I Think My Husband Is Gaslighting Me: I Am Convinced My Husband Is Gaslighting Me

"There's something I need from you...but, I know you probably will mess it up in your delivery."

Imagine for a moment that you are on the receiving end of this. Do you think you would want to even try to deliver? I don't think so, do you?

Chances are if you know partner abuse, you have stumbled on this from both ends. That's right, you heard me. You have probably been on the receiving end of expecting you to mess up before you're out of the gate. And you, too, have communicated the same message to your spouse ("Get ready dear, I'm going to mess up.").

One-Upmanship in Battering Relationships

One-upmanship refers to the implied message that "I know better than you."..."You are deficient in this that comes so natural to me." It says, "No matter what, I assume you will fumble in your delivery because you simply don't have the skill, wisdom...or whatever it takes to pull it off successfully."

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This thinking keeps one party on top and the other on the bottom, never to come together collaboratively...rather, each to remain pigeonholed in their respectful corners.

The declared "winner" in this moment is essentially the controlling party, who already has established the "loser" ranking for the other person. And since we are blessed with getting what we believe, you know what happens from here. Both of you will probably get what you expect.

Partnership in Intimate Relationships

If, on the other hand, I expect you to bring promise and success to the table, than we each can become winners. There is no winner/loser; rather, there is collaboration benefiting both of us. There is communion between us and the accomplishment of something meaningful to both of us.

How Do You Communicate Partnership over One-Upmanship?

Imagine asking for the result you want and holding the belief that it can be forthcoming. Feel the permission and openness of that to inspire whatever is to be, while allowing it to unfold.

The focus remains on "how it can be" rather than "how it probably won't be." And the collaboration builds on this pure positive energy.

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Every marriage experiences good times and bad times. Maybe your marriage is not 'bad', but maybe it is not 'good' either. Middle ground is sometimes the most dangerous place for a marriage to be. A ho-hum relationship will take a turn for the worse more quickly than it will take a turn for the better.

Take some time with your spouse to reminisce about how you first met. Talk about fun dates and mention some of the things that attracted you to your mate. Tell your mate what still attracts you to them. This is a great time to plan your next date night or date weekend. Share a laugh. Remember what you both used to find amusing and bring it up whenever appropriate. Laughing relieves stress that can negatively affect your marriage. So, keep it light!

Compliments. Give your spouse genuine compliments. Recognize and verbalize your spouse's qualities. Tell him/her that you are proud of the accomplishments they have made in their careers. Express your appreciation for the way your spouse helps and cares for the mundane things of life such as, housekeeping, home maintenance, disciplining the children, etc. Whatever good thing they do, do not let it go unacknowledged.

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Express your love in three basic ways: 1) Speak it. Say the words often, people like to hear that they are loved. 2) Show it. Remember the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words." The spoken word should always be backed up by corresponding actions. Send the flowers, cook a favorite dish, don't complain when he/she leaves the cap off of the toothpaste. 3) Touch. Hug your spouse often, hold hands, or cuddle up and watch a good movie. Including all three of these ingredients brings loving and being loved full circle and solidifies your marriage relationship.

Keep up the sexual relations in your marriage. Sometimes you may be tired or stressed, but do not neglect this very intimate physical aspect of your relationship. This is something that only you and your spouse share. You can reminisce with any friend, you can compliment anyone on the street, you can convey love to all of your loved ones, but sex is for you and your mate only!

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I think that the guy driving this car is going to drive me crazy. You see as I write this article I am sitting in the back of a vehicle speeding up the road to go see my family. My brother and his wife just got back from a trip to South Africa. We are going to see their photos and videos. It should be a fun afternoon. They are not the reason I am frustrated.

The reason I am frustrated is because the guy driving the car doesn't know where we are going, yet every time I tell him to make a certain turn or take an exit, he replies "I knew that!" Clearly he didn't know which turns to make but he felt it was necessary to make everyone in the car feel like he did.

Let's take that example and look at ourselves for a minute. Are there times when you feel like you have to know it all? Let's look even deeper, let's look right into your relationship with your spouse. Are there times that you feel you just have to be right? Now this doesn't have to be just in terms of knowing directions to a place, it could be anything.

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Maybe it's about the car, or about how you should fix up the house, or what kind of education your children should receive. I can imagine if you really take a look at your romantic life you will find there are things that you have been less than compromising on. I am not suggesting that you change or violate your core values. What I am saying is that sometimes, in fact most times the disagreement is not worth the lack of harmony you will cause in your home.

Learn how to sit down with your partner and talk about things. When you do I want you to keep these things in mind. Be an active listener. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You are supposed to listen twice as much as talk. Be respectful to their opinions, even if you do not agree with them learn to look at the issue from their point of view. Be more willing to compromise than they are, when you are in a discussion be willing to change your view more than you think they are willing to change theirs. If you follow these three standards you will find that disagreements are far less frequent and when they do happen they are easily resolved.

Now...back to this bossy driver, By the way, he just missed a turn!

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The concept of what marriage is and what it means to people has definitely changed over time and from culture to culture. This brief overview traces how the concept of marriage has changed over the years and varied across cultures.

The concept of marriage varied from culture to culture in ancient times. In the Egyptian culture, marriage was viewed as a special relationship between two people. There were laws protecting the establishment. Although some laws existed protecting the marriage, the same culture allowed for people to marry their brother or sister. The intermarriage of family members allowed for wealth to remain concentrated within a few families. Those few families maintained positions of prominence within ancient Egypt by using this practice.

In the Hebrew culture, laws existed that specified who could not be married with regards to closeness of relationships. Laws forbidding the marriage of close familial relations were established. With the marriage laws were also laws regarding divorce. The institution of marriage was viewed as a covenant based relationship. When people were married, it was supposed to be a life-long blood covenant, rather than a legal formality. Since it was a covenant, the two families were joined as well as the two persons getting married. Given the structure of the laws and culture, monogamy was prevalent. The structure of the marriage laws was such that marriage was encouraged to be limited to those of one's own tribe. Allowances were made and the laws over time were watered down in terms of enforcement of the marriage within one's own tribe. Since the law was written down, it provided for stability for the culture over time, whether or not the people abided by it.

In his book Sex God, the author Rob Bell claims that in ancient Hebrew culture, that to have sexual relations with a person was to be married to them. This idea has been a controversial one passionate debate on both sides of the issue.

In Babylonia, marriage was an arrangement agreed to by legal contract. The prospective bride was put up for bidding. When someone purchased her, a legal contract was written regarding the relationship. When the marriage contract was violated, the husband was expected to pay an early from of alimony as a result of failing to fulfill his contractual obligations.

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In Greek culture, there were laws set up for marriage. Much of the power behind such laws was decided by the parents. The parents made decisions regarding who was to marry who. The wife became part of her husband's family. The marriage relationship was a serious matter, given that Greek culture allowed for justifiable homicide of adulterous lovers. So if a wife had a lover, the husband could and was often expected to publicly kill the lover.

In northern Europe (Germany, Celts, Scandinavians, and Scots) marriage took place either by purchase or by capture. The men in those cultures captured their perspective brides or bought them from people who lived nearby. Within such a culture, polygamy often occurred, when man managed capturing several wives for their collections.

The idea of marriage by capture was also utilized in the early days of Rome. The famous episode known as the capture and rape of the women from the neighboring Sabine tribe by the first generation of Roman men served as the founding event for the city of Rome. The event has been the subject of many works of art. Ironically, the families produced by that episode were viewed as the leading families of nobles in the Roman republic.

By the time that Charlemagne became king, marriage was viewed as a special relationship that required a public ceremony performed by a member of the church. Many people cohabited at that time. It was only the children of the spouse that you married that were considered one's legitimate heirs, with legal claims to the family estate. Children born of other relationships were not given any legal recognition or claims. Charlemagne himself adopted the idea of church approved marriage relationships. He expected those holding prominent positions in his empire to follow the practice.

Over the centuries, there was a legal shift as couples began shying away from church based law in favor of court based law. This shift took the power over divorce from the hands of church courts and transferred it to the government courts. With the shift in which agency handled the divorce, also came a shift in who had the legal authority to condone marriage.

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The influence of Charlemagne remained strong in terms of custom and the church functioning as having the 'stamp of approval' for legitimate marriage continued over the centuries. Even in the early days of the North American frontier, the phrase "I'll make you an honest woman" carried with it the idea of the need for a marriage sanctioned by the church.

One of the changes made by Protestant reformers in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries was the redefinition of marriage in new terms. They not only wanted to allow pastors to marry, they wanted marriage to be removed from the exclusive control of the church. They wanted what had been a religious sacrament changed into a social contract, where religious leaders would participate rather than control. With such changes also came changes in the laws for what constituted marriage and what constituted annulment and divorce. The new grounds for divorce included adultery, impotence, severe incompatibility, polygamy, deception (hiding of previous marriage), or extended desertion. Prior to these changes, there had only been the 'separation from bed and table' rather than the use of divorce.

There were times when the civil government used marriage to accomplish its purposes. Marriage was merely another way governments controlled the citizenry. In 18th century Scotland, for instance, a perspective groom had to obtain permission from a government agent prior to being allowed to marry. Such practices were instituted as part of the 'highland clearances' as part of the government's policy to limit the size of the population. In this instance the government permission to marry was used as a way for the government to control the population.

Although the idea of the need for marriages to be sanctioned by the church persisted through the ages, the idea of limitations of who one could marry was often ignored. It is common to see first and second cousins intermarry through the 19th century.

Another change in the definition of marriage occurred in the 19th century. Some of the early thinkers in the women's rights movement began viewing marriage as 'domestic bondage'. The idea of wives as property had been used as their foundation. This was also the time of abolitionists as well. The two groups often worked together in their efforts at attacking the issue of bondage in the form of slavery and marriage.

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The argument of the abolitionist and women's rights was a strong one in terms of how the courts often treated women when it came to marriage. When marriage was taken out of the church based context of a covenant relationship, it became corrupted into a form of domestic servitude that bordered on bondage. In some cultures, marriage continues being forced, or used as a type of sexual or debt related bondage.

In the 19th century, there was a growing trend of people to avoid the church sanctioned marriage in preference to being married by a non-church government authority. There were many changes going on in society along with a lack of ministers in some communities. With such changes, marriage evolved into more of a legally defined relationship rather than a church approved relationship.

In some parts of the country, couples would go to the local authority and 'apply' for a marriage license. This was a common practice for couples whose spouses were of different races or who were not living lives approved of by the local church. Part of the application process required a 'contract' of marriage. The purpose of such contracts was to 'legitimize' their offspring so that the children would have all the rights associated with the estate. When the parents died, the children had the right to 'inherit' going back to them being declared legally legitimate. This was often done with common law marriages so that estates and property would go down to their children who were now the legitimate heirs.

The modern definition of marriage is the product of centuries of change in custom and law. The idea of what is marriage and who can is eligible to marry have changed over time. They also vary with culture and religion as well. The definition of marriage has been shaped by religious and governmental laws. Such laws often serve to protect the parties, their offspring and property acquired during the time of marriage. Although the consideration of property laws and divorce laws seem harsh, they have been major factors in defining what marriage is. Although the modern definition of marriage has one definition in the court room, there is still a wide range of opinions among couples.

Now Listen Carefully-

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