It's been said that divorcing a narcissist is harder than being married to one. Deciding to end a marriage is usually a difficult decision. If you're in this situation with a narcissist, the process of divorce can be downright devastating. You're going to have to develop a thick skin and approach the divorce rather differently than you would if you were ending a marriage with someone who isn't a narcissist.
It can be helpful to remind yourself how a narcissist operates so that when you encounter his/her toxic behavior, you can brace yourself and stand your ground instead of cowering or giving in.
Characteristics of Narcissism
Narcissism is a personality disorder, and different narcissists will exhibit different traits. However, the underlying explanation of the disorder is that these people have a very distorted self-view. They think they are more important than everyone else, and will often exaggerate their achievements while minimizing or disregarding their flaws.
Narcissists strive to make you feel that you are crazy or overly sensitive for standing up to them or acknowledging your emotions when they have wronged you. Narcissists also see people as "supply" and will exploit and manipulate you to get what they want.
Two Main Narcissist Types
The two main types of narcissism are vulnerable and grandiose.
Vulnerable narcissism is based on low self-esteem, even though a person with this condition pretends to be confident. You'll have to continue stroking the vulnerable narcissist's ego to keep them from becoming vindictive and difficult. This can be a tedious task.
Grandiose narcissists, on the other hand, have very high confidence and act as though they are entitled to every situation. They often have high-power careers and need to maintain a pristine self-image at all times. They demand that you praise and admire them and have a lack of remorse when they anger or hurt you.
Once you know what type of narcissist you're dealing with, you can take the necessary steps to make the divorce as painless as you can.
Hire a Quality Lawyer
Hire the best attorney you can if you're ending a marriage with a narcissist. You need a lawyer who is accustomed to dealing with narcissists. Never take your ex's word that he/she will pay you a certain amount or take care of the kids. Make sure you get everything in writing.
You should also gather all the evidence you can that will help you in your divorce case. Bank statements, mortgage documents, and any evidence that your spouse has been abusive or unfaithful can work in your favor if you want a reasonable alimony payment or need an order or protection. Narcissists will often try to hide this information, and you need to know what you're entitled to.
Speak to a Mediator
Many divorcing couples hire a mediator to ensure they can settle their differences in a peaceful manner. If you're ending your marriage with a narcissist, make sure you have a mediator any time you need to speak with your ex about the divorce proceedings.
Since narcissists are obsessed with maintaining a positive self-image, they will often be on their best behavior if there is another person present when you're having an important discussion. A mediator will also ensure that your ex signs necessary documents pertaining to your divorce.
Don’t Go Through a Divorce Alone
Divorcing someone who is a narcissist can be especially challenging. A qualified San Antonio divorce attorney can help you navigate through the process. Contact The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo to set up a consultation, and rest easy knowing you’ll have the resources to take the next steps in your divorce.
Call us today at (210) 405-6623 to speak to our skilled San Antonio family law firm about your case.