Divorce is never an easy process. But, the process of divorcing a narcissist is even harder. Being in a relationship with a narcissist takes a mental and emotional toll.
You partner has probably left you feeling worthless. Your self-esteem is likely at an all time low.
The good news is that you’ve mustered up the courage to divorce your partner. Now you’ve got to focus on staying strong and being informed.
We’re here to help you through it all!
Here are 7 things you must know when divorcing a narcissist. These tips will help ease you through this tough time.
1. Expect a Negative Reaction
When you serve papers to a narcissist, it helps to know what to expect.
Narcissists fear being abandoned. It’s likely that your partner will view divorce as abandonment on your part. Note how your ex-partner still plays the victim card.
This, in turn, activates your partner’s worst fear, which can quickly evolve into anger. Being prepared for your ex-partner’s rage will make the situation less shocking and scary.
2. The Narcissist Is In It To Win It
We all know that there are no winners in the game of divorce.
But, a narcissist will see this as an opportunity to get a one-up on you. Prideful people are all about winning.
Don’t expect a narcissist to negotiate. Be prepared for mind games and lies to make him/her seem like the victim. Your ex-partner will do whatever it takes to push the blame on you.
3. Get Everything in Writing
Narcissists are masters at the art of manipulation.
It’s also important to remember that your ex-partner feels a high sense of entitlement. He/she will have no problem bending the truth to his/her benefit.
Since communication is likely to be hard, keep a record of all written communications. This includes:
- Text messages
- Social media posts
- Letters and other forms of mail
When divorcing a narcissist, expect him/her to try to manipulate words. But, it’s impossible to manipulate text!
Build your case by keeping all written communication.
4. Gather Financial Documents ASAP
All divorces go through a discovery phase.
During this time you gather documents from your ex-partner. But, you can expect a narcissist to avoid handing over documentation that moves divorce proceedings along.
The moment you know you are filing for divorce, get financial documents in order. These documents include:
- Pay stubs
- Bank and credit card statements
- Investment/retirement account information
- Past tax returns
While a court can demand these documents be handed over, it’s best to gather these documents on your own. This lessens the risk of your ex-partner’s success in slowing down the case.
5. Take the High Road
Your main goal during the divorce is to stay cool, calm, and collected.
You can count on a narcissist to have fits of rage. Expect angry text messages and emails. Be prepared for negative posts on social media that trash you as a person.
Instead of responding to these traps, ignore them altogether. Practice restraint of mouth and pen.
By not playing these games, you maintain control.
6. Hire a Top Notch Attorney
In your case, a divorce attorney is a must. An attorney has the experience needed to get your divorce case rolling.
When choosing an attorney:
- Look for one with good problem solving skills
- Avoid pit bull attorneys, as they will play into your ex-partners games
- Ensure you’re comfortable
Your divorce situation is unique. You’ll need to be upfront about painful past situations. Find an attorney you can trust.
7. Expect a Long Divorce
Narcissists thrive when they are in power.
By drawing out divorce proceedings, your ex-partner will feel empowered. Letting the divorce go smoothly means that the narcissist becomes a nobody.
Until the divorce is finalized, a narcissist will feel connected to you.
Despite the fierce battle ahead, know that you are making the best decision for you. At this point in your life, it’s time to put yourself first.
3 Benefits of Divorcing a Narcissist
Divorce can drag you down. While the process will be long and hard, the end result is well worth it.
Need a boost? Having a hard time seeing the positive side of divorce?
Here are 3 benefits to divorcing a narcissist.
1. Time to Rebuild Yourself
After being married to a narcissist, you’ve faced years of being belittled. You’ve been called all sorts of degrading names. Your focus in life has been wiped away.
But, with your ex-partner out of your life, you can focus on healing.
Take time to find your self-worth again. Find ways to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem.
During this time, surround yourself with supportive friends and family members.
2. Less Stress
Narcissists bring nothing but stress. Leaving a narcissist removes the heavy burden that you’ve been carrying.
Stress has all sorts of impacts to your health including:
- Problems sleeping
- Inability to focus
- Loss of motivation
- Feeling angry, sad, and/or overwhelmed
With less stress, you can focus on living healthily. You are sure to notice changes in your mind, body, and soul.
3. The Eggshells Are Gone
Remember the days of tiptoeing around your words? Remember when you were afraid to talk about your thoughts and feelings?
Dating a narcissist means constant walks on eggshells. Every word and action has to be well thought out.
The constant threat of starting an argument can drive one crazy.
Thankfully, with your impending divorce, these worries are long gone!
You can proudly feel and think what you feel is right. There’s no need to filter your values and beliefs.
Support for Narcissist Victims
Divorcing a narcissist is a tough part in life. But, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!
Throughout the process, it helps to have a support system. It also helps to be as educated as possible.
The Narcissist Life strives to educate people about narcissists. The better you understand your ex-partner, the easier the process becomes. With enough knowledge, you’ll maintain the upper hand.
Have questions about narcissists? We have an open door policy!