Divorcing a narcissist
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a set of behavioral patterns and thinking characterized by a need of for admiration, feeling of grandiosity and lack of empathy. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has a list of traits and criteria for mental health practitioners to determine whether a person has NPD. Sometimes, in divorce cases, one spouses is suffering from NPD. Divorcing a narcissist is difficult. Here, we will give you some tips on how to deal with a narcissist during and after divorce. We hope you find this information useful.
Who is A Narcissist
Simply being arrogant or mean spirited is not the same as being a narcissist within the context of the NPD. Make sure you find out whether your ex is a narcissist. This may be a difficult thing to do if they are not willing to be diagnosed voluntarily. However, there may be legal tools in the family court (if you have children) to make a diagnosis possible. So, depending on your case, it may be a good idea to talk to and hire a divorce lawyer.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer
If you are dealing with a narcissist it is a good idea to hire a divorce lawyer. A divorce lawyer can help you remain objective. A narcissist may abuse the court system as a forum to seek revenge. Hire a divorce lawyer to protect yourself from a narcissist ex.
Do Not Rationalize
People often try to use logic to try to persuade a narcissist. This likely will be a futile waste of energy and time since the narcissist is unlikely to change behavior based on logic and common sense. Thus, recognize this reality and act accordingly.
Set Strict Boundaries
To deal with a narcissist you should set boundaries. They way you can do that is not feel obligated to justify or explain yourself for every decision or action you take. When you feel that you are being manipulated standup for yourself or if necessary, leave the situation. Do not accept or answer questions that are unreasonably intrusive. In doing so, you can set boundaries so you don’t get pushed around by the narcissist in your life.
Limiting contact with a narcissist is extremely important. Obviously, for one reason or another, this narcissist must be a part of your life. It is important that you limit communication to matters pertaining divorce or co-parenting (if necessary). Otherwise, there is no reason for you to be in a consent communication with the narcissist that goes beyond the scope of that which is necessary. Thus, limit contact.
A communication with narcissist should be documented. If you are required to talk on the phone, make sure you follow the applicable local and state laws if you are going to record the phone call. Otherwise, feel free to communicate via email or text message. Many courts require parents to use parenting apps for co-parenting. So, consider using a parenting app to document communication.
Divorcing a narcissist is hard. Co-parenting with a narcissist can be harder. The tips above are not all inclusive. Consider implementing those that you find useful. Hopefully, with a thoughtful strategy you can deal with the narcissist in your life so you can live the happy life you deserve.
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