Getting divorced can be difficult under any circumstances. But your marriage dissolution can be even more complicated and contentious if your spouse is a narcissist. Narcissism is a mental health condition where an individual has an inflated sense of self-worth and importance. As a result, those who have this condition may struggle to recognize and appreciate the feelings of another individual. If your spouse truly is a narcissist, then they might seek admiration and present with a sense of entitlement. They’ll also struggle to handle criticism.
As a result, you might have trouble negotiating a fair resolution in your divorce, which puts you on a path to litigation that’s long, drawn out, and extraordinarily stressful. But don’t lose hope. Although it can be incredibly stressful to deal with a narcissist or a manipulating liar when you’re discussing key divorce legal issues like property division and child custody, there are ways to better position yourself for success and make the process easier.
Tips for getting through your divorce from a narcissist
Even if you’re feeling like there’s no way to deal with your spouse, you should fully consider your options, as there are several steps that you might be able to take to find success in your divorce. Let’s look at some of them:
- Set and maintain boundaries: Whether its legal issues or your personal life, makes sure that you’re setting and abiding by boundaries. This will take control away from your spouse and put them on notice of the things that they can’t direct. Of course, this may create some tension, so you’ll have to be prepared to stand your ground. Finding appropriate support can make the process feel a little easier.
- Keep the best interest determination in mind: When it comes to your child custody dispute, the court is going to consider any evidence that it feels is relevant to the issue before it. Therefore, you’ll have to be careful with how you react to your spouse’s statements and behaviors, as your spouse may end up using your response against you. Therefore, take some time to reflect when your spouse tries to get under your skin before responding.
- Back up your position with evidence: As someone who feels that they’re entitled to more than they actually are, your narcissistic spouse may resort to lying or misconstruing the facts to try to get what they want. But you can effectively counter their position if you have evidence on your side. So, as you head into your divorce, you’ll want to gather all relevant documents and have a full understanding of them. You’ll also want to talk to all witnesses who may be able to help you prove your case.
- Focus on the future: When you’re in the midst of conflict, it can be hard to think about the future. But when you’re going through a marriage dissolution, you have to have a lot of foresight. Take some time to think about what you need to feel secure as you head into your post-divorce life, and then keep those goals in mind as you confront the conflict before you.
- Minimize communication: If you find it difficult to have a simple conversation with your spouse without it blowing up into something different, then you might want to simply minimize your contact with them. Using your attorney as a filter and a go-between can be an effective way to do this, which can reduce stress and make the overall process smoother.
Legal help is here when you need it
Dealing with a narcissistic personality can be frustrating and angering. But the good news is that you don’t have to navigate your divorce from one of these individuals on your own. An attorney who knows the ins and outs of this area of the law can give you the competent representation that you need to protect your interests and minimize the direct conflict to which you’re exposed.