Gaslighting is a type of manipulation. It often refers to a situation in which one person denies reality to make the other person question that reality. These lies and denials may even, in the most extreme cases, make that person think long and hard about their own sanity.
For instance, maybe you find evidence that your spouse is cheating on you. Not only do they deny it, but they laugh it off and say they can’t believe you’d bring that up. They tell you that you’re just paranoid and that you’re seeing things that aren’t there. The whole time, you’re just right. They are cheating on you. But it makes you feel like you’re the one who may have lost touch.
If you eventually see through the gaslighting and ask for a divorce, here are a few key things you should know:
- It may help to keep your divorce plans to yourself for as long as possible. They’re going to act like the victim and tell you that you’re still not thinking clearly. Don’t let them get started early and manipulate you.
- Consider the need for a restraining order. You may be able to get one if their actions qualify as abuse.
- Get someone else on your side. This person can be an advocate and give you support. The gaslighter may try to manipulate you, but they may not be able to manipulate a third party.
- Talk to any witnesses. See if friends or family members see the same issues you do. This can help to keep you grounded when your spouse tries to act like it’s all in your head.
- Write down anything you can about their attempts to gaslight you. This is especially important when you have actual evidence that supports your position. When they start lying, you can refer to this account to show yourself that you are right and that you are doing the proper thing.
Divorcing a gaslighter can be difficult, especially in an emotional and mental sense. Just know that they are manipulating you and you can work against in. Be sure you know what legal steps you need to take as you end this toxic relationship and move forward with your life.