“I want a divorce.” These are words that no spouse wants to hear – even if things aren’t exactly peachy at home. But when you utter these four little words to a narcissist, you may not be prepared for the storm that you unleash. And for many spouses who are married to a narcissist, they avoid even bringing up the topic for fear of the unknown. How will she handle divorce? What will her reaction be?
To say that a narcissist doesn’t handle divorce well is an understatement.
Divorcing A Narcissist: How Do They React?
When asking for a divorce, a narcissist’s first reaction, because everything is about them, will likely be “how can you do this to me?” or “why are you abandoning me?” They are in utter disbelief that they have made you unhappy and that you are turning their life upside down.
It can be difficult to gauge a narcissist’s reaction to their spouse breaking the news that they want a divorce. They are often unpredictable, and if they have a history of abuse, things may get ugly. It is often recommended that you seek the help of a professional lawyer for high conflict divorce who can guide you through the process of breaking the news and ensure that everyone stays safe.
Stages of Divorcing A Narcissist
Because narcissists are unable to take responsibility for their own actions, they will blame you for the current state of the relationship and the divorce. In fact, their immediate reaction to the divorce may be to blame you and/or the children for their perceived shortcomings.
Narcissists may be incapable of feeling empathy for others, but they know how to fake it if they feel it will get them what they want. So, after her initial finger-pointing, your narcissist may pretend to understand where you’re coming from and twist things around to make you feel as if it is your fault. Don’t allow your spouse to convince you that you are the one that needs to change. If you know the divorce is right for you and the kids, be prepared to stand your ground.
The narcissistic divorce itself will be an uphill battle because a narcissist must always be right. A narcissist will fight you on child support, property division, and alimony. It’s not uncommon for them to try and hide assets and income, too. All the while, the charm, and likeability of a narcissist may keep others, like the judge, from seeing her true nature. After all, it probably took years for her to show this side to you.
Fighting Back Against A Narcissist’s Tactics
Narcissists are manipulative and know how to get what they want. That’s why it is so important to work with a lawyer and other professionals during your divorce who have an understanding of narcissistic personality disorder. When well-informed professionals are involved, it can make the process less stressful on you and your children.
We’ve chosen to focus on high conflict, narcissistic divorce at The Micklin Law Group because we’ve seen how destructive narcissists can be to their exes, children, and even the sanctity of the family law court. Narcissists are willing to lie in court, and slander their exes just to make themselves look good. Our experience in high conflict divorces over the last several decades has allowed us to protect good men and fathers from the otherwise life-ruining effects of divorcing a narcissist.
Life After Divorcing A Narcissist
Just because your divorce is finalized doesn’t mean you’ll be done dealing with your narcissistic ex for good. A narcissist after divorce is still a narcissist, and she will likely continue to try to make your life difficult while putting herself on a pedestal. If you have child custody, child support, or spousal maintenance order, it’s possible your ex will try to return to court at some point to have these modified. It’s less about what’s actually fair and more about the narcissist trying to manipulate everyone around her.
When you work with The Micklin Law Group on your high conflict divorce from a narcissist, you have the benefit of knowing we’ll be on your side down the line if your ex tries to bring you back to court. We know how to prepare custody and support cases so that they clearly illustrate to the judge what’s right and what’s wrong, no matter how your narcissist ex tries to manipulate the situation. We’ll be here for you during your divorce, and you can also count on us any time you need a family law attorney in the future.