How to spot emotional abuse

Woman staring out a window

Have you ever gotten a haircut that you really loved, only to have your partner tell you it makes you look bad? Or proudly shown your partner a project you worked really hard on, only to have them harshly criticize it? If so, you may have experienced emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is domestic violence

When it comes to abusive relationships, people tend to think mostly of physical abuse like hitting or pushing. Since emotional abuse doesn’t leave bruises, it can be especially tough to spot. It’s important to identify emotional abuse because, in many cases, it can lead to physical abuse as well.

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How do I know if my partner is gaslighting me?

On a dark street a gaslamp shines with five lamps

The phrase “gaslight” comes from the movie Gas Light” a 1938 mystery thriller about a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing that she is going crazy by flickering the gaslights.

What is gaslighting?

Have you ever had a disagreement with your partner that left you questioning your sanity?

Perhaps you had proof that your partner did something, but they still lied to your face about it. Or maybe they got angry about a text they found on your phone. When you got upset that they violated your privacy, they said you had no right to be angry and expected you to defend yourself anyway. If these situations ring true for you, you may have experienced one of the most subtle forms of abuse: gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of mental and emotional abuse that aims to make you question your reality. It’s a tactic many abusers use to gain power by confusing, guilting, and manipulating their partners.

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