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5 key things to remember when divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Divorce |

Deep down, narcissists are very insecure. Unfortunately for everyone around them, narcissists tend to cover for their insecurities by projecting all their anger outward, holding grudges, being demanding and trying to obsessively control other people. They also have a total inability to take responsibility for their actions and a tendency to believe that everything centers (or should center) around themselves.

If this sounds like the spouse you’re divorcing, how do you cope? Here are some tips:

1. Document everything

Because they lack empathy and don’t mind being manipulative, you need to document everything that might be needed to illustrate their behavior to a judge. This means keeping detailed records of all your communications, including emails, text messages and phone calls. 

2. Establish boundaries

The more contact you have with a narcissist, the harder it can be to avoid falling prey to their antics. Set clear boundaries that minimize how much you have to directly interact with them by insisting that they only contact you in writing or through your legal representation.

3. Control your reactions

If you get visibly angry or upset in response to whatever outrageous claim or demand a narcissist makes, that’s the equivalent of handing them a “win” because they thrive on the feeling of power it gives them. Practice the “grey rock” method of responding as flatly as possible to their attempts to trigger you.

4. Protect your finances

Expect your spouse to adopt the idea that they “deserve” more of the marital assets than you. With that in mind, make certain that you secure your assets and stay vigilant about your credit. 

5. Review your digital security

Assume that your spouse will stop at nothing to damage your personal and professional relationships out of a desire for revenge for whatever perceived wrongs you have done against them. Change your email account, update all your passwords on social media, block your spouse on all your accounts and enable two-factor identification whenever possible for log-ins.

Finally, consider seeking legal guidance as early as possible, and make certain to discuss your concerns about your spouse’s potential behavior right away. That can allow you to take a strategic approach to your divorce and get through the process much more easily.