How to Divorce a Narcissistic Spouse
It is never easy to go through the divorce process, but it can be even more difficult when you are married to a narcissist or someone who sometimes exhibits narcissistic behavior. While these tendencies may not be apparent, narcissistic traits can negatively impact your own mental health as well as the length and duration of your divorce. Today, we go over narcissistic tendencies and tips on divorcing a narcissist.
What Are Narcissistic Tendencies?
The term “narcissist” has been used to describe individuals who have an elevated sense of self-importance. Additional ways to describe it include an individual who is selfish or self-absorbed to the detriment of other people. There is narcissistic personality disorder as well as narcissistic traits. Therefore, while some people who exhibit narcissistic traits are mentally ill, others are not mentally ill and just exhibit certain narcissistic tendencies. Common narcissistic traits, tendencies, and behaviors include but are not limited to the following:
- Constant need for attention, affection, admiration, and other types of external validation
- Excessive need for admiration
- Strong sense of entitlement
- Tendency to exaggerate their accomplishments and achievements
- Issues control over a situation or to retain power and control over someone
- Overreact to and misinterpret situations when challenged or called out
- Exhibit an unreasonable expectation of special treatment from other people
Tips on How to Divorce a Narcissist
Hire a lawyer who will advocate for you through it all
It is much more likely that you will go through a contested divorce if your spouse exhibits narcissistic behavior. As such, you will want a lawyer who is a solid negotiator and fierce litigator in the courtroom, if it comes to that. It is not uncommon for a narcissistic to drag out a divorce, engage in dirty divorce tactics, refuse to cooperate, and intentionally drive up the cost of the divorce. This is especially true if the divorce was not the narcissist’s idea in the first place.
Prepare to head to court
You should be ready to go to court as many narcissists refuse to cooperate and negotiate. While litigation can be more stressful, it is your best option if your spouse cannot work with you. Speak with your attorney to come up with a strategy.
Seek out help from a therapist
You need to remember that not only do you need to get divorced, but you will also need to co-parent with your ex-spouse. This may seem overwhelming, which is why it is okay to ask for as much help as you need. If you would like to start speaking to a therapist who can help you deal with your spouse’s behavior, go for it. If your spouse is willing to go to therapy with you, even better.
A narcissist can get into your head and mess with your mental health. Many individuals have reported that speaking with a therapist has helped them before, during, and after their divorce.
Try the parallel parenting method
This is a method of parenting where the communication between both parents is very limited. Parents will communicate necessary and basic information that is important for the overall safety of their children to each other. Both parents will maintain their own rules and parenting styles when with the children.
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