7 Considerations when Divorcing a Narcissist

Divorce is difficult under any circumstances, but it can become much more complicated and emotional if you’re divorcing a narcissist.

Narcissism is described as a personality disorder characterized by a sense of entitlement, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissistic traits can result in manipulative, controlling behavior, which can make it difficult to navigate the divorce process and to reach a fair divorce settlement.

If you’re considering divorcing a narcissist, here are the top seven things you should consider:

1. Identify the behaviors
If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you have, no doubt, already noticed certain behaviors, but it’s important to educate yourself on those that are common so that you can better prepare for the challenges these behaviors bring.

Some common behaviors include:

  • Gaslighting: A narcissist may try to make you doubt your reality or perception of events, deny or minimize your experiences or accuse you of being overly sensitive or irrational.
  • Projecting: As a defense mechanism, a narcissist may project their own flaws onto you, accusing you of the behaviors they exhibit.
  • Blame-shifting: To avoid taking responsibility for their actions, a narcissist may deny or minimize their role in a situation or accuse you of causing the problem.
  • Manipulation: a narcissist may try to manipulate or bully you to get what they want with little disregard for your feelings.

2. Build a supportive network
Divorce, especially with a narcissist, can be an emotional rollercoaster, so be sure to have a supportive network available. Friends, family members, support groups and even therapists or counselors with experience in this area can provide valuable insight and support.

3. Protect yourself and your children
It’s always important to document any threatening or abusive behavior and take appropriate actions to protect yourself and your children when necessary.

4. Work with an experienced divorce lawyer
Work with a divorce lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissistic personalities. They will be familiar with some common issues, can help ensure that you know your rights, and can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the divorce process.

5. Focus on your goals
Develop a clear strategy so you can maintain focus on your goals and priorities. This way, you’ll be less likely to be derailed or distracted if a situation occurs with your spouse and you can remain on track toward the ultimate goal of achieving a fair and beneficial divorce settlement.

6. Learn the best ways to communicate
Set clear boundaries by being specific about how, when, and how frequently communication can happen. If necessary, set limits on methods of communication, such as only communicating through email or monitored communication app, or establishing a specific day and time for phone or in-person communication.

7. Set limits and stick to them
Set limits on your topics of discussion and how communication should be conducted to avoid confrontations, bullying or manipulation tactics. Do your best to stay calm, avoid emotional reactions, and limit communication to only necessary matters. Limits and clear boundaries of contact can help prevent communication from devolving into arguments or worse.

Divorcing a narcissist can add another layer of difficulty and emotion to an already difficult process, but with the right support, guidance, and plan in place, it is possible to reach a beneficial settlement.

If you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].