At least once a week in my legal practice I hear the words:
“My ex is a narcissist – I know they’ll will make the divorce really difficult. What can I do?”
A narcissistic personality disorder is characterised by a person who has an over inflated ego. He or she has a sense of self-importance and views themselves as special or brilliant in some way.
A narcissistic person will:
- Crave excessive attention and compliments
- Have a sense of entitlement
- Be arrogant, rude and dismissive of others
- Have an inability to empathise with another person
I remember a client saying to me recently that he had “compartmentalised” his feelings for others, by locking them up in a box and throwing away the key!
Honestly, this shocked me, I seriously couldn’t understand how a person could have such unhealthy control of their feelings and emotions.
Now that we know the personality type of a narcissist – how can you divorce a narcissist, stay in control and most importantly stay sane.
Here are 5 fail-proof ways of divorcing a narcissist:
1. Narcissists need to be Right.
Narcissists by their nature need to be right. They will find the most aggressive lawyers, pay exorbitant legal costs and make sure they ‘win’ no matter what the cost!
If you are dealing with this kind of person, then the best way to handle the situation is to stop playing with this toxic person. There is no point arguing with them or trying to present a different point of view.
The result will be the same, it’s their way or the highway!
I know it can sometimes be hard to let go and surrender, but it’s the only way you will be able to move on and close this chapter of your life.
2. Create consistent and clear boundaries.
There’s a saying that we teach people how to treat us. Narcissists often get away with their bad behaviour because many of us, don’t have clear and consistent boundaries.
Partners of narcissist tend to be sensitive and empathetic people, who don’t feel comfortable saying No, and allow themselves to be manipulated because they don’t want to upset or annoy their narcissistic partners.
When the relationship is over, it’s time to let the narcissist know that you will no longer put up with toxic or bad behaviour. It’s up to you to educate and teach your ex how to communicate with you moving forward.
In the past you may have been available to your ex whenever they called or contacted you. Now, things have changed.
Next time you get a text from your ex that’s unkind, critical or blames you or perhaps has nothing to do with finalising your divorce- know that you don’t have to respond.
In fact, the less you communicate with a narcissist the saner you will be.
Sometimes, the best response is silence.
” Silence is Golden when dealing with a Narcissist”
3. You can’t trust a narcissist.
No matter whether you have Court Orders or a signed agreement from a narcissist ex, if they feel they’ve lost they just won’t follow through on what they promised or agreed to. Often, they believe that they are above authority, and no-one will tell them what to do.
The best tip here is, if you can live without what was promised or agreed, then give it up, let it go- don’t continue the conflict with this person. It will seriously drive you mad!
Remember this is the person that wants to be right, they’ll continue to argue and fight with you no matter what it costs.
Cut your losses and move on.
5. Narcissists genuinely believe that they do not have any problems.
A narcissist is never wrong nor, do they have any problems. They will often say things like “everything’s in your head” or “you’re the problem”. If you have any expectation or hope that your narcissist ex will apologise or admit they’ve done something wrong, then let it go right now.
Forget ever getting any apologies, instead educate yourself about co-dependent relationships and get support to deal with the end of this toxic relationship.
Embrace yourself, have compassion for yourself (even your ex if you can) and forgive yourself. You are here to learn, grow and transform your life, give up arguing with your ex, compromise and settle quickly.
6. Don’t ever publicly criticise a Narcissist.
If you’re going through a divorce and you’re in the middle of negotiations or litigation with a narcissist ex-partner, don’t ever publicly criticise them, in fact best to not criticise them at all.
Whatever you think of them, keep it to yourself (or tell your therapist). Telling a narcissist what you really think of them is a recipe for disaster. They will never forgive you and honestly will make you life a living nightmare.
There will be no possibility of negotiating or settling your divorce matters if the ego of your narcissistic ex is bruised. These people have low self esteem and will do whatever they need to, to make sure that their sense of public self is “restored”.
Some new information on narcissists
Recently I experienced the personality type of a covert narcissist. Although these individuals share deep-seated and unresolved fears of being ‘found out’ that they are not as grand or wonderful as they claim to be they are also hard to detect.
A covert narcissists is hard to detect because they are not necessarily loud or obnoxious – in fact they often operate in subtle but manipulative ways that leave you feelinguncomfortable and on edge.
All narcissists whether overt or covert cannot give empathy, love or compassion unconditionally- there is always a hidden agenda to all that they do. The aim of the game for them is to come out on top. They strive for a sense of superiority either by overtly criticising you or covertly withdrawing and ignoring you.
The result is that you are left damaged with a sense of shame and guilt for not living up to their unrealistic and manipulated standard.
The information provided above is not legal advice. It is intended for general information only. If you require specific advice on divorce, separation, child custody, property adjustment, going to court, wills and estate, contact us. Talk to lawyers who deal with narcissists today.