Think you are being gaslighted? There are so many examples of gaslighting in a relationship.
However, if you have not been exposed to gaslighting in a previous relationship, it can be hard to pick up on the signs. Especially when your partner swears that you are the crazy one.
In this article, we have broken down some signs of gaslighting in a relationship – go through these gaslighting and compare them to your own relationship to get a better idea if you are in a toxic situation:
30 Examples of Gaslighting in a Relationship: Signs you are being Gaslit
Your partner acts like they can do no wrong
A major sign of gaslighting in any relationship is when your partner acts as if he or she can do no wrong. No matter the scenario or situation, the proof you have that they’ve done something wrong, or how you try to talk to them about the situation, they won’t be in the wrong.
This is a serious issue and a big sign of gaslighting in a relationship. Nobody is perfect and part of being human is making mistakes. It can be hard to admit but a good partner will own up to their mistakes and apologize. If your partner is unable to do this, it’s not a good sign and may be evidence of gaslighting in relationship.
Your partner always puts the blame on you
Your partner is the one who cheated, but blames you for being the reason he or she started seeing someone else behind your back because you supposedly weren’t giving them enough attention.
You saw they were sending inappropriate texts to other people on their phone, but they blame you for looking at their texts. When a person refuses to take responsibility for their actions and instead chooses to pass blame to anyone and everyone else it’s a serious sign of gaslighting in the relationship.
Your partner is always suspicious
If your partner is constantly suspicious of anything and everything you do, it’s a sign of gaslighting. Because they regularly lie, hide things from you, or cheat on you, they assume you’re doing the same thing.
They may make passive aggressive comments when you’re on your phone about who you’re texting or calling. Or they may outright accuse you of lying or cheating, even if there isn’t any reason to indicate this is the case. Their paranoia comes from their own wrongdoing. If they’re doing these things, they’ll feel certain you are too.
You start to feel like you’re just being too sensitive or expect too much
You begin to feel like you’re constantly fighting with your partner or bringing up issues to them to the point of wondering if maybe you’re the issue. You start to wonder if your expectations are too high or maybe you’re just being overly sensitive.
You may even start bottling things up to avoid the inevitable confrontation that will occur if you try to have another discussion about something your partner has done that bothers you. If you’ve started feeling like you’re being overly sensitive or your expectations have gotten too high, it might be a sign of gaslighting in your relationship.
Your partner is able to lie with ease
Your partner lies to you about where they were last night, who they’re texting, and even silly things that it makes no sense to lie about. It’s a compulsive issue and when you confront them about it they get angry and accuse you of being the one who is lying.
This is a major red flag in any relationship and if your partner seems to have no trouble lying to you then it’s a sign that you are being gaslighted.
Your partner isolates you from friends or family
This is a control tactic and one your partner may use to keep you reliant on them. If you’ve picked up on signs that your partner seems to be trying to keep you from seeing friends or family, it’s a sign of gaslighting. It may start subtly at first.
“You just saw your mother last weekend, do you really need to see her again this weekend?” Or, “Your best friend is rude to me, I don’t think you should spend as much time with her.” Any time someone tries to keep you from friends or family is an issue you should be concerned with.
You live in constant fear of upsetting your partner
You and your partner have gotten into so many fights that have ended with you feeling worse than before, that it no longer feels worth it to bring up things that bother you.
In fact, you’d rather bottle it all up and keep it inside than deal with their anger that you’re calling them out for wrongdoing again. At times you may even feel that you’re walking on eggshells just to avoid setting your partner off. If you’ve reached a point of living in fear of upsetting your partner, it’s a serious sign of gaslighting in the relationship.
You have a gut feeling the relationship is wrong
There have been a ton of tiny signs that the relationship is off from the get go. Your partner’s inability to have an honest conversation, their anger issues, or their inconsistency with how they treat you.
You haven’t quite been able to put your finger on what bothers you the most, but you just have a deep down gut feeling that the relationship is wrong. Your instincts are most likely spot on and are trying to get you out of an unhealthy relationship.
Spending time with your partner is exhausting
Spending time with your partner won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, after all nobody is perfect, but it shouldn’t leave you feeling completely exhausted.
If you’ve noticed that after hanging out with your partner you feel mentally, emotionally, or even physically exhausted this is a pretty big red flag. It might be from fighting constantly, feeling like you have to watch what you say, or just “being on your best behavior” so you don’t upset the other person. Whatever the case for your fatigue afterwards, it’s a sign of gaslighting in your relationship.
You never get to speak your mind in an argument
The two of you are arguing, again. Except it’s less of an argument or discussion and more of your partner berating you the entire time. He or she says exactly what’s on their mind and then lets you know the discussion is over. You don’t get the opportunity to share how you’re feeling or why you’re upset.
This is a big red flag. In a healthy relationship, each of you should take the time to listen to each other and consider the other person’s point of view in order to come to a mutual agreement on how to fix the issue.
Your partner never apologizes
It absolutely does not matter what he or she has done, they refuse to apologize. Or if they do apologize, it’s very insincere and usually the apology is something like, “I’m sorry you found out about this because you were going through my phone.”
Everyone makes mistakes and it’s not fun owning up to them, but when your partner has done something to hurt you they should own up to it and provide you with a sincere apology. If your current partner refuses to ever apologize or provides you only with insincere, false apologies it’s a sign of gaslighting.
Your partner doesn’t support anything that would lead to your growth
You’re so excited about the big promotion you were offered and you can’t wait to share the news with your partner. But telling them doesn’t produce the expected reaction. They’re not supportive of you taking the new job, in fact they tell you that you shouldn’t take it.
You’re devastated, and even more so because they don’t seem to have a good reason for why you shouldn’t take it. When your partner is not supportive of your dreams or ambitions, especially those that would lead to personal growth, it’s a big sign of gaslighting in the relationship.
Your partner makes you feel as if your feelings don’t matter
You bring up something that’s bothering you and your partner laughs it off or tells you to stop being so sensitive or that whatever it is isn’t that big of a deal.
Whether the issue is big or small, he or she always makes you feel like what you’re thinking and feeling doesn’t matter. The two of you don’t have to be in agreement all the time but they should always take your feelings seriously. If they don’t, it’s a sign of gaslighting.
Your partner refuses to admit wrongdoing, even with proof
You have multiple screenshots of inappropriate text messages and pictures of them with someone else and they still refuse to admit they did anything wrong.
They might even continue to try to convince you that you’re imagining things. If you’ve outright caught your partner doing something wrong and have shown them concrete proof and they still refuse to admit wrongdoing or issue an apology, that’s a big red flag and a serious sign of gaslighting in your relationship.
Your partner tries to convince you something didn’t happen or you are remembering incorrectly
This can happen for something more serious like cheating or hiding things from you or even something as simple as lying about something they said. He or she promised to do the dishes for you and when you ask why the dishes haven’t been done, they try to convince you they never agreed to do that.
If your partner has a habit of trying to convince you something didn’t happen or that you’re remembering something incorrectly, be cautious going forward in this relationship, this is a sign of gaslighting.
You’re constantly confused by your partner
Being with your partner is like being on a roller coaster, with constant ups and downs. One day he or she treats you like gold and gives you everything you deserve and more. The next day they are picking fights with you over the smallest issue, telling lies, and making you feel bad.
This up and down behavior is not healthy for anyone and if you feel constantly confused by your partner’s ever-changing behavior, that’s a good sign that there’s gaslighting going on in the relationship.
You feel the need to apologize constantly
You’ve been berated and had to smooth things over with your partner so many times, you’ve reached a point where you feel like you need to apologize nearly constantly. You may even begin to apologize over simple things like not having dinner done on time or being behind on the laundry or dishes.
These are not things you should feel the need to apologize for and if you’ve reached a point in your relationship where you feel like you need to say sorry all of the time, this is a pretty big sign of gaslighting taking place.
You’re super focused on your own flaws
Whether it’s perceived character flaws or physical flaws, your partner has spent so much time reminding you of your flaws that now you can’t help but be hyper focused on them.
They might not even be real flaws, or they’re possible minor flaws (we all have them) but in your mind they’ve become huge issues and you might have even convinced yourself that your own flaws are the reason you and your partner seem to have trouble getting along. This is an unfortunate sign gaslighting is going on in the relationship.
Your partner tells other people you are the crazy one
To take the focus off of their own less than desirable behaviors, they’ll try to convince others that you’re the “crazy one.”
They might tell others about your “over the top” reactions to things they’ve done (leaving out their part in causing the reaction) or emphasize any perceived flaws they see in you. They’re portraying themselves as the victim in each of these scenarios without telling the whole story. This sort of behavior is a big sign of gaslighting taking place.
Your partner is hypocritical
If your partner loves to play the I can but you can’t game, that’s a sign of gaslighting in a relationship. They might see no issue in having friends that they’re a little too flirtatious with, but if you do the same it’s absolutely not okay with them.
Or if you stay out later than planned and don’t give them a heads up they lose it. But they just did the same thing last week and couldn’t believe you had the audacity to call them out on it. They’ll likely won’t admit to being hypocritical either, and will find some way to spin it so it looks like it’s your fault.
Your partner will try to appease you in the moment but behavior doesn’t change
You’ve gotten into yet another argument and you’ve finally decided you’ve had enough. You tell your partner it’s over and they start groveling like their life depends on it.
They make all sorts of promises and for a little bit it might even seem like things have changed. But ultimately they’ll end up going right back to old habits once they feel that they’ve smoothed things over enough to prevent you from leaving. This is a big red flag in any relationship and a sign that gaslighting is taking place.
They try to make their behavior seem like it’s no big deal
They do something to hurt your feelings or cause an issue in the relationship and when you bring it up they downplay their behavior.
They may say things like “it wasn’t that big of a deal” or even “it was just a joke, can’t you take a joke?” Downplaying behavior that hurts your or causes issues in your relationship and acting like it was no big deal may indicate gaslighting is going on.
You lose confidence in yourself
Lately you’ve noticed a serious dip in your confidence and you can’t help but wonder if the relationship has to do with it.
A big sign of gaslighting in a relationship is a loss of confidence. From the constant fights, lies, and being put down by your partner you start to feel beat down and you can’t help but start to wonder if it’s you. If prior to your relationship confidence wasn’t an issue, but since getting with your partner it’s become a serious challenge for you, this is a big red flag.
You’re constantly anxious
This goes along with feeling the constant need to apologize. A feeling of constant anxiety is often a sign of gaslighting in a relationship. Especially if you weren’t a particularly anxious person before but since you started seeing your partner it’s steadily worsened.
If your partner has constant mood swings, regularly picks fights, and critiques every little thing you do, it’s a recipe for anxiety. You’ll stay on high alert to try and avoid anything that could potentially upset your partner, leading to regular feelings of anxiety.
You replay everything you say and do to make sure you didn’t do anything “wrong”
If your partner regularly critiques you, points out your faults, or picks a fight with you every time you commit even the slightest “transgression” against them, you might reach a point where you start replaying every interaction with them in your mind to make sure you didn’t do anything “wrong” during the interaction.
Feeling that you need to constantly loop all conversations with your partner through your mind to look for mistakes on your part is a solid sign of gaslighting in a relationship.
You stop doing things you used to enjoy (hobbies, etc.)
When your partner is gaslighting you, they’ll be very controlling of your time. If you try to do anything without them, they’re likely going to guilt trip you or flat out ask you to not go.
Going out with friends, going to the gym, attending a book club, anything that you did for fun prior to you and your partner meeting are no longer high priorities for you. Though they’re still activities you enjoy, the repercussions of your partner’s anger, silent treatment, or guilt trips simply aren’t worth doing the things you used to enjoy.
You make excuses for your partner to friends and family
Your friends and family members have started to pick up on some of your partner’s not so desirable personality traits and they’ve started bringing them up to you. You find yourself in a position of making excuses for them.
“He/She didn’t mean that, it was just a joke,” or “He/She was just having a bad day, that’s why they were acting off.” If you find yourself having to regularly make excuses for your partner to others, it’s a sign of gaslighting.
They tell you bad things others say about you (true or not)
Ever concerned about keeping you under their thumb, if gaslighting is going on in your relationship your partner might even tell you the bad things others say about you (whether they’re true or not).
They tell you how badly your best friend was talking about you when you weren’t around. They feed you negative statements that they allegedly heard about you from their friends. Telling you all the bad things others supposedly said about you makes them look like the hero for telling you the truth and will have you questioning who’s trustworthy and who’s not. One of the biggest examples of gaslighting in a relationship.
You don’t feel like yourself anymore
You no longer spend time doing things you used to enjoy, you feel like you have to hide your partner’s behavior from friends or family members, you’re constantly anxious, and your confidence has seriously taken a hit.
If these things are going on in your relationship, you might reach a point where you don’t even feel like yourself anymore. This is a big red flag that gaslighting is a regular occurrence in a relationship.
You start having trouble with your memory
You could have sworn your partner agreed that they would take the trash out for you, yet when you asked them about it they deny that the conversation even happened.
You start questioning your own memories. You consider that maybe you thought you asked them to take the trash out but in reality you only never did. Other memories start becoming fuzzy too and you aren’t sure what’s real and what isn’t. Your partner has twisted things around so many times that you feel like you can no longer trust your own memory. This is a sign that gaslighting is going on in your relationship.