Narcissists are defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance.” Marriage is supposed to be a union between two people who love each other unconditionally and would put his/her spouse before themselves. But being married to a narcissist can mean differently even if the narcissistic characteristics weren’t seen until after the union.
When signs of narcissism or self-righteousness are noticed, it is important to decide if the situation is life-threatening or harmful to the spouse or any kids involved. Determine if the reason for divorce is because they are a narcissist or because of another issue and their tendencies are just an added weight to your shoulders.
Things to remember when divorcing a narcissist:
Be on Guard:
Narcissists are known for being charming and manipulative to the people around them. During the time of divorce, the spouse can be vulnerable and let down their guard in certain situations. Being aware of manipulative techniques and putting a stop to them before they cause distraction can be helpful. Also, the spouse can see and feel how much more powerful they are when they don’t give in to the narcissist’s tactics.
Keeping a written record of every conversation or interaction is a way to keep the narcissist accountable for his/her actions and words. Not only will it keep them accountable but it will also show the court what he/she says when no one is looking. Keeping all documentation including texts and emails will show the spouse is serious and logical about showing the true colors of the narcissist.
Narcissists love games and they love winning them. This is what fuels a narcissist to act superior and to treat everyone else like they are worth nothing. When fighting in a divorce with a narcissist, they will try and manipulate the spouse into playing their game and of course, the intention of bringing them in is to crush the spouse and the narcissist thinks they have won. Playing the pawn in the game of a narcissist will only make the spouse look weak and reliant on what the narcissist will say and do.
Going through a divorce can be a very tough time emotionally. With the dissolution of marriage comes a sense of loneliness and confusion. Bringing together close friends and family and creating a circle of support will keep you together and sane during this time. If there are kids involved, they will most likely need their own therapist or mentor, someone they can talk to when the situation becomes tough.
Creating a plan is a great way to show your lawyer and the narcissist spouse how you want to conduct business and what you want to gain from the divorce. Talking with a lawyer about how you want it to play out and what steps need to be taken to get there is the best way “to play the game” before the narcissistic spouse tries to manipulate the situation. Thinking a step or two ahead of what the narcissistic spouse will give you the advantage of setting the stage before they can play their cards.
Narcissists like to believe that no matter what, they can do and say whatever it takes for them to get to the top. Even if they play dirty, it is best to keep hands clean of any foul play. Like above, creating a plan and sticking to it will make it easier to not want to give in to any games.
Divorce can be a tough time even if it is for all the right reasons. Hopefully with the above steps can lighten the load of divorcing a narcissist and create a calm sense of what is happening.