Every relationship has problems. One of the most common yet least-spoken about problems in relationships is gaslighting and that’s what today’s video is all about. Today, I’m going to be talking about how to handle gaslighting in relationships.
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Before we get into the topic of how to handle gaslighting though, let’s talk about the most obvious thing. Let’s answer the question, what exactly is gaslighting? Gaslighting is a term that has been around for over 50 years. For some reason, it faded into the background and right now, is rising again in popularity.
Gaslighting, simply put, is when somebody manipulates you into thinking that you’re crazy, you’re losing your memory, you’re losing your sanity or that there’s just something wrong with you. That is what gaslighting is.
Now that you’ve heard the definition of gaslighting, I’m sure you can easily think of women who have experienced gaslighting in their own relationships. Perhaps you have experienced gaslighting in your own relationship as well. Or maybe you’re even experiencing it right now.
Gaslighting starts in a subtle way. For example, a man might tell his wife that she eats a lot even though she doesn’t. He says this regularly and eventually, she starts to accept it. One day, he’ll come to her and tell her that she’s fat and when she starts to argue, he’ll remind her that she eats a lot. And because she already accepted that she ate a lot, she will find it easy to believe him when he says that she’s fat.
She will look in the mirror and see a fat person even if she’s slim. She will think she’s fat even if other people tell her that she’s slim. All because she has believed the gaslighting that her husband has brought into her life. This woman has been trained by her husband not to trust her own judgement. She has been taught by her husband to question her beliefs about her eating habits and her body. This woman has become a victim of gaslighting.
Sometimes, gaslighting manifests as the other person denying something that they’ve done. For example, a man might come home after his wife has gone to bed. When he gets into bed, she’ll look sleepily at the clock and see maybe it’s 2 am. The following day, when she says, “Oh, you came back home at 2am”, the guy might say “No, it wasn’t 2am. It was earlier than that. You didn’t know because you were sleepy.”
The woman might accept his story because she does realise that she was sleepy. She might question whether she got things right or not. If he does this enough times, the woman might start to question whether the man comes home as late as she thinks he does. She’ll start to wonder whether she has a problem when in actual fact, what is happening is that the man is gaslighting her.
Gaslighting is also a tool that men who cheat often use. Women often notice changes when their husbands start cheating. Usually, they can’t even quite put their finger on what exactly those changes are but they’ve noticed them. It might be things like the man dressing differently, coming home later, smelling different but she doesn’t know exactly what it is. All she knows is that the man has changed.
Using gaslighting, the man might try to convince his wife that he has always come home late (trying to get her to question her memory). Or he might tell her that she’s imagining things (trying to get her to question her sanity). Gaslighting works in a slow way, just like water eventually wears away stone.
So how can you handle gaslighting in a relationship? The 1st step is to believe in yourself. Don’t give someone power over your mind. If you start to believe or if you start to wonder if you’re being manipulated or gaslighted, you probably are.
The 2nd step is to keep records in a place that cannot be accessed by the person who is gaslighting you. You can write down, for example, the times that your husband comes home, the things that are said in an argument (the actual words), the examples where your husband or your man has tried to use your children against you.
Just write down things like that but the most important thing is to keep your records in a place that cannot be accessed by the person gaslighting you. So don’t just go and write these things in a notebook and then put it in a drawer. Somebody’s going to find it and it’s not going to turn out well. Be careful. Keep your records in a safe place that cannot be accessed by the person gaslighting you.
The 3rd step is to talk to the person who is gaslighting you. Gaslighting doesn’t have to spell the end of a relationship. Talk to the person who is gaslighting you and tell them how you feel. If they attempt to continue gaslighting you, perhaps denying your emotions or trying to tell you that you’re crazy, go back to step 2 and come up with the records that you’ve kept. Give those things as examples. If they are still gaslighting you, this is now a serious matter.
At this stage, the best thing is for both of you to get coaching. So, suggest to your partner that the two of you get coaching. That’s step 4. If your partner refuses to get coaching with you, you go get coaching by yourself because it’s going to help you go from where you are to where you want to be.
The 5th and final step is to decide whether this relationship is the right one for you and whether you should keep going on in it. No relationship can be happy if there’s gaslighting going on.
I hope this video has been useful for you. If you want tips from me on a daily basis on how to be happy while single and how to attract the right man for you into your life, follow me on Instagram by clicking here. I’ve also written a ton of ebooks for single women over the age of 30. These books are about love and relationships and you can get them for free by clicking here.
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