At first, your spouse may have showered you with adoration and affection. These charming and seductive characteristics may have made them seem like the perfect partner for a while. But sooner or later, their self-centered personality and lack of empathy may have revealed itself over time, causing the marriage to deteriorate.
If that’s the case, you may be dealing with a narcissistic spouse. Unfortunately, divorcing a narcissist can be a nightmare, especially if they control a majority of the assets in the marriage. Those could include things like stock options, retirement accounts and vacation properties.
How do I deal with my narcissistic partner in court?
In many instances, attorneys, therapists and custody evaluators believe both spouses are responsible for their conflict. However, a narcissist often sees divorce as a game of winning and losing and may go to great lengths to get what they want. When facing your spouse during separation proceedings, it’s crucial to deal with them using the right approaches:
- Document all interactions: During a divorce, narcissists may use any evidence they can to paint their partner in a bad light. They may do so by keeping record of things you may not think of keeping. You may want to respond by doing the same. That can include electronic screenshots of texts, emails and social media posts involving your spouse.
- Stick to what you want: Your ideal plan may have been to divide marital possessions and child custody as evenly as possible. However, a narcissist may see splitting things evenly as a sign of defeat. They may pay expensive legal fees to take you back to court in an attempt to bend the odds in their favor. In these instances, it’s essential to know what you’re willing to sacrifice. But at the same time, it’s important to remain adamant that the division of assets and child custody arrangements should be fair.
- Create a strong support network: Facing divorce, especially with a narcissist, can be emotionally and financially excruciating. Depending on the circumstances, a narcissistic spouse may try to gaslight you and convince the judge and others that you are irresponsible and incompetent. When this happens, it can be easy to lash out at them for making false claims. Unfortunately, doing so can help you fit the narrative that they’ve painted for you. But having an alliance of family and friends by your side can keep you level-headed so you don’t get knocked off balance.
Narcissists can make divorce more complicated
Separating from a narcissist can feel like a never-ending battle. That’s because your spouse may feel they continuously need to have the upper hand, even if they exerted control in many aspects of the marriage. When dealing with a narcissistic partner, an attorney can help create a strategy that pushes proceedings along.