Tips to Help You Through the Process of Divorcing a Narcissist
The term “narcissist,” much like “bipolar” or “OCD,” tends to be frequently misused. A true narcissist is more than just someone who’s self-absorbed—they also lack empathy, tend to be highly exploitative and may go out of their way to cause harm to others.
A person with narcissistic personality disorder can make matters extremely difficult during the divorce process, so it is important you arm yourself with information about the disorder and learn how you can make it through the divorce process without unnecessary difficulty.
Here are some tips.
Get professional assistance
First and foremost, you should speak to a therapist, as having to deal with a narcissist day in and day out can take a significant emotional toll on you. Look for a therapist who has experience in treating narcissists, as they’ll be able to give you some valuable insight that can help you work through your feelings and the divorce.
You should also get an attorney as soon as possible, one who has experience in divorce litigation. Narcissists are not likely to be willing to negotiate or compromise, which means you should be prepared for a combative divorce. Any attorney you work with in such a scenario should be one who is comfortable taking a more aggressive approach as needed.
Cut off contact
As much as possible, limit or entirely cut off contact with your spouse, and have all communications go through your attorney. A narcissist will take whatever steps they can to control you and make you feel guilty, and giving them that opportunity can be harmful to your mental health and your divorce case.
Document all communications and unacceptable behaviors in writing and keep your attorney apprised of all of these incidents. Do not engage in any communication that is not written.
Prepare for gaslighting
When meetings do occur, prepare yourself for attempts at gaslighting and wearing you down mentally and emotionally. Favorite tactics of narcissists include telling obvious lies, denying their actions (even when you have proof), using things you love as ammunition against you, trying to convince other people (or yourself) you’re crazy, or telling you that other people are liars.
For more information about how to get through difficult divorces, especially when divorcing a narcissist, contact an experienced Long Island lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.