All divorces are different. There is no one-size-fits-all advice for someone going through this hard process. However, a person divorcing a narcissist can suffer a whole other level of agony. Divorcing a narcissist can drain them of their confidence, sense of self, happiness, and security.
A majority of divorce cases end out of court- where couples opt for a collaborative divorce or mediation to avoid the hassles and costs of taking their divorce to court. But, when parting ways with a narcissist, you are more likely to end up in the court, which can lead to a complete exhaustion of finances and mental and emotional stability in most cases.
If you are in the process of separating from a narcissist, here are 7 tips to help you along the way-
- Expect What’s Coming– With a narcissist, an amicable divorce is likely to be far from reality. They would do anything other than engage in a collaborative process. Don’t get your hopes up that they would act any different during this hard process. If you know what living with them felt like, be prepared to see their behaviors worsen in the separation process. Tell your attorney about your partner’s narcissistic behavior. This information will change a lot for your attorney, and will allow them to be better prepared for what can come next.
- Handle Your Reactions– Narcissists feed on your emotions. They enjoy the drama that follows when they say or do something that can feed your insecurity and get you worked up. Don’t become a part of the drama in the first place. The only way you can overcome your divorce from a narcissist without losing your sanity is not to become involved in their senseless spectacles.
- Don’t Fight for Fair– When divorcing a narcissist, nothing is going to seem fair. According to your spouse, it is all your fault. And, if you try to prove otherwise, you will end up losing a lot of time and energy. There is nothing you can do or say to turn the focus of your spouse towards their faults and responsibilities.
- Learn to Walk Past Their Strategies– For a narcissist, the only thing that matters is their interests. Their selfish motives are their priority, not you nor your children. You may worry about your children and may want to cut short the divorce process to make it easier for your children, but this will not be the case for your partner. Learn to see beyond their strategies and cope with them.
- Keep Copies of All Exchanges– A narcissist may resolve to make anything a ‘he said/she said’ issue. Before they can hurl responsibilities your way, be prepared with all records of exchanges between you while you go through your divorce. By doing so, you can bring forth proper evidence when the need arrives.
- Minimize Their Impact on Your Children– The saddest part about divorcing a narcissist is the effects it may have on your children. Be prepared to see your partner play the part of the exciting parent, both while you go through the divorce process and afterwards. They will then gradually try to alienate your children from you by exposing a false image of you to them. Make sure you reinforce your healthy and thriving relationship with your children.
- Surround Yourself with a Support System– This is the most vital step you can take to preserve your peace of mind while divorcing a narcissist. Hire a divorce attorney who specializes in handling divorcing a narcissist. They will make all the difference to your survival of your separation. Besides an expert attorney, rely on your friends, family, and therapist to guide you through the process. Don’t assume that you can get through this alone.
Divorcing a narcissist is a continuous battle with emotions and trauma. They will do everything they please to hurt, belittle, and blame you for everything. It is your job to take care of yourself, every step of the way. The people you surround yourself with will make a huge impact on how you handle divorcing a narcissist.