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Are You Crazy — Or Is Your Man Just Trying To Make You Think You Are?

Expert
Heartbreak

What to do when you and your husband never see things the same way.

Does your husband act strangely? When you call him out, what does he say? Does he accuse you of hearing things? Does he make you feel like you're losing your mind? If so, you're not alone.

In this video, author, therapist and YourTango Expert Dr. Joe Kort explains that this common phenomenon is known as gaslighting, a term that derives from the 1944 film Gas Light starring Ingrid Bergman. The term refers to a form of psychological abuse whereby a perpetrator attempts to make his victim doubt her own memory or perception. 

The tough thing about gaslighting is that, if you are a woman, you've already been conditioned by society to believe that women are emotional and irrational. You may have been told by your parents or teachers to tamp down your emotional reactions throughout our life, even if they were objectively reasonable.

Gaslighting also may happen at work, especially by a boss who may feel threatened by your skills or knowledge, or perhaps is simply insecure.

Lisa Marie Basile writes, "Does it sound like someone at your job is making you feel like your doing something wrong by never being clear with you on assignments? Perhaps you feel like whenever you speak up your thoughts on shot down? Maybe a coworker of yours reroutes the conversation from the subject at hand to something about you or something you did 'wrong'?"

In Psychology Today, the various stages of gaslighting are outlined, progressing from disbelief, to defensiveness, to depression — working your insecurities from the inside out.

And so it feels easy to believe that you are being irrational when you are told things like, "Settle down!" or, "You're overreacting" by a partner who probably has agenda to keep you feeling unsteady in your intuition or observations about them.

"What you need to do," says Joe, "is to know what you saw and be hard [and] fast in what you know you heard."

Say to your husband, "I don't need you to get this."

While we can't choose whether or not someone will try to make victims of it, we can do our best to resist "taking the bait" with someone who is trying to trick us into doubting ourselves.

Dr. Kort also offers brilliant advice and insight into why it's okay if you remembered it wrong — and how you don't have to exactly right to NOT be crazy. So don't bite!

Want to learn more? Check out the video above. Gaslighting can be incredibly hard to cope with, but you deserve peace of mind. Dr. Kort's advice may be able to give you exactly that. Reach out to Dr. Joe Kort at his website for more support. He's here to help.

 

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