Domestic Violence and the Dangers of Gaslighting
You and your boyfriend are having a heated argument with a close male friend you have. Your boyfriend claims that your friend likes you in an intimate manner and demands that you stop talking to him immediately. This frowned upon friendship dates back to your college years and you don’t want to break up such a long friendship over something you find to be a rather dumb argument. But, you love your boyfriend and don’t want to lose him.
After some time to think, you agree to end the friendship. It was the most difficult thing you ever had to do. Weeks later, your boyfriend asks how your former friend is. When you tell him that you stopped talking to that friend per his request, your boyfriend says, “What? I never told you to do that. You’re crazy!” Your heart skips a beat…
Does this situation sound familiar? If so, then you might be the victim of an emotionally abusive relationship.
The scenario above is known as gaslighting. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where one partner tries to present false information to his or her significant partner in an effort to give that partner control over that person. This type of domestic abuse can happen progressively and can be so subtle that you may not even know it’s happening. Gradually, the victim will become very confused and may start relying on his/her abusive partner to help define reality. It’s as if the victim begins to question their own sanity after a while.
Beginning to sound like this may be happening in your relationship? Here are some gaslighting techniques that emotional abusers may inflict:
- Your partner pretends to not understand what you’re saying or refuses to listen to you
- Your partner questions your memory of events, even if what you remember is crystal clear
- Your partner constantly changes the subject or questions your opinions
- Your partner makes you insignificant
- Your partner pretends to forget things that happened between you both
- Your partner denies any promises he or she made to you
It can be extremely difficult to break away from an abuser who uses gaslighting techniques. You will be doubting your own mind and second-guessing your own thoughts, memories, and actions. You may even find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior. Eventually, you could begin to fear to talk with your significant other.
Are you just tired of being put down constantly for being “wrong” all of the time? You aren’t the only person suffering from emotional abuse or intimate abuse either. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), four out of ten women have experienced at least one form of coercive control by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Eighteen percent of women have also experienced a situation where their intimate partner tried to keep them from seeing loved ones.
If you are a victim of gaslighting, your first move should be getting out of the relationship and finding a good therapist or support group to help you recover from the emotional abuse. But the most important step you should take is contacting the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone. We will discuss what legal options you have. Call us today to set up a free consultation.