Navigating a New Chapter in Your Life

Navigating the path of divorce can feel challenging for anyone. Add in the fact that your spouse may be a narcissist, and the journey can feel incredibly daunting. It doesn’t have to be, and with some steps in place, you can prepare yourself for a good outcome and one that sets you up to begin the new chapter of your life with confidence and happiness.

Read on to learn more.

How is Narcissism Defined?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance.” Some common symptoms are listed below.

The belief that the person is superior to others and can only be understood by equally essential people.

Expect special treatment and favors and expect others to do what they want without question.

Constant and excessive admiration is required for even the most minor items or behaviors.

Look down on others as if they are unimportant, and be highly critical of them.

Strong arrogance and bragging all the time about even the smallest of achievements.

Abuse and Control

Some of the most common traits of a narcissist are the need to be in control and exude dominance. These traits can easily translate to abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, or verbal. Documenting these behaviors helps you to have a clear, factual picture of what tendencies you are getting away from by pursuing divorce. It can help your attorney understand the depths of narcissism in your household.

Filing for a divorce can feel like a loss of control for a narcissist, so it’s important to understand this may be enough to induce anger or erratic behavior, and you should consult an attorney and other supportive figures in your life to ensure you have adequate protection before approaching the subject.

Your experienced divorce attorney and supportive loved ones can help to ensure that you and your family remain safe while pursuing a new chapter in your life.

Narcissists: A Clear Lack of Empathy For All, Including Children

One of the most challenging parts of divorcing a narcissist is that they tend to lack empathy. This lack of empathy can quickly translate into them using children as pawns throughout the divorce rather than understanding that children should be allowed to be kids and stay out of emotionally charged situations.

Also, consider that they may try to alienate you from your children or try to convince the children that the divorce is your fault, using lies and manipulation to get to the solution they desire.

Suppose joint custody is the best option for the children. In that case, it’s vital to ensure that every aspect of a solid parenting plan has been thoroughly reviewed and leaves little to no room for your spouse to manipulate and change the expectations in the future.

Avoiding face-to-face interactions with your soon-to-be spouse regarding exchanging children is also a great idea. Eliminating this interaction helps to prevent the narcissist from having countless opportunities to argue, manipulate, and create an unhealthy and stressful environment for all.

Documentation is Everything

Documenting everything is one of the most powerful evidence you can gather: document (or save) voicemails, texts, and emails.

Gather and screenshot social media updates or comments before they are erased. It’s tough to deny words when attached to a social media profile. In many cases, narcissists would rather have the clout or the praise from a post or update than care about how unhealthy or jeopardizing the impending divorce. It’s not uncommon for them to post terrible things about you, other family members, and more, all of which can help provide a pattern of abuse that exists within the marriage.

Keep a journal that includes actions and words leading up to the divorce, what may have pushed you to decide on divorce, and more. There is likely a plethora of information that led you to this decision. If you have documentation of this to share with your attorney, it helps paint a real-time story of how things have played out and what you and your attorney are dealing with.

Be Fully Prepared

With many divorces, it’s essential to prepare yourself mentally for the other side to begin hurling false allegations or attacking your character to bolster their demands for full custody or a larger share of the assets and more. With a narcissist, you can almost guarantee this to happen.

Manipulation and falsely accusing you of things are things you should definitely prepare for. Bullying through intimidation is prevalent, and a narcissist will likely convince their legal team to utilize the same tactics, which you and your experienced attorney will be prepared for.

Persuading witnesses to change their stories to their benefit is another common tactic of narcissists. Those not used to deflecting manipulation or navigating harsh intimidation or bullying may falter and rescind the statement they gave you or change it entirely. Be prepared for this and work around it with the help of your attorney.

You Are Not Alone

Pursuing a divorce can feel isolating, as you are trying to visualize what your new life will be and ensure that you get through the process with your children as unscathed as possible. Narcissists may be tricky to deal with, but they are not impossible to overcome.

Experienced attorneys are well-versed in the tactics used, the obstacles to overcome, and strategies that help remove opportunities for narcissists to capitalize on you any further.

Let’s work together, with our decades of experience, to ensure that you can enter this new chapter of your life with confidence and minimal stress.

Call our office today at 781-531-8673 to schedule your free case evaluation.