by Dan Drake, LMFT, LPCC, CCPS-S, CSAT-S
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation. The term comes from the movie with the same name, and it is a strategy where one individual manipulates of the reality of another. These patterns can range from subtle to extreme, but the impact often leaves the one who is gaslighted questioning their own reality.
Sexual addicts use gaslighting in relationships at times to preserve their relationship with their addiction. Throwing their partners off the track, if the addict can keep his/her partner thinking the PARTNER is the problem, then the partner will not as effectively question the behaviors of the addict. Addicts at times do this overtly and consciously, and at times do it without even realizing it. Yet the impact of gaslighting on the partner and on the relationship is devastating. Gaslighting must stop if a relationship has a chance for healing, restoration, and reconciliation.
I found the following article on gaslighting interesting, as it portrays an individual’s experience with gaslighting in a relationship and what she learned: