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Hurdles to Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist

One of the defining characteristics of narcissists is that they manipulate other people for their own personal gain, oblivious to the harm they inflict. Divorcing a narcissist can thus be incredibly stressful and difficult. You may feel scared, overwhelmed and stressed. Whether your spouse has been diagnosed as a narcissist or just exhibits such behavior, you can get through your divorce with the right help.

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have a deep-rooted sense of arrogance, superiority and disregard for the feelings of others. They display grandiose behavior and a sense of entitlement with little basis in reality. They lack empathy or care for others but have an obsessive need for admiration. They often never quit their attempts to have their way, even when it is obvious they are wrong.

Divorce is difficult enough but is considerably harder when dealing with a narcissistic spouse, but there are ways to combat many of their tactics. Here are a few tips:

  • Set boundaries — You should be extremely clear about what you expect from your divorce. This means setting boundaries for agreements on child custody, visitation and how you will communicate after the divorce.
  • Document everything — Save copies of everything you send to or receive from your spouse, including text messages, emails and any other communications.
  • Take notes — You will have many conversations with your spouse about the divorce and other areas of your life. Narcissists often will lie about these conversations to manipulate you and try to trick the court. Take notes after your conversations to detail what was said.
  • Remain calm — Narcissists will try to make you angry and upset. They will try to make you seem like you are crazy or unreasonable. Stay as objective as possible and get distance from the situation when you can to stay calm.
  • Have a support system — Surround yourself with others in your life who will support you. This may include friends, close family or even a professional therapist. Make your mental health a priority and never feel ashamed of relying on others for help.
  • Work with a capable lawyer — A skilled and experienced divorce attorney serves as a buffer between you and your spouse, which can defuse tense situations and facilitate positive resolutions.

Overall, the best way to deal with a narcissist in a divorce is to accept the reality of the situation. This puts you in the posture of expecting manipulative and deceptive tactics and being ready to counter them with rational action.

At the Law Office of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset, New Jersey, we can help you through the end of your marriage to a narcissistic spouse. Contact us online or call 732-873-6464 for a consultation.

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As you are aware, New Jersey Governor Murphy ordered all "non-essential businesses" to close as of 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020. In compliance with this directive, we have closed our office to the public. In compliance with the executive order, we will not have any staff on site. However, I will be working remotely. We also have a call service answering all calls to ensure our operations proceed smoothly. This will enable us to continue to be available to assist you. We are still accepting new cases and can conduct phone consultations. For existing clients, please note that all court dates are either being held telephonically or adjourned. We will keep you posted as soon as the court advises of the status of your matter. Your calls, emails, and correspondence will be answered in a timely and professional manner and we will continue to deliver the same quality of service our clients have come to expect from us.
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