Narcissists wearing their masks of brilliance, talent, ultra confidence, attractiveness are irresistible. Most are fooled by them. That is how convincing they are. They have been doing this act with their eyes closed for most of their lives. They know the drill–It is an essential part of them that we mistake for the real person.
Don’t blame yourself for not recognizing the narcissist for who she/he truly is. The narcissist’s real self is hidden deep in the unconscious. This is the part of them that has been severely damaged and is projected out on to others, especially those close to them. These projections are primitive, meant to cause great pain. Those on the receiving end–spouses, ex-spouses, children, etc experience deep hurt and lingering pain. It is a dreadful experience to be the recipient of a narcissist’s incoming pathological fire in the form of primitive vituperative projections.
When you finally decide to divorce a narcissist and have created your plan of action, give yourself a lot of credit for taking this course. It is a complicated one. You have pulled back so many times in the past, telling yourself that if you had tried harder and been more patient, this person could have changed, have understood your thoughts and feelings and that issues would have worked out. No! That is not the clinical case in dealing with narcissistic personality disorders.
During the process of the divorce, you find yourself at times flat-footed. The narcissist and his attorneys have changed their game plan. This wasn’t in the playbook. You are ambushed and feel like you can’t crawl out of the weeds. The other side is lying and getting away with it. The mediator went into the enemy’s camp and was convinced by their lies. Then the battle moves more favorably toward you and you take a deep breath. It’s like watching a boxing match and you are getting bloodied and stitched. You are able to get some respite between rounds but know that the battle is long and you summon up your strength and reserves. Whatever happens, try not to let your social media and divorce overlap. They will use what you’ve written against you and the next round will start sooner than you had hoped. Don’t add fuel to the already big fire.
In many divorces with narcissists it gets very ugly. They are always lying. obfuscating the truth, deluding those who should be believing you, bribing some of the players with money, etc.
When you divorce a narcissist you discover the darkness of human nature–how desperateness on the part of narcissist leads to accusations, flagrant lies, vituperative rage, pitched battles over financial assets. It is a walk on the wild, dark side of consciousness. Those who go through divorce are often shocked by the tenacious fury of the narcissist to get exactly what he or she wants—–Everything! Your work is to take care of yourself while you are going through this tough process. As I have stated before and it is worth repeating, choose your attorney with great care after doing research, interviewing and checking with your intuition. This is Your advocate that will weather this process with you throughout. You are wise and will make the right decision.
Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand them very well and will not be surprised by their antics and ruses during the divorce and afterwards.
Take time with yourself for ongoing healing–whatever it takes to keep you healthy, sleeping at night, eating well, exercising the way you choose, calming the body/mind with guided meditation, prayer, etc., spending time with those whom you can count on at any time and are truly authentic. Take moments to escape into audio books, movies, music that you love and that carries you to another place in your mind and heart. The universe is abundant–open yourself to it and all of its blessings and gifts.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
2 thoughts on “Divorcing A Narcissist–A Walk on the Wild Side”
I continue to read your posts about marriage and divorce because I am finding that the words ring true in other relationships (father in our case) where money and power are involved. Sharing a family business with a narcissistic family member (also a socialized sociopath) is the most horrible thing I have ever been a part of. And what you say about divorce is also true when lawyers and accountants are involved in a family business. They believe and are charmed by everything the narcissist says. Smart capable people lose the ability to think or intuit for themselves because they are so taken in. It truly boggles my mind. I wish I had known this before we chose to enter into a business relationship with him; it almost ruined our lives.
Yes. My soon to be ex husband has a business. A lot of money involved. However you have to know that Judges and lawyers see people like this all the time. They’re so used to be lied to. The one thing you have to keep in mind is anything said in depositions, affidavits etc that doesn’t ring true you need to hang onto. The one thing that you cannot do is get emotional with a narc, the need that kind of power over others. That’s how they survive. Everything is about them, they’ll throw anyone under the bus if it means saving themselves.
If you can do not be involved in business with them. No contact is the best thing you can do. However in my case we have a child, but e-mails are my only form of communicating. This way as well it’s easy to catch them in lies. They contradict constantly. There’s no fluitiy to what is said. Jumbled, just like their minds.
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