(– A critique based on a true story as told by *Jacqui Osmond.)
“My husband was a repeat offender in the cheating department. Whenever I confronted him about his philandering, he would gaslight me. I got tired of trying to be reasonable with him. My career involved a lot of traveling. One day I left for a job far away and never returned. I drove away and never looked back”. -Jacqui
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation. It causes you to doubt what you see, hear or understand. It happens in relationships and social setups. A gaslighting victim becomes confused, withdrawn, anxious, or defensive. Sometimes, Victims lose their sanity.
Gaslighters will blame you for their mistakes. Every disagreement is your fault. They insist you are overreacting, and overly sensitive. They constantly put you down. They deny the truth or twist information. They become violent when confronted with evidence.
Markers of Jacqui’s Husband’s Gaslighting Tendencies:
-Becoming violent when confronted with evidence of his infidelity.
-Turning conversations around to justify why men cheat.
-Validated the other woman’s attempts to create a rift between him and Jacqui.
– Giving Jacqui ostensible control of family income, spending most of it, and accusing her of mismanagement.
-Accusing Jacqui of overreacting about his use of sexual enhancers.
Gaslighters are wounded people. Wounded people wound others. They do not have a strong sense of self. They must feel right or else they feel threatened.
Gaslighting is emotional abuse. Sociopaths use it to control, manipulate and create mindless automatons. Abuse does not have to be physical to be lethal. It wears you down. You begin to doubt what your gut tells you is true and real. It erodes your sanity, as you doubt your assessment of reality.
Gaslighters are pathological liars. They manipulate your mind. They twist information into what they would like you to believe. You lose self-confidence and self-esteem. You become someone you can hardly recognize.
A gaslighter becomes violent when threatened.
Gaslighting renders you impotent in a relationship. Attempts to defend yourself become the sword by which you fall. Constant putdowns erode your confidence in your decision-making ability. Often, gaslighters become violent when threatened.
What to Do
If possible, let your partner know his is unacceptable behavior. State that you will not stay in the relationship if it continues. If the red flags become a pattern, understand that your partner is unhealthy. An abusive relationship is an unhealthy one. Avoid explanations and tiresome conversations. Gaslighters do not accept responsibility. They do not like to relinquish control. Be definitive and clear in explaining that you want to end the relationship. Focus on your well-being. Get out as fast and as safely as you can. Most gaslighters are a lost cause. Get support and therapy. Repair your diminished self-confidence and self-worth.