What is gaslighting? It refers to psychological manipulation that causes the target to question their sanity. However, gaslighting is far from simple.
Those with narcissistic personalities commonly use gaslighting to discredit the target while improving their own credibility. However, some can display gaslighting behaviors without knowing what they are doing, especially during an emotionally trying divorce.
Common gaslighting behaviors
If you are unsure whether your soon-to-be-ex is gaslighting you, the fact that you are considering it makes it a valid concern. To help you firmly identify gaslighting, look for the following behaviors:
- Assigns blame for hardships or problems to you or outside factors—but they never blame themselves.
- Dismisses your feelings by insisting that you are overly sensitive or have no reason to feel a particular way.
- Takes over discussions with constant interruptions or by talking over you during conflict-filled arguments or conversations.
Severely troubled gaslighters may try to convince you that events or conversations you know occurred were only your imagination. They sometimes purposely say or do things that cause you to question your sanity, memory and emotions. Most gaslighters believe their actions allow them to remain in control of you and your divorce.
Divorcing a gaslighter
To prevent a gaslighting spouse from sabotaging your divorce, wait as long as possible to inform them of your plans. By then, you should have a stjurdy support system in place to protect you from any attempts to gaslight you further.
It is also a good idea to document any gaslighting behaviors your spouse exhibits during your Virginia divorce proceedings. A detailed record of their actions gives you the power to refute any untruthful accusations that could harm you in the divorce.