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Protect your interests (and health) if you divorce a narcissist

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Divorce |

Many people in Washington spend years in therapy after breaking out of a relationship with a narcissist. This is true even for those who were in a dating relationship as opposed to a marriage. If there was a marriage, then filing divorce may cause the narcissistic spouse to seethe with rage inside and to exhibit some of the same behavior that likely prompted the other spouse’s decision to file for divorce.

Narcissists often behave unpredictably. One minute they’re acting friendly and upbeat, and the next, they are having an angry outburst or giving you the silent treatment. Keep these things in mind as you head to court to divorce a narcissist. As you probably know from experience, your ex will want you to appear like “the bad guy” so that he or she can appear like “the victim.”

Helpful tips for divorce when your ex is a narcissist

The following list shows things to do and not do when you are navigating divorce proceedings with a narcissistic spouse:

  • Don’t end up in a confrontation about your divorce.
  • Don’t allow your ex to keep you isolated from family and friends.
  • Obtain experienced legal guidance and support.
  • Get everything in writing regarding a child custody agreement.
  • Know what you’re entitled to, and don’t settle for less.

Narcissists will lie or cheat and do almost anything to get their way. In a divorce, this might mean hiding assets or trying to alienate children from their other parents. Both examples describe unlawful behavior. If you suspect your ex of one or the other, you can seek the court’s intervention to resolve the problem.

Your ex will still be a narcissist in the future

Avoid the mistake of thinking that settling your divorce will solve all problems related to your former narcissistic spouse. Various things might trigger an outburst in the months (or years) that follow your divorce. This is why it’s best to stay connected to legal advocates who can step in as needed to negotiate or litigate an issue.

Divorce from a narcissist can be challenging and messy. By standing your ground against attempts to make you look bad in court, you silently let your ex know that you are no longer buying into his or her emotional abuse tactics. There are laws in the books to guide you through the entire divorce process, and resources available to help you resolve complex issues as they arise. By keeping your children’s best interests in mind and focusing on a fair settlement, you can avoid conflict in and out of the courtroom.