Going through a divorce can be complicated and emotional, but when the person you are divorcing is a narcissist it becomes even more challenging.
It’s difficult enough ending a marriage without the added challenge of coping with someone who refuses to take responsibility for their behaviour or admit that there is any fault on their part. But even if it seems like the odds are stacked against you, there are ways you can make the process easier.
Preparing to Divorce a Narcissist
It can help to start preparing for divorce as early as possible by gathering all relevant documents. This includes financial records, emails, text messages, and other evidence that may be useful in court.
Gather these documents in a safe place where the narcissist will not be able to destroy or tamper with them. This will protect you from any false allegations from your narcissistic partner during the divorce proceedings.
Know Your Rights and Prepare Yourself Financially
The first step when dealing with a narcissist during divorce is to know your rights and prepare yourself financially.
A narcissist will use every trick in the book as leverage in the divorce process, so it’s important for you to know where you stand financially and what assets are at stake.
Make sure that you have a full understanding of your financial situation before entering into any discussions about the terms of the divorce. You need to be aware of your rights in terms of division of assets, alimony, child support, and any other financial arrangements that may come into play during the divorce proceedings.
Hire a Good Attorney
When going through a divorce with a narcissist, it’s important to have an experienced attorney who can navigate the curveballs that the narcissist is likely to throw at you during the process.
A good attorney will provide advice on how best to approach negotiations. They will also ensure that all aspects of the settlement agreement are fair. Read everything and ask questions. You must understand the facts and the terms of the divorce agreement to avoid any nasty surprises.
Additionally, having an attorney present will make sure that any tactics used by your spouse’s attorney do not go unnoticed or unchallenged.
Prepare for Emotional Manipulation
Narcissists often use emotional manipulation as part of their tactics during negotiations or in court appearances. They may try to play on your emotions or attempt to make certain aspects seem more favourable than they actually are in order to gain an advantage during negotiations.
It is important that you remain calm and collected while dealing with this type of behaviour, and not be drawn into any arguments or debates.
It can be difficult to keep your emotions in check when dealing with a narcissist during a divorce, but it is essential if you want to avoid an unnecessarily long and costly process.
While it may be tempting to respond angrily or lash out at the narcissist, keep in mind that doing so won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it will only further complicate matters.
The best approach is to remain level-headed and focus on resolving any disputes amicably. If necessary, consider seeking professional counselling or mediation services in order to help manage your emotions throughout the process.
Dealing with Lies and Psychological Abuse
Divorcing a narcissist can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. You might end up needing to defend yourself constantly against their accusations or manipulations.
It’s important to remember that no matter what they say or do, they cannot hurt you unless you let them. So stay strong and focused on your goals.
Prioritise Your Children’s Wellbeing
If you have children, you need to put some serious thought into how to support them before, during and after you divorce the narcissist.
- Explain the situation in an age-appropriate way. Make sure your children know that the divorce is not their fault and reinforce positive messages about their worth.
- Encourage them to talk about their feelings in order to understand and process them.
- Reassure them that they will always be loved, even if you and your partner are no longer together.
- Let them know that they can reach out to you or another trusted adult if they need help navigating this difficult time.
- Make sure they feel safe by providing structure, consistency and routine in their lives during the transition.
- Provide opportunities for your children to see their other parent in order to maintain relationships on both sides.
- Schedule regular visits with a qualified therapist or counsellor, who can provide guidance and support during this challenging period.
- Develop a parenting plan that outlines which parent will handle which responsibilities and try to be as consistent as possible.
- Teach them healthy coping mechanisms such as journaling or mindfulness exercises, so they have tools to manage emotions and navigate stressful situations.
Focus On Building A Better Future
It can be easy to get caught up in negative thoughts when divorcing a narcissist, but remember that this is just one chapter of your life, not the whole book!
Focus on building a better future for yourself by envisioning what life could look like after the divorce is finalized. Think about all of the opportunities that could be waiting for you once this chapter has come to an end, and use these positive thoughts as fuel for moving forward and overcoming any obstacles that might arise during this time.
Take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal
Going through a divorce from a narcissist can be traumatic and draining. It is important to recognize that healing is necessary, both to move on and to protect yourself from further hurt.
Here are some helpful insights into how to take care of yourself both during and after a divorce from a narcissist and start the process of healing.
Find emotional support. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Reach out to trusted family and friends for comfort and validation. It can also be beneficial to join a support group, so you can talk with others who understand what you are going through.
Practice self-care. Take good care of your physical and mental health, such as by getting adequate sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels. Spend time doing activities that make you happy or relax you, like reading, meditating or spending time outdoors.
Avoid contact (if possible). To protect your peace of mind, set boundaries with the other person if possible, such as limiting communication or avoiding contact altogether when needed.
Get professional help if needed. If the divorce has taken an emotional toll on you, talk to a therapist or counsellor about processing your feelings in order to start healing from this experience
No matter how challenging getting a divorce from a narcissist might seem, it is not insurmountable. With preparation and perseverance, you can handle this situation and come out stronger on the other side.
Knowing your rights ahead of time will help protect you from potential financial harm while managing your emotions throughout the process is key if you want things to go smoothly (and quickly).
Focus on building a better future, one without the toxicity of being married to a narcissist, and use this vision as motivation for getting through each day until everything is finalized.