Crystal Wright | May 17, 2022 | Divorce
The divorce process can be emotionally draining and painful. Even when spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, ending a marriage can be a traumatic experience. When one of the spouses is a narcissist, seeking a divorce can be more traumatic and stressful for the other spouse.
What Is a Narcissist?
Your spouse may have narcissistic personality disorder. The disorder is a mental condition that causes a person to:
- Have an excessive sense of self-importance
- Be preoccupied with themselves
- Have a lack of empathy for other people
Narcissists may have problems with relationships. They have a sense of entitlement and believe they are superior to others. Their unwillingness or inability to recognize the feelings and needs of other people can result in them taking advantage of others to get what they want.
What Can I Expect My Narcissistic Spouse to Do During Our Divorce?
Narcissists hate to lose. They view everything as a competition, including a divorce action.
Therefore, you can expect your spouse to fight every issue during your divorce, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. They will use whatever tactics they can imagine to “win” the divorce.
For example, your spouse may use your children against you during the divorce by blaming the divorce on you. Parental alienation is common in divorce actions involving a narcissistic spouse. But they will not stop with your children.
Your spouse is likely to try to turn your family and friends against you. Because your spouse is “perfect” and cannot possibly do anything wrong, you are the reason the marriage failed in their eyes.
Settling a divorce through negotiations and mediation is generally less costly than litigating matters in court. The parties can resolve their disputes and agree to terms that work for their family. However, the traits of a narcissistic personality do not allow for mediation or negotiation.
Your spouse cannot admit they were wrong. They cannot see anything from your perspective and have no empathy or sympathy for what you or your children are experiencing. Compromising would be viewed as a defeat.
Therefore, be prepared for a battle. Before taking any steps or mentioning divorce, it can be helpful to consult with a divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney explains your legal rights and can help you take steps to prepare for divorcing a narcissist.
Tips for Preparing to Divorce a Narcissistic Spouse
You and your divorce lawyer work together to develop a strategy for dealing with a narcissistic spouse during your divorce proceeding. The strategy you use depends on your situation’s specific facts and circumstances.
Here are some helpful tips that you might consider as you proceed with a divorce action:
- Discuss the costs of a litigated divorce proceeding with your lawyer and how you can prepare to pay attorneys’ fees and other costs. A narcissistic spouse may be willing to spend any amount of money to “win” the divorce.
- Before leaving your home or mentioning a divorce, gather important documents and records. Your spouse may block you from accounts, destroy records, or falsify records to gain an advantage during the divorce proceeding.
- Document each conversation and encounter with your spouse during the divorce. If possible, communicate with your spouse in writing instead of the telephone or in person. Keep a log detailing the date, time, the parties present, and details of the conversation or encounter.
- Prepare for a custody dispute by keeping logs of how much time you and your spouse spend with your children. During a divorce, an “absent” parent may describe themselves as being highly involved in their children’s lives because that makes them “look” better to others.
- Document your time with your children, and each time you try to contact your children or your spouse interferes with visitation or contact.
- Prepare a list of witnesses for your lawyer who can testify about your spouse’s narcissistic behavior.
- Never allow a narcissistic spouse to draw you into an argument or altercation. Instead, remain calm and remove yourself from the situation. In court and during mediation, allow your attorney to handle communications unless you are required to speak.
Divorcing a narcissistic spouse may be a challenging experience. However, remaining in an unhealthy relationship can harm you and your children.
Narcissists are skillful at wearing people down and belittling them. So be prepared for a long battle by taking care of your physical and mental health.
Seek legal advice as soon as possible. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can make the battle less stressful. Having sound legal counsel also protects you and your children from being taken advantage of by a narcissistic spouse.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today
You can also visit our law firm at 368 W Pike St STE 201, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.