One of the most crucial elements of a healthy, long-term relationship is honesty. When it’s missing, so is trust. Still, some would rather keep their partners in the dark to avoid confrontation, no matter the consequences.

One man recently revealed an incredibly important aspect of his life to his girlfriend — an uncomfortable conversation author Maria Dahvana Headley overheard while sitting in a restaurant. The man had purposefully kept secret that he had a 12-year-old son for the duration of the relationship. As Headley heard, the revelation was upsetting enough. But it got much worse when not only did the man refuse to take responsibility for the lie, but also made his girlfriend feel guilty for her reaction.

“This conversation took place in June of 2017, before the Weinstein revelations, before #MeToo gained traction – and it was a tremendously clear example of everything we’ve been talking about ever since – gaslighting and what it looks like in real time,” Headley told Bored Panda.

“This is why I talk about things like this in public – I want victims to realize that they are not the ones at fault in scenarios like this one, and to depart these situations when they see the warning signs – lying, refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing, blaming the person they are lying to for judging them.”

That’s also why Headley decided to live-tweet their entire conversation. Read on below as the situation plays out and see if you can spot the signs of manipulation.

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