No hidden fees We won’t surprise you when it comes to fees, we’re upfront, and agree it all in advance.
A brand you can trust We are here to guide you through difficult times. We pride ourselves on our flexible approach to client care.
Fixed Fee Initial Consultations We offer cost-effective, quality legal advice, no matter what your situation or needs.

What is Gaslighting?

illustration of the abstract concept of gaslighting

Stick and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. This phrase seemed to echo round the playground when I was a girl.  Unfortunately, I have found in my professional grown up life, that it is absolutely wrong.  Word and deeds can be devastating and their effect profound.

Gaslighting feels like a relatively recent term.  However, there was a film in 1944 called Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman. A beautiful woman marries a charming man. Soon enough, strange things start to happen and she begins to doubt her own sanity. Her husband tells her that she is imagining things. This is familiar to many of my clients and might be to you.

Gaslighting is a specific behaviour.  It causes the victim to doubt themselves, lose their self-worth and identity. The truth is distorted and exaggerated over time. Persistent statements undermine reality. A bruise is clear evidence something has gone wrong but a creeping sense of self-doubt is much harder to identify.

5 clues that you might be a victim:

  1. Your partner often reminds you that your behaviour is wrong.  Nothing you do is right.  Even if you do something right, you are convinced you are wrong. Anyone in your situation would begin to doubt themselves.  Remember this is not your fault.
  2. Your partner uses your weaknesses and vulnerabilities against you. They use the trust you have in them and your intimacy to their advantage. Remember this is not your fault.
  3. You feel you are walking on eggshells. You begin to dread been alone together. That sinking feeling in your stomach starts knowing that they are coming home soon. You wait for snide comments and regularly feel unhappy. Remember this is not your fault.
  4. If you confront your partner, they deny, express surprise or claim they were just joking. If you persist, they might become aggressive and will push the blame back onto you. Remember this is not your fault.
  5. You may eventually become resigned to your way of life, never sure whether it’s you or them in the wrong. You might decide it must be you or is it? I know I am repeating myself now but please remember this is not your fault.

You must remember the truth. You are the victim of a destructive behaviour.  Your partner’s actions can never be justified. If you think this might be you, it might help to seek counselling and talk through what is happening so that you can get regain your sense of perspective.

Get in touch 

If you would like advice or help about this issue or any other type of behaviour that is worrying you, or I can help you in relation to any other family law matter, please do contact me confidentially on 01924 291122 or email me at

Associated Image by vectorjuice on Freepik

We're here to help.

Our highly skilled team of specialist solicitors have been established in the City of Wakefield for over 100 years.

kumer ali
Rebecca Baker

You can trust us to be in your corner, right when you need us.

Rachel SteadRachel Stead
13:19 26 Nov 23
Can’t recommend Catteralls enough. Eleanor, Claire and her team have just helped us with a recent house sale. They were quick and efficient with responses. Even with me ringing and emailing plenty (very annoying) but nothing was too much for them. They did all things on our side promptly and kept us in the loop at all times. Will be recommending them and using again in future if needed.Thanks so much.Rachel and Harry.
Russ TebayRuss Tebay
17:20 04 Nov 23
Good service at a reasonable price
Andrew ElsbyAndrew Elsby
07:30 16 Oct 23
Personal touch. Well organised and knowledgeable.
Allison RobinsonAllison Robinson
13:53 02 Oct 23
We used Catterall's for the sale of a property and had excellent service throughout. Everything was done promptly, efficiently and accurately. We had experienced lots of errors with a previous firm and saw a marked contrast in the quality of service and professionalism from Catteralls. Danielle and Sue were knowledgable and helpful and were able to answer questions about the errors from the purchase of the property with a different firm so that we could move forwards quickly with the sale. Prices were reasonable and competitive but I would choose the firm again regardless of price because of the experience. It is the second time we have used the firm (previously for a different purchase) and I can highly recommend them.
08:59 17 Sep 23
My wife and I engaged Catteralls Solicitors conveyancing services to both sell our old house and to buy our new house. We can thoroughly recommend their services in this regard. In particular we would like to give excellent feedback to Ms Eleanor Parkin, our Conveyancing Executive at Catteralls, who dealt with us throughout the buying and selling process. Some aspects of that process became problematic but Eleanor went above and beyond that which was expected of her and ensured that any problems were resolved effectively and efficiently to ensure a smooth completion. Our engagement with her was always friendly and professional and we would be happy to recommend her professional services to others. Thank you, Eleanor!
Caroline WilsonCaroline Wilson
13:13 25 Jul 23
Thank you Catteralls for helping us with our recent house sale!! I will certainly recommend you to family and friends.Catteralls would be the first solicitor I came to if I needed any help in the future! Thanks again for everything. Fantastic communication, making a hard time in our lives that much easier. I can not fault a thing.☺️
22:51 17 Jun 23
I've used these for the sale of a rental property and my will and am also currently using them for a purchase of a residential property. Used them because my usual solicitors let me down. I can't comment on price because I didn't really shop around. A family member recommended them, and they've been good for me so far. Here, I've never felt like I haven't been able to speak to someone when I've needed to and they've always been on hand to explain anything I didn't understand. So far so good.
Kevin SlatteryKevin Slattery
09:53 08 Jun 23
Jenny and her team, saved the day after our sale and purchase almost fell through due to the poor performance of our previous solicitor. She was responsive, highly efficient and keep us informed throughout the whole process. We would only use Catteralls for any future conveyancing requirements. Many thanks Jenny, Sarah and the rest of the team!
14:24 09 Mar 23
Jess looked after my case. It was most helpful in that I was able to do everything via email, so all I had to do on the day was sign some paperwork, therefore only needing to make the one visit, which was perfect for me.Jess was efficient & organised and made the process a smooth one.Thanks Jess I appreciate all you did for me. 🙂
Aneka RandallAneka Randall
17:04 09 Dec 22
Paul and his team have worked on our sale and purchase. The team have all worked extremely hard, going above an beyond. Everyone in the chain has commented how efficient they have been. I will certainly recommend to family and friends and would be the first solicitor I came to if I needed any help in the future! Thanks again.
Jade NuttJade Nutt
20:07 02 Nov 22
Jenny and her team were brilliant with our house sale and purchase. They answered all our queries, made sure we understood everything and kept things moving along. We are very great full for your hard work! Thank you!