Strategies To Consider When Divorcing a Narcissist Spouse
Divorce is almost never an easy process, but it can be especially complicated when your soon-to-be-ex spouse has a narcissistic personality. He or she may simply be a self-absorbed and arrogant person, or have a psychological condition known as narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissism presents uniquely in different people with some shared traits that include:
- An exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Inability to empathize
- Constant need to be the victim
- Masterful manipulation
- Extreme jealousy of others
- Excessive anger when things don’t go their way
- A belief that rules don’t apply to them
Narcissistic people may have a hard time maintaining a job and relationships, or may use their charm to develop a large social circle and financial success. Regardless of how the narcissism manifests, it brings endless frustration to the divorcing spouse and requires the guidance of an experienced Fort Collins divorce lawyer. Consider these tips and strategies for divorcing a narcissist:
Maintain Secure Copies Of All Important Documentation
Since narcissists are experts at gaslighting and manipulation, it’s crucial to have proof and documentation for your divorce. Protect records and financial paperwork in a secure location where it cannot be tampered with.
Be Firm In Your Decision To Divorce
If you are initiating the divorce, a narcissistic spouse may be manipulative or angry and make promises to change. He or she may shower you with excessive gifting in an attempt to win you back, or suddenly develop a barrage of emergencies to try to guilt you out of your decision.
If it isn’t possible to move out during the divorce proceedings, or you need to maintain contact with your spouse in order to effectively co-parent, create firm boundaries and physical space to protect yourself.
Find Ways To Let Them Win
Narcissists love to win, even when it comes to divorce. Determine where you’re willing to compromise. Maybe there are some assets you don’t really care about or an issue about which you feel neutral. Work with your Fort Collins family law lawyer to find ways to give small “wins” to your spouse so you can have more say in things you do care about.
Prioritize Your Children’s Well-Being
If you share minor children with a narcissistic spouse, there will be additional obstacles in your divorce proceedings. Custody battles can take months or years, causing emotional and physical stress for you and your children. Avoid talking badly about your ex in front of the children and do everything you can to minimize the effects of the divorce on them. Don’t let your ex use your children as weapons in the proceedings.
Log Out & Change Your Passwords
Divorcing spouses may check to see whether they can still access your social media accounts, financial records, medical records, and other personal information. Before you initiate the divorce paperwork, log out of accounts on shared devices and change all of your passwords. In some cases, it can be helpful to check for trackers that might be installed on your vehicle, phone, or other devices.
Take Time For Yourself
Marriage to a narcissist is stressful, and going through a divorce may be even more challenging. Make time for friends and activities that help you relax. Consider therapy for yourself and your children as you heal from a toxic relationship.
Be Discreet & Develop a Safety Plan
As soon as your narcissistic spouse hears about your divorce filing, he or she may try to convince you to change your mind or work to empty your bank account, destroy your reputation, or even become physically violent. If necessary, ask your Fort Collins divorce attorney to limit communication to emails. It’s crucial to tell trusted friends and relatives what’s going on so that you can build a support system and safety plan. Support groups and therapy can be helpful, and you may need to make hard decisions about cutting off relationships with people who take your ex’s side.
Make a Divorce Plan With Your Attorney
Strategize with your Fort Collins divorce lawyer and get informed of all of your rights, state laws, and court procedures before you inform your spouse you are filing for divorce.
Be Prepared For a Long Ride
Although some divorces can be finalized quickly, that’s usually not the case with a narcissist. Mediation and other processes will probably not be successful; you should prepare for months or years of negotiation and court appearances.
How Can a Fort Collins Divorce Attorney Help With Divorcing a Narcissist?
If you are divorcing a narcissist, you’ll need a legal advocate who not only understands Colorado family law, but won’t fall victim to your spouse’s charm or manipulative strategies. Some attorneys use tactics that can actually feed a narcissist, drawing out the process and increasing your legal fees. Work with an experienced Fort Collins family law lawyer who understands narcissistic personalities and is prepared to represent you well.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney In Fort Collins
If you are divorcing a narcissist, you need guidance from a trustworthy family law firm. Fort Collins Divorce Lawyers have the knowledge and experience you need for successful legal representation no matter what circumstances you are facing. Work with a team of distinguished lawyers who will treat you with compassion and respect every step of the way. Schedule your free consultation today!