From not calling her during his overseas trip to cheating with Ines, Sam Ball has let his wife Elizabeth down many a time on Married At First Sight.
Tonight was yet another low blow for the 26-year-old model and actor, whose gaslighting towards Liz was more crystal clear than in any other episode to date.
For those not familiar with the concept of gaslighting, it refers to control and manipulation in a relationship, and can be viewed as a form of emotional abuse.
“The ‘gaslighter’ questions their partner and then twists and manipulates the information provided in such a way that victims doubt their own memory, sanity and reality,” matrimonial consultant and relationship expert Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart has previously told Yahoo UK.
“These relationships are toxic as they are unequal, one-sided, controlling and there is a complete lack of respect and love.”
And frankly, this is what Sam appeared to be doing to Elizabeth tonight, with even one of the show’s experts John Aiken observing that “Sam’s turned it around and kind of made her look like a problem in all of this”.
It all began when Sam and Elizabeth were asked about their sex life during the dinner party, which led to Sam telling Elizabeth, “You’ve lost your mind”.
“From the first commitment ceremony you said you don’t care about me, but then in bed you try and hook up with me,” Sam said to Liz in front of the other MAFS stars.
“Kissing you is not trying to f*****g sleep with you,” Elizabeth hit back, raising her voice and visibly distressed as she tried to defend herself.
“Stop making it as if I was trying to have sex with you. It’s like ‘Oh my god!’ My mind’s just blown. I don’t understand this.”
“So I’m a liar?” Sam then casually asked her, before the rest of the contestants wanted to know “Who’s sucked whose fingers?”.
“It was literally like we went to bed. I kissed Sam and then I pulled away and he said, ‘That’s a bit cheeky’. I kissed him again and then he goes, ‘It’s nice to see you smile’ and I said ‘We’re not having sex, this is not what it is’. And then he puts his thumb in my mouth,” a very uncomfortable Liz revealed with despair.
“I’m trying to defer you from trying to kiss me because I’m not into you,” Sam then said, which prompted John Aiken to tell the other experts in the viewing room, “Sam’s turned it around and kind of made her look like a problem in all of this”.
At this point, Elizabeth was understandably struggling to keep her emotions in check and even buried her head in her arms.
“I was not trying to have sex with Sam. It was a firm no,” she then said.
“So I just appreciate it if this wasn’t said that apparently I was trying to seduce you and sleep with you.”
“You were. You’ve lost your mind,” Sam replied as he leaned back in his chair.
This comment even left the experts taken aback.
“You’ve lost your mind!” expert Trisha Stratford said. “Oh and smiling,” she added, observing Sam’s hurtful behaviour.
Fans have also noticed Sam’s ‘gaslighting’ behaviour in recent episodes, and have called it out on Twitter.
— Bree Dwyer (@breeamelia) February 19, 2019
If you ever needed a clear example of gaslighting in a relationship, just watch Sam on #MAFS
— MP (@hisnameispatch) February 19, 2019
Gees Sam’s gaslighting form would make him very handy in a power outage #mafs
— Topher Sutton (@tophersutton) February 19, 2019
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