Divorcing a Narcissist in Morris County Family Court
If you are in the process of legal separation from a narcissist, seek the support of an experienced attorney, so you can focus on your own healing.
Being with a narcissist can rob you of your sense of self and make being in a relationship nearly impossible. Narcissistic personality disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a clinical mental disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of ego and lacks empathy. If you have been married to a narcissist and are in the process of divorce, it is important that you focus your energy on reclaiming your sense of psychological autonomy. The logistics of the divorce that require continued communication, and collaboration that will be necessary if children are involved, are just some of the factors that will keep you in touch with your ex and require that you take care of your psychological health and energetic sovereignty.
If you are in the process of legal separation from a narcissist, seek the support of an experienced attorney, so you can focus on your own healing. Following are some things to keep in mind to support you on your journey of reclaiming your independence:
Set strong boundaries.
One of the signature aspects of a narcissist is the ability to control the dynamic within a partnership. As you undergo the process of legally and energetically extracting yourself from the relationship, set strong physical and communicative boundaries to create a space for you to do the work of establishing emotional boundaries, which is inevitably a longer process.
Make ample time for yourself.
Being in a marriage creates a dynamic of codependency and a shared identity that is normal and natural. In the case of marriage with a narcissist, that partner’s strong personality and sense of self can strip even the strongest partner of an individuated self. The most important thing for you to do when you are undergoing the process of divorcing from a narcissist is to spend time getting to know yourself and taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Engaging in practices like yoga, meditation, and intentional groups allows for self-reflection and personal development that will help you make the transition into independence following the marriage. Consider seeking the support of a therapist to process your experience; having someone to talk to can take the weight off of your shoulders and speed the healing process.
Trust your intuition.
While you may turn to the support of a professional during this time, and there may be many people in your life who offer advice and information intended to help you along the way, you know yourself and your relationship with the narcissist best. Your ex may use their powers of manipulation to make you question the facts of the divorce. Make sure to have a strong network of loved ones around you to keep you grounded and steady in the face of potential gaslighting by a narcissist, and always trust yourself first, no matter what information is coming in from outside.
Be prepared to be the bigger person.
A narcissist is not likely to take your needs or that of your family into strong consideration. This may look like a lack of communication during the divorce proceedings, or it may be more damaging, including a fierce denial of their having any role in conflict leading to the end of the marriage. In order to protect their egos from the humbling experience of reality, they may even manipulate their children into believing their side of the story, making co-parenting or child custody proceedings more difficult to resolve amicably. In order to navigate this separation process, be prepared to take the high road and not take their words or actions personally. Also be prepared to be in open, honest, and appropriate communication with your children about why the marriage ended and that, no matter what is happening, they are loved.
Communicate your needs.
Any process of divorce requires clear, nonviolent communication – with yourself, your ex, your children, your attorney, and your support network. Use this opportunity to anchor your boundaries and practice lovingly yet firmly speaking your perspectives and needs. Coming from a grounded place of self-love – as well as respect for your ex, no matter the circumstances of your relationship – will allow you to be able to freely and openly express your expectations and requests during the divorce proceedings. Furthermore, this clear communication will serve as a healthy model for your children and the people closest to you in your life.
Contact our Morristown Divorce Attorneys if you are struggling with a narcissistic partner
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in supporting clients across Morris County and Northern New Jersey in all divorce procedures, including drafting comprehensive child custody and support agreements.
We know the circumstances surrounding a divorce can be divisive, and we focus on finding solutions that ensure swift conclusions that support the physical, mental, and emotional health of our clients and their families.