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Thread: Is this controlling and manipulative behaviour?

  1. #1
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    Is this controlling and manipulative behaviour?

    Hi,

    Ok, sometimes I have an awkward clunky way of saying things, sometimes without any acts of compassion.

    Cut story short.

    Girlfriend says - "I slept really bad last night, I am such a light sleeper, you wake me up a lot"

    Ok..well I suffer from some mild sleep twitches, however I am aware I am often awake if I turn over for example and she doesn't make a sound (she sounds asleep), and often she snores....

    So I said "I think you are capable of sleeping deeper than you think..eg I had a mild nightmare last night and you didn't stir etc" and I pass on my observations about how I feel she is sleeping deeper.

    This may be I feel an awkward way of providing reassurance that it might not be as bad as you think, based on what I can see/hear/feel 3ft away. I am also of my own volition happy to sleep in a separate room. I also hugged her and said ah sorry to hear before I gave this response..

    She was not happy with that response of mine saying it came across as manipulative and controlling and is exasperated that I can't see that it is...

    I am afraid I can't yet, I am ready too if it is,,but I am a bit lost on this one. Yes I could have done a better job on my response....but..your thoughts?

    G&O

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    On that isolated instance I don't feel it was manipulative or controlling. Maybe you shouldn't have minimised how she felt and should've taken her complaint seriously. Probably a lack of communication skills on this one. But I don't see manipulative or controlling in this particular instance. Has she complained of you being manipulative and controlling on other instances? Do you think you are so in other instances?

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    All you can do is stop sleeping at her house. Also consider getting her a HEPA filter or something that improves the air quality, sleep environment and provides some "white noise" so you don't have to tell her "she's snoring". Get treatment for your restless leg symptoms/parasomnias/insomnia and do not drink alcohol before going to bed. It sounds like you could both do a lot more regarding your respective health issues (snoring, twitches, insomnia etc) and a lot more regarding better sleep hygiene and a better sleep environment.
    Originally Posted by ginandolive
    Girlfriend says - "I slept really bad last night, I am such a light sleeper, you wake me up a lot"

    I suffer from some mild sleep twitches, however I am aware I am often awake if I turn over for example and she doesn't make a sound and often she snores....

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    I don’t think it was manipulative and controlling (unless it’s part of a bigger picture) but I do think it was dismissive and... kind of weird...?

    If you do this a lot, maybe she sees it as gaslighting? (telling someone things are different than they are in order to get them to question their sanity, etc)

    She is really the only one who knows if she is sleeping properly. Even if there are “moments” where she appears to be sleeping well - it doesn’t mean she is sleeping well for the full 8 hours... It IS weird that you would dismiss her experience? I mean... she’s either tired in the morning or she is not? It’s not really a subjective thing that you can have an opinion on...

    Have you been dating long? Do you sleep next to each other regularly? I do think this is somewhat normal in a new relationship or one where you don’t regularly sleep next to each other. It takes quite a while to get accustomed to a new person (at least for me) and all their twitches and noises and heat and stuff.

    Sleep IS important, though. It can affect your moods, your patience levels and your health. You can only go without proper sleep for so long.

    I think that rather than dismissing her experience, you should believe her and look for solutions to the problem together. Denying there is a problem will not make it go away or suddenly make her wake up and feel refreshed...

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I don't think it's horrible, but it doesn't really make any sense to discount someone else's experience. That's the perfect way to make them angry. I'd apologize and suggest that she awaken you if you get too restless.

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    Originally Posted by RedDress
    I don’t think it was manipulative and controlling (unless it’s part of a bigger picture) but I do think it was dismissive and... kind of weird...?

    If you do this a lot, maybe she sees it as gaslighting? (telling someone things are different than they are in order to get them to question their sanity, etc)

    She is really the only one who knows if she is sleeping properly. Even if there are “moments” where she appears to be sleeping well - it doesn’t mean she is sleeping well for the full 8 hours... It IS weird that you would dismiss her experience? I mean... she’s either tired in the morning or she is not? It’s not really a subjective thing that you can have an opinion on...

    Have you been dating long? Do you sleep next to each other regularly? I do think this is somewhat normal in a new relationship or one where you don’t regularly sleep next to each other. It takes quite a while to get accustomed to a new person (at least for me) and all their twitches and noises and heat and stuff.

    Sleep IS important, though. It can affect your moods, your patience levels and your health. You can only go without proper sleep for so long.

    I think that rather than dismissing her experience, you should believe her and look for solutions to the problem together. Denying there is a problem will not make it go away or suddenly make her wake up and feel refreshed...
    Dismissive / weird ? Agree, it's why I said it's awkward

    Gaslighting? Interesting one, aware of the term, however it's my awkward dismissive way of saying that the situation she faces might, and I stress might, be better than she thinks. A strange way of reassurance. If I was deliberately interfering with her sleep (akin to turning the gas lights on and off) and then making her question her sanity, then yeah I would accept this..

    Believe in her and look for solutions together, that's the answer. Loved your response..

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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    I don't think it's horrible, but it doesn't really make any sense to discount someone else's experience. That's the perfect way to make them angry. I'd apologize and suggest that she awaken you if you get too restless.
    I did apologise at the same, and have offered to sleep elsewhere in advance....

    1 hour later, we revisited it all again, which escalated, which led to the "manipulation/controlling statement"...

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    This is the best idea. It's her house and you are complaining about sleeping with her. She snores, she doesn't know whether she is being awoken by you etc.
    Originally Posted by ginandolive
    I did apologise at the same, and have offered to sleep elsewhere

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    Originally Posted by ginandolive
    Gaslighting? Interesting one, aware of the term, however it's my awkward dismissive way of saying that the situation she faces might, and I stress might, be better than she thinks. A strange way of reassurance. If I was deliberately interfering with her sleep (akin to turning the gas lights on and off) and then making her question her sanity, then yeah I would accept this..
    While I agree with you that it’s not really gaslighting - if the relationship is important to you - I would try not to get hung up on the words and look to the sentiment. You don’t want to get into the cycle of “right” fighting.

    People often don’t accurately describe their feelings. (I know I don’t!)

    The sentiment that she is trying to convey is “don’t try to tell me I’m sleeping well when I’m not!”

    We are calling it “dismissive”. She is calling it “controlling/manipulative”. We can all call it what we want but at the end of the day it’s “not nice”. (I know that wasn’t your intent, but that’s what it ended up being).

    If she is seeing a pattern, though, she’s probably throwing this on the heap.

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    Originally Posted by RedDress
    While I agree with you that it’s not really gaslighting - if the relationship is important to you - I would try not to get hung up on the words and look to the sentiment. You don’t want to get into the cycle of “right” fighting.

    People often don’t accurately describe their feelings. (I know I don’t!)

    The sentiment that she is trying to convey is “don’t try to tell me I’m sleeping well when I’m not!”

    We are calling it “dismissive”. She is calling it “controlling/manipulative”. We can all call it what we want but at the end of the day it’s “not nice”. (I know that wasn’t your intent, but that’s what it ended up being).

    If she is seeing a pattern, though, she’s probably throwing this on the heap.
    Problem with me is that I am too literal. turn the tables. If I had felt I had not slept all night, and then someone said I was snoring - I would be a) relieved for myself as maybe it's not as bad as I thought, I did actually have some sleep instead of worrying I haven't had any...and b) feel bad for the person I was keeping up...thing is we are all different and just because I act that way, I can't expect her too..

    I agree it was dismissive. And yes, if I keep on doing it then it starts to become more serious. What I struggle with, is that we both should not have not revisited/escalted after my apology/compassion, which WAS there amongst my weird dismissive reply.

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