Possible Emotional Abuse but Unsure . . .

Feb 2021
1
0
Utah
Hi guys. I've been married for 11 years, and in the past 6 weeks or so have been coming to the slow realization that my husband might be emotionally abusing me, or at the very least, gaslighting and manipulating me. But everything I've been reading about emotionally abusive people talks about how their actions are very deliberate. They WANT you not to trust yourself, they WANT to have control over you. But that's not my situation. I genuinely don't think my husband understands what he's doing. Now that I've been pointing it out to him when he does it in our conversations and interactions, he is genuinely confused, and then explains why what he's saying or doing makes perfect logical sense, regardless of how it makes me feel.
I could go on and on with examples from the last 11 years that are just now registering in my mind as "not normal". How he's made me doubt my reality, devalued me and what I think, and twisted reality so that it fits what makes sense to him. But he's never verbally abusive, angry, violent, or openly controlling.
For example, he would never come out and say "you can't/shouldn't have a relationship with your family." But he would however say "Why do you need to be close with your family? It makes me feel bad. I don't need anyone in my life besides you. Why do you need other people?" and me, being naive and empathetic, would comply because I thought he was right and I was wrong.
Or he would never force me to do anything sexually, but when I expressed that it made me uncomfortable that he would repeatedly just grope me while I was doing the dishes or sitting on the couch, without even asking if I wanted him to, he would get his feelings hurt and make me feel like it was a normal part of a relationship and that I just needed to get used to it.
The list goes on and on of examples like this. My question is, is this still considered emotional abuse? Or is it just a bad combination of him having strong opinions and me being naive and not knowing my boundaries or what's appropriate?
Recently there have been some other HUGE red flags that have surfaced, things he's been lying about and hiding from me (like him filming us having sex, or lying about money). But for now I'm just trying to put words to this emotional abuse or misuse or whatever it is that I've been feeling for so long. Help me understand this!!!!!
 
Mar 2021
18
1
Somewhere in the world we know
I'm an engineering student in my 20s , who just joined this forum recently to understand psychology better.
just thought you should know who the information is coming from.

Lady, your spider senses are onto something. There ain't nobody who should be allowed to devalue someone. If someone proclaims feelings for the other, but does not respect them and their boundaries, what's the point of love then? which is supposed to be built on mutual trust and respect.

You say he truly doesn't know that what he does is wrong. I believe you. Even then, psychologically speaking, he is quite likely very stubborn not to understand that in 11 years!

And about that "him twisting reality" bit , to me it echoes of self-delusion and manipulation.
Is it possible that this person you're with had some mysterious vibe to him? which is what intrigued you in the first place?
I'm asking because generally, i find that manipulative people tend to have that sorta aura.

feelings hurt? like would he tell you he's hurt or act like he's hurt? how obvious is it and does he try to hide it?
i don't mean to bombard you with questions , just honestly trying to assess the situation to the best of my understanding.
Also writing after reading every few lines and then replying to each individually, so the sentence might seem.. abrupt.

something tells me he's not very close with his family..

I think both people need to understand that they are two whole separate individuals who live together. There is no such thing as " you complete me" or "you're my other half". His needs and your needs are different. They are not and cannot be duplicates of the other.

Also you should know that I'm not in a relationship nor do i know stuff about that. However, I am sure of what I have stated above because it means that you are already whole and complete on your own. You want to be with someone, that's cool. But if you "need" to be with someone? that requires some dependency and being dependent on someone means (italics for emphasis) that you have handed some power over to that someone.

about your question : In my eyes, yes it is emotional abuse, whether he admits to himself that he does that or not. Not to worry you, but the term "groping" technically does fall under "physical assault". Emotional abuse tends to be more subtle looking than most other forms of abuse, but if you have been feeling it then chances are your instincts were right all along. Learn to trust and depend on your self before any other person. You are likely smart and cool-minded. You can assess your situation on your own ( though i appreciate that you shared this post, God knows who's going through similar stuff but isn't reaching out at all)

I'm not implying he's a bad person, i can't/don't know enough to say that. However some his actions seem very inappropriate and I urge you take a stand for yourself. Compassion will not help you here!

And I don't know if confronting him will work.I have a vague feeling he is insecure in some way. Like he's afraid of something. Could be that he worries of about you two staying together (which isn't necessarily romantic), could also be fear of being "the problem", which could possibly explain why he's on autopilot to deny any wrong he does. Hence the ego is linked, as it so often is when insecurity is involved. Whether the family background was stable and nurturing or not, tends to contribute to self-esteem related issues.

God. It's gone over a page! I just hope there's something in this jungle of words that might be of some use to you. My apologies if i said something wrong or missed something. That's not what i intended. No deluding involved.

I pray that The Highest Power helps sort things out among you, shows you the truth and give you peace.
Noticed it's been a month since your thread started. Keep us updated, Okay?

Regards,
 
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