A narcissist has an inflated sense of self and needs a constant stream of admiration.
They cover up their low self-esteem by exaggerating their achievements. Their sense of entitlement enables them to feel unique and a cut above others. They crave the attention of the wealthy and powerful. Approximately 1.06% of the population is clinically narcissistic and more have traits of this personality disorder.
A Narcissist is the King in a game of chess, and every other piece around them is there to protect and to do their bidding.
Narcissists take advantage of others for their own ambitions, whether it is a spouse or co-worker. They are masters of manipulating vulnerable people and crushing their self-worth. A narcissist can turn on the charm and don the smiling mask, which is their public persona. These people become angry when others discover what they are really like behind this mask.
One woman decided not to be an enabler anymore and play the adoring wife in public. Narcissists go to great lengths to preserve their public images, so her enraged husband left her. He was shocked when she quickly filed for divorce and did not crawl back.
They may go after the boss’s daughter or someone else who can assist their grandiose schemes. After the narcissist achieves their goal, then marital issues surface. Narcissists blame others, so view relationship problems as solely the fault of their spouse. They probably will refuse to go to marital counselling, since nothing is their fault, and they do not feel the need to change.
Tell your solicitor that your spouse is narcissistic, so she can plan specific strategies.
They routinely lie which makes divorce more challenging.
One collaborative solicitor would comment on the husband’s hand tailored suits. He puffed up with the “admiration” and the sessions went more smoothly. The solicitor had her client quickly give in on the small issues, to lessen the chance of larger ones becoming contentious.
The narcissist’s own solicitor stated it was the most difficult divorce that he ever had done.
Expect that there will be drama divorcing a narcissistic person and try to keep the sessions low key. If you are about to lose it, ask for a break and go scream in the loo. Strive to maintain a calm demeanor since the goal is to get through divorce as quickly as possible.
Narcissists are less likely to accept feedback or be able to negotiate, so I found that the collaborative divorce process worked best for me. Every situation is different, but I felt more comfortable having my own advocate.
More strategies are to avoid conflicts and stay under her radar. Best to avoid battles since a narcissist will want to punish you for perceived sins against her. This is the person to avoid having direct communication with after the marriage ends. Have a mediator handle all communication between exes post-divorce to decrease conflict.
It is important to rebuild one’s self-esteem after marriage to a narcissist, so one feels empowered during divorce and beyond.
See a therapist or coach to repair self-worth after being belittled for so many years. Lean on friends and family for support and fun. Expand your social and professional networks. The key is to nurture yourself so that you heal after going through this ordeal.
Wendi Schuller is a published author who has conducted classes on various subjects. She draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide women through this difficult transition. Schuller hired an attorney for a court divorce, but decided to go the collaborative route instead and has worked with a mediator post-divorce.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce
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