Your beloved is doing things that may defy relationship logic and rationality, and red flags are flying all over the place.  

She’s texting late at night but says you’re being paranoid. He’s spending too many nights working late, yet you’re the one who should be blamed for acting suspicious. You swore he said he’d accompany you to the movies, but now he’s busy and says he told you.  Credit card statements show questionable purchases, and he blames him on identity theft.

You see things right before your eyes, but the emotionally abusive mate says it isn’t true. It makes no sense to you, and it wouldn’t make sense to any other rational person because it DOES NOT make sense. This is NOT how people behave when they truly, genuinely love us. So what’s this all about?

The manipulator in your life is gaslighting you.

Have you seen the movie from 1944, named “Gaslight?” It features Charles Boyer as an abusive narcissist and Ingrid Bergman as his new wife who begins to notice strange events and phenomena: missing pictures, strange footsteps in the night and gaslights that dim without being touched. As she fights to retain her sanity, her new husband's intentions come into question.

Your lover is doing this to you, and it is happening insidiously, gradually, over time. What is your manipulator’s purpose?

  • It allows him to define your reality

  • She is able to keep you off balance

  • He is able to weaken your position

  • You’ll question your ability to accurately identify when something is wrong

  • She’ll be in complete power

It happens in just a moment, something seems odd. You can’t put your finger on it. You may write off the behavior as just a strange, isolated incident.  Maybe you find a hotel receipt. Or an odd telephone number appears too often on the phone bill.

Next, after several questionable incidents, you feel the need to discuss them with your partner. Instead of listening, your partner says that you’re being too sensitive, and likely will blame you for causing this misunderstanding. After all, it is your fault you looked in the first place.  He is manipulating your perception of reality.

With that conversation playing over and over in your mind, you’ll begin to overfunction, and you’ll work even harder on being a better person. You’ll stop yourself from thinking things are not right, and you’ll second guess your gut feeling that something is wrong.

You might become frantic and begin walking on eggshells. You know your manipulator will become angry with you if you take a misstep, so you do everything he wants to avoid a blow up. You have lost your perspective on what consists of a healthy relationship, and toxic behavior has become the new normal.

What should you do?

Recognize what is really happening, change the dynamic, and take back your power. Then carry it right out the door

Next: Some of the oldest manipulation tricks in the book.

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