Divorce can be a painful situation for anyone. However, if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is a narcissist, you may be heading for an especially combative, contentious process.
Under these circumstances, it can be wise to take the following measures to protect yourself and your future.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH
Someone with narcissistic personality disorder exhibits several symptoms, including:
- Inappropriate feelings of superiority
- Delusions or fantasies of power
- Being manipulative
- Refusing to recognize other people’s needs and feelings
- Feeling deserving of having the best of everything
They can also be quick to anger and have difficulty managing their emotions.
Someone experiencing these may not be able to negotiate a peaceful divorce. They may make outrageous demands or become violent.
Knowing what you are up against can help you shape your approaches and responses. For instance, out-of-court resolutions might be out of the question. And you may want to seek protective orders or restrict communications to keep the other person away from you.
An ex with a personality disorder may lie or embellish stories during a divorce to make themselves look better or the other person look worse.
One effective way to combat these tactics is to provide evidence of the truth with documentation. It can be wise to gather:
- Police reports
- Notes on parental interactions
- Threatening or incriminating emails and voicemails
- Financial statements
- Proof of infidelity or other types of marital misconduct
This information can make it easier to defend against smear tactics and correct any misconceptions or lies.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET HELP
Your ex may need professional help for a personality disorder, but you could also benefit from seeking help during a contentious divorce.
An attorney can speak on your behalf and help you pursue a fair settlement. A counselor, therapist or support group can help you cope with the challenges of divorcing a narcissist. Your friends and family can provide crucial love and reassurance during a tumultuous time.
Regardless of what your ex may say or do, you have the right to a fair divorce. These tips can help you protect these rights and help you focus on the future.