Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and control that some people may use in their relationships. They may lie regularly, to the point of having their partner feel that they are always wrong or can’t trust their own memories.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and is extremely damaging. Though it is subtle in many cases, it can make it difficult for victims to know how to divorce their partner.
What makes it hard to leave a gaslighter?
Is it hard to leave a gaslighter because they emotionally abuse you to a point of not knowing if your own perception of the relationship is correct. You may think that you want to leave and even speak with them about it, but then, time and time again, they convince you that you’re wrong and actually are in a positive relationship.
When you start to lose your grip on your own reality and can’t trust your intuition, that’s a sign that you could be a victim of emotional abuse and do need to get out of that relationship.
How can you leave a gaslighter?
To leave a gaslighter, you need to make a plan. For example, you may speak with your attorney about your goal to leave your spouse, and then let them know that you’re concerned about the other person’s response or that they’ll try to get you to stay.
Get copies of your important documents for your attorney in advance, then, with a strong advocate, like an attorney or therapeutic professional, let the other party know that you want to divorce.
If emotional abuse is happening, or if you’re also a victim of physical abuse, your attorney can help you get a temporary restraining order and order of protection. That will help keep your spouse away from you while you work through the divorce. Remember, you should keep track of all interactions with your spouse, especially if they try to belittle you or claim that you said or did things that you did not.
Get trustworthy witnesses to help you affirm what you know is true, too, so you can focus on your emotional well-being while building your case.