How To Divorce A Narcissist
Divorce is never easy, but when a narcissist is thrown into this mix, things can get all the more difficult. If you want to know how to divorce a narcissist, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about divorcing a narcissist partner.
According to some experts, almost 5% of individuals around the world have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). So, it’s not a surprise when you encounter self-absorbed, narcissistic individuals in your professional life, personal life, or both. The real problem arises, however, when your spouse starts exhibiting signs of narcissism. The truth is that narcissistic individuals are one of the toughest people to be married to, and divorcing them can be all the more difficult. Divorces with such partners can get very ugly very quickly.
If you’re stuck in such a situation, labeling your partner with a personality disorder is of little consequence. The first thing you need to do is identify the warning signs of narcissistic behavior in your spouse since it can have a significant impact on your divorce. This is exactly what we’ll cover in the following section.
How to identify a narcissist?
At its core, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is about having an unnaturally inflated sense of self-importance. With this also comes a sense of entitlement, which means that an individual with NPD will believe that they always deserve the best. When a situation arises that counters their belief system, they tend to position themselves as a victim. They will consider the other party guilty of doing wrong, and feel that they were duped innocently, even when the evidence points the other way.
For narcissistic individuals, truth is quite malleable, which means that it can be distorted to suit their requirements. Although they will not lie deliberately, they tend to view the facts differently than others. For these individuals, their first instinct is to protect themselves. If they need to bend the truth a little to accommodate this, they’ll do so without any hesitation.
Here is a list of warning signs you should look out for in your spouse –
- Narcissists always need to win: If your spouse always wants to win for the sake of winning, it can be an indication of NPD. This means that mediation and negotiation during divorce will not be possible. You will most likely have to fight your case against them in court, since they will go to any extent to prove themselves right.
- Narcissists love to play games: A narcissist will not shy away from throwing false accusations. They can end up treating divorce proceedings like a game they have to win. They will try every which way to wear the other party down. This means that you will end up wasting a lot of money and time in the divorce proceedings.
- Narcissists don’t give importance to emotional losses: Whenever anyone is going through a divorce, there’s always a concern about how it will affect the children, parents, in-laws, and other family members. People with NPD, however, only tend to care about themselves. They will be ready to engage in a long-drawn custody battle even if it affects their family adversely. This is because winning is the only thing they’re concerned with.
Narcissists During Divorce Proceedings
Do you ever wonder why narcissists enjoy court battles so much? For starters, a court battle provides them a setting to hold the attention of other people. Narcissists also like to make everything about themselves. So, it’s not surprising that narcissistic partners can be very challenging to deal with during divorce proceedings. There are several reasons why they might try to derail the divorce proceedings:
- Narcissists always carry with themselves a sense of superiority, and expect to receive special treatment from everyone. This becomes more pronounced during divorce proceedings.
- Narcissists are often guided by fantasies. They feel that they are more powerful, intelligent, and successful, which is something that guides their behavior during the divorce too.
- Narcissists thrive on attention and admiration, so they will not shy away from putting on a show in court.
- More often than not, they refuse to pay any attention to the emotional needs, feelings, and experiences of others, regardless of their relationship with them. This means that they would go to any extent to win the divorce battle in court.
If you feel that your spouse is emotionally manipulative and narcissistic, they will make all efforts to make it seem like they are the victim. They will try to paint the other as manipulative and malicious. If the spouse has enough money to spend on the litigation, you can expect to be faced with a long-drawn court battle. Narcissists will not leave an opportunity to play the system, and they will try to prolong the process of divorce for as long as possible.
The biggest setback for you during the divorce proceedings will be their tendency to be dishonest. Even if you have evidence to produce against their claims, they will not refrain from lying. They might also try to withhold important facts or present misleading information to obstruct the legal process.
Tactics Used by Narcissists to Derail Divorce Proceedings
Whether the issues in your divorce are about children, spousal support, or property division, there are few tactics generally employed by narcissistic individuals to make the divorce process difficult:
- General Disregard for Divorce Agreements: In most divorce cases, the Texas courts prefer that the two parties come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both. This agreement can be based on spousal support, asset distribution, or child custody, and is usually not unfair. A narcissist, however, will find no value in coming to a mutual agreement. They would essentially want to create a situation where the other party caves in.
- Refuse Divorce Mediation: The narcissist will also disregard any process that expects them to come to a compromise, since their primary objective is to win the court battle. They are generally not capable of having any productive conversation with the other party.
- Unnecessary Hearings: We’ve already explained how a narcissist will always try to gain sympathy and attention. For this reason, they will try to file several petitions and motions in the Texas court, which can lead to many unnecessary hearings.
How to Divorce a Narcissist in Richmond, Texas?
If you know that your spouse is a narcissist, it’s best to prepare yourself for the process. Since a narcissist will usually not consider their actions objectively, you will have to be ready to fight them every step of the way. Here are some things to keep in mind while filing for divorce in such a case –
1. Refrain from getting invested in the divorce emotionally
This might be the hardest thing that you’ll have to do in the divorce. A narcissist spouse will not leave an opportunity to paint you in the wrong light, and portray you as a malicious person. You might end up feeling angry and hurt by their accusations, but it’s important to keep a check on emotions during the divorce proceedings.
Your narcissist spouse will most likely know which buttons to push in order to test your patience. If you lose your temper in court, you might end up saying something that you’ll regret later. This will give your spouse an opportunity to manipulate the situation so that it can be used against you.
2. Hire a good family lawyer
A good lawyer can help you navigate the divorce process with a difficult person more easily. But instead of going with a lawyer who is overly aggressive, you need to look for one who understands what’s at stake. A divorce attorney from the Vendt Law Firm can be a great choice, You can be assured that we will try every step of the way to make the process simpler for you.
It is also important to make sure that your lawyer recognizes and understands the narcissist spouse. Your spouse might know how to fool people with false pretenses. You need a lawyer who knows and believes the games played by the narcissist spouse.
3. Consider taking a therapist’s help
The process of divorce can be very difficult and can often leave emotional scars. However, when you are divorcing a narcissist, the emotional trauma can become even greater. Seeking a therapist at such a period will help you stay emotionally healthy and grounded.
4. Keep the expectations reasonable
When you meet your divorce attorney, you will most likely have a list of questions (which is a good thing). You might want to inquire about your assets, property, alimony, prenuptial agreement, and more. However, it’s important to set reasonable expectations from the start, so that you don’t get side-tracked later in the divorce proceedings. Your former spouse will most likely try to throw many things your way, but setting reasonable goals from the start will help you wrap up the process quickly.
5. Try to get into the narcissist’s head
Sometimes, the only way to deal with difficult people is by playing the devil’s advocate. Try to think about the tactics your former spouse would employ to derail the divorce proceedings. To do this, you have to get inside their head and think as they would. Take all the possibilities into consideration so you can be well-prepared for every accusation they throw at you.
6. Keep a record of everything
Narcissist spouses will often lie to delay divorce proceedings. It’s best to keep records and copies of everything, which can help your lawyer fight the case better. Here is a list of documents you should keep copies for –
- Marriage certificate, birth certificate, and passport
- Property documents
- Sole and joint bank accounts
- Recent pay stubs
- Lines of Credit and Mortgages
- Insurance paperwork
- Tax returns (from the past 3 years)
- Vehicle title/registration
- Retirement accounts
- Investment accounts
- Receipts of jewelry, art, and valuable antiques
7. Think of ways to help your lawyer strengthen your case
Besides keeping a meticulous record of documents, think of other ways you can help the lawyer fight the case. Whenever you have a phone conversation or personal meeting with your former spouse, communicate about the same to your lawyer in writing. Include the subject discussed, the people present, and the date of the conversation.
Besides this, you can also keep a record of the time your former spouse spends with your children. If the partner attempts to exaggerate their love and devotion to the children, you will have records to prove otherwise. Lastly, maintain a list of people who you’d want to keep as your legal counsel, and also think of any persons you think your husband might call.
8. Use attorney-recommended tactics to negotiate with your spouse
It’s a good idea to try to negotiate with your former spouse if it means that you can settle your divorce easily. Although narcissistic personalities often hate losing, they can back off if you give them the illusion that they have won. It would be a good idea to navigate through your divorce in a calm manner. Try to avoid bringing the narcissist on the battlefield. Your lawyer can help you in this process.
9. Plan to fight until the end
When fighting a divorce case with a narcissist, there is a high chance that your former spouse will keep making appeals in hopes of winning the case. You would have to strategize with your lawyer to ensure that the court understands such delay tactics. The divorce attorney can also help in convincing the judge to not allow additional appeals and repeat court appearances.
Trust the Vendt Law Form Divorce Attorney to Tackle the Challenges of your Divorce
When you are going through a divorce with a narcissistic spouse, you will be faced with numerous challenges. With experienced divorce attorneys from the Vendt Law Firm on your side, however, you can rest easy knowing that your rights will be protected during the divorce proceedings.
If you are anticipating difficulty and conflict in your divorce because of your narcissistic partner, call the Vendt Law Firm Richmond Divorce Lawyers at (832) 536-6243 to book your consultation. We will review your situation and provide you the best way forward for addressing such a divorce in Texas courts. Contact us today!