“Manipulation is when they blame you for your reaction to their disrespect,” via peacefulmindpeacefullife. Shortly after the argument about my husband’s true feelings, we discussed whether or not that was the truth. It was actually a really good conversation. We were both level and calm and discussing what happened and what it meant. But there was a point where I could see he literally didn’t understand why I was so upset. He didn’t see any correlation between what he said and how I felt. I know that we shouldn’t allow people to have that much control over our emotions, but it’s inevitable when you have a long standing relationship. It also feels like a lie because when you’re together, all seems fine. But then a comment is made and suddenly that veil slips a bit. Now you don’t know up from down.
This go around was different in that I would not let my husband feign innocence in this. He was absolutely trying to manipulate me into believing that it was only in my head and that he didn’t mean anything. That it was me putting meaning on things that weren’t there. To that I say actions speak louder than words. You’re telling me you really don’t believe what you said—but you said it. You spend your time with friends and they call their wives to check in and you didn’t call me in spite of being an ass the day before. The wives didn’t invite me with them because I have a young kid and one of them really can’t stand that. That isn’t me imagining being excluded—that is me being excluded. And then to tell me that I’m imagining things or that I shouldn’t feel that way—that is manipulation and gaslighting.
I will fully acknowledge my sensitivity has been on high—I’ve been talking about that for a while now. I really even tried to take it on and chalk it up to my ego. Like, oh damn, here we go again, not being invited to the party…yet they all want my help when they need something. The rest of the time is all making fun of me and poking the bear and saying I’m sensitive with no accounting for their actions and words. The truth is you can’t waddle like a duck and quack like a duck and tell me you’re not a duck. Don’t insult my intelligence like that. You don’t have to like me. But don’t treat me like crap and then blame me for shutting down or feeling disrespected and then calling you on it.
We all deserve respect and if we aren’t getting the bare minimum in any relationship, it’s time to move on. Yes, you need to make the distinction between actual disrespect and something else. The intention behind it is huge. Watching someone make a choice to hurt you when you’ve clearly expressed boundaries and concern about it is the epitome of disrespect. That isn’t funny and that isn’t something that needs to be tolerated. Someone exposing your vulnerabilities to the group for a laugh is disrespect. Intentionally hiding your real purpose with someone and then saying they’re crazy for being upset is disrespect. No one needs to stick around for that. No one deserves that. And you are NOT crazy. So be who you are and walk away when needed. You will find your tribe.