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6 Ways To Prepare Yourself For Divorcing A Narcissist

Author: Florida Women's Law Group
Date: Mar 03 2022

6 Ways to Prepare for Divorcing a Narcissist

If you are married to a narcissist then you are aware of their manipulation, lying and constant emotional abuse.  If you have reached your breaking point and are ready to divorce, you need to be prepared.  Being married to a narcissist is difficult but divorcing one is even harder.  It can be intimidating and scary but preparing yourself for the difficult and long journey ahead of you can help you focus on the future that awaits you when it is all over.

The first thought that comes to mind when thinking of a narcissist is usually someone that is very vain and focused solely on themselves. These can be traits they possess but it also goes much further and is more devious and covert then you may think. Most women who are married to a narcissist are not even aware that it is happening to them. Narcissists are so good at manipulation and protecting themselves, they live behind a mask that rarely comes down.  Is your spouse a narcissist?

You can successfully divorce a narcissist; preparation is essential as well as having solid strategies.  Here we discuss 6 ways you can get yourself ready for the battle, because yes, this will be a battle.

1.  Forgive Yourself

The victim of a narcissist has feelings of shame, confusion and self-blame.  The first step in this process is to forgive yourself and stop asking yourself “How did you missed the signs?  Why did you let this happen?  Why did you make excuses for their behavior?”  Let go of this thinking.  Manipulation is a narcissist’s job, and they excel at it.  They are subtle, exacting and clever with pulling someone into their web and then unleashing their mental warfare on them.  Now is the time to focus on where you want to be and beating yourself up for missing signs and putting up with it is not going to help.  You are not to blame; they are good at belittling and tearing away your self-esteem.  You are stronger than you think, drop the negative self-talk. 

2.  Set Realistic Expectations

Divorce is never easy and even the most amicable couples face conflict when ending their relationship.  Divorcing a narcissist will not be easy.  Their lack of empathy and need to win make it unlikely that it will be smooth and drama-free.  To best prepare yourself both mentally and emotionally it is wise to set your expectations early on to be more effective.

You wanting a divorce is seen as personal attack to them.  It threatens their ego and control over you.  Their focus is on themselves, and they have no regard for you or your children.  They will not be reasonable and will not give an inch.  Compromise, negotiating and mediation are not going to happen.  Prepare for the divorce to go to court and for them to have no mercy.

3. Document Everything

The narcissist will stop at nothing to win.  They have no problem lying and making false accusation to your friends, family, attorneys and the judge.  To prepare yourself for this, document everything.  If possible, keep your interactions with them to text and emails, allowing you to have evidence of their lies.  If you have children, keep a log of the time they spend when both of you.  It is not uncommon for a narcissist to tell a judge that they spend most of their time with the kids when the truth is the exact opposite.  They will lie to keep the kids from you because they know it is important to you.  When they miss visitation or important events write it down.  If they bring the kids back early or their behavior negatively effects the kids, write it down.

4. Remain Calm

Not letting them push your buttons is vital.  They are banking on you losing your cool and getting angry or upset in court so that you look like the crazy one while they remain calm, cool and collected.  As hard as it will be you cannot be ruled with your emotions during your divorce.  Throughout the process they will try to bait you into arguments, do not engage with them.  The narcissist will continue to manipulate you and play with your emotions in attempts to back you down.  The best strategy is to be the grey rock, be boring, no emotion and no reaction to whatever they throw at you.  Staying calm and level-headed is the best defense.

5. Set Boundaries

The narcissist will not let you, their supply, go easily.  They need the control and power to exist.  They will still try and bully you and be a part of your daily life.  Decide what you are willing to tolerate and what you will not.  Be clear with them on your boundaries and how you will communicate with them.  You probably know that they are not good at respecting boundaries, but it is important that you not give into them so you can begin to heal and start your new life.

6. Hire the Right Attorney

We have said that this divorce will not be easy, you will need strength and determination to get through it.  Having an attorney that is experienced in dealing with narcissists is an investment in your future.  An experienced attorney will know the narcissists tricks and will be able to beat them at their own game.  Your attorney will protect you, defend you and expose your narcissist’s manipulative ways.

This will be a long and likely high-conflict divorce.  With preparation and a good support team you will get through it and onto the happy life you deserve.  There is a way to successfully get out of a marriage to a narcissist.  The most important step is to have a plan.  It is not easy to divorce a narcissist but with proper planning it can be done.  At Florida Women’s Law Group, we have experience dealing with narcissists and know how to beat them at their own game.  We can help you successfully get out of this relationship and start a healthier and happier life.

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Florida Women’s Law Group