What to Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist
Divorcing a narcissist can be an emotionally draining and harrowing process. Narcissists thrive on control and power, so the divorce process may be especially difficult for them to accept. They may attempt to:
- manipulate and bully you throughout the process,
- behave imperially or cruelly, or
- refuse to cooperate with decisions in order to retain some measure of control.
Strategies for Divorcing a Narcissist
Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, and a lack of empathy. Individuals with this disorder often use others to their own advantage and can be very manipulative.
If you are married to a narcissist, it can be a very difficult and emotionally taxing experience. Here are some tips on how to divorce a narcissist:
Take Time to Understand Narcissism
In order to deal with a narcissist, it is important to first understand what you’re dealing with. Narcissists can be very charming and intelligent, which can make them difficult to deal with. They may also have an inflated sense of entitlement and expect special treatment. It is important to be aware of these traits so that you can better deal with them.
Narcissists often try to take advantage of others and can be very manipulative. It is important to set boundaries in order to protect yourself from their manipulation. Be clear about what you will and will not tolerate from them. Communicate your boundaries clearly and stick to them.
Build a Strong Support System
Dealing with a narcissist can be very difficult and emotionally draining. It is important to seek support from friends or family members who can help you through this tough time. You may also want to consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who can help you deal with narcissistic abuse.
Prepare for a Taxing Divorce Process
Unfortunately, when divorcing a narcissist, it is important to be prepared for the worst. They may try to make the divorce process as difficult as possible or use underhanded tactics in order to get what they want. It is important to be prepared for their games so that you can protect yourself emotionally and financially.
Remember the Importance of Having Everything in Writing
Narcissists are renowned for their proclivity to lie. Their stories often change with the wind, yet they can be so convincing that even you may doubt yourself in time. With no qualms about manipulating reality and others' perceptions of it, deception is a natural aspect of their craftsmanship.
To protect yourself from discrepancies, document all interactions and agreements in writing. Using emails or text messages written by your spouse proves more reliable than a record of what you wrote since facts cannot be challenged without evidence that reflects the truth. Therefore, should any future disputes arise regarding an understanding between parties, such as when to pick up children, having proof will help settle issues amicably instead of ending up in court with no resolution.
Pick & Choose Your Battles
Navigating the complexities of divorcing a narcissist can be an exhausting proposition, leaving you feeling drained and possibly putting your most important goals at risk. To maximize success, prioritize battles, in order to ensure that when it matters most you have the energy to give it all.
In picking what battles you want to fight, you can also consider finding ways you can make your narcissistic spouse believe that they won. Narcissists enjoy winning and being right as well as looking good/feeling like a winner. Making them feel like they benefit without having to lose what matters to them can be a great strategy.
Get Legal Help
Dealing with a narcissist can be very difficult, especially if you are going through a divorce. However, by understanding what you’re dealing with, setting boundaries and being prepared for the worst, you can help protect yourself from their manipulation and abuse.
You can also better be prepared to divorce a narcissist by working with a reliable divorce attorney. At Kallen Law Firm, LLC, our attorneys take a team-based approach to cases and work together to offer high-quality, comprehensive divorce services.
With over 45 years of combined legal experience, we have helped thousands of clients successfully navigate their cases. If you are divorcing a narcissist, our firm can help you communicate with the other party and develop strategies to combat the unfair tactics the other party may try to employ.
Learn more about our divorce services by calling (314) 441-7793 or reaching out to us online.
Further Reading: Co-Parenting with a Narcissist