Being married to a narcissist is never an easy road, but divorcing one can be an absolute nightmare. For many Florida spouses, the reality of their partner’s personality disorder was not made apparent until after the wedding bells faded. Once married, many people feel compelled to adjust to their partner’s behavior, even when that behavior is nearly intolerable. When divorce inevitably becomes a pressing need, working through child custody or property division with a narcissist can be incredibly stressful.
To clarify, a narcissist is an individual who displays an excessive level of self-interest, to the exclusion of healthy relationships with others. They often lack the ability to feel empathy for other people, and are often confused at the emotions displayed by those around them. They can be very charming on the surface, and they are sometimes able to garner the support of friends and family, even when their actions do not deserve that support.
When divorcing a narcissist, the most valuable piece of advice that a spouse can receive is to make every effort to disengage. That means not taking the bait when the other party wants to argue over details of the divorce. It means watching passively as the other person tries to elicit a response. Reacting only feeds into the narcissist’s need to control the situation, and perpetuates a negative cycle.
A better approach is to secure the services of a trusted legal advisor and to follow that individual’s advice. Take the time to work on healing from what may have been years of emotional abuse, and begin strengthening the basic skills needed to live as a single person. It may be helpful for Florida spouses to remember that divorce is a process, one that has a beginning and an end. Working through child custody and property division may be unpleasant, but it is also a means to an end.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce From A Psychopath Or Narcissist Is Never Easy“, Tiffany Beverlin, July 9, 2017