Divorcing a narcissist or someone with narcissistic tendencies is one of the most challenging things to go through. Narcissists do not back down from a fight, especially when they are at risk of losing everything. This makes the divorce process that much more difficult.
Narcissists lack empathy and use lies and manipulations to put up a mask of normalcy. It is easy to fall in love with a narcissist, but once the facade is gone, leaving them is full of heartache. Unfortunately, pain is inevitable when divorcing a narcissist, but you can use strategies to better protect yourself through the process.
Focus on Yourself
During this time, it may be tempting to begin dating someone new to get over your soon-to-be ex-spouse, but this may not be the smartest move, especially when your spouse is a narcissist. Instead of seeking out a new romantic relationship, try to focus on getting through your divorce. A narcissist will only use the relationship against you in the divorce proceedings and stir up drama and prolong the process.
Don’t Fall for Their Manipulations
Narcissists are known to play the role of the victim — they’ll use manipulation tactics like instilling guilt and lying in order to get others to believe they are innocent in the situation. A narcissist will set you up to fall to make you appear irrational. When they succeed in discounting you as reliable, they validate themselves, which reinforces their belief that they are superior.
Narcissists are notorious for knowing how to elicit a reaction from you — good or bad. Do not listen to a word they say. Do not take the bait. This goes in subtle ways as well; for example, they may try to get a reaction out of you by manipulating one of your loved ones. Do not fall for it. Remain calm and collected in any situation involving your spouse. Once they know they cannot push your buttons anymore, they’ll eventually stop.
Have Evidence Prepared
Be ready to bring to provide facts to prove they are not as innocent as others may believe. However, be cautious of what they are saying; it could be a trap. When in doubt, do not say or do anything. Instead, inform your New Jersey divorce attorney, who will then be able to guide you in the right direction.
Redevelop Your Boundaries
When you are married to a narcissist, boundaries slowly go out the window. Most likely, you had no idea what you were getting into when you married your spouse. Narcissists are great actors. They can be charming, funny, and romantic - anything that gets you to put your guard down. Before you know it, it is too late. The damage is done. Therefore, you must set healthy boundaries with your spouse.
Be Cautious of Technology
Technology is a simple way for narcissists to gain access to your life. During the divorce, refrain from posting on social media. A narcissist may take that post and turn it into something that can be used against you. Additionally, narcissists may send you countless phone calls, text messages, and emails.
Be strategic with what you say and how often you respond to them. If you have to respond, always be short and straightforward. If possible, try to only communicate with your spouse through your attorney. If they will not stop contacting you even though you are not responding, consider turning your phone off or blocking their number for the time being.
Talk to a Professional
Getting a divorce is never easy. Add a narcissist to it, and you have one messy situation. Even the strongest people would struggle with this emotionally exhausting process. If you find yourself struggling to cope with your divorce, consider speaking to a mental health professional with experience in narcissistic behavior. They will be able to walk you through the taxing process and provide you with coping strategies to help you heal.
Hire a Skilled Divorce Lawyer
Having an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer by your side while going through a divorce from a narcissist is essential. Because of how unpredictable a narcissist can be, it is extremely difficult to know exactly what they will do during divorce proceedings. However, a skilled divorce attorney will be able to provide sound guidance at every stage of a high-conflict divorce.
At Rozin | Golinder Law, our team of compassionate New Jersey family law attorneys, understand the complexities of divorcing a high-conflict spouse, and we have the experience and knowledge necessary to protect your rights and best interests. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team if you are considering divorce or in the middle of a high-conflict divorce.
We are ready to protect you. Call us today at (732) 810-0034 to set up a consultation with one of our family law experts.