Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this continuing discussion about gaslighting. We’ve been talking about how to tell if your narcissistic spouse is using this particular kind of emotional abuse to control and manipulate you. It’s what narcissists do. In the previous article we looked at the first five signs of gaslighting, including the regular lies and denials, and now we’re going to wrap it up with the last five things you need to keep a look out for.
As we mentioned before, gaslighting is a type of psychological manipulation where a person covertly sows seeds of doubt in someone, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. So if you’re the victim of gaslighting, it means your spouse is using all sorts of sneaky methods to make you wonder if you’re losing your mind. (We’ve handled lots of cases like this here around the Lansing area, so we recognize the signs!). You’re not bonkers, but they have a vested interest in keeping you off balance trying to make you unsure of yourself. Wondering if it’s happening to you? Look out for these signs…
Final five signs you’re a victim of gaslighting in your marriage:
6. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
Narcissists project their issues onto their victims. If they’re cheating on their partner, they’ll accuse their partner of cheating on them. If they’re struggling with substance abuse, they’ll throw out regular accusations of alcoholism or drug abuse to deflect attention from what they’re doing. Whatever problems they have, they’ll work to make it look like their spouse is struggling with those issues instead. Anything to keep the attention off their own deviousness.
7. They make you look bad in public
Part of making themselves look good, is making you look bad. They’ll pass snarky little remarks about your failings at a social gathering. Or roll their eyes and remind you how forgetful you are in front of friends. Whatever it takes, they’ll work to make sure that the people around you know how much they have to “put up with” when it when it comes to your failings, in an effort to make themselves look patient and tolerant and kind, and you look like a bumbling moron.
8. They turn others against you on purpose
Narcissists aren’t content with you feeling like a failure, or you looking like an unreliable idiot in your social circle. They want people to dislike you. Maybe even hate you. They’ll manipulate situations to cast you in a bad light, and lie to others about you so you sound like a genuinely bad person. Strangers will hear horror stories about your cruelty. Co-workers will be told heartbreaking tales of your violence. People you’ve never even met will think you’re a monster in disguise. When in reality, it’s the person telling the tales who’s the monster…
9. They’ll make you feel crazy.
The longer this goes on, the more self doubt you’ll experience. The more you’ll question your own mind, and wonder about your sanity. And that’s exactly what they want. A narcissist wants their victim to think that deep down, they’re completely whacko. That they’re losing their mind. Because if you aren’t sure about anything in life, including your own sanity, you’ll never see the truth for what it is. Or, if you do, you won’t be able to believe it. And you’ll be stuck there forever. Which is exactly where your narcissistic spouse wants you.
10. They’ll claim everyone else is a liar too
In addition to making you look bad in other’s eyes, a narcissist will work to keep you alienated from other people by making you think they’re all liars. By telling you that others (who might support you or help you, which your narcissistic spouse doesn’t want) are deceitful, and spinning elaborate stories to explain why other people are being dishonest with you, they keep you isolated. That way, no one else can point out the inconsistencies in your spouse’s version of reality, or help you get away from this abusive relationship.
When “I do” turns into “I’m done”, make sure you have the right help!
Divorce is hard. But leaving an abusive narcissist with a history of gaslighting you is a tricky, painful and delicate process that requires help from experts who understand what you’re up against. Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced and aggressive family law attorneys have helped many people in mid-Michigan navigate divorces from abusive and manipulative spouses. We know how fragile this can be, and how sneaky a narcissist is when dealing with the court. So if you’re ready to get out and start life over, we’re standing by to help.Call 517 886 1000 as soon as you decide to put an end to the madness.