After living with a narcissist, you know all too well that they live to fight. Your spouse exists in a state of denial where mistakes and failure are impossible. You should expect a battle at every turn. Your spouse will do anything to maintain their supposedly flawless image, including project all the blame for the dissolution of your marriage on you.
An immense ego provides the foundation for a narcissist’s personality. They will take advantage of everyone and everything in your life to try to come out on top. Family members, friends, co-workers, and even your children may be used against you to twist the story.
Expect the unexpected when the narcissist in your life wants custody, assets, or property. Retaining an experienced divorce attorney to help you file for divorce gives you the best chance to protect yourself, your rights, and your emotional well-being. In the meantime, here are some tips on navigating a divorce from a narcissist.
Shield Your Children
With their compulsive need to win, narcissists often try to manipulate their children. They will not hesitate to use the children as part of their game, trying to score points and getting them to doubt you.
Kids feel the stress and strain of divorce. They may feel particularly vulnerable during this time, making them susceptible to attempts at alienation. Your goal is to shield your children as much as possible.
Your attorney or a family counselor may offer some tips on the best way to protect your kids from your spouse’s manipulative tactics.
Keep Detailed Notes
Consider communicating with your narcissistic spouse via email or text so you can save a record of the conversations. If you have to talk in person or by phone, jot down the subject of the conversation, as well as the date, time, and other people who were there.
Use Your Calendar
Keep track of the time each of you spends with the kids. Narcissists often brag about their dedication to the children even if they skip out on visits and special events. Detailed calendar entries will allow your attorney to dismiss your spouse’s claim to the super-parent title.
If you don’t have primary custody, record any instances when your spouse prevents visitation. These notes will help you and your lawyer refute any effort by your spouse to claim you did not want to see the kids.
Develop a List of Witnesses
Any names of potential witnesses you can give your divorce attorney will help build your case. Provide names, contact information, and details on their knowledge about your marriage. If you have ideas on your spouse’s witnesses, share those with your attorney as well.
During a contentious divorce, staying calm may seem impossible. Don’t give your narcissist spouse ammunition by getting pulled into a heated argument. Retain a divorce attorney to do the fighting for you.
Take Care of Yourself
You will likely face a drawn-out divorce battle with your narcissist spouse. Don’t let yourself get run down. In these highly challenging times, practice self-care to safeguard your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Would a Family Lawyer Recommend Mediation?
Many couples look to mediation as a more efficient means to a divorce settlement. Unfortunately, mediation most likely will not work when a narcissist sits on the other side of the table. According to their worldview, they are never wrong. Meeting in the middle means failure, so negotiation will not provide a workable solution.
People with narcissistic personalities have a tough time understanding and accepting other points of view. They live with a shortage of sympathy and empathy. They see you as solely to blame for marital issues and believe you alone deserve all the negative repercussions.
Whether you fight over your great-grandmother’s rocking chair or primary custody, your spouse will view your loss as justifiable payback. You should discuss the possibility of mediation with your family attorney, but it will likely not play a role in your divorce proceedings.
Divorcing a Narcissist? Contact Seabrook Law Offices in San Jose, California
At Seabrook Law Offices, we focus our efforts on helping parents protect their children through divorce.
Divorce is a difficult time for kids. With your level of emotional distress and pain, you may have a hard time focusing on your children. Our knowledgeable, empathetic team understands the struggle. We’ll give you the guidance you need to divorce the narcissist in your life and achieve a reasonable settlement.
Your search for “divorce lawyers near me” is over. We have a team of legal professionals ready to focus on you so you can concentrate on getting a second chance. Call our office at 408-915-4173 to speak to a divorce attorney in San Jose and take the first step to a new—narcissist-free—life.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.