It is important to be mindful that a person with NPD has a true disorder. They have developed this self-absorbed, dominating, controlling, and non-empathetic personality as a response to something traumatic in his childhood.
It is the only way they know how to deal with the world, which has a negative effect on their interpersonal relationship. The worst part, though, is that you cannot change that.
The only way you make up your mind for divorcing a narcissist wife or husband is when you already know that healing them is impossible.
So let’s look at some ways you can heal yourself and your family now that you are ready to say good-bye to the marriage.
However, divorcing a narcissist encompasses certain challenges that you must prepare yourself for. Here’s how to deal with a narcissist during divorce and surviving divorce with a narcissist–
Get ready for a paradigm shift
Your husband or wife reeled you into the relationship using the typical lures of a narcissist: they were charming, they showered you with compliments, and made you feel loved as no man or woman had ever done before.
But as time went on, you noticed that this normal, loving behavior gave way to a person who was controlling, did not listen nor value your opinions, made everything about themself, and frequently lied.
When you tried to address these relationship issues, they would promise you things would change. They never did. If you are wondering how to get through to a narcissist, then don’t bother looking for answers, because you won’t.
Now that you have come to realize that you cannot make them change, you need to prepare yourself for a shift in your dynamic.
Your narcissist soon-to-be-ex will not take easily to you, showing strength. They will not accept that you have, in essence, turned your back on them.
Divorcing a narcissistic husband or wife, calls for some careful consideration of relevant factors.
When you are divorcing a narcissist husband or wife, here are a few things that you will need to consider-
You are going to need to gather a good team in order to stay strong and manage your divorce process. Trying to divorce a narcissist won’t be easy. First, enlist an expert attorney, one who is used to dealing with exes such as yours. They will know what to watch out for and how to avoid the traps your ex will set.
Secondly, work with a mental health professional who can provide you with a safe space in which to express your frustrations and anger when divorcing a narcissist. They will be able to help you remain strong and focused on your goal of getting out of this draining marriage and beginning a new life free of the narcissist.
When you think about how to survive a divorce with a narcissist, think of your friends. If you have good friends whom you know will be supportive during this life shift, lean on them. If, however, they do not want to be “taking sides” or they are uncomfortable with your decision to leave your marriage, do not involve them in your circle of support.
Learn to stand up to narcissistic behavior
You can expect some revenge-like behavior from your spouse. Nothing angers the narcissist more than rejection.
Their vengeance could include financial hardship towards you (removing you from any joint bank account or assets), pitting the children against you (lying about you to the children).
Gaslighting you (denying they said this or that, coming into the home when you aren’t there and removing things), not respecting your custody agreement (being late to pick up the children, not returning the children to your home at the agreed-upon time), and much more.
You need to learn how to manage their reactions. It is best not to engage in long discussions with a narcissist, as they do not have the ability to participate in a normal, solution-oriented exchange. They always have to be right.
Each time you sense you might be reaching an agreement on an important point, your ex will do something to back up, cease the forward movement, and grind things to a halt.
This is not because they want to stay married to you (they really don’t feel love for anyone other than themselves), but because their instinct is to seek vengeance when anyone defies theirs. Unfortunately, that person is you.
When divorcing a narcissist, it is important to remain patient and make sure you keep moving forward towards your goal.
Keep your eye on the goal
Your divorce will come through eventually, and you will be free of this negative force.
But be prepared that your divorce will not be as smooth and quick as a divorce between people who are not affected by one of the partner’s NPD. But it will be worth it.
Staying in a marriage with a narcissist is not only exhausting and debilitating for you, but harmful for children who are witness to this unbalanced and unhappy interaction between parents.
Divorcing a narcissist with children will, however, pose a few other challenges.
Dealing with a narcissist over child custody if they have more financial resources than you do, could work in favor of them and may also make you lose their custody.
The aftermath of divorcing a narcissist man or woman may also have a couple of hiccups.
If you are in a relationship with one, you must have an idea about how does a narcissist reacts to divorce. Narcissists have gigantic egos, and their partners trying to get rid of them don’t really go down well with them.
If you think your partner is capable of violence or abuse, make sure to gather information about getting a restraining order in advance.
When you find yourself wondering if all this strife is worth it, visualize the happy, calm household you will have with your children. You are doing this for yourself, and as importantly, for them.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. By taking purposeful and a whole-hearted action, Sylvia feels that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one.