Framing the Official Relationship History

The half of the couple who is in charge, is the one who gets to take the official meeting minutes of the relationship. As long as the relationship is going well, this isn’t a concern because the official meeting minutes reflect the happy harmony of the relationship.

But on the rare occasions the relationship has some minor points of interpersonal discussion, requiring greater thought as to the structural situations in which the happy couple periodically finds itself at sub-optimal levels of unification on a temporary issue, the official meeting minutes of the relationship, become an important resource to clarify the memories of prior statements of mutual agreement, to the appropriate course of action for exactly the circumstances in which discussion wishes to take place and as the matter has already been settled before the present point of time, this entire debate amounts to a potentially offensive reopening of a closed matter, as the expectation remains that talks made in good faith will be honored and not discarded on a whim, especially when additional plans have already been made with outside parties and costs borne predicated on the original agreement, thus it remains not only a reasonable expectation that the plans of action unfolds as mutually intended and agreed upon, it is in fact going to be damaging to attempt to not proceed and therefore is doubly justified as the only possible thing to do at present.

Or perhaps put more plainly…

“We’ve already talked about this. You agreed that I could have a weekend away with the girls, you can’t change your mind on me now, I’ve already got plane tickets and booked the hotel.”

“I didn’t think you were going to Vegas though, you said it was the beach house.”

“What? No! You agreed that I could have a weekend away with the girls. The beach house was only one idea of a possible place. We decided on Vegas as a group after that.”

“I don’t think that’s how it happened, you said the beach house.”

“Okay, well now we have this problem again where you can’t remember conversations we’ve had. You don’t pay attention. I have to remember everything, and I clearly remember that you agreed I could have a weekend away with the girls.”

As you can see, if she controls the official meeting minutes of the relationship, she gets to be the one that remembers the relationship correctly. Which means she controls the entire frame of the relationship history. Which means if she’s fallen out of love with you, your entire relationship will be rewritten to frame you as some loser she was putting up with and her as the long suffering spouse. Thus explaining, when driven to the breaking point, the need to seek solace in the arms of another.

This mind control tactic is called Gaslighting.  And yes of course men can do the same thing to women too. I’ve seen victims of both sexes come stumbling onto the forum with having experienced Cardassian levels of mental conditioning.


If there is a patron saint of hamster, it’s Sir Humphrey…

Jennifer:  It’s nice to be Athol’s editor and ensure his postings are officially official.



  1. Arlequin says:

    “Jennifer: It’s nice to be Athol’s editor and ensure his postings are officially official.”

    You go girl, KICK HIS ASS!

    Actually, I had no idea that was what gaslighting was. I’ve seen the term, but never knew the definition.

    Thanks for the clarification, Athol. I, too, am a victim.

    (Probably an abuser, too. You’ve always told me I’m an abuser, you know you have…)

  2. Wow. I didn’t know there was such a term and I’ve failed to realize how abusive it is! My wife does this to me constantly. I have a terrible memory when it comes to small details and she knows it and always switching them up to gain advantage. Next time she does it I have a nice term to refer to, to call her out on the bs.

  3. Thank you Athol!

  4. How should gaslighting be handled? Is the long term solution for this to run the MAP?

    Are there other or short term ways of effectively combating this?

    I have read that keeping a journal is one way of dealing with this, but is sucks to have to go to such measures with someone who is supposed to be your wife/FO/trusted partner (Is this just more bitterness of the red pill?). This is one way the FO analogy does seem to totally fit. A real FO trying this could be court marshaled.

  5. I’ve never done this! *angel wings*

  6. alphaguy says:

    In the book, “Hold on to your N.U.T.S.”, #7 on the list of tools is LISTENING. I was the same way, I didn’t listen to my wife and I almost got a divorce over it. She used to say the screen saver would come up and she could see my eyes glaze over. Not only do you have to listen, but remember. Not everything, but at least important stuff. If you have trouble remembering, keep a journal of your conversations. Not listening is such a Nice Guy thing and if you want to take control of your relationship, listen to her. Look her directly in the eyes and remember what she is talking about…

  7. Arlequin says:

    Unless you are dealing with someone who is purposely, deliberately, evilly trying to be manipulative, I think gas lighting is just a standard Hamster Attack that needs to be parried with a standard reply of, “BULLSHIT!”

  8. Jack Schitz says:

    If someone start gaslighting you should quickly move off the detail that they are hanging on and make it about the bigger issue. E.G.:

    Her: “But you agreed I could have a weekend away with the girls”

    You: “You’re right, but you should be smart enough to understand that a weekend in Vegas is a qualitatively different thing than a weekend at the beach house so at best you were withholding relevant information when we last had our previous discussion. But now this is really beside the point as we have a bigger issue than just your going to Vegas.
    (pause with a look like you are thinking}
    Look we are both adults and you don’t need my permission to do whatever you want.”
    {shrug your shoulders get up and leave – if she goes now you have permission to do whatever you want – don’t even bother asking}

    Long story short – don’t get tied up in the he said, she said details. It obscures the true nature of the argument and you’ll never resolve the minor insignificant detail. Go to the heart of the point.

  9. Milf-in-Training says:

    Gaslighting can be obvious or very subtle. I should know … I was a victim for many years.

    Obvious: “We haven’t had sex for months” “We had sex 3 weeks ago”
    Subtle: “Wife, you’re not initiating (in a way I like) … you must be asexual.”

    Gaslighting can be really hard to detect, if done intentionally. The best way to counter it is to have a group of good friends who will tell you the truth and reinforce your memories.

  10. A problem I have often had is we were both keeping minutes, whcih were totally different.
    (She: I tired to make him jealous, but he wasn’t
    Me: Shed fell in love with another man.), for example.

  11. when my wife realized I was making marks on the calendar to remind myself how long it was between occurrences, she decided more marks needed to be added – of course for times that never happened.

  12. X1134x, wow that’s downright evil. Mine usually does it to get something she wants. Ive just decided next time she does anything out of line im just gonna say, “please stop” as calmly as possible and go about my business…it’s gotten to the point she’s effecting my health and I can’t do it anymore. Im not getting involved in the nonsense anymore.

  13. Jack Schitz,
    I love it.

  14. Gaslighting tends to be a long time pattern. Both my parents gaslighted me as a kid, and one still tries to do so today. If you are with someone who does this, I’m not sure it is a problem that is easily rectified because it was probably a behavior learned long ago. If I personally thought I was with a partner who was practicing gaslighting, I wouldn’t stay. Thankfully my spouse isn’t like that.

    I think it is more complex an issue of simply who the relationship historian is. It really is more than a he said-she said dynamic. A person who gaslights their spouse probably gaslights others as well. Not only that, the spouse has probably successfully gaslighted already before the behavior is picked up on.

    On the flip side of your example, someone can also not to acknowledge conversations and events that happened as another form of gaslighting.


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