Are you divorcing a narcissist? If you thought living with one was rough, you're about to find out that divorcing one is even rougher.
- People with narcissistic personality disorder are a mixture of contradictions. They have an inflated sense of their own self-importance, but their ego is remarkably fragile in some ways -- anything that they perceive has a criticism is magnified many times over and becomes the focus of all their attention and rage.
- So, when you decide that you've had enough and ask for a divorce, you've essentially thrown the biggest criticism possible at your narcissist's feet. You've shown your disloyalty and tossed all of the wonderfulness that he or she is offering aside.
- How dare you?
- More importantly, how do you survive? Experts suggest that you keep the following things in mind:
- The truth is optional to a narcissist. You won't get anywhere trying to get him or her to see the truth or admit to it. The narcissist has too much invested in the lie. Expect those lies to show up in court pleadings and don't bother trying to make the narcissist see reason. Present your proof to the judge and let the judge handle it.
- Narcissists don't have empathy, so don't try to appeal to his or her emotions. All you're doing is feeding a need that the narcissist has to control you and be the center of your attention.
- Distance yourself as much as possible. Put firm limits on contact with the narcissist and insist that every letter, email or request go through your attorney. Your goal is to remove the narcissist's feeding tube of fury by distancing yourself from direct contact whenever possible.
- Be prepared to document everything. Keep every scrap of paper, every email, every Facebook post or text message. Keep your own temper in check and vent to a friend or a therapist if you need to -- the cooler and calmer you are on the outside the more likely the narcissist will blow his or her stack and show the judge exactly what you have to deal with on a regular basis.
Above all, the experts say that you should never try to handle a narcissist on your own in court -- a good family law attorney will know how to minimize the fallout from the narcissist's attacks.
Source: marriage.com, "Divorcing a Narcissist: How to Stay Sane Through The Process," accessed Aug. 01, 2017