Divorce is always difficult and stressful, but it can be even more so when the person you're divorcing has been diagnosed as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The traits that make someone a narcissist, including the need to control others and lack of empathy, can make someone with NPD very difficult to deal with during a divorce. Here are a few tips to help guide you during this process, while making sure you are protected emotionally and legally:
Get an Excellent Divorce Lawyer
Some people amicably agree that divorce is in their best interests and work out a straightforward agreement with the help of a mediator. This is unlikely to be your situation, since a major life event like divorce tends to bring out the worst in narcissists. Your ex may feel like the divorce is his or her last chance to exert control over you in any number of areas, including child custody and how you divide your assets.
It is crucial that you hire an experienced divorce attorney to be in your corner. A good lawyer will protect your legal and financial rights and can handle all necessary communication with your ex or your ex's lawyer, so you don't have to.
Anyone going through a divorce could probably benefit from the help of a counselor, but this is especially true when you divorce someone with NPD. There have most likely been many painful events in your marriage, possibly including gaslighting and emotional abuse.
An experienced and empathetic therapist will help you unpack, process, and heal from anything traumatic that occurred during your marriage. The therapist will also help you identify your own unhealthy relationship patterns and teach you skills for choosing more compatible and respectful partners in the future.
Begin Rebuilding Your Identity
Chances are that you have spent a great deal of time and energy on trying to resolve your marital problems over the years. You now have a chance to channel that energy into yourself instead. This is a great time to rediscover old hobbies and interests, or discover brand new ones. Take a language class, plan a vacation, start a new workout routine, or make happy-hour plans with friends.
Being married to someone with NPD is never easy, but by following these tips you will soon regain your freedom as a single person who doesn't have to allow unhealthy relationships into your life.
For more information contact firms like Huddleston, Robbins & Riddle PA.