By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern

The relationship may be full of loving words and affection, but what is the motivation behind these overwhelming moments of love? Is the partner love-bombing or gaslighting?

Abuse can take more forms than physical violence. Sometimes it can feel like you are doing something wrong because your partner’s way of sharing their love seems confusing. The highs are high, and the lows are low – that’s not exactly the way the story should go. The manipulation used by an abuser in this situation is called love-bombing. Love-bombing often involves showering someone with an abundance of gifts, extravagant experiences, love, affection, or information. There is a heightened intensity to the partner’s interest that can make you feel reliant on this new partner. It is too much too fast, often followed by a period of put-down, devaluation, and sheer disregard for you and your needs.

In some cases, love-bombing can be followed by gaslighting, but they are not mutually exclusive. Gaslighting is often used by a partner to make you distrust your own thoughts and feelings. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? Your partner? That tends to be the goal. One example of gaslighting may be when a partner accuses you of lying, cheating, or manipulating when in fact this is what they are doing. This can be extremely isolating from friends and family as your partner may attempt to make everyone out to be a liar, claiming to be the only one that can be trusted.

Here are some signs to look for in if you feel your relationship may not be healthy:

  • Intensity
  • Possessiveness
  • Manipulation
  • Isolation
  • Sabotage
  • Belittling
  • Guilting
  • Volatility
  • Deflecting responsibility
  • Betrayal

For more information about healthy and unhealthy relationships, consider exploring One Love.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please consider contacting:

  • If you are in immediate danger call 9-1-1
  • Illinois Domestic Violence Victim Services 1-877-863-6338 or 1-877-863-6339
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 799.SAFE (7233)

If you are someone who has experienced or is experiencing abuse in any form, we may be able to offer support through individual, couples, family or group counseling and therapy.

Call us at 847-854-4333 for your free confidential telephone consultation.

Contact Owens & Associates for more information on how we can help meet your individual needs.