Gaslighting is a covert form of psychological manipulation that often occurs in abusive relationships. Victims are deliberately given false information that causes them to question what they know to be true, often leading them to doubt themselves. Over time, they learn to mistrust their perception of reality, thoughts, memories, and even their own mental stability, while their dependency on the perpetrator grows.
In addition to being controlling a gaslighter may also have narcissistic and antisocial traits. Because of this divorcing a gaslighter can be especially difficult. A gaslighter will try to manipulate the divorce proceedings, discredit their spouse, convince others their spouse is unfit, and more. If you are considering getting divorced and you suspect that you are a victim of gaslighting seek out a family law attorney immediately.
Getting Over the Hump
Divorcing a gaslighting spouse comes with particular issues, some that begin even before the divorce proceedings. Often victims will not trust themselves to make the decision to divorce; even if they are motivated to divorce, they might not follow through because their spouse will manipulate them into staying married. If they initiate divorce proceedings they may start to lose confidence in themselves and their decisions.
Gaslighters will try to prevent divorce in other ways as well. They will influence friends and family to be against the victim in an attempt to discredit them in the case of custody battles, or alienate their children by telling them lies. Gaslighters may even file false police reports or make spouses appear unstable by pushing their buttons.
But there are steps you can take to help your case. You can document when the abuse and deceit began and keep a record of all attempts to manipulate you. You can also ask those who support you to validate your experiences to legal professionals. Most importantly, if you’re preparing for divorce from a gaslighter it’s important not to question yourself as you move forward.
Gaslighting is one of the most subtle yet damaging forms of abuse. Therefore, if you’re divorcing a gaslighter, you will need a team of people you can depend on; your divorce attorney, friends and a therapist. Before notifying your spouse you are ending the marriage have a divorce plan in place.
If you’re looking for family law attorneys in Orange County, contact Buncher Family Law. We will file a temporary restraining order if necessary, and help you defend against gaslighting during your divorce proceedings and custody battles. We will sort through fact and fiction so your spouse cannot continue to gaslight you through the divorce process. Breaking free is possible and we’re here to protect your best interests.