty. Now let's say for examples sake there was nothing going on at all between H and Sally. When Sally lied and tried to create tension between me and H and then when called out, she shouted at me and disrespected me.. I expected H to fully stand by side, be loyal to me... show some allegiance to me. But instead he chose to tell me that I was being negative and I should forgive and forget. I know 100% if the tables were turned and that was my friend, male or female that disrespected H, we would have a HUGE falling out.

I think this one of the things that actually hurt me the most. Even if things hadn't gotten this far and they weren't having an EA. I was not happy with them being friends.. but he tore me down and made me feel like I was bad person for not forgiving her.

Thank you again for the tips on how to respond to a gaslighter.
 

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Do you need to prove the affair to leave him?
@Catas1 it's perfectly ok if you do need concrete proof of an affair to call it quits. Some people need it, some people don't. There's no carte blanche right or wrong answer--it's whatever is right for you.
Thank you, someone who understands that yes I do need proof. I know what I'm like as a person and I need that for me to make that final - no going back - decision. It's basically having some closure and if I dont get that I know that this will eat at me for a long time.
 

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This is not “he said, she said“ or “his word against mine.”

If someone is treating you like trash, what I or anyone thinks doesn’t matter. I understand family obligations, but you need to be right before anyone else matters. He made his choice so, you make yours and let him feel the consequences. As Andy and Lucy stated, life isn’t a courtroom and actions matter.
 

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The problem is that you may never get definitive proof. If you don’t feel you can leave without it — and you ultimately don’t get it because it doesn’t benefit him to tell you — then you’ll need to figure out a way to live with him as is. That isn’t an easy way to spend your life but many just like you end up there.
 

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I definitely cant afford a PI right now.

And no a VAR hasn't been discussed here yet, is that a recording device?
Yes a VAR is a Voice Activated recorder. You can place them in the car (hidden under the seat) or places where he may take his phone if you are around so that he can talk. Just need to be careful of how you USE the recording (they may be illegal depending on what state you live in).
 
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