Divorcing a narcissist

It’s crucial that you understand the personality traits you’re dealing with when divorcing a narcissist. To be effective, you must take different precautions.

What is a narcissist?

Psychology Today provides an article to help you determine whether your partner is a narcissist. The short explanation is that a narcissist is someone who has an “inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.” (Mayo Clinic)

A Huffington Post article written by a licensed marriage and family therapist categorizes divorces with narcissists as high-conflict divorces and gives tips on how to deal with a narcissistic personality:

  • Minimize contact. Don’t indulge in defending yourself against accusations. Limit contact, including face-to-face contact, and communicate as little as possible. When you do communicate, stick to straight facts.
  • Avoid being emotional. Keep your upsets, sadness or anger to yourself and save it for support groups or counseling therapy. In particular, don’t expose an opposing point of view.
  • Plan for confrontation. A narcissist will try to drag you into court over minor issues and involve you in high conflict. Refrain from saying or writing anything that makes you look bad and document hostile emails and court order violations regarding your ex.
  • Don’t show weakness. We all make mistakes, and the time and place to admit and take responsibility for them is in therapy or with trusted family and friends. Admitting mistakes to an ex who is a narcissist just provides ammunition for attack, and facts are often twisted to make mistakes appear larger and more damaging than they actually were.
  • Avoid co-parenting. The tip to avoid contact also comes into play with parenting. Distance yourself from your ex and avoid co-parenting attempts. Doing so reduces the potential for conflict, which is highly damaging to your children.

Seek legal assistance when you first start considering divorce so you can put effective plans in place. Our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates, work closely with you through every stage of divorce to help matters go as smoothly as possible.