We hear the word narcissist more and more these days, but what does it actually mean? What is a narcissist and how do you know if you are divorcing one?
Someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder shows signs of grandiosity, a lack of empathy, a need for admiration, they believe they are special, are often charming, manipulative and self-centred. They may be adulterers, often with multiple affairs.
We all know that going through a divorce can be unpleasant and stressful but if you are divorcing a narcissist the game just got harder. And a game is exactly what it is to them. Oh and they are in it to win it. Most people would consider “winning” a divorce is actually just reaching an amicable agreement but not a narcissist.
So how do you know if you are a divorcing a narcissist?
> It is becoming a “high conflict” case because your ex is trying to call all the shots and dragging out the legal process?
> Is your ex unwilling to mediate or cooperate – it is their way or the highway?
> Has your ex made allegations about your mental health following the breakdown of the relationship?
> Has your ex hacked your emails or phone “spied” on you; this is their way of still having control.
> Does your ex put all the blame on you? Narcissists don’t believe they need to work on themselves.
> Are you feeling emotionally drained every time you have to communicate about the divorce, kids or finances? Narcissists manipulate and make you feel you are in the wrong.
If your ex is a narcissist you are probably feeling overwhelmed, disempowered and struggling to function effectively. There are however things you can do to help make the divorce process a little easier…
– Make sure your solicitor fully understands the type of person they are dealing with, ensure they are robust because it is more likely in cases with narcissists you will end up in court.
– Change your emails and phone number. Only communicate through your solicitor or designated person.
– If you haven’t already spoken to a counsellor then do so, what you are going through amounts to coercive control and emotional abuse.
– As difficult as it is when dealing with a narcissist don’t get embroiled in their debates, it only serves their ego more.
– If you find the legal process too much to deal with, speak to your Solicitor and appoint a relative or friend as an intermediary.
– Another good idea is to document everything, narcissists lie… a lot! Help your solicitor build your case by documenting everything, including texts and emails.
> Remain composed and don’t let them unravel you, especially in court. Staying calm means you don’t give in to their games.
> Do not call them a narcissist to their face – this will end badly.
Barber & Co have family law specialist Jacquie Birkett at their Ramsbottom branch so if you need legal advice and someone compassionate yet robust she is your woman.
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