A fuck-tonne of people Googled gaslighting last night, after MAFS expert John Aiken absolutely throttled James Susler for gaslighting his MAFS wife Jo Todd.
According to Google Trends, the second highest trending topic for the past week has been gaslighting. The topic saw a yugggggee spike on Sunday evening (when MAFS aired), and at 8pm search interest for gaslighting was five times higher than the show itself. WOW.
So before we get into MAFS drama, what is gaslighting? If you’ve ever had the displeasure of dating, you’ve probably encountered gaslighting in one way or another. Basically, it’s when someone undermines your reality by denying facts, the environment around them, or their feelings.
I’m about to get all film student on you, but the term actually derives from a 1944 movie called Gaslight. It’s a psychological thriller about a woman whose new husband makes her think she’s going crazy by tampering with things in the house. One example when he dimmed the gaslights without touching them, hence the name Gaslight.
At the commitment ceremony last night, Jo said that James manipulates every question: turns her questions back on her, redirects things and makes her question the truth she knows. John, who for once does his job as a psychologist, labeled it as “classic, stereotypical gaslighting behaviour.”
James doesn’t get it and the experts literally have to spell it out for him. John gave the example of when he called Belinda frigid and when confronted about it, simply denied it. GASLIGHTER.
Those who have been gaslighted before will know how frustrating it is when someone tries to invalidate your feelings, rather than maturely working through a solution with you.
It’s good that the show is calling out this toxic behaviour, but Bryce still exists, so they can’t be doing that much of a good job. Remember when Melissa confessed that she was afraid to vocalise her feelings to Bryce, because he’d just end up dismissing her? Yeah, that sounds like gaslighting to me.
Bryce’s secret GF was once again a topic of discussion at the commitment ceremony, and when Melissa tried to express her feelings, the failed radio announcer gaslit her.
Behold! The evidence:
“It’s embarrassing for me,” Melissa said.
“I don’t think it’s embarrassing for you,” Bryce said.
“It is. It’s how I feel,” Liss added.
SEE, SEE, SEE!!!
They really need to do a test before these guys come on the show that determines whether they are a gaslighter or not. Because YUCK.