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Top 5 Ways to Disarm a Narcissist When Getting Divorced

Posted on in Dealing With Your Ex

divorcing a narcissistGetting divorced is almost never easy, but it can become much more difficult and complicated if your spouse is a narcissist. This mental health disorder can take a variety of forms, but a narcissist will typically act with self-importance and put their own needs and desires ahead of others. They often take advantage of others, refuse to recognize other people’s needs, and demand that other people follow their wishes. Unfortunately, narcissists can also be very charming and persuasive. If your ex has narcissistic tendencies, you may be in for a difficult battle during your divorce. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by understanding the strategies that can expose your ex’s unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands and make sure you will not be taken advantage of.

Standing up to a Narcissistic Spouse

During your divorce, you’ll need to make adjustments to the behaviors and methods of communication you may have been used to during your relationship with your spouse. What worked (or most likely didn’t work) during your marriage will no longer apply, and to avoid being manipulated, you’ll need to figure out how to put a stop to the strategies your ex normally uses to get their way. As you work to complete the divorce process, you’ll want to do the following:

  1. Stand up for yourself - Your ex may have become used to doing whatever they want and having you agree to their demands. Since you’re no longer in a married relationship, you no longer have to back down in order to keep the peace. Standing up for your rights and interests will let your ex know that you’re no longer going to let them control you and that your needs are just as important as theirs.

  2. Don’t feed your ex’s ego - Since narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, your ex may be used to receiving praise and acknowledgment from you. You no longer need to play the role of a supportive spouse. Even if your ex attempts to get you to acknowledge how much they have contributed to your marriage or the difficulties they are dealing with during your divorce, you don’t have to do so. By refusing to bolster your ex’s confidence, you will give them less ammunition to use against you.

  3. Don’t sink to your ex’s level - Narcissists thrive on drama, and your ex is likely to pick fights or attempt to get you to engage in heated arguments. Don’t let them push your buttons or provoke you into anger, since they may then use these reactions against you and claim that you are being aggressive or abusive. By refusing to argue, you can take away your ex’s ability to bully or manipulate you into doing what they want.

  4. Catch your ex in contradictions - Your ex may make promises in order to get you to agree to their demands, then go back on those agreements. They may also make exaggerated claims about your behavior and act as if they are a victim. By saving copies of your communications, such as emails or text messages, you can show where your ex was inconsistent or unreasonable. By demonstrating their lack of credibility, you will be more likely to have matters decided in your favor in court.

  5. Set boundaries - As a narcissist, your ex may attempt to drag you back into unhealthy relationship behaviors as they try to manipulate you into agreeing to what they want. You can avoid this by setting clear boundaries about what you will and will not discuss with your ex and what types of communication will be acceptable. At any time, if you feel that your ex is acting inappropriately, you can end a conversation or discussion, taking away their ability to provoke you into acting against your interests.

By following these tips, you can stop your ex from using their normal methods of getting their way, and you can make sure you are standing up for your rights. As you work to resolve your divorce-related issues, you’ll need an experienced family law attorney on your side who can help you address the legal issues involved in ending your marriage. By taking the right approach to your divorce, you can achieve an outcome that will allow you to move on successfully from a bad relationship with a narcissistic spouse.

 

Sources:

https://www.mindful.org/disarming-the-narcissist/

https://www.re-write-your-life.com/2020/05/04/6-key-phrases-to-use-to-disarm-a-narcissist/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-deal-with-a-narcissist

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