Not all abusive relationships involve physical violence. They can also involve emotional or psychological abuse, such as gaslighting.
According to Healthline, gaslighting involves emotional manipulation intent on making the victim question their perception of reality. While it may seem obvious to an outside observer, it is often hard for victims of abuse to recognize when it is happening to them. The following are a few common signs of gaslighting within a relationship.
Denying things that happened
A common tactic of gaslighters is to outright deny things they have done or said. This is a method of deflecting blame for their bad behavior, while also causing you to question your take on things. The goal of gaslighting is to break down your self-esteem until you are completely reliant on your abuser.
Making light of your feelings
When you raise concerns about your spouse’s behavior, they might claim you are overreacting. They may say you are too sensitive and that they were only joking. This is trivializing, and it is another way to cause you to question your grasp on reality. At the end of the day, you know whether a person is treating you correctly.
Claiming other people are talking about you
Emotional abusers often bring others into their tactics, often without their awareness. A common approach is to claim that other people in your life, such as friends and family, share the opinion that you are wrong in your beliefs or suffering from some sort of mental illness. This is a way for the gaslighter to support their opinion of you.
Only you know for sure whether divorce is the right option for you. However, emotional abusers are often reluctant to change their ways. In this case, the best option is to separate from them.