“Gaslighting” might be a new word to some people, but it refers to an unfortunately sad and long-lasting behavior. Gaslighting involves telling untruths and manipulating people, among other issues. Married couples in California may find their marriage deteriorating when one partner engages in persistent gaslighting.
Gaslighting behavior from a spouse
Gaslighting behavior might not be over the top or outrageous, but a partner’s comments could prove biting and painful, which could harm a marriage. A spouse who continues to belittle a partner with negative or browbeating comments does little to strengthen a married relationship. Attempting to hide put-downs with humor may give the gaslighter an alleged way out, but the person hurt by the comments may not see things the way the abuser does.
People who have never experienced a close relationship with a gaslighter may think that these issues are small ones worth working out. This might be true, but pervasive negative comments could ruin a relationship.
Gaslighting and its troubling forms
The mental cruelty associated with gaslighting may include making unfavorable comparisons between the spouse and another person. Such critiques might seek to hurt the other person and make them feel inadequate.
Social isolation might follow verbal abuse. Attempts to socially isolate a partner could reflect an effort to dominate and control someone. A common thread appears among instances of gaslighting: tearing people down and trying to exert control. Such behaviors can prove toxic for a marriage.
Mental cruelty may have a long-lasting effect on the victim. When a spouse inflicts such abuse on a partner, filing for divorce might be unavoidable. A divorce attorney may assist someone interested in marriage dissolution. The attorney may be able to negotiate favorable settlement terms for a client, possibly including spousal support.