May 25, 2021

Season 2 Ep. 15 // Projection and Gaslighting (Pick Your Poison Series)

Season 2 Ep. 15 // Projection and Gaslighting (Pick Your Poison Series)

We are in the third part of our series called "Pick Your Poison".

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Season 2 Ep. 15 // Projection and Gaslighting (Pick Your Poison Series)
Bryan: [00:00:00] Welcome to season two, episode 15 of the amplified marriage podcast. Today we are in part three of our pick your poison series, and we are going to be chatting about projection and gaslighting.
[00:00:57] Welcome to another episode of amplified marriage. I'm Brian, I'm Natalie. So glad that you joined. So whatever you're doing, wherever you are, as you hear say all the time, have a seat, grab a coffee. We are going to have a conversation today.  We are actually continuing into part three of our pick your poison.
[00:01:20] Natalie: [00:01:20] That's right. So if you missed last podcast, Part two, we talked about defensiveness and we talked about stonewalling. So we kind of gave some examples. We dove deep into what each of those mean, I guess would be the right word and then an antidote on how to, on how to deal with defensiveness and stonewalling.
[00:01:42] So if you missed it, go check it out. Right? Every 
[00:01:44] Bryan: [00:01:44] time we do one of these, these episodes, we move into a new topic as we're doing research and kind of. You know, pairing our way through this and studying your way through this. We always look back on our own relationship. And we're like a lot of these cases, like, honestly, for all of you amplified marriage family that had been listening to less as well.
[00:02:02] There's been times that we've actually gotten into arguments before we've had to record a podcast because we disagreed. On something that was said, or the way we were going to say it, or an actually struck a chord. You're like, man, I actually do this. Or she would point out that I would actually do this.
[00:02:18] And I would be like, no. And then I would be like, and a discussion or an argument would ensue sometimes a heated a few times. And we've had to actually come to resolution before we could even record. The thing is about any relationship even before we move on to these next ones. Man, the more we research relationships, the more we study and we prepare.
[00:02:40] And the more that we actually grow as a couple, we're really realizing that. We're not great all the time at this. No. And I don't want you to think ever that as we're, we're doing this, as we're explaining these things, that we just have it all together all the time. Nope. I can tell you the first, however, many years, 10 years, 12 years of marriage, it was not together all the time and still not, and still not together all together all the time.
[00:03:06] What I will say is that now it's healthy. And in most ways, I would say that we're healthy, we're moving forward, we're in a good place. We're able to talk about our dreams and talk about our future and, you know, pray things through together. There was a time where we just couldn't do any of 
[00:03:24] Natalie: [00:03:24] that. No.
[00:03:26] And it seemed super bleak, right? Like there was no the support system. Remember what we've said in several podcasts that it was kind of a taboo thing to seek professional help, right. Where we sitting at this platform. Are advocating for professional help because it's so important it's it has helped.
[00:03:45] And I kick myself now for not having done it sooner. 
[00:03:49] Bryan: [00:03:49] Right. And a lot of what we, we even talk about and the things that we're going to go into and the people that we want to bring on later it's because we want to be able to, to take things that may seem normal to you because that's the way you're living your life and realize that not everything is normal.
[00:04:05] And, or not everything that you're doing has to stay that way. And I think that was the big thing that we, we had to fight through. And a lot of times, like you said, without help, we just did it on her own. And I, I regret that up until a certain point. And then I had people around me and we had help. And then we've seen counselors and we've sat down and just discuss things through.
[00:04:27] But whatever we tell you, we want you to realize that there is hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is. Joy that can come from your relationship. There is peace. There is resolution to these things that conflict doesn't have to be your primary mode of communication 
[00:04:44] Natalie: [00:04:44] and there's there's help available.
[00:04:46] And I mean, for us, like we were even just talking about this fact today that when we got married, like, We didn't have the internet that, that we have today. We didn't have the resources of being able to just, Hey, Google search this, or search this topic or that topic, or having, you know, psychologists' reports.
[00:05:06] I mean, we had to go to the library and we had to like pick books up and there was no online capabilities back then. So, I mean, if you wanted to spend your time reading books, which we didn't. And we certainly didn't want to fall under the stigma of needing professional help. So we just kind of winged it on our own.
[00:05:25] And I highly do not recommend that. 
[00:05:29] Bryan: [00:05:29] So as we move forward into the next two topics, which we have said are, we've kind of held them a little bit close to our chest it's projection and gaslighting, and 
[00:05:38] Natalie: [00:05:38] these are. These 
[00:05:40] Bryan: [00:05:40] are going to be interesting ones. There are two major tactics. There are two major relationship breakdown, things that can actually lead to divorce.
[00:05:49] Just like any of these other ones we've been talking about, but they can lead to divorce. They are poison and they need to be dealt with now. We're going to start with projection. And this really is, this is the definition of it is the act of placing unacceptable feelings or unacceptable wants, or desires onto another person.
[00:06:07] And the example is that is a person who feels inferior, constantly accuses others of being stupid or incompetent. 
[00:06:12] Natalie: [00:06:12] Right? So you're essentially projecting your insecurities of how you're actually feeling right on to somebody else so that you don't have to feel those, right. If that makes sense. And you might think, well, that's just stupid.
[00:06:24]And it happens more often than we want to give credit for. And I feel like this is one of those, unless you're acutely aware. Of the, I don't know if the signs would be the right word 
[00:06:39] Bryan: [00:06:39] or you have to, if you are. So it happens on a subconscious level, right? And it happens on a subconscious level. And if you're not emotionally aware of yourself, like we constantly are hammering home on everything.
[00:06:52] You need to be accountable for your behavior, for your actions, the things you say, even the things that you're thinking towards your spouse, if that's the case. Projection is a really tough one because it's so internal and it happens. Because there's been damaged, there's been hurt. There's been things that have happened in your life.
[00:07:08] And so subconsciously these are the things that are going out and it it really helps you, or really pushes you to just say and do things that you maybe think I can't believe I said and did that, but that's what happened. That's right. 
[00:07:20] Natalie: [00:07:20] And then gaslighting, we'll go into how it piggybacks onto the onto projection, because projection like.
[00:07:27] We're feeling, we're feeling all the feelings we're feeling overly hurt. We're feeling defensive. We're feeling sensitive about something that somebody said or did, and then allowing that to become obsessive in our thoughts. That is what we're simply focusing on rather than dealing with what's really going on.
[00:07:44] And the 
[00:07:44] Bryan: [00:07:44] goal. Of a projection is just a shift and change the responsibility and blame and blame from ourself, from who we are onto someone else. So it's really easy for us to, to project something. And so we don't actually have to deal with it or deal with the emotion or deal with the fallout or the consequences.
[00:08:03] But if we blame someone else, then we absolve ourselves of 
[00:08:05] Natalie: [00:08:05] responsibility. All right. And let's just, you know, talk about the elephant in the room. Yes. Projection is a form of emotional abuse as this gaslighting, as this defensiveness as, and scapegoating and contempt and criticism. And so if you have found yourself kind of like the victim and.
[00:08:23] Of abuse. You might be totally unaware that that is what is actually happening, that your spouse or your family member, or your friends, or your coworkers, your boss, whoever might be projecting their feelings onto you, because you have such little worth and little identity and little what's the word?
[00:08:43] Unsure of your own reality is that you take whatever they say, hook, line, and sinker, and, and you adopt that as your own. Right. It's so twisted. Right. 
[00:08:53] Bryan: [00:08:53] And the thing is, is that projections oftentimes, but like they are defense mechanism that's built up and and it usually comes from the ego, like.
[00:09:01] Well, like dealing with dealing with I'm sure everyone's projected, but I'm sure there's. I know there's been times in my life where something has gone wrong at work and instead of just being an owning it. And saying, you know what, that's my bed, that's my responsibility. My ego was pushing me towards like, no, I don't want to take the hit for this.
[00:09:19] My pride gets in the way and I'm not actually going to deal with it. Right. 
[00:09:22] Natalie: [00:09:22] So our kids, when we were talking about this and stuff, they're like, well, like, what is that? Can you give me an example? And so here's the example that I gave. And then we'll, we'll add another example when we get into gaslighting of both of those at play.
[00:09:35] So I had said to my son, Hey, so what if I had said to dad, Hey, like, I can't believe that, like, you look like you're putting on some weight and, and I'll say that because he would never say that to me. When all the, while it shifts the focus off of myself for feeling incompetent or feeling shame, because I actually put on weight, I then deflect that onto him and project my own insecurities onto him.
[00:10:02] And then he's like, well, I don't. No, I don't think I gained weight. And then I find him, you know, weighing himself in the bathroom and he's like, oh my gosh, I did gain weight when all the, while it had nothing to do with him. But he internalized that and took that on as, as part of his own being, 
[00:10:18] Bryan: [00:10:18] because you projected it onto me and I'm, I'm like, oh man.
[00:10:22] Cause you know, like I'm insecure in that area. Now someone could like, here's the other part of that is that someone could project something onto you and just, you'd just be like, whatever you, whatever. That's a big, no, I know that I haven't, I've actually lost. Like there's been times for someone who said to me, oh, it looks like you've gained weight.
[00:10:37] And I was actually on the scale and they haven't seen me in a while and I was like, I've actually lost 15 pounds, like it's happened. But I was, but that part, I was actually aware. Of myself. I was confident in what I knew, but sometimes areas because everyone's insecure in a certain area when Natalie would say that to me, if that's the case, I would go to the bathroom and be like, man, maybe I have our crap.
[00:10:59] My pants don't fit. Right. Or like my shirts kind of stuck, stuck to my belly and I'll be insecure about it on my own because of what she said to me, because she was trying to get the focus off of her. I wasn't necessarily focused on that. She was, and she didn't want to have 
[00:11:13] Natalie: [00:11:13] to focus on. You know, the golden rule of if you've got nothing nice to say, why say anything and you're right.
[00:11:19] Like, was that comment completely necessary? Yeah, no. Right. And oftentimes people who project on a regular basis really have a difficulty putting themselves in other people's shoes. Right. 
[00:11:31] Bryan: [00:11:31] And, and the thing about that is, is part of the antidote to projection is actually being emotionally aware. And you've heard us say before, there's a pastor that we follow.
[00:11:42] But he says, you don't know what you don't know. And after this, and today you're going to know a little bit more about projection. You're going to hear it. You may even see it in yourself. But the thing is, is that projection actually is blind spots, blind spots, because we're not aware of it. And almost everyone has engaged in this.
[00:11:58] Like I've engaged in it many times. It's difficult to know when you're doing it, but the, the things that we're gonna, they're gonna speak on next, like even some of the things that we project onto others, and maybe this is something that you're doing. Did you have something you wanna add? Well, 
[00:12:12] Natalie: [00:12:12] it like, it clouds your own vision.
[00:12:16] Right. And we've said in almost every single podcast of you have to own your stuff. Right. And that's the good, the bad and the ugly. Yeah. And not just the good things, not just the good things about yourself that you like, but also own the places in your heart, the places in your thoughts that you go to those dark places and you have to be real with yourself in those things and people who project, it could just be from habit.
[00:12:40] Because again I can't remember which podcast where we're like, you tend to operate out of what, you know, you know, what you know, or whatever you just said. Yeah. And so if this has how you've. Communicated in order to get your way, or in order to get satisfaction with whatever you need satisfaction with.
[00:12:59]You might be unaware that this is actually toxic, but it does cloud your vision and it, it skews your own perception of reality. Right? And, and that in of itself, you know, when we, when we move into gaslighting, which alters someone's reality and manipulates it, projection takes that it morphs a person or situation into something that, that was not even there and that they're not right.
[00:13:24] Right. Because you can't cope with those feelings within. 
[00:13:28] Bryan: [00:13:28] Right. And a lot of when you, when you are involved or you are. Projection is the way that you communicate. You become a really susceptible to placing yourself as a victim. You put yourself in the self victimization. No one else does it for you.
[00:13:45] You're not blatant, no one else's blaming you for something, but you're doing that. And that always, generally, always is an indication that there's something inside you that needs to be 
[00:13:53] Natalie: [00:13:53] right. And if you are a person who is a victim of this really making. Step outside the situation to really observe, right.
[00:14:01] There's something to be said about people of, of observing people and commute people who communicate right. Because if somebody is always the victim and they do nothing wrong and they're always blaming other people, the chances of them being huge projectors is really high. Yeah. 
[00:14:17] Bryan: [00:14:17] That's for sure. And so here's some of the things that we say we've done that we're all part of this, but people will project fear and anxiety, shame, insecurities.
[00:14:29]Childhood pain that they're dealing with trauma repressed and deserved. Oh, our 
[00:14:33] Natalie: [00:14:33] parents. 
[00:14:35] Bryan: [00:14:35] And that's a big one, our parents, but also our parents' expectations judgment unfinished business the pent up emotions that you're not actually dealing with. And some of the core beliefs that actually as a whole, the core beliefs thing is a whole nother topic because of the way the polarization of varying opinions in our current climate and culture.
[00:14:53] Natalie: [00:14:53] That's right. But, but it still falls under this because someone could play such, almost send the other person. And that's why talking about what your belief systems are ahead of time is so important because I don't want to be blindsided. By something that was deep within you, that you kind of kept a secret until it served a purpose to bring it up.
[00:15:16] And it's like, well, now, now what? Now what? Right. Like we're married now. And I wish I would have known this before, because this might've been a deal breaker for me. Right. Right. So really making sure that we're talking about these things. I love We're moving into the antidote. So psychotherapist and clinical psychologist.
[00:15:33] So this 
[00:15:33] Bryan: [00:15:33] is, this is part of the 
[00:15:35] Natalie: [00:15:35] antidote we've actually, and a huge, incredible article on projection. And so this is what he says about antidotes and he had like a whole list of them. And I mean, you can go look him up, but these were two that he really focused on that I think are really helpful. So he says to look inward again, that self awareness self-realization or responsibility owning mine.
[00:16:03] And he says this about projection. Projection is by definition, a turning outward. The first step is to make the shift to self-awareness. So take stock of how you're feeling, how you're breathing and so on. This will help interrupt your obsessive focus on the problem person. And redirect your attention to where it can do some good.
[00:16:26] Bryan: [00:16:26] So I think even as we break this down to, to where it can do some good, when you project onto someone else because of your own issues, you're not doing that person or yourself and your good one, because now you're making them feel worse. About themselves because of something you said, and you're not taking responsibility of the fact that, Hey, I'm actually projecting my own black onto this other person.
[00:16:47] So it's like a double whammy of no good. Okay. 
[00:16:49] Natalie: [00:16:49] Not even realizing the psychological damage that you're putting on that other person and half the time, they're not even aware that that's what's happening. Right. So it's get in tune with yourself and get real. Absolutely. And this is still Joseph Burgo.
[00:17:04] He says difficult people may well possess. It's the same negative traits that you disavow in yourself. We often project into reality, meaning that if we're a very critical person, I love this. We all know someone who's critical. We'll project it onto someone who actually is critical, but they're not only critical.
[00:17:25] And you need to try to see them in their full humanity. And if they're truly toxic, you need to shield yourself from them. I love this part rather than making use of them. To disown parts of yourself that you don't like. Right. 
[00:17:40] Bryan: [00:17:40] I preached a message just last week for church. And one of the very first talking about unity in the church and unity in relationships, and it's a biblical concept, something that God has created, but inside of marriage, we believe that marriage is a biblical covenant that God created and something that happens inside of a marriage.
[00:17:57] It is one of my points to actually dealing and creating unity and guardian unity. Even in a marriage, we'll take it in a marriage context. Is to identify and eliminate a critical spirit, right. And to, and to get rid of it and to, to cut it out of your life. There's people that are in your relationship that are going to be toxic, that are going to be, that are around you, that are not supporting you.
[00:18:19] They're not moving you forward. They're not trying to challenge you in healthy ways. Not challenge you like, oh, I don't can't believe you married him, but challenge you. It's like, how can you make this better? How can you, what, what is your responsibility in all of this? We need to cut out the criticism because criticism is so dangerous.
[00:18:36] Natalie: [00:18:36] Well, criticism is, was the first poison, which then it's a domino effect as we're going through. There's a huge, there's a huge pattern that we've noticed. And we've said this before own, own, those parts of yourself, don't disown them and then project them onto other 
[00:18:52] Bryan: [00:18:52] people. Right? I do want to clarify something.
[00:18:55] If you're married or in a committed relationship and you're married to someone and they're critical person, and they're engaging in a critical spirit, we are not saying that you cut them out, that you walk away from the relationship we're saying is that there's hope. There is things that you can do to make this better if and move that relationship forward.
[00:19:14] We're not saying just give up and walk away. Cause it got hard and we have been together 20 years only because we haven't given up on it. 
[00:19:21] Natalie: [00:19:21] That's right. And then there's a time where it's time to walk away. Right. And so just saying, well, this is this person. So they're projecting, they've been projecting for years.
[00:19:30] Well, that's it. That's the end of my marriage. That's not what we're saying. That's the whole point of our podcast is to bring, to light these issues. That one, we've not heard anybody talk about it. Right. And too we've walked it. Yep. So, and what we haven't walked, we bring guests on. Yeah. And that's very, and it's to bring awareness to a situation where you might, this might be the very thing that you're like, we need need help.
[00:19:52] Right. We need professional help. And I suggest that if that's you and you find her, I opened the light bulb has gone off. Seek professional help. Right. Get the help. 
[00:20:04] Bryan: [00:20:04] Right. And so obviously you've heard us say it a few times. It's gaslighting and just in how that works and the relationships. So this is what gaslighting gaslighting aims to create an amount of confusion of self doubt in the victim.
[00:20:17] Now, the term is actually based on a stage play and movie called Gaslight, and which is from 1930, 1938, where the husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights in their home. And then denying the lights were dimmed when his wife points out this fact. So trying to alter her reality by saying something isn't actually happening.
[00:20:37] Natalie: [00:20:37] Right. So wife is sitting in the kitchen, leaves the kitchen turns the lights off, does whatever else she's going to do. Goes back the kitchen, the lights are on. And then she makes a comment saying, Hey, like, did you turn the lights on? No, you must've, you must've forgot to turn them off. Right. Right. So then she's like, maybe I forgot to turn them off.
[00:20:58] Okay. And, and, but then over and over and over and over again to infinity and beyond it's that same repetition in everything. 
[00:21:08] Bryan: [00:21:08] And it's a form of emotional abuse because this is because it causes victims to crushed question their own feelings, memory, instincts, and sense of reality. And here's the danger.
[00:21:19] I want you to stop and provide marriage family. And just in a minute, just did these following phrases sound familiar. You must be going crazy. That's not what happened. You don't know what you're talking about. Oh, you're just imagining things are no need to, you need to be sensitive. I was only joking. Do you have someone in your life, in your relationships with maybe it's with your spouse?
[00:21:42] Maybe it's just a relationship. Are they saying things like this to you, then you might be in on the recipient of some gasoline. 
[00:21:50] Natalie: [00:21:50] That's right. And like the whole thing is to manipulate, right? You went to doubting your feelings 
[00:21:57] Bryan: [00:21:57] and the one who's doing 
[00:21:58] Natalie: [00:21:58] it is aware 
[00:22:00] Bryan: [00:22:00] that, and it's about set. They want to control the situation.
[00:22:03] They want to control the other person because it gives them a sense of like, I think there's a sense of satisfaction, satisfaction, and it will look, I have power. I can do this 
[00:22:10] Natalie: [00:22:10] to someone yep. That, and they control the narrative. And I think 
[00:22:13] Bryan: [00:22:13] and also on the other side of things, there's also that side where, because do you want to get to the story that we want to kind of bring along?
[00:22:20] Natalie: [00:22:20] Well, not quite yet. Well, we'll get there. Okay. So they want to manipulate you into doubting your own feelings. They want to confuse you and make you make you doubt yourself so that you'll more likely go along with what they want. Right. I'm very passionate about this because not only has this happened in our marriage, and I can't say it has happened, like we're going to tell one story where it was very obvious.
[00:22:46] Maybe it's happened before and I'm just. I dunno like it didn't come back to memory. But as an adult with people in my life, this has happened over and over and over again, the 
[00:22:58] Bryan: [00:22:58] truth is, is those that, like, you have a unique perspective to this because it's been happening for as long as we've been married with your family and has been just toxic, right from the beginning.
[00:23:10] But at the beginning, we didn't realize what we were getting into. We didn't know what it was, we didn't, and it's just, okay, 
[00:23:15] Natalie: [00:23:15] you just slough it off and you justify it. And all, I mean, if you want us to go into more depth about that and about narcissism and the effects that that has on people, right? Give us a shout out.
[00:23:33]Email us, reach out to us. And, and if none of you don't then later on, I think as I can put my thoughts down on paper, really break it down into a series on this, because it is so important to talk about these things, right? 
[00:23:49] Bryan: [00:23:49] And so even as we move on to gaslighting, here's just some other words that kind of just help describe gaslighting.
[00:23:55] He said they trivialized trivialize. They minimize feelings suggest your emotions don't matter or accuse you of overreacting. 
[00:24:02] Natalie: [00:24:02] Ooh, countering. So they question your memory and then they make up new details or deny that something happened that actually did happen. And then in turn, they switched the narrative so that your being blamed for something that they did again 
[00:24:19] Bryan: [00:24:19] and again, there's so much of, of.
[00:24:23] The, the projection and gaslighting work together. It's bizarre how the two work together so much. So withholding, they brush off your attempts to have a discussion or accuse you of trying to confuse them. 
[00:24:35] Natalie: [00:24:35] Then they divert. So when you bring up a concern about a behavior or something that they've done, they changed the subject.
[00:24:43] Or turn the narrative around to make it look like you're making 
[00:24:46] Bryan: [00:24:46] it up. Well, it's almost like they're allergic to taking responsibility for the behavior, right. Forgetting or denying this one was so obvious with the stuff that we walked through with your family. When you mentioned a specific event or something, they said they might say they can't remember or tell you it happened at all.
[00:25:02] Like sometimes, literally like two hours later. Like something happened. It was not good. You were like, okay, we got to deal with this and just be, oh, that's not what happened. That's not what was said. And there sometimes was a cloud of witnesses. Like eight people were there, eight people were present, they all said it happened.
[00:25:19] And that person would just deny it denied at night. It was bizarre. 
[00:25:22]Natalie: [00:25:22] It got to the point and it does get to the point where the person who is the recipient of this kind of awful behavior. I mean, I went through ridiculous tactics so that I could remain seen in what I know to be true. So I took photos of everything.
[00:25:42] I took photos and documentation of cards so that it never, if someone came back and countered and said, Hey this person said that you said this about them in the card. I had the proof to prove otherwise it was so ridiculous. I recorded phone calls. I recorded text messages and things like that, so that I could stay one step ahead of the person who was causing all the 
[00:26:06] Bryan: [00:26:06] ruckus.
[00:26:06] Right. So the next one is discrediting. They suggest to other people that you can't remember, things correctly. Get confused easily or make things up. They can threaten your career when it happens at work. 
[00:26:17] Natalie: [00:26:17] Right. So the story, and I think you'll notice a lot of these as we broke down, what gaslighting is in the story do you want to start.
[00:26:31] Bryan: [00:26:31] Well, go ahead. You want me to start? I guess you can. I was a smoker. I was like, you ever actually heard us touch, touch on it a little bit in the past episodes, but I was a smoker. I was a smoker for what a long time. And Natalie wanted me to quit smoking. And when I was actually ready to quit smoke and she asked me a long time ago or long before, but I'd never wanted to quit.
[00:26:52] And so eventually it came to the point where I w I really did genuinely, genuinely want to quit. One. My kids were seeing that I was smoking. And so I didn't want that. It wasn't healthy and I wanted to be around it. And the relationship for as long as possible and smoking possibly can take that away from me.
[00:27:06] So I didn't want to do that. And so I quit. But I struggled. I quit smoking, but I struggled probably for four or five years on and off. And what would happen was, is that I would be, I wouldn't smoke for five or six months and then one day I'd just go out and I, and I actually quit cigarettes, but I switched to cigars thinking, well, that's going to help me quit cigarettes.
[00:27:27] It just made it worse. But I kept smoking. And so I'd smoke for sometimes a week or two and she would catch me smelling, like smoke, but I worked around smokers. And so I would hang out with him and I would smell like smoke, or she would find the wrappers in my pocket. And then I would straight up because, and here's, here's where I wasn't coming at it from a side of power or trying to prove I was just from it.
[00:27:50] Like I was ashamed. I was ashamed and I was guilty. And so I would tell her. Oh, that's not mine. That's someone else's, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know how that got there. You're crazy that didn't and some of the language that we use, even in describing what a Gaslight I did and it did out of my own shame, my own guilt and my own.
[00:28:11] So the shame that I didn't, I wasn't never, I really enjoyed smoking and that was a problem, but I was ashamed that I still smoked. And that she caught me and I was guilty in the fact that I just, I was still smoking. And so it was out of a place of shame, 
[00:28:26] Natalie: [00:28:26] right? There is something to be said, and this was, you know, this, this came out when we had first moved back here, which was almost seven years ago.
[00:28:37] Right. So we're still, I was still in the thick or the real sort of, just beginning of the eye-opening of the family dynamics that we were now involved in. Remember we lived away for many years, so we were removed from that. Now we were right smack dab in the middle. So dealing with all of that I knew in my spirit call it, women's intuition, a gut feeling.
[00:29:03] I knew that you were smoking because we've been together for a long time, and there's no way that you would hold onto someone else's wrappers in your pocket. And think that I would believe that you were hanging onto someone else's 
[00:29:19] Bryan: [00:29:19] I still can't believe you didn't believe that it was mine. Like, I mean, obviously, so.
[00:29:26] Natalie: [00:29:26] Then I became obsessed and I was like, I know that you are lying. And I know, you know, that I know you're lying. And so I was like, I will grab our seats. I will, I'm going to catch you. And when I do, I will rain. Holy hell. Because I cannot believe and the attacked us, I can't believe you're so defensive. How could, how dare you accuse me of these kinds of things when all in actuality.
[00:30:00] Okay. You hadn't smoked the moment I asked you, but that didn't negate the fact that you were smoking it. Might've been not two minutes before the fact that I asked you if you justified. The fact that why wasn't smoking at the time she was asking me, well, no kidding, because that would have blown your cover, right?
[00:30:18] This went on for months. And when I mentioned something to someone here's the projection. So that person's response to me was, you know, if you keep nagging about Brian smoking, stuff like that. Like that's just going to pull him away from you and that's gonna make him continue to want to keep smoking.
[00:30:40] So then that was that person's insecurity about that whole thing being projected onto me. Like how could you know that he would respond that way? Are you in his mind? No, but then fear took hold and I'm like, oh, I must be nagging. Oh, my goodness. Well, I guess I have to shut up about it because I don't want him to like disassociate or, or move away from me as his man.
[00:31:06] Do you see how this spins out of control? Let me tell you the moment that it all came to a head and you might think that it won't come to a head that you can get away with it. Let me tell you, it always gets found out and your sin will find you out. Exactly. And there was a. I have, it sounds so awful to say this, but when you are the recipient of someone doing this, there is a validation.
[00:31:31] There is a sense of, I'll be honest superiority that came over when I was right. I remember. And I, boy, did I let you know it because you had made me feel like I was an absolute, crazy nut for making things up in my head. That I knew were true. And you try to manipulate the narrative so that I'd get off your back.
[00:31:57]And it didn't work now. My response to that wasn't okay either, but I felt justified for the hell that you put me through in that some of you might think it's just smoking. You fill in the narrative for your relationship for us, that was the one that really stood out in my mind. As far as gaslighting, it could be porn, it could be friends, it could be family, you gambling.
[00:32:23] It could be another addiction, put whatever your situation is in that whole thing. And people justify, well, it's just Sanger ads. Like it's not like it's that big of a, it could be worse. 
[00:32:38] Bryan: [00:32:38] And you're right. It was just cigarettes. I mean, there could have been worse. And I think even one of the arguments, well, I could be out there doing heroin.
[00:32:45] You did say that. Yeah. But that, wasn't the point that the truth about it was is that I had told her I was going to quit. And instead of just coming to her and being like, you know what, I'm weak in this I'm really struggling. I struggled. And I know I messed up this week. I bought a pack of cigarettes or a cigar, you know, like.
[00:33:05] Instead of just owning up to the fact that I was really struggling with it. I was trying to hide it from her because I was too proud to come to her. And so instead of me to dealing with it and Manning up and just be like, all right, I'm going to deal with this face on I gas lit her and, and tried to make it feel like she was crazy.
[00:33:22] And I was the one that was in justified. And so you're right there. Like. There. I remember that I remember the feelings. I felt one when that was happening and I knew that it was going on. I knew this is what I was doing, but I was so filled with shame about the fact that you knew about this. I was getting caught.
[00:33:38] I wasn't actually quitting smoking. And so I, 
[00:33:41] Natalie: [00:33:41] I think I remember telling you, you took away my ability to be like you, there's an issue here and we're going to work through like, what can I do to help you work through. This it in the end, it wasn't the fact that you had smoked. It's the fact that you had lied about it and then, and then told and kept telling this.
[00:34:04] Narrative that I knew. Wasn't true. That's what, that's what, and that's 
[00:34:09] Bryan: [00:34:09] probably that, that really is for a lot of relationships. That's, that's where it is. It's like, look, you, you struggle with something. Most people are willing to work these things out because they love each other and they find there's value there.
[00:34:21] And they've, they've built relationship, but if you keep crying Wolf, almost like a reverse cry Wolf kind of thing, and this is. Where you've laid that relationship. It was normal for me to hide it and said that being the exception. 
[00:34:34] Natalie: [00:34:34] Exactly. And so what's an antidote to gaslighting. Well, you have to be confident in your reality and stand up for yourself and yeah, you have to stand up for yourself.
[00:34:44] And if you're looking for someone else to validate you, you are going to fall prey to gaslighting. That's just how it goes. So you need to be confident in your reality. If you have to journal. Your experience so that you can remain in the right state of mind do it. And ultimately what helped me was professional help.
[00:35:04] Right? This is one of those areas that is sneaky. I listened to a psychologist on YouTube. It's Dr. Ramani and I hope to God, I pronounced her name, right. She, I was like, where have you been all my life? This woman does not know who I am. She has. Oh, she's phenomenal. She has a whole series on narcissism and gaslighting.
[00:35:24] And she had said that this here, what I'm going to share with you is also a form of gaslighting, which I would have never pegged as gaslighting. So she says you have, and this actually happened to me where I went to a Christmas party with someone in my family and. Oh, my gosh, all the stops were pulled out.
[00:35:47] I remember looking going, who are you? So what I was thinking, I'm like, this is not how you are behind closed doors, but so put on this narrative to people that they didn't know. And I began to question well, Maybe, maybe I was overreacting. Maybe they are so really likes 
[00:36:06] Bryan: [00:36:06] this. She pulled out all the stops.
[00:36:08] Natalie: [00:36:08] Yeah. I like all the charm and all the praising me. And I'm like, who are you? And what have you done? Like, this is not who I know you to be. Right. And, and so as the aging progressed, I started to question myself and I'm like, gee, this person really is nice and is really like held in high regard, even though I 
[00:36:28] Bryan: [00:36:28] knew.
[00:36:29] But even though you knew and all of the reality and the history before that had proven otherwise, because they were doing like a reverse 
[00:36:36] Natalie: [00:36:36] Gaslight we're out of that situation, that person turns into the chocolate covered dragon. Right. And just turns back and you're like, What the heck you were, you were just like that, like who's the real you here.
[00:36:50] Yeah, absolutely. And so I just wanted to plug that in, if you have a chance to listen to her that also is a form of gaslighting. And so there are resources available through YouTube, through counseling services in your city. Reach out for help. Yeah. Reach out for help, because I think so many people are.
[00:37:10] Fall, like they've fallen prey to this and it's an, it's an ugly cycle and have no feels like you, you have no way out. And for me, for family, I have had to go no contact. Right. And some of you might be like, well, I can't do that. Then you need to establish some really severe boundaries. That's a whole different discussion, a different discussion.
[00:37:32] Right. So yeah. An antidote for myself and my situation was to go no contact. And so. We can go deeper into what that looks like and how that happened and what sort of led up there. But that is not an easy road either. Right? 
[00:37:44] Bryan: [00:37:44] And so the antidote for this is to stand up for yourself and be aware of both of these predictions, be confident in your reality and the things that you know to be true.
[00:37:53] Yep. And 
[00:37:54] Natalie: [00:37:54] don't disown those negative parts of yourself. Really take self awareness and self reflection. 
[00:37:59] Bryan: [00:37:59] You're responsible for your actions. Be accountable for what you're doing. If you are enjoying the amplified marriage podcast, it means so much when you share it and let people know about us. You can follow us on Instagram and on Facebook.
[00:38:15] And if there is a topic, if there is a question or anything you would like us to discuss, please email Someone. Just emailed in this last week and just gave us an amazing topic about addictions in relationship, how that actually affects the relationship. And so in the near future, we're going to be talking about this.
[00:38:33] Yep. It is a, it is a really big topic. It's not something we can just bite off in one episode. And as you have heard us say many times before we believe that marriage can be refreshed, recharged and restored. 
[00:38:45] Natalie: [00:38:45] Thanks for listening. Talk to you soon.