Degrading Your Partner To Justify Leaving Them

GaslightYou’re in a relationship and you no longer want to be. Someone else has caught your eye. You’re dating or you’re married. You want out but you don’t want to face your partner honestly and own your feelings.  So what do you do?

Sometimes people in this circumstance start to degrade their partner. They find fault with them and begin to shut them out. They offer vague complaints that are impossible for their partner to address. In some cases they gaslight (tag – gaslighting) the person by pulling away and insisting they’re not pulling away. They avoid or refuse sex.

Some people take a more overt approach. They start accusing the partner of various things, like cheating, when they know damned well this has not occurred.  Venus in aspect to Neptune is often involved.

Have you ever used tactics like this, or had them used on you? What is the proper the way to leave your lover? What aspect in a chart incline a person to do this or have it been done to them?

52 thoughts on “Degrading Your Partner To Justify Leaving Them”

  1. maybe,or not, I’ve done this…I can see it being is sneaky and low down if the person realizes they are doing it,but I see it as human nature and not everyone sees themselves objectivly. the astrology would depend on the way the person feels about what they are doing. are they being cowardly or doing this on purpose?.Elsa, you always hit the nail on the head with human behavior.

  2. I have had this done to me. The last month of my previous relationship was like this. It was brutal. I knew something was up but he kept denying it. I knew. Finally one night I broke down and told him I felt like I was going crazy. I knew he had pulled away and I am pretty secure in my knowledge. He ended it.

    I don’t know about the proper way to leave your lover, but he told me ‘well you always said ‘what would I do without you…..’ ‘

    My response was, ‘holy fuck are you kidding me right now? When have I ever given you the impression I’d die without you? It’s an expression…one I promise you will never hear pass my lips again. I will be fine without you, I promise you that too. I am way stronger than you have ever given me credit for.’

    He was just…stunned.

    What a horrible breakup.

    As for my chart, I dunno. I have Moon/Chiron and cold people tend to think I’m weak because I’m so emotional.

  3. We have been gaslighting each other. He cuts me so that he can nurse me back to health. I act insensitive because I secretly want to run away from him.

    Last night in my journal I wrote my intentions. I used the word “solid” like six times. I am determined to be alone for the next 5 months, come hell or high water.

  4. Oh Elsa this is the theme in our life right now EXACTLY!! We invested money in a small company but mostly in the person to help him buy it. We signed all the legal docs required with our protections in place yada yada. Basically this person signed a pre-nup. Forward 3 years & things are moving along nicely when out of the blue this man is attempting a hostile takeover of our ownership, we own the majority. When hubby sat down with him he replied he felt hubby was “dragging his feet to move things along” Hubby replied “I’m making sure we’re cautious”. Partner replied “But so-and-so thinks we should…”. Ahh now we see, he found someone sexier, younger in business than my hubby.

    He signed the pre-nup, got new boobs, teeth & had lipo done is feeling hot but stifled by the old man who believed in him in the first place. Instead of manning up and saying “I’d like to discuss xyz” he is trying a hostile takeover. His other so-and-so isn’t exactly coming to his rescue right now & it’s cold out there alone. He now wants to negotiate terms & my hubby is willing to do this for the sake of the kids, the business.

    This was discovered 3 days after Pluto went retrograde. This has happened to us before. Neptune is at the end of hubby’s 8th house-other people’s money. I can’t WAIT until it leaves but hubby is definitely working on his NN in Scorpio.


  5. I probably have. I’ve done all kinds of unsavory things it seems.

    Some days I truly hope everyone has recovered from what an asshole I’ve been at certain points in my life.

  6. Sounds like a Libra afraid of conflict thing. They want to be broken up with rather than do the breaking up so they don’t have to look like the bad guy to family, mutual friends, etc. even though they engineered the entire thing. Funny it takes more energy to do the charade than it would to just rip the band-aid off.

    On the other hand, not everyone who is trapped in a miserable relationship has a way out. In an economy where it’s so hard to find work and until you do your only option is to take your child(ren) and go to a shelter until the police arrive and serve you with papers, well, sometimes a charade is necessary until you can figure out how to escape.

    Never give up your independence, even in a marriage with a person you have known for years and think you can trust. People can change or pretend to be one way until they have you under their control then show you who they truly are.

    If you have a way out, yes, it’s best to be mature and upfront and honest and just leave. Be grateful if you have that option and try not to play these games even if you are afraid of conflict.

  7. My ex did this. It totally confused me until the day he finally had to break up with me himself. I think he thought I’d do it for him. I was very confused right up until he did the deed. Then I had that A-HA moment. When he told me he was doing me a favor he was more right than he knew.

  8. I only realized i did this in retrospect. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t see what I was doing. I had legitimate reasons to be upset (drug abuse, lies etc.) but I couldn’t face what that meant to me and approach my feelings directly.

  9. i think everyone’s done this to a degree.. and had it done to them… i might do this at the early stages of realizing i no longer want to be with a partner, but i don’t leave it hanging for long. when its time to end it, i end it.

    i have experienced being degraded by a partner, when the accusations were half-true… my ex once did this in order to justify his bad behavior, by making it out to be like it was out of revenge, based on what i’d done first…

    all in all, very immature. when there are issues its always best to talk about them rather than let resentment fester. good luck telling a gemini man its best to talk openly about his feelings, though.

  10. Self sacrificing neptune in libra lossely squares venus in cancer? Mommy moon in cancer loosely squaring mercury in libra?

    Uranus is squaring my natal moon now. It’s got me thinkin that uranus is a rather tense fellow. I first noticed it when uranus conjuncted my mars. It was so intense that for a period of time there was glass breaking all around me, literally. For some reason, I internalized everything too much, mars rx in pisces?

    When I needed support, I did address it directly, but the repeated response was ‘how is that supposed to make me feel’? If I am the emotional support system for someone I guess I cannot expect them to be there for me when I need it.

    I really had a good feeling about the last one. But then I heard the normal cue, ‘do my emotionalizing for me’, ‘kiss my owie and make it better’ so I don’t have to deal with it. When he broached it, I caught myself and just said, ‘well that’s something you could take a look at.’ He needed an owie kisser. I could have nailed the relationship in, but it would have wore me out.

    He’d be all high on himself and I’d be in the shitter again unable to function with him kickin the dyin dog.

    1. “He’d be all high on himself and I’d be in the shitter again unable to function with him kickin the dyin dog.”

      Honey, you gotta put that line to music. That’s a heckuva bit of writing!

  11. OUCH! You look at Bob’s chart and tell me what aspects make a person do this as he has been doing this for 30 years.

    And what aspect made me take it.

  12. Never have I used these tactics but I’ve had them used against me. It’s brutal. I used to ‘tap dance’ as I like to call it…whether I was fixing or avoiding the gunfire…it’s all the same.When that shit starts to come down…you’re in trouble. How do I end it? I end it. Don’t know about chart relation… it’s happened from Geminis to Pisces.

  13. i’m pretty sure my ex friend did this to her ex husband. (we’re ex friends due to the aforementioned association, not because she did anything to me personally). she pulled away and began hanging out with other people every chance she got. she began an emotional relationship with a coworker which turned sexual after a period of her refusing to be intimate with her husband. i can’t say, though, whether she ever at any point tried to talk to him or repair their relationship. i was never privvy to that kind of info from either of them. anyway, though, i have to say that this is exactly how she went about severing the tie… spinelessly. i can’t say whether i’d do the same… not in those shoes. hope not, but who knows.

  14. Good word, B, spineless. I may cry myself to sleep at times, I may be too free-spirited for my own good….but I will tell you this much. When something matters, when something is important and needs me to be present…I got this. I laugh alot but I don’t dick around with things that could hurt someone else.

  15. I would think the astrological influence would be neptune square mars?? or neptune square saturn??
    Also unfortunately I know a close person who does this to the other.
    I wouldn’t do this to the other person but i can see how hard it would be to confront them on it. I notice that my gay friends are much more overt in their relationships, they know where they stand and confront the other if cheated upon or will flat out cheat and let the other know. Interesting. I wonder if its like that for all gays.. I kinda think so. That’s where they get the terms drama queen or devo lol!! I love being gay :p

  16. Yes, it makes us feel justified in what we are doing/thinking about doing. It’s human nature and everyone does this whether they realize it or not. I think the best thing is to silmultaniously own your own faults. Recognizing when you do this will also make you look at how it is the relationship and not the person necessarily.

  17. My ex accused me of cheating when he was doing exactly that, with various women, throughout the duration of our Relationship.It was pretty heartbreaking. He of course firmly denied anything of the sort when questioned, and made a pretty convincing show of loving me, which as very confusing, because deep down I did have a feeling something was wrong. He had moon in 7th square Neptune in 10th, along with a packed 8th house and a calling venus in the 9th. He was a reputed liar and womaniser. Not sure what I was thinking getting involved with someone like that. I have Venus trine Neptune and square Uranus. Duh. Finally ditched him when I did manage to attain proof. If there is ever a next time (I hope there is not) I will trust my gut and forget about proof. You know when you know.

  18. I don’t really think it’s that easy. I find fault with my partner whether I want to leave him or not. 🙂 I just seem to find fault in everyone, including myself. On the other hand, it takes me a long time as I’m really tolerant to actually act on the stuff that bothers me because I always try and find the reason behind the behaviour. At the moment, I see many faults in my relationship and I don’t think there is a happy ever-after for my current relationship, but I’m giving it time to see how it works out.

  19. Luckily I haven’t done this, nor had it done to me, but I did very much have a problem with leaving bad relationships = Mars in Libra (in 12th).
    I imagine this placement could also produce the indirect method of accusing the other person of whatever so as not to face direct confrontation. None of the above is a good thing, however. But a source of mental torment and a great loss of time and energy (for everyone involved).
    The Chinese say: “If you want to get rid of your dog, say he has rabies.”
    Looks like they have relationship issues too…

  20. Avatar

    I’ve never accused someone I wanted to leave of cheating, but I’ve done the rest of it to people I no longer wanted to be with, and a few did the same to me. Not proud of it and karma has kicked my ass for it.

  21. Have you ever used tactics like this, or had them used on you? What is the proper the way to leave your lover? What aspect in a chart incline a person to do this or have it been done to them?

    My first husband a Pisces, he would accuse me of all sorts of cheating it was his guilt because he was the one doing the cheating. We divorced I remarried and my second husband a Virgo man, when he decided that he was missing something and the family man thing was a drag. He would just disappear and became unreliable and selfish with his money and his person, witch was stressful since he was the only working person in the family. Me I’m a Scorpio if you find someone else you are more interested in romantically than me don’t lie to me or treat me badly just say hey it has been good but I have found someone else I’m more interested in bye. It might smart a bit or a lot but I will get over it and can still remain your friend without benefits. If I should find someone new I’m usually am straight forward with my old lover. I like a clean cut don’t saw at it and make it messy just tell me I would do the same for you.

  22. I think it’s common and it’s something people do unconsciously- magnify the bad in order to feel justified for wanting to leave someone. It’s never hard to find fault with someone because none of us are perfect. Its just sad that people resort to this because it can and will damage the other persons self-esteem. I think if someone wants out of a relationship, it’s better to recognize their contribution to the failing of the relationship so they can learn who they are and what they need and don’t need in a relationship and lower the odds of resorting to this gaslighting type of behaviour in the future. It really takes two people to make a relationship fail and there’s always a reasom that has to do with oneself rather than the other person.

    But yes I’ve done this and my conscience has paid for it. I’m not sure if any one aspect in my chart caused me to behave that way. I could blame it on Pluto opposite Venus- projection. Projecting (opposition) something dark (pluto) into my lover (Venus). I could also blame it on Neptune- not seeing straight…deception: gaslighting. I could probably blame it on the Moon as well. We can all find something or someone to blame but the fact is that people can just be assholes.

  23. Degrading our partner is never cool. But in some cases, we don’t recognize what our partner is “lacking” until we meet somebody new who maybe awakens that realization inside ourselves. And even if nothing transpires with the new person, it still acts as a catalyst for self-discovery.

    Which is why nobody should get commit to any relationship long-term until they know who they actually are (shadow side and all) and what they actually want that they are projecting onto the other. We’re often looking for our partner to fill in gaps that we need to be handling and correcting within ourselves.

    1. We’re often looking for our partner to fill in gaps that we need to be handling and correcting within ourselves.
      Absolutely! Very common! Especially in the “Opposites Attract” type of relationship, but you can “grow up together” if you find that you want to each take responsibility for the roles you early assumed. We got married at 20 and 21 and just celebrated 50 years. It CAN work if both people do the work

  24. Oh I’ve totally done this. The last guy I dated. I started a fight with him over something petty. I was hoping he would just say screw it and walk away but he engaged and got vicious. I did learn my lesson. I’ve learned that when I manipulate a situation there are still a lot of variables and I can’t completely control the outcome. The best thing to do is be honest with myself and try to balance honesty and kindness for the other person. And of course defending myself if I have to. This kind of shit really is hard for a libra guys.

    But in my defense, I’ve had men get vicious with me when I was straight up with them. Not excusing my behavior. Just pointing out that honesty isn’t always going to make a breakup amicable.

  25. My Ex has just done the exact thing. Treated me like dirt because he wanted out. Used a pathetic excuse of something I did to treat me this way. In the end he cheated on me emotionally and finally had the guts to to break up.

    He has Neptune on his DC, always idealizing partners – until we do something that makes us fall hard down from the piedestal.
    Also, he has Rx Mars in the 5th house – Libra!
    He ended up apologizing and excused his bad behavior on some stupid shit for the entire time we were together, when in reality he just didn’t want to be alone and thus convinced me to move in with him – when in reality he just didn’t really want to commmit on a deeper level.

    I think he thought that by apologizing he wasn’t so bad off that he can’t get back if he wishes so… But why should I take bag a person who’s only here because he doesn’t want to be alone? No f… way!

  26. Sadly, I’ll join the group: My ex has 9H Taurus Mars squaring 12H Leo Venus. Plus, 1H Virgo asteroid Juno squaring 4H Sagittarius asteroid Sappho. If I only knew then what I know now…

  27. People who can’t decide what they want and can accept in a relationship and are always trying to keep their options open through deceit just drive me nuts. Just put it all on the table after a good self-think or after seeking advice outside the relationship. Just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

  28. I had this done to me a couple of times, though I might deserved it. It takes two people to ruin a relationship and my critical streak made things worse. Of course, people (in this case the men I’m talking about) have stupid actions but followed by stupid reactions (me and my mouth), things get a disaster.
    To astrology: one of these men was Libra Mars conjunct Mercury and Sun. He was gaslighting. I was all wrong and mean and hurt his “sensitive heart”. He had Venus-Pluto in Scorpio, too. The other man had a t-square with Neptune-Venus-Moon with Neptune trining his Sun. He was looking for an ideal which I am not. Just a mortal being.

  29. Yep, can tell you first hand I’ve been Gangstalked since I was a little girl, and have been trapped in a marriage for twenty years by a closeted gay man who is trying to get me to commit suicide. He has also obtained life insurance policies out on me without my knowledge and consent. Divorce was initiated almost nine years ago and I won’t even go there on that subject…

    I was born with Chiron at 26 degrees Pisces in the fourth house, and am now experiencing my Chiron return, Neptune squaring natal Mars, Transiting Saturn squaring Transiting Neptune in my fourth and also the SN is in Conjunction with Neptune. Everybody seems to have something to gain off abusing and entrapping me. I’m okay though, and am looking for brighter days ahead. Hell, I’ve lived this long and been through some pretty nasty transits during my lifetime, and I will continue to prevail!

  30. This reminds me of that scene in The Truman Show where Jim Carrey looks at his wife and says ‘Why are you with me? You can’t stand me!’

    I.e The reaction to someone who is doing this.

  31. sometimes they degrade because they want to keep you to themselves,
    kind of an “isolate” you don’t feel good or confident to be desirable to anyone else. It’s so confusing, i dont know anyone’s true intentions, only the universe knows what’s up.

    but yeah if they are gaslighting it’s their way of pushing you away, that they no longer want you but are too afraid to tell you honestly that they want out. And maybe they still want you, because they are comfortable with you but they are unhappy. so many reasons. I attribute this to a highly mutable thing, because mutables always need to move and maybe they feel trapped? who knows.

  32. This Sadge is married to a Leo. Several years ago I wanted to leave him for someone else. It was all Neptuned for sure.
    I was honest but Mega Leo wouldn’t let me go.
    Things got crazy, I couldn’t stand him! Just looking at him made me angry! He couldn’t do or say anything right and being a Sadge I didn’t hold back with my sarcastic barbs. So yeah I degraded him, I’m sorry to say.
    I was so confused I talked to Elsa and her advice was to work it out.
    Fast forward: We did stay together and worked it out. If I had left , it would have been a mistake. We’ve been married for 35 years and dated for several more.
    It changed our relationship for the better believe it or not. He no longer takes me for granted and I appreciate him.
    I have Uranus going through my 7th house.

  33. Not that I can recall, or at least not consciously. I tend to romanticize the partner, and then reality gains hold over time. I’d point to my Leo Sun/Venus conj. and Neptune in 5th, plus Saturn in Cap conj DSC.
    However this is so timely in that I have an employee going through exactly this: putting down her husband to justify leaving. Hard core, and it is seeping into the office — hard criticisms being made at everyone but indirect and passive aggressive, snarky even (eye rolling, heavy sighs). She’s quite invested in this dynamic. I’d feel for her except I’m on defensive these days. Am guessing her significant Scorpio signature plus sun and Gemini moon are involved.

  34. This is exactly what my ex-husband of 23 years did to me. When you’re in that or going through it, it has to be the most bewildering thing to deal with. You have no idea what you have done when you’re never told the truth, simply because you haven’t.
    It is simply a form of abuse that is meted out by the most gutless, weak person on this Earth to another who cannot take any responsibility for their own.
    Needless to say, I toughened up & cut the bastard out of my life. I never acknowledged him or his presence when going through the Family Court process, learnt to never answer his calls & delete his texts. I was done with the abuse of all forms he dished out.
    He showed zero respect to me & the entity of marriage, thus I learnt to dish that out in return.
    Way past it now, but I do thank him for the lessons I did learn because nobody will ever get away with treating me like that ever again.

    1. thats a long time, 23 years to put up with.
      i really dislike constant put downs and degradation.
      it’s very toxic.

      i would have to say i have never used tactics like that.
      it’s not in my signature to degrade a partner. I just, fade away,
      and use avoidance. Until finally we are confronted and i say i’m sorry i’m leaving. It’s very very heartbreaking the last time i did this, with my last ex. because he was a good man. The first two ex’s were not good men, i had to use avoidance again though and there were no tears, just happiness that it was over.

  35. This is the Neptune opposite Venus thing, I guess. I got that feelings, but at the end there were always regret. Pixie dust make you falling in love than when it comes to reality as the Venus retro, you hear the wake up call. Now I’m yearning to overcome this unfortunate aspect:( Any advice?

  36. Avatar
    Warped by Wuthering Heights

    Wow, timing. Regret to say I did it years ago, thus recognize it easily. Recently noticed a younger acquaintance appear to be doing it due to temptation she knows will ultimately prove disappointing, but…
    How to convey “a word to the wise” subtly?

  37. I have this aspect in my chart soo I have a lot of Neptune but I would just tell them I don’t feel it anymore and I’m done and have before accused but not because I don’t want to be with them it’s bc I was insecure but I have definitely gaslit people and still do evn if I don’t mean to I notice it is a pattern that needs to be broke

  38. I have nessus in libra and both of my “parents” have pluto in libra. They would degrade each other and stay together and continue degrading each other. It was like being a victim in a nightmare three way and nobody could escape. I have never been married and I don’t want to be married. I also detest open relationships and I refuse to be a uncertified psychologist for two people that hate each others guts

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