No one expects to marry a narcissist. Unfortunately, it happens. It may put spouses in a horrible situation where they feel like they cannot leave and suffer at the hands of an emotionally abusive partner. But what can you do?
Luckily, divorce is still an option. It may seem harder to leave, but it can be done with the right support system and knowing what to expect during the proceedings.
What is a narcissist?
According to Psychology Today, someone with a narcissistic personality disorder often exhibits a lack of empathy and an inflated sense of self-importance. In a relationship, a narcissist might consider themselves superior to you or may humiliate you to enhance their image. It can be a toxic relationship for both partners.
However, not every self-interested person is a narcissist. There are eight aspects that make up a narcissistic personality disorder:
- Demanding admiration
- Lack of empathy and take advantage of others
- Exaggerates own importance
- Preoccupied with fantasies of success or ideal relationships
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Envious of others or believes others are jealous of them
- Exhibits arrogance
The most significant tip for spotting a narcissist in a relationship is their treatment to others. If they brush off your concerns or emotions, they may be a narcissist. If they make others feel stupid for fun, they may be a narcissist. Listen to your gut and leave the relationship while you can.
How do you divorce a narcissist?
Sometimes we don’t truly know someone until we are married. Unfortunately, if you are married to a narcissist, it may be more difficult to leave than other marriages. But there are ways to leave as painlessly as possible:
- Advocate for yourself – do not allow your partner to change your history or events in court. Tell your story and advocate for the events from your perspective.
- Do not trust their peace offers – they may try to suck you back in with a peace offer, but remember their behavior and the reasons why you are leaving.
- Have the right support system – in court; a narcissist will not admit they are suffering from a disorder. They will change events to help them and their divorce settlement. You need someone in court who can vouch for the behavior and support your perspective.
- Hire the right attorney – not all lawyers are made equal. Make sure to have an attorney who wants to understand the whole picture of your relationship and act as your advocate in court.
- Don’t expect emotional abuse to end with divorce – Unfortunately, a divorce may not stop emotional abuse. It’s important to maintain distance from your partner and ways to remove them from your life peacefully.
The weight of a bad relationship can follow someone for life, but leaving a bad relationship will start the healing process and allow you to move on to a better future.