When the time comes, divorcing a narcissist must be done carefully. While some stay in counseling, others decide the relationship is over.
Be careful when divorcing your narcissistic partner. Doing this is like a ride on a new rollercoaster. While some people part ways peacefully, some make ending a relationship a living hell. It’s terrifying and unpredictable, hence the rollercoaster reference.
When a divorce isn’t at least halfway peaceful, one or both parties could be narcissistic. I was married to a narcissist once, well twice, and ending the union taught me several things.
Tips when divorcing a narcissist
For many people, divorce is the only solution for stopping narcissistic abuse. Before you decide to tell your narcissistic partner that you want a divorce, however, you should know what to expect during the process. It will be different and it will not be uneventful.
Here are a few tips from what I’ve learned, and trust me, I’ve learned the hard way. Use these tips to make it through the divorce and retain your sanity.
1. They will irrational
I need you to remember something important. When you ask a narcissist for a divorce, the first thing that goes out of the window is rational communication. It’s always best to part on good terms, but with a narcissist, this seems impossible.
So, forget trying to rationalize with them or use logic. They will be too busy telling everyone how bad you are. Their first priority is to make sure you are to blame for everything. Just don’t waste your time talking to them at all.
2. Put away your emotions
When divorcing a narcissist, you have to hide your emotions. This is because a narcissistic person will do anything in their power to make you upset. If you’re going to court, this can be used against you.
Imagine for a moment that you’re in the courtroom and your soon-to-be-ex says something to make you angry. If you let your emotions loose, the court will see your negative side. This is what the narcissist wants. They are perfectionists when it comes to pretending and instigating. So keep a straight face, and stay calm.
3. Keep a record
It’s smart to keep a record of the ways the narcissist acts. Your ex will reveal so much about themselves in texts, emails, and when speaking to you.
Keep all your texts and emails, and if you’re brave enough, quietly turn on the recorder of your phone to capture any emotional abuse. You will need this proof as your toxic better half will definitely be going in for the kill.
4. Watch out for gaslighting
I absolutely hate gaslighting, and I’ve experienced it many times. When divorcing a narcissist, this gaslighting will not stop. Your former partner will use this tactic just as much during divorce proceedings as before. In fact, he may pull out all stops just to trip you up. Beware of the tricks.
In case you don’t understand gaslighting, here are a few tricks used with this devious tactic:
- Making you look and feel crazy to others
- Actions will not match words
- Turn others against you
- Use good actions after you’ve seen their bad side
- Lies, lies and more lies
- Deny right in the face of truth and proof
Watch for these things and don’t let them get to you. If you can put up a good defense against gaslighting, you’ve won half the fight. I’ve endured all these things and more. It’s truly a sickening and desperate mindset.
5. Create a separate account
You see, this sounds so deceptive and cruel, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately, sometimes you have to play the same game in order to come out on top. I’m in no way reinforcing lies and hiding things, but I will endorse keeping a bit of money in a secret place when you’re about to divorce a narcissistic person.
If you don’t, they will be able to take all the money from your joint accounts and other financial outlets. It’s just always safe to have something put back for, not a rainy day, but a downright severe storm. Just trust me on this one. That “end of the world” bank account will be a huge help when you start proceedings.
6. Strengthen yourself beforehand
Even before you ask for the divorce, you need to be strong and at your best, both physically and mentally. Although the narcissist will be constantly whittling away at your emotions and mental faculties, try to ignore most of that the best you can.
Make sure you are physically active and eating well. Try not to let the narcissist take away your appetite. I remember losing about 40lbs because of a toxic loved one’s lies and deception. Then I started to learn ways to rise above that and gain a bit of weight. It helped me be strong for the upcoming fight of my life.
Learn as much as you can
Before divorcing a narcissist, you should learn as much as possible about the legal system and your rights. You should study other similar cases and know beforehand what to expect. When going through this, surprises are never good.
A narcissist will dig out all your skeletons for the world to see…all in the name of winning a game. After all, most things in life are a game to the narcissist because the emptiness inside is just not fulfilling enough.
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This Post Has 2 Comments
Thank you Sherrie for an awesome article/ post!
This is also useful in dealing with non mask wearers who are most likely narcissistic instigators. Especially the keep your emotions in check part. They bank on this to try to make you look crazy in a store when you are telling them to wear a mask or get out of the store (it is state law in my state) or when you report them to security. And those on the net who are that way do it too. Apparently their “rights” are more important than public health. And they really try to instigate and get you to lose your cool. One woman pushed right into me when she was behind me at a grocery store (Food 4 Less). I asked her to please stay back 6ft and she refused to. So I as a diabetic, became frantic and yelled for security and then security threatened to call the cops on me and did nothing at all to her. They did not make her step back and her mask even fell off and she did not put it back on and she even started filming me and I saw a small smile creep up on her face and then I realized that she is an “instigator” who thrives on this drama to call attention to herself and how she is being abused. And so these tools that you have written about (especially keep your emotions in check) are important in lots of situations, as there are instigators all over who are trying to mess with strangers now.
Yes, instigators are all around us, and even living in our homes. Always practice keeping your cool because trust me, when you do, they will lose it. The next time someone gets too close, try your best to just leave. Sometimes, you have to just leave your cart and take your purse or belongings with you and start shopping all over again. If someone asks why you are leaving your cart, then calmly say, “I will not go back to that cart until that person puts on a mask or moves to another checkout”. They want you to lose it! They always want you to lose it! Because if you don’t then they cannot make you look bad. If you don’t get upset, then they throw a tantrum. So many of these and you have to say “bye-bye”. I think you would have a better go of it if you purchased your groceries in the early morning or an odd hour. It’s best to stay away from these people so you don’t get hurt. My brother has diabetes, works the front line as a radiologist in a hospital. This angers me and I hope you stay well.