Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), though extremely common, is quite hard to spot during the beginning stages of a relationship. NPD is characterized by a lack of empathy towards others, an inflated sense of self, an excessive need for attention and admiration, and rocky interpersonal relationships. If you have been living with a narcissistic spouse, you know that it can be challenging to speak to them about your feelings. Cutting ties or getting a divorce in such cases is even harder, as the spouse is likely to try and gaslight or manipulates you into staying.
A narcissistic spouse will always try to make everything sound like your fault, and this can be quite tricky to navigate when you’re trying to get a divorce. Often, reducing conflict during divorce proceedings is the best way to go ahead and part ways in a mutually beneficial manner. However, doing so with a narcissistic spouse can be extremely difficult as they are likely to seek out conflict just to prove that they are the victims in the divorce. Divorce lawyers in New Jersey can help you navigate this situation in an effective manner. Here are some of the things you’ll have to keep in mind:
- A narcissistic person always wants to win: Narcissists view everything as a competition that they want to win. So, during a divorce, their natural instinct is not to ensure that everything is divided equally – it’s to make sure that they get the lion’s share of the assets. As a result of this, they are likely to bend the truth or distort facts just to get what they want. Be prepared to deal with a lot of mud-slinging.
- Beware of superficial changes: Often, in order to manipulate partners, narcissists will display quick and superficial changes in their personality. This is mainly to give you a sense of safety and to make you feel heard, but, the changes are not likely to last. The changes in their personality do not come from an internal need to be better – they just want to hold onto their spouses. So beware of such changes and make sure you’ve filed the paperwork before telling them so that they can’t manipulate you.
- Let the lawyers do the talking: Narcissists are master manipulators and know exactly which buttons to push on you. They will try to make you lose your cool during negotiations to be able to carry on with the argument that you are the faulty party in the marriage. It can be very hard to maintain your cool in such situations. The best approach is to let the lawyers do the talking. Conversely, if you must communicate, do it in writing and make sure you’re limiting face to face interactions. This will help you think logically and express yourself in a neutral, none=threatening tone.
- Be prepared for a messy affair: Divorcing a narcissist can be very challenging as they will not let you go calmly. They may hit below the belt, get in touch with your colleagues, call up family members and harass them, manipulate children into choosing them, and so on. If you are keen on a mutual divorce where everyone’s best interests are kept in mind, do remember that this is not something that is likely to happen when divorcing a narcissistic person.
Getting in touch with divorce lawyers in New Jersey should be your first step when you start thinking about divorcing someone with NPD. They will be able to guide you through the process and ensure you are not manipulated.