How To Divorce A Narcissist – Divorce is challenging under any circumstances. But divorcing a narcissist is a nightmare. When your spouse is a narcissist, the divorce process gets more complicated as compared to what your marriage has been. However, narcissistic behavior varies from person to person, and each situation is unique, but special care is required to divorce a narcissist. A narcissistic person is egocentric and does not like to lose. Unfortunately, if you have married a narcissist and now can’t bear it any longer and are trying to figure out how to extricate yourself from this marriage, this article is for you.
To divorce a narcissist is easier said than done. As a divorce coach, I have worked with many clients who were married to a narcissist and found themselves in a terrible position to divorce a narcissistic spouse. Also, I’ve come across different divorce lawyers and family law from which I learned the significant things that will help you in this difficult period of your life. In this article, you’ll learn the signs of narcissism and tips & advice for dealing with a narcissistic spouse during a divorce. Let’s get started!
A narcissist is someone who has an excessive interest in themselves. A narcissist person requires constant attention and admiration because they are likely to have a fragile ego. They want to be perfect in any way because they’re afraid of being seen as imperfect.
Narcissism is a personality disorder, and a person with a narcissistic personality disorder has difficulty maintaining a relationship with others. Moreover, such people are mostly unhappy and disappointed when they are not given special favors.
Signs your partner is a narcissist
A person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has particular traits, and if you’re unsure of whether your partner is a narcissist or not, these traits will make it clear to you. A narcissistic spouse needs excessive attention and admiration and considers himself superior to others. In addition, they take advantage of others and have a lack of empathy for others.
If your partner controls you, wants to gain power over you, never apologizes when making mistakes, and does not appreciate you, then your partner is a narcissist. Furthermore, people with this mental health condition exaggerate their achievements & popularity and exploit others to meet their own goals & needs. They often use manipulation and tactics to make people support their plan and do what they want.
10 tips when you’re about to divorce a narcissist spouse
Divorcing a narcissist is an exhausting and emotional nightmare. So, if you are married to a narcissist and can’t bear it any longer, here are the 10 tips for dealing with a narcissistic partner during the divorce period.
1. Prepare yourself for an unpleasant and exhausting process
Unfortunately, divorcing a narcissist will not be amicable, and it is a painful & stressful process. Therefore, you must prepare yourself for any unpleasant situation to make this process more bearable. You can expect your narcissistic spouse to fight you each step of the way and make you pay.
So, you need to prepare mentally, financially, and physically and stay calm during this exhausting process. Accept the reality that you’re unlikely to reach any peaceful agreement. Keep your eye on the ending reward, which is not having to deal with them for the rest of your life. It’ll help you become less frustrated and emotionally drained because you already know what to expect.
2. Seek advice from a therapist or a divorce coach
Narcissistic behavior can leave you confused and exhausted. Thus, it’s important to seek advice from a therapist or a divorce coach who can help you cope throughout the divorce proceedings. Investing in therapy can provide you with great tools and tactics when you are considering to divorce a narcissist.
If you’ve never tried therapy before, it’s time to consider one. Hire a therapist, divorce coach, or experienced mental health professional who has experience working with narcissistic individuals. It will save your sanity and maintain your mental health during this challenging time. Also, make sure to visit a therapist regularly before, during, and after a divorce.
3. It may be expensive, but you have to hire a great lawyer
When you consider to divorce a narcissist, you need a great divorce lawyer who can fight and take over communications with your spouse. Hiring a divorce lawyer can be expensive, but it is an investment in your future. Your spouse can underestimate you and make things worse.
Therefore, it’s the most important thing to hire a divorce attorney to protect yourself. Hiring a great lawyer will ensure that you’ve someone by your side who will support you and explain your rights. So, choose a divorce lawyer who has great experience in such cases and who can go the distance with you because narcissists don’t compromise easily.
4. Protect your children, if you have them
Another great tip during this process is to protect your children. Narcissistic spouses use children as pawns, and don’t hesitate to turn your children against you. They can try parental alienation during a divorce. Divorcing and conflict affect children badly and is extremely difficult for them.
So, shield and protect your children and ensure they have excellent support from other people they can talk with. Keep kids out of disagreements and don’t turn them against your spouse but let them understand that their narcissistic behavior is unacceptable. If you want to get your child custody or consider parenting with a narcissist, it is good to seek advice from family law and divorce attorneys.
5. Build your emotional and financial support group before the divorce
Divorcing a narcissist is tricky as they excel at becoming the center of attention and getting people to side with them. A narcissistic spouse will do their best to ruin your relationships with other people and show you a bad guy in any way. To deal with this difficulty, assemble your close support network by letting your friends and family know about your divorce.
When you’re considering to divorce a narcissist spouse, do not alert them of your divorce plan until you build your emotional & financial support group. In addition, divorce can be a lengthy and expensive process. So, develop your financial support and discuss costs with the lawyer before the divorce.
6. Channel your inner spy to gather important documents
An important tip for preparing for this battle is gathering important documents. It’s time to channel your inner spy and make copies of all important documents and assets as proof if they go missing. Here is the list of important documents you need to gather:
- Investment accounts
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Documents related to property
- Insurance paperwork
- Birth certificates & marriage certificates
- Vehicles registration
- Tax returns
7. Keep the log of every encounter with your narcissist partner
Narcissists have no problem lying, and they can deny anything. They can tell you one thing now and completely opposite in court. So, keep a log of every encounter with your narcissistic spouse, including the date, time, and subject. Document everything your partner says and does.
Try to communicate with them via text or email to have concrete proof of things. Share every information with your divorce attorney. Having proof of your spouse’s lies and witnesses can be beneficial in proving a case.
8. Don’t get baited into the drama they’re thriving on
Narcissistic people thrive on drama. They try to push your buttons to induce a reaction from you to keep you off balance. Please don’t allow yourself to be baited into their drama. Your partner may secretly record you. Even in court, remain calm whatever your spouse says. They’ll set you up to react dramatically. Stay serene and confident, and let your divorce lawyer defend you.
9. Be aware of their gaslights
Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic that makes you question yourself. Your spouse can use this method to gain power and to make you question your reality. So, be aware and mentally prepared for gaslighting during a divorce. Here are some common and true tactics gaslighters use to wear their targets down:
- Saying they didn’t do or say something, even if you’ve proof
- Telling blatant lies
- Tell you that everyone else (your family and friends) is lying
- Their words don’t match their actions
- Trying to turn others against you and telling them you’re crazy
Your spouse may use any of these tactics, especially when they feel they are starting to lose control. So be mentally prepared for gaslighting before every meeting or court appearance.
10. Take extra care of yourself
Dealing with a narcissistic and divorcing is more like an ultra marathon. They can wear you down mentally and emotionally. If you want to win and make it to the end, you need to take extra care of yourself. So, be extra kind to yourself, do the things you love, stay calm, and get good sleep for yourself and your loved ones.
Try out meditation and talk to a therapist for your mental health. If you want to try online therapy, feel free to reach out to me by scheduling a free discovery coaching session. The best part about a therapy session with me is that it won’t break your bank and will be convenient for you.
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Relationships are complicated and require a lot of effort & compromising. While relationships with narcissistic spouses are even more difficult, divorcing such a spouse is downright exhausting. Seeking legal advice is the best way you can prepare to divorce a narcissist partner.
If you’re considering to divorce a narcissist spouse and have particular questions about your case, schedule a free discovery call with me to seek legal advice before you begin the divorce process. As a mental health professional and divorce coach, I’d love to help you successfully navigate a divorce with a narcissistic spouse in this traumatic period.