Be Prepared Divorcing Narcissistic Spouse

Many spouses wait years , even decades on a wild, treacherous ride with their narcissistic partner. As time passes they become more miserable, weary and wary about their marital partner. There are many rounds of couples therapy which do no good. In some cases the therapist sides with the narcissistic spouse and convinces you that you have the serious psychological problems that are causing problems with the marriage. Narcissists are so clever and such fine actors that they fool therapists with their charm and magnetism. After you have tried everything possible and are at a turning point, you make the decision to divorce your spouse.

I suggest you don’t announce your decision until you are fully prepared for every aspect of this event. In some cases that are particularly acrimonious the spouse has her/his attorney get in touch with the other side. Choosing the right attorney is of utmost importance. It is wise to interview several lawyers who specialize in divorce and family law. Get good referrals from your close friends but remember that everyone is an individual. It is your decision alone. In addition to the professional skills, knowledge and expertise of the lawyer, consider his or her personality. This individual must have a keen sense of the nature of the narcissistic personality. You want a lawyer who is calm, competent and your loyal advocate at all times. The attorney needs to be quick at perceiving some new ruse the narcissist and his attorney have hatched to sabotage you. One plan is to wear you down so far emotionally and physically that you are not up for the challenge. Make sure you take very good care of yourself especially during this time. Get your sleep, take time to be quiet and calm each day through meditation, gentle yoga, exercise, journaling—what works best for you. This is your time. Take full advantage of it. Keep focused on your personal, creative and professional strengths. Know that you will prevail.Turn to a few friends whom you trust completely and allow yourself to be nurtured by them. Some spouses that brief psychotherapy during this time is highly supportive and informative. When you form a strong therapeutic alliance with an excellent therapist it can make a great difference in moving through this process. Interview several therapists if that is necessary.

Take the upper road but be keenly aware that the narcissist is a street fighter who hits below the belt and can get down and dirty. You already know this from being married to him/her. Don’t be surprised at the outrageous lengths he will go to intimidate you or trap you or use a well hatched trick to take the financial assets that are lawfully yours. Protect your children by being tough and don’t lose your cool. The narcissist want you off balance and out of control so he can show how disturbed you are. He/she will lie about you. Know that the people who are truly your friends know exactly who you are and the others who believe him must be dismissed.

Give yourself credit. You are about to become free after years of psychological imprisonment. Call upon the warrior inside of you, the one who knows exactly who this person is and also knows that you will prevail.

To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life