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An Attack on Your Sanity: Divorce and Gaslighting
What is Gaslighting?

In a healthy relationship, spouses support and encourage each other. In abusive relationships, the exact opposite is true. The manipulative behavior known as gaslighting is a particularly insidious form of abuse designed to undermine and damage a person’s self-worth and confidence. It’s nothing less than an attack on someone’s sanity. The behavior often starts in small ways, with the abuser planting doubt in the victim’s mind about their memories, actions, and emotions. When the abuse intensifies, the gaslighter may try to isolate the victim to cut them off from the support of family and friends. At its core, gaslighting is a form of lying. It’s a common tactic of narcissists.

The term originated with the play and movie of the same name, “Gaslight.” In this fictional work, a husband is determined to commit his wife to a mental institution so he can steal her money. To convince her she’s losing her mind, he tries to make her believe she’s seeing and hearing things. At one point, when the husband’s actions cause the gas lights in the house to flicker, he tells his wife she’s imagining it.

When gaslighting drives a partner to seek divorce, securing sound legal representation is essential. For a knowledgeable, experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey, contact Graziano Law. We have years of experience with family law, divorce, and child custody cases.

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Why Do People Try to Gaslight Others?

While the plot of the original “Gaslight” movie revolved around a person with malicious intentions, in real life, a gaslighter may simply want to be in control. Abusers often want to gain power to fuel their ego. People with personality disorders like narcissism and antisocial personality disorder are prone to gaslighting, since it feeds their distorted views of themselves and others. Not all cases of gaslighting stem from psychological issues, however. If a person was raised in an environment where gaslighting was an accepted tactic, it may be a learned behavior. Regardless of the root cause, gaslighting is a problematic behavior with many negative consequences. If you’ve decided to divorce a gaslighter, the team at Graziano Law can help you successfully end the marriage so you can begin the recovery process.

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How You Can Protect Yourself From a Gaslighter?

Gaslighting surfaces in many ways, including dismissing the victim’s feelings, minimizing dangerous situations, ignoring achievements, withholding information, accusing the victim of doing things they have not done, telling the victim they’re “crazy,” and denying verifiable facts. They may try to cast doubt into the victim’s mind by telling them things like, “You’re just too sensitive,” “You’re remembering that wrong,” or “You’re getting upset over nothing.”

Victims on the receiving end of this behavior may eventually suffer from an erosion of self-esteem, anxiety, confusion, and depression. If you feel that you’ve been subjected to gaslighting, it’s important to seek professional help, and if you’ve decided to move ahead with a divorce, experienced legal representation is critically important. Some steps you can take to protect yourself include:

  • Distance yourself as much as possible from the gaslighter. Do not let them know about any plans you have for divorce until you absolutely must.
  • Avoid engaging in arguments.
  • Get support from family, friends, therapists, and a good attorney.
  • Keep documentation of what’s happening, including collecting data that can verify your statements.
  • If you are concerned about an escalation of abuse, don’t hesitate to leave.

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Contact Graziano Law Today

Graziano Law offers compassionate, experienced legal assistance to help you move on from a relationship that involves gaslighting. When you need a divorce attorney in New Jersey, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Attorney Graziano is one of the brightest and most compassionate professionals which anyone could work with! He is a great advocate and is extremely knowledgable of the judicial system. He made a very unpleasant legal situation a pleasant journey, and he helped keep things in perspective and in a positive light. I fully recommend him without reservation! Danielle
Robyn made the divorce process bearable by making sure I was ok every step of the way. She was a fighter when she needed to be and compassionate the rest of the time. The thing I liked best about her is that she was encouraging when I needed to get my end of the work done. She was reasonably priced and worked hard to get my case settled. I have since recommended her to 3 other friends who have retained her services. Ana Z.
It seemed like my case took forever but I trusted Ron Graziano and listened to what he had to say. Mr Graziano said that the insurance company was not being fair and that we should go to trial. The trial was very nerve racking however he eased my mind and killed them with proof and knowledge. My outcome of my trial brought me to tears of joy. I could never imagine such a good outcome. Listen to him, have faith and you too will be impressed. Robin
After a divorce, my ex-husband was not keeping up with his scheduled child support payments. With the help and knowledge of Robyn Flynn, I was able to resolve this issue. Being a single mother of three children, Robyn Flynn made me a priority. I felt respected by her always keeping me informed and encouraged. She was not only my lawyer, but a friend during a very stressful time in my life. I would never use another attorney other than Robyn Flynn and highly recommend her to my friends as a trustworthy, professional and experienced lawyer. Anna H.
Ron is an extremely trustworthy lawyer. Listen to what he says and have faith in him, you will be as impressed as I am! I couldn't have dreamed of a better outcome in my case. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to represent me, I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing lawyer!!
His staff is amazing as well!!
Robyn is an excellent litigator and educated/guided me throughout my divorce. She is incredibly gifted in managing your case and fighting for you with opposing consul. Through the dark days she kept me going and helped me get the results me and my children deserved. Chris K.

(Results may vary depending upon your particular facts and legal circumstances.)