If you are getting ready to file divorce papers in the Dayton area, you may be mourning the end of your relationship. However, though you might feel sad, if your partner is a narcissist, you are probably experiencing anger and frustration too.
Narcissistic individuals may be especially difficult to deal with in a divorce. Their actions often create conflict that causes delays in the separation process. For example, your partner may refuse to acknowledge his or her role in the breakdown of the relationship and blame you. This can cause you to be on the defensive and feel ill-equipped to handle the situation. Here are some tactics to help you deal with a narcissistic partner in divorce.
Strengthen your defenses
Narcissistic individuals are generally not reasonable when they are angry. They are only concerned about their needs and could not care less about those of others. Your spouse may resort to playing games and bad-mouthing you to “punish” you for the situation. Do not take these actions or words too personally. Develop thick skin, and consider seeing a therapist to learn appropriate coping mechanisms.
Do not fool yourself into thinking that your soon-to-be ex-partner’s behavior or feelings toward you or the children will improve. Focus on you and doing what is necessary for you to move on and get what you want of the divorce, so you can live the life you deserve.
You may be able to keep conflicts from escalating by setting boundaries early in the process. Regardless of how uncooperative your ex-partner may become, refuse to be drawn in. For example, if your ex-spouse is always trying to learn details of your life to use as ammunition against you, limit your communication to email and withhold all irrelevant personal information. When the spouse becomes volatile, stay calm and allow him or her to cool off. Make it known that communication will not continue unless he or she is respectful of you and your needs.
Dealing with a narcissistic individual in divorce may make you feel as if you are losing control. To combat the negative feelings, surround yourself with people who love and support you, and seek professional help to maintain your emotional health.