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The challenges of divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | Family Law |

Divorce can be difficult for Washington couples, but when the person you are divorcing is a narcissist, there is an added layer of difficulty. You are probably all too familiar with some of these narcissistic elements of their personality, but in divorce court, the effects can be particularly toxic, and their tactics can lead to a process that is more expensive and stressful.

Complications in divorcing a narcissist

A high-conflict divorce and divorcing a narcissist often go hand-in-hand, although if your spouse is a covert narcissist, this may play out differently, with your spouse painting themselves as a victim. They may do everything they can to drag out the divorce and might make a point of identifying any assets that are meaningful to you and fighting to make sure you do not get them.

When children are involved

The situation can be even more difficult when there are children because a narcissistic parent will often use them against the other parent. This can be damaging for children.

What to do

Documenting everything should be your first step. This means screenshotting or saving texts and emails and keeping a written journal of your interactions with your spouse. Although it may be difficult, you also need to work to keep your emotions in check. The narcissist will try to push your buttons to make you look unreliable. You should lean on your professional and personal networks for support.

The importance of preparation

You can survive and thrive on the other side of a divorce from a narcissist as many have done before you, but it is important to be prepared by understanding ahead of time what you may encounter. This can help you identify which strategies will be most beneficial to you and your children.