Five Tips For Divorcing A Gaslighter
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, in which someone causes you to question your sanity and what you know to be true. When it happens in a marriage, the impacts can be devastating. Filing for a divorce may be the best option to protect yourself. Unfortunately, gaslighters are not likely to stop simply because you filed a divorce petition. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer explains more about the problem and offers tips for dealing with what can be a difficult situation.
What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a term derived from a 1944 Alfred Hitchcock film in which a man causes his wife to question her version of reality and her sanity. While the term-and accompanying behavior-has been around for decades, there is increased awareness of the damage it can cause.
According to a November 28, 2022 CNN report, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary recently named ‘gaslighting’ as its word of the year. It is defined as purposely and grossly misleading someone to one’s own advantage. Common types of gaslighting that can chip away at your mental health and your marriage include:
- Lying: This includes large and obvious lies concerning their whereabouts and activities, as well as lying about trivial matters.
- Denying: Your spouse may insist on their version of the facts, even when faced with obvious proof otherwise.
- Downplaying: This involves trivializing events that are otherwise important and impact you or your marriage.
- Projecting: Gaslighters often accuse others of the exact behavior they are engaged in.
Being married to a gaslighter can cause you to suffer anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions. It can also take a toll on your physical health, resulting in headaches, high blood pressure, and sleep or eating disorders. When this type of spouse refuses to acknowledge or change their behavior, divorce may be your only option.
Tips For Divorcing A Gaslighter
Once you make the difficult decision to divorce a gaslighter, it is important to take steps to protect yourself in legal proceedings. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer recommends the following:
- Document everything: Keep photos, videos, emails, and other evidence documenting their behavior as well as all marital property, assets, and debts.
- Avoid informing them of your plans: It is generally best to file a divorce petition and take other legal actions needed without letting your spouse know first.
- Limit communications: Once you initiate divorce proceedings, limit communications with the gaslighter to times when your divorce lawyer is present.
- Take anything they say with a grain of salt: Your rights in divorce are protected under the Florida Statutes. Instead of taking their word on any divorce-related matters, rely on the advice of a legal professional.
Request A Confidential Consultation With Our Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer
Divorcing a gaslighter presents unique challenges. As an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer, you can count on Vanessa L. Prieto to provide the caring support and professional representation you need. To request a confidential consultation, call or contact our office online today.