If you are divorcing a narcissist, or thinking of doing it, it's very important to understand what you are up against. These people are cold, callous, cruel and calculating and are capable of inflicting incredible damage on those around them.
The fact that you want a divorce is evidence that they are losing control over you and as domination and control is a huge motivation for them, they typically don't give in easily.
Do learn about mind control and narcissism. The only way to really protect yourself, despite how the divorce proceedings go, is to fully understand the manipulation techniques used against you and what effect they had on you. Only then does the narcissist lose control over you.
Get legal representation. Representing yourself against a narcissist, especially if they can still easily press your buttons, is asking for trouble. Firstly, it's incredibly difficult to negotiate with a narcissist. (This is why you are getting divorced in the first place, is it not??) They change the terms and conditions in an instant if it suits them. Secondly, if they can still upset you, they will do that to you before and during court and you will end up losing out.
Get help... Help and support from family, friends, colleagues at work. It is useful to have people on your side who understand that your soon-to-be-ex is actually abusive and controlling especially when the narcissist has fooled others into thinking that they are caring, friendly, helpful and generally nice people.
And get help from an expert in mind control and narcissism. This will allow you to avoid pitfalls, give you the type of emotional support you need when you need it and will help you to quickly get rid of the effects of the mind control. Someone who actually understands mind control will not blame you for the situation you are in, nor make you responsible for things that are not your responsibility.
Do get away from the narcissist as soon as possible. Get them out of the house or move out yourself.
Once out, stay away from them. The more contact they have with you, the more opportunities they have to manipulate your thinking, push you to do things and continue abusing you.
Get copies (or even originals) of all paperwork of yours and theirs that you can and store it in a safe place - somewhere they do not have any access to.
Do not discuss things with them when you have decided that you are leaving, and especially when you are divorcing a narcissist. Any conversation with them gives them information about what you are thinking and they will use this against you.
Unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not think you can outsmart them or manipulate them into doing what you want. They are masters of manipulation and will spot what you are doing straight away and will use this against you, too!
Get rest and sleep. You will manage the situation better if you are not constantly tired.
Avoid trying to sort things out with them to save solicitors fees or to speed the process up. They can manipulate you much more easily than they can your solicitor.
Don't try and do things to please them in the hope that they will be more reasonable. Any show of kindness is considered a sign of weakness by narcissistic people. And besides, one of the important signs of a narcissist is that they will take what you offer but often fail or refuse to fulfil their side of the bargain.
Do warn your solicitor about what kind of person they are dealing with. You need to avoid a situation where your lawyer is fooled by your ex and ends up thinking that your ex is the reasonable one!
If you have reached the stage of divorcing a narcissist, NEVER go back. Do not give them a second chance, hoping that they will change. No matter how tempting it is (and they can be very convincing!) it is a trick to simply take advantage of you all over again.
A divorce is generally an unpleasant time. Divorcing a narcissist will probably be unlike anything you have ever experienced. A big aspect of this is the fear that they have used all along to control you. Often the victims of narcissists have so much fear that they are afraid of what the narcissist might do, but cannot be specific about what exactly they think may happen. This fear can be paralysing.
For example, a person may be afraid of doing things that they know will make the narcissist angry, even when the narcissist is no longer present.
They may be reluctant to tell others what the narcissist was actually like, especially at a time when they really need to (in court, for example).
Or they are so afraid that even receiving an email from the narcissist upsets them for hours or even days on end.
Working with an expert in mind control to get rid of the pseudopersonality is the best way to get rid of this kind of fear.
As well as fear, the person recently separated from a narcissist will typically also experience a range of other very strong emotions, including guilt, sadness, betrayal, anger, frustration, sometimes even contradictory emotions at the same time. They love their ex but wish them harm, or they are worried about how the ex will cope but hate them simultaneously. These contradictory emotions can be very distressing and confusing.
When you announce that you are divorcing a narcissist, it's frequent that the first thing that the narcissist does is to try to make friends with you again, knowing that when you feel good about them it's more difficult for you to get away. Don't be fooled by this tactic. They have been using it against you the whole time you have been with them, making you feel nice, then abusing you, then nice times again, then more abuse. (This pattern is one of the factors in the creation of dependency on the narcissist.) If you have fallen for this before and decided to stay, you know that the nice behavior soon disappears and you are quickly back to being abused again.
If this tactic does not work, narcissistic people may begin to cycle between different approaches, looking for something to regain control. They may blame you for the problems, threaten to do all sorts of things, including suicide, tell you that you will never find anyone like them, apologize (they don't mean a word of it), promise to change, and even cycle repeatedly through all of these things over and over again...
Prepare yourself for chaos in your life for a while. (Unless you know how to step away from it...) Another one of the signs of a narcissist is that if they cannot have you, they will try to make your life hell or try to destroy you as a way to maintain control of your life. This is why sometimes getting a divorce is not the end of it, they continue to harass, annoy and abuse you any way they can. This is why 'no contact' is the preferred route.
Expect a narcissist to blacken your character, tell lies about you and generally blame you for anything that goes on. And they will do this with anyone who will listen to them, including your friends and family.
They may also play the victim, making out that they are the ones who were controlled, manipulated and taken advantage of by you!
Don't wait for them to do things. Take matters into your own hands and push in the direction you want to go.
If you have difficulty making decisions, listen to the advice of the people around you who care about you. Being outside the situation, they can often more easily see what's best for you.
Communicate in writing only, if at all possible. And remember that when you write, it may be read out in court, so only put down the minimal amount of information necessary and stick to factual things, not your opinions or feelings.
Avoid giving in and allowing the narcissist to have the lion's share of the money because they are being so nasty and obstructive that you feel you should just throw in the towel to get it all over with. Remember the narcissist is causing chaos in your life so that you and your legal team get fed up and agree to anything. Make sure you get what you are legally entitled to. You will regret it later if you don't.
When divorcing a narcissist, if there are children involved, the situation can be considerably more complex. This is where working with an expert in mind control can be invaluable. However, do not try and excuse the narcissist's behavior to the children or tell them to just ignore him. This will cause more confusion for them because what you are saying will not coincide with their experience (e.g. they feel badly treated and you are tellling them that everything is ok...) Much better to be honest with them about what is going on (because the narcissist will be filling their heads with lies and distorted stories). Read more here about how to manage the children.
Ask about getting a restraining order against the narcissist.
If you go to mediation, say that you do not want to be in the same room as the narcissist and insist on this. The narcissist will want to get you in the same room to continue to control and dominate. Don't allow it.
The narcissist may say that they are going to go for full custody of the children although you know they don't actually want that. This is just a tactic to scare you and upset you. Remember that this is one way that the narcissist is using the children against you, threatening that they will take away what they know is the most important thing to you.
When you are divorcing a narcissist, they are going to throw a lot of stuff at you, abuse, criticism, lies etc. As much as possible, don't waste time trying to defend yourself. Instead spend your time working at gathering evidence that he is a liar and a control freak so that you can prove these things in court.
Understand and accept that your narcissistic ex is going to do and say a lot of things that upset you. Allow yourself to be upset, take a break, and then pick yourself up and keep going.
You are not obliged to rush and answer their emails. You are allowed to take your time, reason through things and answer when you are ready.
Would you prefer to talk to someone about your situation?
If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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