Is my ex gaslighting?

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  • #21133 Report


    Hi everyone,

    just wondering if anyone can offer any advice on gaslighting. I think my ex is doing this to me… but I’m not sure.

    Throughout our marriage, whenever we had an argument or I got upset about his behaviour, he would twist things and make me feel as if it was my mental health issues causing me to feel the way I did. To the point where I felt like I might be going mad and imagining everything.

    Now we are (almost) divorced, he’s still doing the same thing. For example, last weekend, he took our 2 daughters to his girlfriend’s parents house. No problems there. However,  when the girls came back to me on Monday, it came out that his GF’s mum had called his GF their mum (as in, ‘go and tell your mam and dad lunch is ready’). My eldest corrected her immediately but both girls were distressed by having been put in this position. I deliberated over how to deal with this for a few days and finally emailed my ex tonight saying that it was unfair for our children to be made to feel anxious about something like this, not to mention confusing for them. His response was, I have made this up, he knows nothing about it, why am I putting our children through this ‘nonsense’, I’m dramatising everything… he does this whenever I have an issue with his behaviour or the way he treats either myself or the girls.

    Added to this the fact that our youngest requires Movicol for chronic constipation but he refuses to give her it, saying that I’m making her reliant on it and that I make it worse. He’s not a doctor…! But seems to think he knows better than the medical professionals who have treated our daughter. When she doesn’t get the meds, she gets horrendous stomach cramps and she’s started to become very upset whenever she has to go to her dad’s because she says he shouts at her as she sometimes spoils herself (poo bypassing the blockages that build up when she doesn’t have her meds).

    We are in court soon to deal with residency of the girls and I’m terrified that he’s going to spin everything to make me look like a lunatic. Does anyone have any experience of this kind of situation? Am I overreacting?

    #21135 Report


    Yes, this is exactly how I’d describe gaslighting.

    I would suggest you keep a record of all that is said both for your own sake but also in case you are asked about it in future, especially the part about refusing treatment of your daughter.

    It is manipulative and cruel and the kids should never be used as tools for leverage..and certainly not be refused prescribed medication.

    Just be careful who you contact, what is said and how, because you highlighted a potential child safety and wellbeing issue there in my book, and with a combination of you doing that and whatever he is saying about you it could trigger a very unpleasant situation indeed if their welfare is not considered.

    Where he has got the concern about movicol is from the warning on the leaflet.  If you were to take any medication and read every potential side effect, nobody would take anything.  It’s always a weighed and calculated risk…sometimes there is no ideal, it’s the lesser evil especially if my guess is right about your daughter’s illness being IBD related.  If so then not taking treatment has a greater impact than taking it due to increased risks of other diseases due to chronic inflamation and repeated scarring.  For this specific issue I would raise the concern with the GP and ask for a letter to be sent to her father to highlight the need and address the concern.  While not getting involved in the argument the GP’s aim will be for the health and wellbeing of your daughter, and a letter reinforcing the need for medication to her father addressing his concerns is something that you could have a copy of as it could ve addressed to you both but regarding his concern.  This would serve as a record of this and help indicate you highlighted a concern and got professional advice for the care of your daughter due to concern treatment wasnt being given.  It demonstrates you wanting to look after her and follow advice given by a medical proffessional.

    Hope that helps.


    #21150 Report


    Thank you both for replying.

    I know that if he wasn’t aware about his GFs mum calling GF ‘mammy’ he can’t do anything about it. However shouldn’t my notifying him because of the girls being distressed mean that he takes it seriouy and does not use it against me?!

    Regarding the medication- our little girl has a recognised and diagnosed medical condition which she has been treated for routinely at our local hospital’s children’s outpatients department. It began when she was approximately 14 weeks old- she’s 6 now. How can he argue that medical professionals who are specialists in this area are wrong?

    I never thought about going back to the doctors and asking for them to write to my ex. Thanks for that advice- I will be doing so this week.

    I really appreciate the support and advice- thanks again.

    #21158 Report


    Anytime. Hope it helped…I concur  with Anonymous’ advice too.  Spot on.

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