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Is my marriage emotionally abusive?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2019 | Family Law |

Unlike other types of abuse, emotional abuse is not always easily identifiable. This is especially true when it comes to one abusive behavior known as gaslighting. Gaslighting makes a person call their very reality into question thanks to deliberate manipulations. It’s a means of retaining control over another person, and it often starts small and then excels until confusion and uncertainty reign. If you’re concerned about your marriage, the following offers a few examples of how gaslighting occurs. 

The most obvious sign is lying. Unlike other people who tell lies, which are often subtle and hard to detect, a gaslighter tells blatant lies. They tell lies even as the truth is staring you right in the face, and the person will continue to lie when presented with evidence to contrary. Brazen lying serves one purpose, and that is to undermine your sense of sanity. Even if you know you’re right, you might still question your version of events. Over time, your confidence in yourself will be broken down until the abusive party retains full control. 

Gaslighters also use criticisms to wear down a person even further. They’ll target things you value above all else, including your very identity. Additionally, biting criticism will be punctuated by bouts of praise. The goal is to rattle you to the point where you must rely on the gaslighter for validation. They may also represent others as habitual liars, which achieves the same goal. 

If you’re unsure whether a person is being truthful with you, all you must do is look at the person’s actions. With gaslighters, actions rarely match a person’s statements. This is a great way to rend control from the abuser and establish your bearings once again. While it may be possible for an emotional abuser to reform and change his ways, in many cases these actions lead to divorce.