Abuse can take many shapes and forms within a marriage. Knowing how to recognize the signs of abuse, including gaslighting, can save you from years of misery and difficulty. In a situation like this, divorce may be necessary to ensure you have a better future. 

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a common type of emotional abuse. It can significantly affect you mentally and emotionally and make it difficult to have a healthy relationship.

Simply put, gaslighting causes you to question your thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions. Gaslighters use certain tactics to take the attention off of themselves and put it on you, making you seem like the “bad guy.”

When you experience gaslighting over an extended period, it can wear down your confidence and self-esteem. As a result of this, you may become more dependent on the person gaslighting you. 

You can experience gaslighting in several different relationships, but it is most common in intimate relationships, like the one between spouses. One spouse may gaslight the other as a form of manipulation, slowly wearing down the other spouse to make them feel weak and powerless in the relationship.

Signs Your Spouse May Be Gaslighting You

If you believe your spouse is gaslighting you, it’s worth taking a step back and examining your relationship with them. How do they speak to you? How do they make you feel? Based on the answers to these questions, you may be able to determine whether gaslighting is an issue in your marriage. 

The following are some of the most common signs of gaslighting

You Second Guess Yourself Often

Gaslighting can easily make you second-guess your perception. Gaslighters want to make you doubt yourself, and frequent gaslighting can make you feel you can’t trust yourself and your memory of events. 

Your Spouse Twists Details to Shift the Blame Onto You

Often, the person who is gaslighting has done something questionable or wrong, but they’ll work the situation to make it seem as though you are in the wrong instead. They may blame you entirely or blame you for making them act a certain way by saying, “Look what you made me do,” or “I wouldn’t have done that if you hadn’t upset me.” 

You Feel the Urge to Apologize Frequently

Because a gaslighter can make you feel guilty, you’ll feel the need to apologize often. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, you may feel as though you can’t do anything right and must apologize to keep your spouse in a good mood. Your gaslighting spouse may say that you are crazy and make you feel like you’re overreacting because you’re too sensitive. This only serves to harm your self-confidence further. 

You Regularly Experience Worry And Anxiety

When you experience gaslighting often, you may start to feel anxious or worried. You know what to expect from your spouse and typically feel as though a negative interaction is always around the corner. 

Your Spouse Minimizes Your Feelings 

A gaslighting spouse cares very little about your feelings. Trivializing your emotions can help a gaslighting spouse feel more powerful. 

If you feel or experience any of these, you may be a victim of this form of emotional abuse.

Responding to Your Spouse’s Gaslighting

Gaslighting can wear you down until you don’t know what to do or where to turn. The good news is that it doesn’t have to last forever.

You can try speaking to your spouse about their behavior directly and express your dissatisfaction with your relationship. However, if the situation doesn’t change, you may need to take more permanent action to get out of the marriage

Discuss your situation with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. An attorney can give you quality advice and help you determine your next steps.

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.