How to Deal With a Narcissistic Spouse During Divorce
Divorce is difficult enough even when the couple is generally able to communicate and get along during the process. When one spouse displays textbook narcissistic behaviors, however, it becomes far more challenging to get through the process.
It’s important to note that narcissism is far more than self-absorption. It is an actual personality disorder, and the behaviors exhibited run a wide spectrum and include a variety of personality traits.
So, when dealing with someone who exhibits some of the more severe traits associated with the disorder, here are some steps you can take during the divorce process.
- Cut off contact: Either limit or entirely cut off contact with your spouse. This can be difficult if you are dealing with children, but it may be necessary to prevent aggression, or to keep your spouse from using every opportunity they have to exert control over you, make you feel guilty or damage your self-esteem.
- Talk to a therapist: It can be emotionally draining to seek a divorce from a narcissist, so therapy sessions can be very helpful and teach you coping mechanisms.
- Work with an attorney: You may find yourself leaning more on your lawyer when divorcing a narcissist than you might otherwise would in a standard divorce case. An attorney can prevent you from being bullied into unfair settlements, can manage communications and can help you navigate the process in a way that is not detrimental to your mental health.
- Communicate in writing: Keep all divorce-related communications in writing so you have a record of everything. Narcissists will often try to get away with lying about verbal communications, so sticking to written word is a good idea.
For reliable legal guidance as you approach the divorce process, consult an experienced Long Island family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.