Divorce is never easy. Even if there’s civility and mutual agreement, more often than not there are bumps in the road. The amicable divorce is, at best, improbable. However, whilst it’s one thing divorcing under ‘normal’ circumstances, divorcing a narcissist is a different matter altogether.
Trying to reason and negotiate with someone who’s incapable of considering the feelings of others is quite the challenge. Life with a narcissist can leave you feeling drained, exhausted and at a low ebb. Divorcing one takes strength.
Here we’re taking a look at how you can start to take control, and put strategies in place to steel yourself for the fight.
Lower your expectations
A narcissist isn’t going to take too well to the divorce process, particularly if it isn’t instigated by them. The very idea of you trying to take any modicum of control of your own life will be intolerable for them. Expect petulance, difficulties over the arrangements for the children and whatever you do, don’t expect them to consider a fair agreement when it comes to financial matters.
As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. If you come to terms with all of this prior to proceedings starting, the more prepared you’ll be for any curveballs that a narcissist will throw your way.
Get your paperwork in order
Preparation is the name of the game when divorcing a narcissist. If you hold joint assets and capital with your spouse, or have any funds of your own, get your paperwork together ahead of time. This can feel like a mammoth task if you’ve been married to a narcissist. Chances are you’ve been the victim of financial abuse and have been given very little access to money matters.
However, use this as the first step to rebuilding your confidence. Request a mortgage redemption statement (if the property is in joint names, you’re more than within your rights to do so), and download copies of statements for any joint accounts. Whilst you’re at it, make sure you store these with someone you trust, away from your spouse.
The faster you can react and provide the necessary information, the less time your narcissist spouse will have to get one up on you. As we said, preparation is key.
Have some money in the bank
‘I’ll provide you with what’s fair’ – things a narcissist would never say. As such, it’s sensible to put aside some cash that you can rely on should the path get difficult. This will help you to pay for your legal representation and anything else that you might need to help your case.
Seek legal advice
Speaking of legal representation, divorcing a narcissist isn’t something that you want to face alone. And you don’t have to. Having a solicitor that you trust, and who’s an expert in their field will be absolutely invaluable, both in terms of the outcome of your case, and your mental wellbeing.
With the right team in your corner, you’re far less likely to give up or be worn down. With the right solicitor, you’re more likely to get an outcome that works for you and your future.
Do not engage
We can’t stress this enough; once divorce proceedings start, avoid any unnecessary communication with your soon to be ex spouse. Narcissists thrive on attention; don’t give them any. Communication with a narcissist spouse during divorce proceedings is likely to be difficult, hurtful and damaging. Articulate all rational thoughts to your solicitor – your spouse won’t understand them. That’s why having a solicitor you trust is vital.
Ultimately, there are no winners in the divorce process but this is not how a narcissist thinks. They’ll turn everything into a game, and rest assured they’re playing to win. They need to succeed and the thought of losing is alien to them.
Harrogate Family Law are here for you
If you’re contemplating divorcing a narcissistic spouse, there’s no denying that there’s a tough road ahead. However, by following the above tips you can be ready for anything, including thinking with your head and not your heart.
To benefit from having an expert team on your side, contact Harrogate family Law now.