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Divorcing a Narcissistic Spouse

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Divorce |

Preparation is Key, Including Knowing your Financial Accounts

  • Divorcing a narcissistic spouse is typically high-conflict and overwhelming so it’s important to mentally and legally-prepare.
  • Ending the marriage requires organization, strength, and a team of dependable, supportive individuals.
  • Strategies including enlisting a strong attorney and therapist, keeping rigorous records, and cutting off direct communication except as necessary to effectuate the transfer of children from one home to another.

The Signs of Narcissism

Because the ego of a narcissistic person is fragile and his or her self-esteem so heavily guarded, a narcissist’s thoughts and therefore behaviors are armored, protecting them from their own self-loathing that is at the very core of their being. Many narcissists suffered emotional pain as children and cover for that pain in the way they attach to others.

How to Approach Divorce with a Narcissistic Partner

1. Please hire an attorney before approaching your spouse with the plan to divorce.
Important note: If you believe you or your children are in immediate danger, do not remain under the same roof and do not wait to act. You can call 9-1-1 or seek a protective order in the State of Maryland. A protective order can protect both yourself and your minor child(ren).

2. Enlist a strong advocate as your attorney and, if possible, a mental health professional before you tell your partner of any plans to separate or divorce. Attempt to find an attorney who has experience working with adversarial spouses who suffer from or are affected by personality disorders. Speak with mental health professionals, friends, and family for referrals. Narcissists, for example, do not compromise easily, and you need to choose an attorney who will go the distance with you, and ideally, has experience working with someone who is controlling, and in many cases, simply irrational.

3. If you are being abused emotionally and/or physically, including being harassed via text or email, ask your attorney about filing temporary restraining orders including Orders of Protection that keep this abusive person away from you and your family.

4. Keep a record of everything. A narcissist will often lie, will likely want to litigate, and they won’t go down without a fight. It is best to be prepared and ready. Keeping copies of important documents as well as emails and texts that refer to specific incidents is very important. This information will be helpful later if you need to convince the court that your partner has been lying. Share this record of information with your attorney and therapist. Evidence and witnesses can be very helpful in proving a case.

5. Put everything in writing and consider using MyTalkingParents or MyFamilyWizard for communication.
Most of all, it is critical to remember to protect your emotional well-being and the emotional health of your children.

Breaking free of this marriage is going to take a lot of strength and organization. And you need to form a team of people that you can depend upon, including your friends, family, therapist, and attorney.

At Diamant Gerstein, LLC, we are sensitive to those going through divorce and are keenly-aware of the problems and complexities of divorcing a narcissist. Please call us today if we can be of assistance to you.

Sharon Diamant, Esq.
[email protected]

Former Prosecutors. Experience. Results.