If you are married to a narcissist, you already know that going through a divorce with your spouse will be an emotional, expensive, and complicated process. People unfamiliar with narcissists do not understand that underneath the charming and polished exterior lies a dark personality that lacks empathy for others.
A narcissist puts themselves before their spouse, children, and everyone else in their life, which makes divorcing them a traumatic experience. With the possibility of being shamed by a failed marriage, a narcissistic spouse will pull out all stops to “win” the divorce. Therefore, you must be prepared to protect yourself by knowing what to expect when divorcing a narcissist and how to prepare for the battle.
What Should You Expect When Divorcing a Narcissistic Spouse?
Many symptoms of narcissism or a narcissistic personality disorder make it almost impossible to have an amicable divorce. For example, your spouse craves attention. Furthermore, they will do anything to “win” in any situation, including a divorce proceeding.
Therefore, you can expect drama as your spouse tries to turn the focus on themselves. In other words, they must let everyone know how you “wronged” them and how they are suffering. Furthermore, the need to win means they will do anything within their power to tilt the scales in their favor.
Be prepared for your spouse to use your children, family, and friends against you. Narcissists do not think they make mistakes, so they will tell everyone the divorce is solely your fault. Your spouse will lie and manipulate others to get them over on their “side” of the divorce.
A narcissist is not above parental manipulation to win a divorce action. Sadly, children do not realize they are being manipulated and lied to by their parents. Be prepared to hire a child psychologist and demand a child custody evaluation.
Because narcissists cannot see they could be wrong and must always win, they cannot compromise to settle matters. They lack the conflict resolution skills to negotiate a divorce agreement or child parenting plan. Therefore, expect your spouse to contest all matters, so the divorce process will be lengthy and expensive.
Lastly, your spouse will never get over the fact that you left them. Therefore, you can expect your spouse to try to “punish” you in the future through ongoing litigation, manipulating your children, spreading rumors, and continuously trying to paint you as the evil monster who broke up your family.
What Can You Do To Prepare To Divorce a Narcissist?
Prepare for a fight. You cannot reason with or try to be nice to a narcissist during a divorce proceeding. Doing so could result in your spouse taking advantage of you.
Instead of trying to be accommodating so you can work out a mutually satisfactory agreement, hire an aggressive Orlando divorce lawyer with experience handling divorces with narcissistic spouses. Lawyers who have handled cases involving narcissistic spouses know what to expect. They can advise you on what you should and should not do throughout the divorce.
For example, defending yourself could create more conflict. Your spouse will try to provoke you into an argument. Trying to explain your actions or defend yourself will only result in additional accusations and attacks.
Instead, document all communication attempts from your spouse and let your attorney handle the situation. Communicating through your lawyer makes the fight pointless for your spouse because they cannot provoke a heated or emotional response from you.
Arrange for counseling and therapy for your children. Choose a therapist with experience handling cases involving someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. You need to take care of your and your children’s mental health.
Document everything that happens. Keeping detailed records and copies of documents can help you prove your spouse is lying if they get the judge involved. Evidence of your spouse’s tactics can help you obtain a ruling in your favor.
Avoid discussing your situation with family and friends. They have good intentions, but their advice is unlikely to help.
Narcissists are masters at manipulation and disguise. Therefore, your family and friends probably do not know the level of cruelty and deceit your spouse is capable of when their shining view of themselves is threatened.
Take Care of Yourself and Protect Your Rights
Battling a narcissistic spouse during a divorce proceeding is draining. Make sure that you pay attention to your needs. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, seek professional counseling, and use your support system.
Hire an Orlando divorce attorney as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to hire your divorce lawyer before telling your spouse you are leaving. Your attorney helps you prepare and take steps to ensure you have sufficient income, resources, and support before you set your spouse off by telling them you are filing for divorce.
Contact the Orlando Family and Divorce Law Firm of Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC for Help Today
Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC
815 N Magnolia Ave Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803