A big source of conflict can be when my partner doesn’t remember when she’s done or said something and I bring it up to her or confront her about it. Sometimes she thinks I’m gaslighting her or not telling the truth about what happened. Does anyone have any insight on how to handle these types of situations when memory is disputed, when it comes to substances like alcohol or benzos when this has a high chance of happening?
This happens so often with my husband as well, and it’s frustrating for both of us. But, I find that eventually his memory usually does start to come back… he’s just not always willing to admit it.
So, on my own journey, I’ve had to sit a bit and consider why it’s important to me that he admit to remembering certain things. For sure, there are some things that are serious and need to be talked about openly, but sometimes I find that my need to remind him of his what he did when drinking is more about my own ego and wanting to throw his actions in his face, rather than about actual healing and progress. In that case, I try to let it go. I have become okay with having a quiet, mutual understanding that we both know the truth of what really happened, and he is able to see that I don’t push him, embarrass him, or judge him for it. This has helped us build trust and vulnerability as well.
In the case of serious situations and big fights with hurtful words, I try to write down the events right away so I can remember details that may get twisted in my memory. This helps prevent me from being gaslit as well, and has really helped to solidify my own memories and my own recovery.
The whole thing is a huge learning curve, and can seem painstakingly slow. My ego often really really fights it, but I have to remind myself that his healing is his own job, and my job is my healing and self-work. I hope this helps!
Thank you so much for this thoughtful response! Things have been really hard lately and while there have been ways in which I feel like I’ve been treated poorly and there are things that need to be discussed later, (I do make notes of those things) AND also it can be true simultaneously that things need addressed and I don’t need to bring my ego into it or shame her.
I love what @Blondie wrote so I won’t cover the same ground here.
A couple thoughts that come to mind are - trying to avoid those conversations when they’ve been using. I know from personal experience that this can be easier said than done but every time it happens to me I have to take time after to think about how in future situations I can avoid getting into the same trap! Perhaps even voicing this intention 'honey, when you’re using/drunk I don’t want to talk about important things so next time that happens, how do you think I could let you know to stop?" asking this in a sober moment when they’re open to chatting can help prepare for the next time.