“Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality. This is done by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person.”
In an effort to validate leaving, departing husbands devise nonsensical excuses and re-write the past, reversing statements that they had previously made. This greatly confuses their wives, often causing them to feel like they are losing their minds. This form of manipulation is called Gaslighting in reference to a 1944 Ingrid Bergman film, Gaslight, in which in which the devious husband of the delicate heroine flickers the gaslights every evening as part of a plan of psychological torture designed to delude her into believing that she has gone mad.
Women who are subjected to Wife Abandonment Syndrome are often presented with statements that are contrary to those their husbands made prior to leaving. For example, the man who used to say that his wife was “the rock of his life” now says, “I never really loved you”. Women are forced to question their own memories and are at a loss to know what to believe – it’s almost impossible to accept that their husbands are just out-and-out lying to strengthen their positions.
Karen from Rapid City, Iowa
One of the hardest part of this experience has been “wrapping my head around” how he could just simply walk way from his family, from his obligations, from his commitments. It isn’t in my being to do what he has done. I doubt I will ever understand his choices or actions
Marnie from Hewlett, New York
My husband sued me for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty. This was the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with in my whole life because he, my son, and our home were the most important part of my life. Mental cruelty was an absolute lie. I describe the place I was in as a deep black hole; I was suicidal and fought desperately to stay alive.
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