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Divorcing a narcissist

One of the hardest things you have had to face may be the shocking realization that you married a narcissist. The caring and compatible person you dated suddenly let down the façade, revealing the personality disorder that has since made your life miserable.

Now that you plan to divorce and break free from the manipulation and control, you may feel your troubles will soon be over. However, it is important to understand the nature of the narcissist so you can prepare yourself for the potential havoc he or she can create during the divorce process.

The patterns of narcissism

A narcissist suffers from a personality disorder. Whether such issues can be treated successfully is still open for debate. However, if you have made the decision to divorce for you own well-being and the good of any children in the marriage, it may be because your loved one has refused to seek any treatment. This is typical of a narcissistic personality disorder.

You may also be dealing with conflict outside your marriage if your extended family and friends suddenly blame you for the problems with your spouse. This may be the result of manipulation on the part of your spouse. Narcissists commonly create confusion in the lives of their families by convincing those around them that they are the victims of their spouse's unfair treatment. It may be hard to overcome this since a narcissist can be charismatic and persuasive.

A need for self-protection

Above all, narcissists strive to protect themselves and their influence over the marriage. Your plans to divorce may strengthen your spouse's need to control the situation, including your access to finances and your plans for child custody, along with how you will spend support payments. If your spouse truly has a personality disorder, there is probably little you can do to change that.

He or she may try to shame or embarrass you, especially in Louisiana family court or in front of a mediator. It may seem impossible, but refusing to retaliate is often the best way to react. Counselors may tell you that the shame a narcissist tries to pin on you really comes from his or he own insecurities. Since you will be dealing with delicate matters and an unstable partner, you would benefit from the strong representation of an attorney who has experience in high conflict divorces. 

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