Signs Your Partner May Be Gaslighting You

gaslighting, Arlington Heights domestic abuse lawyersThe term “gaslighting” started to gain popularity after the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gas Light and its later film adaptations. In the play, a devious husband attempts to steal valuables from the flat upstairs from where he and his wife live. When he turns on the lights in the upstairs flat, it causes the lights in his home to dim. His wife notices this but he convinces her she is imagining it. The term gaslighting is now used a blanket term for psychological manipulation with the intent to confuse victims or make them question their own sanity. Gaslighting is a form of emotional and psychological abuse and can be extremely hurtful to its victims. Your partner may be gaslighting you if you experience the following scenarios.

Your partner blatantly lies to you.

A person who gaslights attempts to change that person’s perception of reality. He or she will tell flagrant lies to his or her victim with so much confidence that the victim assumes it is true.

You constantly feel confused.

An abuser using gaslighting to manipulate his or her partner will always refute what the victim says. For example, the victim hears her husband sneak into the house in the middle of the night—much later than he should have arrived home. In the morning, she confronts him as to his tardiness and he responds that he was home by a reasonable time. He tells her “You must have been dreaming,” or “You are crazy.”

Your partner destroys your self-confidence.

Gaslighters use insults and passive aggressive comments to break down their victim’s confidence. Often, the insults are masked as “jokes.” When the victim confronts the abuser about the insults, he or she will assure the victim that they misunderstood. The victim begins to wonder if they are just overacting or may even start to doubt their own memory.

Your partner isolates you from loved ones.

One of the biggest warning signs of domestic abuse is when one partner disallows the other from having meaningful relationships with others. An abuser will not outright tell the victim they cannot see their loved ones but instead will subtly encourage the victim to avoid the people they love. They also isolate their victims by telling the victim’s friends and family lies about the victim. For example, an emotionally abusive wife may falsely tell her husband’s best friend that her husband hits her. The friend then loses respect for the husband and begins to pull away from him. A victim without a support system is a much easier target for further abuse.

It is important to note that the most common quality of most gaslighters is charm. Abusers using this tactic are very good at making others like him or her. This allows them to get away with more and more abuse without repercussions in many cases.

Trustworthy Legal Aid

No one deserves to be manipulated or put down by their spouse. If you are in an abusive marriage and you want to end the relationship, a domestic violence lawyer in Rolling Meadows can provide you the legal assistance you need. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation at Cosley Law Office today.



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