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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family > How to Survive a Divorce with a Narcissist

How to Survive a Divorce with a Narcissist


Divorce can be tough, and never more so than when one party plays the victim throughout the entire process. That’s because a narcissist is in it to win, meaning they need for you to lose. How can you navigate a difficult process with someone whose primary goal is to make you suffer?

Understanding the Narcissist 

If you’ve lived with this person for any length of time, you doubtlessly know how they operate:

  • They play games. In divorce, that could mean falsely accusing you of wrongdoing, making pointless motions, and dragging out the process. Negotiations likely falter, and delays due to supposed emergencies will drag the process out for much longer than you might expect.
  • They lack empathy. Everything is about them, and they cannot comprehend the emotional toll their behavior has on others. You, as the soon-to-be ex, and your children, could very well be the victims of a scorched earth strategy, putting the kids at real risk of being used as pawns.
  • They like control. They may try to control you through the courts, making the process more lengthy, expensive, and demoralizing than it has to be.
  • They want to wear you down: The goal is to come out on top, putting you, necessarily, on the losing end of any deal you make. It will include painting you as the bad guy, and publicizing as much dirt as they can get away with.

Preparing for the Tactics 

There are things you can do to minimize the disruptions to your life when trying to get out of your marriage to a narcissist.  For starters, make sure your attorney knows what to expect up front so strategies to address the narcissist can be ready. Then, do everything in your power to avoid being caught unprepared:

  • Stay calm, cool, and collected. Don’t take the bait and respond to their antics with anger or nastiness. Fly above the games and keep interactions level-headed and dignified.
  • Keep copies of everything and anything that has the potential to impact the divorce, from financial records to communications.
  • Set healthy boundaries relating to communication with the narcissist, and stick to them.
  • Speak with clarity, composure, and kindness, no matter how challenging that may be.
  • Put your best foot forward, and allow the court to see exactly who you are, and who you’re dealing with.
  • Keep the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the kids front of mind at all times, and behave accordingly.

Advocacy that Works 

The experienced Springfield family attorneys at Courtney & Mills have seen it all; their straightforward approach as they aggressively confront the challenges you face will give you the confidence to move forward toward the best possible outcomes for you and your kids.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office to discuss your concerns today.

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