In marriage, you vow to love your partner for better and for worse. But what happens when those rose-tinted glasses come off and you start to realize that you may have married a narcissist?
What is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who has extremely selfish qualities, an inflated feeling of self-importance, and often does not consider the wellbeing or feelings of others at all. While anyone can be a narcissistic person, individuals can be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) with the help of a therapist.
You may notice these qualities in your partner, but it takes a pattern to truly determine if you are married to a narcissist. Narcissists commonly:
- Change the subject to solely be about themselves
- Have an inflated sense of self-worth
- Lack empathy for others
- Need others to constantly admire them
- Have trouble maintaining long-term relationships, both romantic and platonic
- Gaslight others
If you believe your spouse is a narcissist and it is harming your relationship to the point of no return, you may need to exit your relationship. However, your spouse’s narcissistic qualities may cause difficulties during your divorce.
Difficulties of Divorcing a Narcissist
Due to a narcissist’s lack of empathy and inflated sense of self-worth, they may not realize that their actions are the cause of the deterioration of your relationship.
They May Insist on Working Things Out
Your spouse may believe that you can work things out as a couple and fight to preserve your relationship. Stay strong and hold your ground — if you feel that your relationship is irreparably damaged, then don’t back down and continue your divorce proceedings.
They May Try and Manipulate You and Others
A narcissistic spouse may feel that to get their way and to continue your marriage, they need to manipulate you and others. If you suspect your spouse is exhibiting manipulative behavior towards you, your children, or others involved in your divorce, alert your divorce attorney and try and document it if needed. Your attorney may be able to show the court the interference your spouse may try to make during litigation.
They May Try to Draw Things Out
Once your spouse realizes that you are going to continue your divorce process, they may do everything in their power to draw out your divorce. They might hit court deadlines at the very last minute, request extensions from the court, and overall refuse to cooperate. Do everything you can to stay calm and work with your attorney to prepare for the next steps of your divorce process.
How to Protect Your Wellbeing
When divorcing a narcissistic spouse, you may feel gaslit by their arguments and actions as they work towards protecting your relationship so you will not leave them. You may feel unsettled or upset from being gaslit during your divorce proceedings, so one of the most crucial parts of protecting yourself and your family is putting your well-being first.
Limit Your Online Activity
During your divorce, limiting your time online can set a boundary for how you will spend your free time. Since narcissists generally feed off of attention, your spouse may be posting about your divorce online or how you are “wronging” them by undergoing a divorce. By limiting your time spent on social media, you will limit the chances of seeing these social posts.
Start (Or Continue) Seeing a Therapist
Therapy can be a natural step in the divorce process for many, however, for those divorcing narcissists, it can be extremely beneficial. Shop around and search for a therapist you feel comfortable with and work towards developing coping methods for issues regarding your divorce. Sharing your experiences with your spouse to your therapist may help them as you both work towards bettering your mental relationship with yourself.
If you have children, you may want to place them in therapy so they can work through their emotions about your divorce and their other parent. A child psychologist can also be used as a reference for your custody proceedings, which may help the judge make a decision on your time-sharing agreement or fight for sole custody.
Montgomery County Divorce Attorneys
If you have realized you married a narcissist, you may want to end your marriage and file for divorce. Our divorce attorneys at Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC understand that you need care and compassion during this difficult time.
Are you ready to divorce a narcissistic partner? Call us today at (610) 365-4733 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary consultation.