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Gaslighting: A marital syndrome


This paper is concerned with certain male behaviors during and after their extramarital affairs and the impact of those behaviors and associated attitudes on the men's spouses. The observations cited here are drawn from clinical samples but seemingly have some features in common with what appears in nonclinical populations as well. Not only the husbands but also male therapists may contribute to the women's distress through mislabeling the women's reactions and through continuation of certain stereotypical attitudes that reflect negatively on the wife whose husband has had an affair.

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Gertrude Zemon Gass, PhD, and William C. Nichols, EdD, are clinical psychologists and marital and family therapists in independent practice.

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Gass, G.Z., Nichols, W.C. Gaslighting: A marital syndrome. Contemp Fam Ther 10, 3–16 (1988).

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  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Sample
  • Social Issue
  • Male Behavior
  • Male Therapist