Many people are scared to get a divorce because they fear what will happen. They fear their spouse will ruin their reputation or cause a lot of drama that will cause the divorce to get derailed.
This is a real possibility when a person is married to a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who has a sense of arrogance and superiority. They don’t care about others and are seen as conceited. They may demean others to get their needs met.
If you feel as though you can never “win,” then you may be married to a narcissist. Narcissists may use techniques such as deceit, gaslighting, and passive-aggression in order to control you. You may feel like you’re constantly catering to your spouse, and over time, you may be ready to move on and file for divorce.
However, before you divorce, consider that your spouse may do the following:
- Love-bomb you. They’ll feel threatened by you leaving, so they’ll keep telling you how much they love and how they’ll change their ways. They claim they will never hurt you again, only to go back to their old ways once you change your mind.
- Play the victim. Your spouse may play your friends and family against you and act like you’re the bad guy. They’ll make you feel like a loser for giving up on the marriage.
- Keep controlling you. If they can’t control you, they’ll try to control something or somebody important to you. They may go after the children, your money, or your other assets.
If you think having a relationship with a narcissist is difficult, leaving the marriage will be even harder. The journey will be difficult, but staying in a toxic marriage has even worse consequences. Narcissists are competitive and will do whatever it takes to win, so be prepared. Here are some tips for divorcing a narcissist.
Get Your Plans in Place
Never tell a narcissist you are planning on divorcing them. They may react with violence or look to sabotage all your efforts. Instead, get your plans together first or else the safety of you and your children could be at risk.
Get a Lawyer on Your Side
It’s best to find a lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissists and other elements of high-conflict divorces. The right lawyer will be aware of the manipulation tactics your spouse may use in court and help you prepare.
If you have evidence of your spouse being physically or verbally abusive toward you, save it. Keep any texts, emails, or other documents and take notes of what happened. The more evidence you have, the better.
Have a Support Team in Place
Don’t handle a divorce on your own. Get friends and family members on your side. Join local or online support groups if possible. It’s good to have a group of people you can vent to, but be careful of badmouthing. If your narcissistic spouse finds out, they will use that against you.
Set Physical and Digital Boundaries
Do not let your spouse have control over you. Be sure to protect your well-being. If you have to stay in contact because you’re co-parenting, discuss boundaries with your lawyer ahead of time. Your spouse may try to challenge those limits, but you need to stay strong and be consistent.
Block your spouse on all social media accounts. Change passwords to any account that they may be able to access (such as bank accounts and online shopping accounts, etc.). If you must communicate, be clear that they need to call you directly or go through your lawyer.
Narcissists like to see others lose their cool. When your spouse is harassing you, keep your cool. It can be hard to stay calm, but you need to resist the urge to fight back. Just take a deep breath and stay silent.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to look after your mental health during this time. Divorce can become a long, drawn-out process, especially when you’re divorcing a narcissist. Be sure to engage in self-care. Possible activities include exercising, meditating, keeping a journal, taking a bubble bath, or relaxing with your pets.
Contact Us Today
Divorce is difficult enough; divorcing a narcissist is even more challenging. Make sure you have a plan in place to make things easier.
The Columbus, Ohio divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office can help you deal with a challenging divorce. To schedule a consultation with our office today, fill out the online form or call (614) 363-0752.