Most couples can come together during a divorce and agree on money, support, the house, co-parenting schedule, etc. However, this is NOT the case if you are going through a divorce with a narcissist.
Normal couples, regardless of their feelings about the relationship ending, can still work collectively during the divorce process. It may not always be easy but it is nothing compared to what a person will experience when divorcing a narcissist.
Since you are divorcing someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder you will go through more than the average person. Throughout this process they will be unreasonable, unfair, manipulative and abusive. They will not do the right thing by you or your children (if you have children with this person).
This is usually a hard pill for people to swallow because most adults cannot understand how someone can act and behave the way this person will. They cannot understand how someone can treat another so unfairly and want to “WIN” so badly that they are willing to do whatever it takes. They have not come to terms with who this animal is and what is in store for them.
Here is what you can expect throughout this process and the things you must work on to manage yourself during your divorce.
THIS IS A COMPETITION
Understand that every narcissist is extremely competitive and this is a game to them. This is not about being fair, this is about winning. They are going to be manipulative and try to throw you off your game. They want to make you look like the problem or the crazy ex, which will in turn make them look like the victim.
All narcissists are controlling and they want to control the situation by also making you look like the bad guy. That is why they will use manipulation and are conniving because they want to portray a “story” about you.
They are cut throat and will do whatever it takes to control how others view you. If they can change how others see you then they will win the war of looking like the victim.
They are going to try to pin you as the bad parent. The bitter and angry ex so be prepared for all of these tactics to come out. They will want to show you as the problem to friends, family, lawyers, counselors, judges, etc. and unfortunately the system is not geared to protect against this type of abuse.
THEY WANT TO HURT YOU
Since narcissists are not connected to themselves, have no confidence or self-love within themselves and are essentially a wounded child lashing out and begging for attention, they need to get attention from outside of themselves.
They need to get filled up in some way otherwise they will end up extremely depressed and possibly suicidal. The only way to do this is through narcissistic supply.
They feed off of other people that is why they are called energy vampires. They thrive off positive attention and negative attention. A normal healthy adult would never dream of wanting to break someone emotionally or psychologically, but for a narcissist this is the only way they can fill themselves up.
Throughout this process be prepared to hear the most hurtful things that will cut you at your knees. Be prepared for the back and forth game in court. Be prepared for motions, prolonging the divorce, accusing you of false allegations because all of this, on a twisted level, makes them feel important.
If the narcissist has money be prepared for them to take you back to court for every little thing. This is there way of wanting to hurt you financially and drain your savings.
I had a friend tell me that her ex-husband would say “I have more money than you to fight you and you will drain your account fighting me in court.” This woman was also a single mother to a young child. All he wanted to do was hurt her. He was not concerned about making sure she was in a good place emotionally for that child, he just wanted to beat her down in every way he could. This is where the hurt and lashing out that a narcissist will do does affect your children but again they do not care. That is abuse.
GO NO CONTACT
There is a reason why this is the number one rule you must follow when leaving an ex narcissist. Regardless of the situation, you cannot talk to, deal with, reason with, work together with a narcissist and the sooner you understand this rule the more you will actually get what you want.
It is tough to accept that the person you built a life with, a marriage and possibly a family is not going to do what is best or fair. This person is extremely selfish so each decisions that they make is based on they want and what is convenient for them. This of course is difficult to deal with when you are co-parenting with this person.
Going no-contact is the only way you will keep your sanity while going through this divorce.
DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT
This is simple but extremely important. Document every single conversation you have with this person. While the court system does not protect against emotional abuse there is a pattern you will see throughout this process so document everything.
Since you have decided to go no-contact documenting your “conversations” are important. No texting either, just email each other only when absolutely necessary. When you do receive an email and have to answer it, make sure you are only answering the actual questions. You are not engaging in a back and forth battle on who is right and who is wrong, regardless of what they say to you. Regardless of what hurtful words they send your way you MUST ignore all of it. Remember this is a tactic to abuse you.
Just email each other when it is critical and not regarding anything else. Let your lawyers discuss everything and fight this battle for you. While most people do not want to spend money on an attorney it is better and healthier for you to work through attorneys then for you to get into the ring every time with this person.
Remember your lawyer is merely a representative so they do what you say. As long as you know what you want the lawyer will always resort back to what you want.
We do not make good faith deals! Get everything in writing. Period.
WORK ON YOURSELF
Since you know this person has a goal of wanting to make you suffer then knowing what you are up against will benefit you going forward. You know that all of this is an energy game. This is about control and wanting you to suffer so they feel better about themselves. Throughout this process you MUST, without question, work on yourself.
You are going to be emotionally drained, stressed, tired, especially if you are a single parent and you are raising kids. You want to shield the children as much as possible so in order to do that you will need to take extra care of yourself. Yoga, working out, acupuncture, meditations, etc.
GET THE FRUSTRATION OUT!
Learning how to set boundaries with this person is critical. Not only setting a boundary because a narcissist does not care about boundaries because they are relentless with what they want, but more importantly learning how to enforce your boundaries. So when a narcissist violates your boundaries what happens? How do you show up for yourself?
Practice responding vs reacting. Learn where your wounds are and heal them. Build your self-confidence and self-esteem that this person tried to destroy. Learn how to self-soothe when you experience hard times.
Give your lawyer the responsibility of fighting your battles. Do not use your attorney as your therapist or counselor but instead put that money towards good use like hiring a coach, going on a trip with a friend or your children. Do something for yourself that will help you throughout this process.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT – DO NOT SETTLE!
Remember narcissists are very manipulative and they love to negotiate because everything is a game to them. Since they are so manipulative and they will make you feel guilty for requesting the things that you would like during this process you have to know what you want and stay firm with getting it. You have to meet your opponent where they are. You cannot show fear of self-doubt when dealing with this type of animal.