ohmigod I feel so validated. thank you so much for writing this.
the point when i knew some shit was really wack in my relationship was when he called ME abusive, for saying he was invalidating and gaslighting me. by your definitions, that basically proves itself.
It is amazing to see my relationship dynamic explained by a stranger! thankfully, this was not a dynamic in my entire relationship, JUST in conflicts around non-monogamy. though maybe that was the one place where I would really try to get him to change his behavior.
I would love to talk more about the fucked-up aspects of polyamory culture, if you wanna email me.
two hints for people in these circumstances: by the end I would no longer argue about ‘facts’ or ‘what’s not ok’, because he always had some reason that my feelings were illegitimate. so i ended up just saying “when you do this, it makes me feel rotten. what are you going to do so that I don’t feel rotten?” (the answer was: um, nothing.)
also: having ‘fights’ or difficult discussions over chat or text is REALLY helpful. it gives each person space to react less to the other person, and most importantly, it provides a written record so that when he tells you that you aren’t remembering things correctly, you can go and check. and find out that you’re right. >:/
thanks again, Shea. I am so glad to see this.