My question is, do people who are doing this KNOW they are doing this, or is this some kind of subconscious coping mechanism to avoid their own sense of culpability? She says her husbands HATES to feel blamed for things. Like anything. I have seen it to some small extent.
I agree with @NextTimeAround
on this: if you do something often enough, it becomes a natural way of life, but they should still be held culpable. I also think that some people do it intentionally.
My STBXH exhibited a lot of gas lighting signs, but I'm not sure he was aware of them. He is very highly educated, and thinks very highly of himself and his abilities. Looking back on things now, I believe that he may be on the spectrum. I think that because of how highly he thought of himself, he had a hard time admitting fault to anything. He was also overly sensitive to things, like my bringing up an issue in our relationship, he would often perceive that as him being blamed or me attacking him, so he would swing the fault back on me, twist my and his words around, dodge the subject at hand and keep changing the subject until I forgot what the original issue was. He also told me many times that memories change all the time, and that I don't remember things correctly, but that he had photographic memory. So yeah, I was always second guessing myself, feeling totally nuts, and like I could never do/say/remember anything. It basically felt like I was losing my mind. Luckily, I found myself and my mind again and dug out of that hole.
My ex put himself on a pedestal, and felt that he was above most of the population, myself included. He saw me as a project or one of his students that needed someone to teach/mentor them. What I really wanted and needed though was a best friend, a partner to travel through life with. He's just incapable of providing that.