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Strategies for divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Divorce

Getting divorced in Florida is almost always a difficult and draining process. When a Florida spouse has a significant personality disorder, such as narcissism, ending the marriage can be more complicated, take more time, and have an increased levels of conflict.

Understanding narcissism

A narcissist has a strong sense of entitlement and is preoccupied with how they are perceived by others. Your divorce might upset your narcissistic spouse in several ways:

  • Damage to image: Your spouse may be humiliated over being the person who has been “left.”
  • Loss of control: A narcissistic spouse may be upset at not having you available for their emotional needs.
  • Having to rebuild: Having lost a marriage and at least some marital assets, your spouse will now have to take responsibility for rebuilding their life.

All of these situations can anger the narcissist. As a result, your spouse may act out in a variety of ways, some of which can make your divorce process more lengthy, upsetting and expensive.

An example of this is someone who instructs their lawyer to fight over every aspect in divorce court. These legal battles cost the narcissist money and may alienate them from friends, family and even their children, but the narcissist persists in counterproductive behavior as a way of saving face.

Developing divorce strategies

If you are planning to divorce a narcissist, there are several strategies that you can employ to protect your interests:

  • Develop a support system: See a counselor who is familiar with narcissism and spend time with family and friends.
  • Don’t count on being able to engage in a collaborative divorce or even use mediation.
  • Restrict communication as much as possible. Some court systems offer monitored communication tools that you can use.
  • Never give the narcissist ammunition. Avoid speaking poorly of your soon-to-be-ex spouse to others. Manage and document your finances carefully.

Divorcing a narcissist is often a good way of preserving your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Knowing that you are doing the right thing is often an excellent way of keeping focused as the process moves through the court system.