Divorce From a Narcissist: How to Protect Yourself
An amicable divorce is the best-case scenario. You and your spouse come to a joint, mature decision that your marriage is not the best thing for either of you, so you work through your differences and come to a mutual agreement on all relevant issues in the divorce. Unfortunately, if you are married to a narcissist, this is all but impossible. Your spouse is likely to consider your divorce a failure, and they will fight kicking and screaming through the process. They will try to drag you down with them. Below, we offer some tips on what to do when divorcing a narcissist. Call a compassionate New Jersey divorce lawyer for help with a New Jersey family law matter.
Understand that your ex might never “get over it”
Emotionally healthy people can eventually get past their own feelings to accomplish a more important goal, such as raising children. A narcissist, on the other hand, is incapable of empathy or self-reflection. They care about their own needs first. They may never stop trying to fight with you or trying to “win” with the children. Determine what you need to move forward and to deal with that sort of behavior on your own terms. Consider therapy or counseling, for yourself and for your children, to help you work through your issues in a healthy and effective manner rather than engaging with your ex on their level.
Use your lawyer
Your lawyer is your sword and your shield. That’s why you hired them. Use your lawyer for all necessary communication between you and your spouse during the divorce process. If your spouse says something to you privately or threatens you, take it to your lawyer. Do not respond in kind. Let your ex or their lawyer yell at your attorney, not at you. That’s what you pay them for.
Additionally, if your ex is doing anything illegal–harassing you, refusing to pay child support or alimony because of something they claim you did, etc.–tell your lawyer. Your ex has legal obligations, and if they fail to adhere to them, they are subject to sanctions by the court. Let your lawyer fight that fight for you, so you can save your energy for yourself and your children.
Keep the receipts
Your ex may try to make all sorts of allegations during or after the divorce proceedings. Keep copies of texts, emails, expenditures, social media posts, direct messages, and even call logs from your ex. If it ever comes down to your word versus theirs, you will have proof to back up your claims.
Keep calm and disengage
It is easy to get riled up by offensive statements and behavior by your ex. That is exactly what they are trying to accomplish. Do not engage with them. Do not argue, do not make disparaging comments about them in front of your children, do not fight. Steer clear of them where possible; when you have to interact, get in and out quickly and remain cold and cordial. Taking the high road is especially important in front of your children.
Let Us Help Get You Clear of Your Spouse in a New Jersey Divorce
If you need passionate and effective legal help with divorce, premarital agreements, child support, alimony, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the Union offices of family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro at 908-964-0102.