What Should I Know About Divorcing a Narcissist?

frustrated man with hands over face

Being confident is a crucial part of life. However, some people have an inflated sense of self-worth that can cause conflict and difficulty maintaining relationships. While some with narcissism can maintain a relatively normal and healthy life, others cannot. If you are going through a divorce and your partner is a narcissist, understanding the difficulties you can encounter during this process is critical. The following blog explores what you can do to make this process easier and why you must connect with a Los Angeles divorce attorney who can help you navigate these complex legal issues.

What Is Narcissism?

It’s essential to understand that narcissism is a personal disorder, classifying it as a mental illness. Though it can be incredibly exhausting to deal with a narcissist, only a doctor can diagnose this disorder. Traits of narcissism include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Having a superiority complex
  • Belittling those they believe are less important
  • Arrogance
  • Feeling easily insulted
  • Believing others are envious of them
  • Believing they should only associate with certain people

You should understand that though they may seem confident or self-assured, those with narcissistic personality disorder are often very insecure. As such, any perceived slight can result in them lashing out.

How Can I Get Through Divorcing a Narcissist?

When you file for a divorce, a narcissistic spouse may feel as though you are claiming they have failed or aren’t good enough. As such, they may lash out, especially because they may believe you are trying to publically expose them. Because they feel slighted, they may engage in personal attacks against you to “prove” you were never good enough for them or to expose your “flaws.” Though it can be frustrating and upsetting to deal with, there are steps you can take to reduce conflict.

Generally, the most important thing to do when dealing with a narcissist during a divorce is to manage your emotions. Unfortunately, showing emotion allows the other party to feel like they have control over you, further fueling their sense of self-importance. As such, it’s imperative to keep your communication as basic as possible. When faced with inflammatory messages, keep a neutral and calm tone, stick to the facts, and disengage as quickly as possible from the conversation.

Additionally, you should ensure that you stick to your boundaries. Narcissists again have an inflated sense of self-worth, meaning they believe they are entitled to push other people out of their comfort zone for their gain. As such, maintaining firm boundaries like not immediately responding to text messages or emails (unless it is urgent) and sticking to your court-ordered child custody plan is critical.

Should I Connect With a Lawyer?

When you are going through a divorce with a narcissist, understanding the importance of hiring an experienced attorney is critical. Unfortunately, you may find that trying to navigate this process on your own is overwhelming even when you don’t have a spouse trying to manipulate you.

If you need help, the team at the Zitser Family Law Group, APC is ready to assist. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our firm is ready to guide you. Connect with us today to learn how we can help you.

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