Being mistreated within the confines of a marital relationship often leads to a divorce. No matter the specific type of inappropriate behavior involved, abuse can destroy an individual’s confidence and self-worth.
According to Medical News Today, gaslighting is a damaging form of psychological abuse. Although it is often difficult to identify whether you’re involved in an oppressive relationship with a gaslighter, there are a few common experiences to keep in mind.
Five examples of gaslighting
A partner who manipulates your thoughts could be guilty of gaslighting. The behaviors used to confuse you tend to gradually increase over time.
A gaslighter might:
- Withhold. Abusers withhold attention as a means of punishment for questioning their actions or intentions. They may also refuse to talk to you and claim they do not understand what you mean.
- Counter. Over time, questioning the accuracy of your memory could cause you to doubt your memory of previous experiences – potentially to the point where you no longer trust your recollections of the past.
- Stereotype. Using negative perceptions about your nationality, gender or age (for example) is another way to control you.
- Deny. Your spouse might act like they didn’t say or do something that upset you. This allows them to avoid blame for their actions and, sometimes, accuse you of creating a problem.
- Trivialize. Someone who deploys gaslighting techniques might downplay your feelings or accuse you of being overly sensitive, rather than take your concerns to heart.
A gaslighting spouse could possibly learn how to become a better partner. Perhaps you should explore your options and do what’s best for yourself if it becomes clear they have no willingness to change.
Rather than wishing things were different, divorce might be a good choice. After all, your happiness is up to you.