Going through a divorce is rarely easy, but when one of the spouses is a narcissist, this presents additional challenges. A true narcissist is someone who only cares about him- or herself and blames others for anything that is wrong.
During the divorce process, the traits of a narcissist make it extremely difficult for the non-narcissistic spouse, especially if there is the involvement of children. There needs to be a different approach to the process.
Signs of a narcissist
Some people may exhibit certain narcissistic traits, but this does not mean they are necessarily a narcissist. The Mayo Clinic discusses the traits that define narcissistic personality disorder:
- Feel they are high in importance and deserve special treatment and admiration
- Preoccupy themselves with thoughts of power, success and the perfect mate
- Use others for their own needs and wants
- Inability to be empathetic and recognize the needs of others
- Can act moody and withdrawn and have trouble managing behavior and emotions
- Arrogant and conceited
Tips when divorcing a narcissist
The Huff Post outlines certain tips when divorcing someone with narcissism. One important one is to limit interactions and communication with the other spouse, as he or she is unable to deal rationally or logically.
If there are children, one can expect the narcissist to do everything possible to prove the other spouse is a bad parent. The non-narcissistic spouse should talk with trusted individuals and gather evidence to the contrary. It is also important not to take the bait when the narcissistic spouse makes accusations.
To counteract the narcissist’s ability to alter or delete messages, the other spouse should save, record or take a screenshot of each original one. The goal to divide things equally should be the non-narcissistic spouses’ focus throughout the process. Surrounding him- or herself with a strong support system is also helpful.