Getting divorced under any circumstance can present a person with some of the most difficult experiences in that person’s life, even when the spouses are still on relatively amicable terms.
But when one of the parties in a divorce is a narcissist, the contention can lead to many complications. Special care is needed to divorce a narcissist.
While being married to a narcissist can be extremely difficult, moving forward with a divorce from a narcissist can be even harder. Yet you can do it. It starts with preparation, planning, a team, and a commitment to a better life.
One of our experienced Charleston divorce lawyers can speak with you today about your case and options for your divorce moving forward.
Understanding Narcissists and Narcissism
In order to understand some of the difficulties and complications of divorcing a narcissist, it is important to understand how narcissists operate. According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder “is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.” Yet as the Mayo Clinic clarifies, “behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
Narcissists have significant difficulty maintaining relationships with others, including in family life, social contexts, and professionally. Indeed, according to the Mayo Clinic, “people with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given special favors or admiration they believe they deserve.”
Tips for Divorcing a Narcissist in Charleston
Given the personality traits of a narcissist, it can be extremely difficult to go through a divorce with a narcissist. According to an article in Psychology Today, it is important to remember that narcissists will do anything to appear “in the right” in every way during a divorce, and they will often take steps to thwart or delay the divorce process. As such, you need to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side. What are some tips to get through the process? The article recommends some of the following:
- Ensure that you work with a lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissists in divorces and is aware of your spouse’s personality traits;
- Copy and keep records of everything, preparing in advance for a narcissistic spouse to lie; and
- Avoid getting angry and responding to the narcissist as he or she may want—maintain restraint as much as you can.
In divorces with narcissists, the narcissist will often take steps to try to draw you into a dramatic situation, or a scenario in which the narcissist can create an opportunity to look like the better or more rational person. It is critical to do everything you can to avoid these interactions with help from your South Carolina divorce lawyer, trustworthy family and friends, and, where possible, a helpful therapist or other mental health professional.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina Divorce Attorney
Do you need help divorcing a narcissist? Our Charleston divorce attorneys are here to assist you. Contact The Peck Law Firm for more information.
Recommendations For Additional Reading
Resources for Battered Women in Charleston
How To Financially Survive Your Divorce
How Judges Decide Child Custody in South Carolina